News you can use about your foodshed!

Klamath Tribal Food Security News 
Winter 2020
S Bourque with the Mother of Yews
KDNR Environmental Education & Research Coordinator, Shay Bourque, sits with the Mother of Yews.
Photo credit: M Mucioki

In this issue:   
  • New socio-economic indicator for cultural plant hazel
  • Highlights from youth education events on cultural plants & climate resilience
  • Ways to stay informed & cope with COVID-19
  • Controversy over Delta Conveyance & impacts on salmon and their people
  • Upcoming: Annual Karuk Tribe Basketweavers Gathering (April 24-26)
Taking care of hazel: new management brief
The Karuk Tribe Dept. of Natural Resources'(KDNR) Píkyav Field Institute has developed guidelines for managing an important cultural 
California hazelnut
Surip, California hazelnut, has new management guidelines from KDNR
resource: California hazelnut (Súrip). Hazel is used for food (nuts) and basket material, but it has suffered due to fire exclusion. This management brief highlights the need for u nderstory fire and describes the research and management efforts underway to tend haz el. This study, led by Tony Marks-Block in partnership with Karuk and Yurok Tribes, uses Western Scientific methods alongside Traditional Ecological Knowledge to show  the benefits of fire for managing this cultural resource ( Marks-Block T, Lake FK, Curran LM. 2019 ). KDNR is publicizing this brief to benefit local landowners and land manag ers as well as to inform academic partners and local agencies. We thank Tony Marks-Block (Stanford University), Jonathan Mohr (KDNR), and Shawn "Shay" Bourque (KDNR and member of the Karuk-UCB Collaborative) for translating this important research into management!

Orleans Elementary students learn about cultural plants & climate resilience
P Albers & helper showing bows made from Yew
P Albers & helper showing Yew bows
The recent past weeks have been fruitful for youth education, outside and inside the classroom. In February, 6th-graders from Orleans Elementary School journeyed with our Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative: xúus nu'éethti team into the field to learn about Pacific Yew from Phil Albers, Jr., Cultural Activities Coordinator with Karuk Tribal TANF program. In a local Yew grove, Phil explained that we must spend time with the Yew tree to understand how to use it. One use of Yew wood is to craft bows for hunting. While displaying two bows that he'd made, Phil shared approaches for harvesting Yew wood, responsible care of Yew trees, curing the wood after harvest, desirable habitat conditions and much more. Yew can take up to 70 years to reach harvestable size, making it a precious resource. In the grove, students and researchers alike particularly enjoyed being in the presence of 'the mother of Yews.' (See this newsletter's banner photo.) This 'mother' is estimated to be at least 200 years old! This is the second largest Yew Phil has encountered in the Orleans area. 

Back in the classroom in early March, Karuk-UCB teammates Heather Rickard, Kathy McCovey, and Megan Mucioki teamed up to lead a lesson on
K McCovey and Orleans student planting ferns
K McCovey & student planting ferns in the school garden
biological resilience with 3rd-6th graders at Orleans Elementary. We wanted to share knowledge gleaned from our 2019 herbarium workshop and ongoing research with cultural plants in our research plots. Students rotated among three stations focused on: (1) desiccation tolerance in mosses, (2) mushroom life cycle and spore prints, and (3) implications of climate change on ferns used for weaving. At the moss station, students examined dried-up vs. saturated moss, learning about moss's unique ability to persist years without water. At the mushroom station, students reviewed the mushroom life cycle, examining mushroom gills under a light microscope and setting up spore prints. Lastly, Kathy talked with students about using ferns in basketry, showing live specimens of fibers used for weaving and beautiful basket caps featuring ferns spotlighted in this lesson. At the end of the lesson, students trouped outside with Kathy to transplant live fern plants into the Orleans Elementary School Garden. A living lesson for all of us!

Orleans student using microscope on Chanterelle mushrooms
Orleans student examining Chanterelle mushrooms
Breaking news
Coronavirus & COVID-19 updates & actions for our communities
The state of California is now in its second week of state emergency due to COVID-19. From the Karuk-UCB Collaborative, we hope you are all staying safe and healthy and caring for yourself and each other as best you can. We encourage you to visit the California Dept. of Public Health's COVID-19 updates for up-to-date information along with other reliable resources.
Ready to do some naturalist & science learning at home? Our Collaborative team has an idea for families with kids at home during school closures. Find out more about learning modules from the Karuk Tribe's Nanu'avaha ("our food") Curriculum and bring the learning home! Please reach out to Sipnuuk Digital Library Coordinator, Bari Talley at

Controversy over the Delta Conveyance: how will it impact the salmon?
In January, Governor Newsom and the CA Dept. of Natural Resources announced initial steps moving forward with the Delta Conveyance (also known as the Delta tunnel). For multiple Northern California tribes, including members of the Karuk Tribe, this has brought about a recent series of protests due to potential strong impacts on salmon in northern California waterways and subsequent cultural-food security concerns. Find out more about those recent events here and here.
Upcoming events
As currently planned, next month from April 23rd-26th, there will be the 17th Annual Karuk Tribe Basketweavers Gathering held in Happy Camp! More information can be found here, and specific contacts for any updates are listed on the brochure.
Missed an issue? See what your Karuk-UCB Food Security team has been doing here.

Keep in touch! Find upcoming events, see photos, ask questions, let your neighbors know what's going on in the foodshed! All that and more on the  Foodshed Facebook page .

Wondering what, where and when to plant? Visit the Mid Klamath Watershed Council's  Foodshed pages for excellent free information on the vegetables and fruits that grow best here, along with planting calendars, soil, and disease prevention advice.

The Karuk Tribe's Sípnuuk Digital Library, Archives and Museum supports food security and sovereignty with information on our regional food security issues, solutions and knowledge of traditional and contemporary foods and materials. Easy to use and open to all - sign up now!

Karuk-UC Berkeley Collaborative | Karuk Agroecosystem Resilience Initiative |

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