The Native American Fish and Wildlife Society held its 30th annual national conference last week at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel and seven Cherokee High School students attended and participated in sessions two of the three days including the opening ceremonies. The CHS students attending were Jake Crowe, Travis Hicks, Jeremy Wolfe, Gabe McMillan, Brent Gunter, Omar Yanez, and Chebon Postoak.
The message of land stewardship, conservation, and involvement was the consistent theme throughout the opening morning. Principal Chief Hicks and Ken “Buff” Maney gave welcoming remarks to the crowd. A brief overview of the Cherokee Natural Resources Program highlighted the morning and was well-presented by Forrest Parker, Mike Lavoie, and Robert Blankenship.
Other presenters included tribal representatives from across the country, Park Service Personnel, US Fish and Wildlife Biologists, and others in the natural resources management. Topics were presented, ideas exchanged, and some controversial topics debated. Students especially enjoyed the Wildlife Management sessions which included presentation on the “Elk Reintroduction in North Carolina” and “Wild Hog Control in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park”. Other sessions that students enjoyed included “HazMat awareness” training and “Collaborative Education in Natural Resources”.
Students took advantage and enjoyed the opportunity to speak with presenters, other tribal representatives, and the event organizers leaving a positive impression for everyone involved.
– Cherokee Central Schools