The second annual sochan gathering season in Great Smoky Mountains National Park was held from March 1st to May 31st, 2020. This year we…
- Revised the Gathering Agreement to allow the harvest of whole sochan leaves, not just the final three lobes (or “turkey foot”). The changes were approved in February 2020 and went into effect immediately.
- Maintained gatherer access and program function throughout COVID-19 closures. We worked closely with leadership at Great Smoky Mountains National park to ensure gatherer access during their shutdown. We also adapted our own program administration to function remotely without interruption, accepting harvest reports by email, text message, and phone.
- Increased participation. This year, we issued 24 permits (vs. 11 last year). Our gatherers completed 13 sochan harvests and collected 11.3 bags (vs. 3 harvests and 0.95 bags last year). Overall, at least 25 individual community members helped picked sochan in the Park (vs. 6 last year).
- Continued research harvests. Our staff worked with park personnel to access research plots during COVID-19 closures. Total sochan harvest (including community and research harvests) was 12.3 bags, or 330 servings.
Our sochan information page has links to more articles, documents, and resources. Thanks to all the gatherers who participated this year!