Over the course of thousands of years lived in the Southern Appalachian mountains, the Cherokee people had pretty well developed a system of relationship with the land that ensured they harvested what they needed to live while leaving enough to ensure future generations would yield the same benefit.
But then there was the arrival of Europeans, years of conflict, the removal, and the establishment of the Qualla Boundary under the supervision of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It’s been a long time since Cherokee land was truly managed in the Cherokee tradition, but with the impending approval of a new forest management plan the pendulum is swinging back closer than it’s been in a long time.
As December unfolds, birders across the globe will embark on a quest to tally as many birds and species as possible over the course of a single day in a 15-mile radius. The Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count, now in its 117th year, will feature a variety of local opportunities for expert and novice birders alike to participate in this annual birding experience.