Cherokee Nation W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex, health centers, and satellite offices will be closed on Monday, May 27, 2024. Cherokee Nation W.W. Hastings Hospital urgent care, emergency department, and other emergency services will remain open.


Career Services

17675 South Muskogee Ave Tahlequah, OK 74464


Our Fuels Program works diligently to reduce hazardous fuels on Trust Land throughout the Cherokee Nation. Their efforts are aimed at creating fire resilient landscapes and reducing the number of destructive wildland fires on our lands.

The fuels program uses prescribed burns in the form of pile burning and broadcast burning to reduce targeted areas of overgrown vegetation. These prescribed burns reduce fire intensity in the event of wildfires, making suppression much easier and reducing property loss and environmental damage. This keeps fire personnel safer by making our efforts proactive, rather than reactive.

Reserved Treaty Rights Land (RTRL) Program

Our RTRL Program goes hand-in-hand with our Fuels Program. Where our Fuels Program is almost completely limited to Trust lands, the RTRL Program gives us the ability to work with cooperating landowners to help reduce wildfire risks on lands near or adjacent to tribal lands. These landowners are expected to contribute towards the goals set forth in any plans developed for their property.

This program was created on the premise that much of the land in Cherokee Nation’s 14 county jurisdiction has been left untended. This, in addition to the intensive fire suppression policy of the past century, has created overgrown vegetation that causes a very high fire danger. We believe all land within the Cherokee Nation, regardless of who owns it, is culturally valuable and deserves to be protected from invasive species and destructive wildfires.

  • RTRL Purpose Statement
    We endeavor to return the landscape to historical parameters in fire-resiliency, plant ecology, and wildlife sustainability while simultaneously taking human use of resources into consideration to restore the land to a state beneficial to man and nature.
  • Culturally Important
    Many plants found within our jurisdiction that are used in traditional food, medicine, and crafts of the Cherokee people need fire to flourish. Native pine seeds germinate by low intensity fires that burn through the dry needle layer on the ground. Other plants depend on fire to clear shrubs so that they can find sunlight in the undergrowth. In addition, these plants have fallen victim to over-browsing and encroachment by invasive and noxious species of plants like Eastern Red Cedar, which can be effectively controlled by correctly-timed prescribed fire regimes. In order to create fire-resilient enclaves for culturally important plants and animals, we created the Cherokee Nation RTRL program. We hope our efforts will support the continuation of ancestral knowledge and traditions by allowing these plant species to continue to be found in our region.
  • Become a Cooperating Landowner
    If you are interested in becoming a cooperator and own land in Adair County that has become overgrown and is in need of hazardous fuels reduction or that presents a unique wildfire hazard, please contact Nathan Sands at 918-453-5697.