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Intertribal Nursery Council

Intertribal Nursery Council

The Intertribal Nursery Council (INC) is a USDA Forest Service managed, tribally guided, organization for advancing the interests of native peoples involved with plant production in nurseries.

Key focal points of the organization include:

  • technology transfer and sharing
  • conservation education
  • preservation of ecological knowledge
  • reforestation
  • restoration
  • nursery training

The Tribal Nursery Emphasis: Getting Started

The USDA Forest Service Tribal Nursery Emphasis began in 2001 with a gathering of invited tribal members from across the US. Participants were encouraged to comment on issues in indigenous culture regarding plant propagation, restoration, and reforestation. Facilitated discussions highlighted areas of information deficiency commonly found in tribal nursery programs (key focal points listed above). Realizing the importance of addressing these issues, the group decided to organize formally, meet annually, and call themselves The Intertribal Nursery Council (INC). The INC has since met annually, holding information sharing meetings and nursery training workshops. Meetings and workshops are held throughout the US and are hosted by tribes. Participation is open to any tribe interested in nurseries, conifers, hardwoods, and other native plants. Travel scholarships are available.


Meetings are hosted by a tribe and held annually on a three-year rotation (west of the Rockies, east of the Rockies, and held jointly with another nursery association). Participation is open to tribal members and non-tribal members, who work for or with tribal agencies, and are interested in nurseries, conifers, hardwoods, native plants, and first foods.

Tribal Nursery Manual

This handbook covers all aspects of managing a native plant nursery, from initial planning through crop production to establishing trials to improving nursery productivity into the future. It was written to assist Native Americans in growing native plants and draws extensively on tribal activities for the many photos and specific examples in the text. Click here to view or download the manual.

Tribal Nursery Needs Assessment (2003)

Using funding provided by USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry, Native Americans associated with the Intertribal Nursery Council were asked to provide information about their native plant production needs. The information was compiled into this needs assessment which forms the basis for some new and ongoing Forest Service outreach projects to Native Americans. Click here to view the Assessment.

Photo Gallery

View photos from previous INC meetings