Reconnaissance Sampling for Sting Potential Orchards on Reservation Lands in the Four Corners

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Journal/Book Title/Conference

USU Student Showcase

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Faculty Mentor

Grant Cardon


Native American Reservation lands in the Four Corners area were widely used for agriculture. However, designated farmlands have recently been abandoned. In order to restore agriculture in New Mexico and Arizona Indian Reservations, archival climate history and soil surveys have been collected to determine candidate areas that will allow new orchards to be productive. Based on the climate history gathered, orchards are likely to grow successfully with recent and current climatic conditions at many sites. Soil surveys have also supported orchard establishment which indicate that there are many appropriate sites with soil properties required for orchard production (coarse textured, well-drained, fertile). Four out of ten locations identified from data reviews, namely, Kayenta, AZ, Many Farms, AZ, Zuni, NM, and a privately owned property off of HWY 602,NM, have been selected for further soil analysis to verify archival data sources and determine exact locations to establish orchards. Establishing orchards on Native American Reservations will help bring back lost traditions by involving residents in agriculture and allow younger generations to become knowledgeable in agricultural practices. Local foods will also be provided for rural residents that usually drive up to seventy miles to reach the nearest grocery store.

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