USFWS, Cherokee collaborate on wildlife

Caleb Hickman and Michael Lavoie, wildlife officials with the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, stand along the Tuckasegee River. Credit: Dan Chapman/USFWS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is expanding its work on Cherokee lands. “We’re hopeful, in the long term, that we’ll move forward in a positive direction,” said Mike Lavoie, the tribe’s natural resources manager. Biologists are working on a number of species, including migratory birds, pollinators and bats. USFWS say they are working to resolve issues that require Cherokee members to see approval from the federal government to build homes in bat roosting areas. “I want to work this out so that they can make most of the decisions themselves,” said Bryan Thompkins, a USFWS biologist in the Service’s Asheville field office.

Read more from the USFWS in the Cherokee One Feather.