We Create and Maintain a Vigorous, Healthy, and Diverse Tribal Forest.

Forest mushroom

Protecting our Resource

The ecological diversity of the Tribe’s forested lands is the natural link to the identity of Cherokee people. Generations of responsible forest resource has sustained the Tribe’s culture and livelihood.

Today, the EBCI strives to effectively manage forest resources utilizing both modern scientific techniques and traditional ecological knowledge (TEK). Informed long-term management strategies will ensure forest resources continue to provide that cultural, economic and recreational values for future generations.

Forest Management Plan

Forest Management Plan (FMP)

The Tribe has recently updated its Forest Management Plan (FMP) with a focus on the needs of EBCI citizens and the forest ecosystem. The new plan provides management strategies that ensure the protection and enhancement of diverse forest resources. The Tribal Reserve forest will be managed under a new framework as a demonstration / experimental forest to help promote sustainable timber and forest resource utilization, as well as act as an educational tool.


Creation of pre-commercial Forest Development Plan
Creation of Cherokee Tribal Reserve Restoration and Monitoring Plan

Inter-agency research with U.S. Forest Service and North Carolina Arboretum focused on non-timber products and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)

Development of plant gathering agreement with the National Park Service to improve access to culturally significant resources

Collaboration with the Bureau of Indian Affairs to implement forest and fire management activities

Outreach and youth curriculum development focused on forest resources

Culturally Significant Plant Species Initiative (CSPSI)

The Culturally Significant Plant Species Initiative (CSPSI) is a collaboration between the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere Cooperative. CSPSI seeks a balance of access, utilization, and restoration of human-nature interrelationships in Southern Appalachia.

Learn more here.

Significant Trees Module

The Significant Trees Module was prepared by the US Forest Service in collaboration with our department. It contains educational materials on seven significant trees to the Eastern Cherokee: black walnut, butternut, hickory, sourwood, white oak, yellow buckeye, and yellow poplar.

Learn more and download materials here.


Acres We Manage


Forest Types


Steepest Slope


Acres Burned in Forest Fires