CN improving Sallisaw Creek Park

BY WILL CHAVEZ
Assistant Editor – @cp_wchavez
10/09/2013 12:51 PM
Video with default Cherokee Phoenix Frame
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Corps of Engineers gave the Cherokee Nation nearly 800 acres of surplus land in Sequoyah County in 1998. It’s adjacent to the Arkansas River and the Kerr Lake reservoir. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The Corps of Engineers gave the Cherokee Nation nearly 800 acres of surplus land in Sequoyah County in 1998. The land is adjacent to the Arkansas River and the Kerr Lake reservoir. The property has five recreational outlets on the lake and river, which include camping areas, a boat ramp, picnic tables and fishing areas. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Nation Natural Resources operates Sallisaw Creek Park in Sequoyah County. The park is located about four miles south of I-40 on Dwight Mission Road and is operated, maintained and patrolled by CN personnel. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Fifteen years after the Cherokee Nation received nearly 800 acres in Sequoyah County from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the tribe’s Natural Resources is making improvements on the land for a recreational area.

“The Cherokee Nation was given some surplus land in Sequoyah County by the Corps of Engineers in 1998. It’s just a little under 800 acres, and it’s adjacent to the Arkansas River and the Kerr Lake reservoir,” CN Administration Liaison Pat Gwin said.

The corps once used the land for a recreational area that consisted of picnic areas, boat ramps, fishing areas and camping sites maintained and operated by the state. The property has five recreational outlets on the lake and river. Four are no longer used, but Natural Resources maintains the fifth one. This site has camping areas, a boat ramp, picnic tables and fishing areas, which CN work crews are improving.

“When the corps deemed the land surplus, the land came to us in 1998 with the stipulation (to) have one of those recreational areas for a time period of five years, which we did. Even after that agreement expired in 2003, to this date we’ve kept the recreational facility open,” Gwin said.

That recreational area is called Sallisaw Creek Park. However, there are plans to rename it because it often gets confused with another Sallisaw Creek Park about five miles away, Natural Resources Manager G.V. Gulager said.

The CN-operated park is located about four miles south of I-40 on Dwight Mission Road.

“Currently, we have it open to the public and it’s free of charge. It’s something the Cherokee Nation is proud to have. We’re in the process of opening more of the park, doing more work here and creating more activity here,” Gulager said.

He said the tribe wants to eventually bring in revenue from the park and other areas. Gulager said the tribe is paying for improvements while not collecting any fees from the public for using the park.

“I think it’s going to come to that point, and it’s been expressed by the (Tribal) council and by the chief that we’re going to have to do something,” he said.

Gulager said with more people learning of the park, it can become crowded, especially with boaters. That means the CN must provide more security, sanitation facilities, electricity and water for those crowds, which costs money, he said.

“The Cherokee Nation can bear the brunt a little bit, but when it becomes a major issue for our finances we’re going to have to look for other resources, and the resources should come from the people that’s enjoying this park,” he said.

Gulager added that with other recreational areas in Oklahoma being closed by budget constraints, more people are coming to Sallisaw Creek Park. And because it’s free, the site is attractive for people wishing to camp, fish and boat, he said.

Park improvements include placing electricity at some campsites, improving roads and adding streetlights. Gulager said wells are on the property for water and more may be dug with the water quality monitored by the tribe’s environmental group. He said he wants to improve restroom facilities, and shelters would soon be placed over picnic tables.

“That’s our main concern this winter and this spring, to get more water to various locations so that it will be adequate for everybody to camp,” he said.

Another improvement is the addition of a walking and horse-riding trail, which gives people a chance to view the area’s beauty. Gulager said the trail has only been open about a month and already more than 240 horse riders have ridden it.

“What we’re trying to do is make more recreation for everybody,” he said. “The natural setting makes it beautiful. It’s a wonderful part of the Cherokee Nation. In 14-county area, this is one the best looking places to come and enjoy.”

will-chavez@cherokee.org


918-207-3961

ᏣᎳᎩ

ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ, ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ. – ᏍᎩᎦᏚ ᎾᏕᏘᏯ ᎣᏂ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᎩᏒ ᎾᎠᏂᎨᏍᏗ ᏁᎳᏧᏈ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎾᎿ ᏏᏉᏯ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᏂᏓᏩᏓᎴᏅ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᏄᏍᏛᏊ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᏃᏢᎯᏏ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏙ ᎤᏂᎲ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ.

“ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎨᏥᏁᎸ ᎦᏙ ᎤᏘᏴ ᏏᏉᏲ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ Corps of Engineers ᏚᏁᎴ ᎤᎾᏘᏱᎸ ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏐᏁᎳᏍᎪ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ. ᎤᏍᏗ ᎦᎷᎶᎦ ᏁᎳᏧᏈ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ, ᎠᎴ ᏚᏓᎯᏟ ᏚᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎤᏪᏴ ᎠᎴ Kerr ᎥᏓᎵ ᎠᎹ ᎦᏁᎲᎢ,” CN ᎠᏓᏅᏖᎵᏙ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎦᏙᎩ Pat Gwin ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎾᏍᎩ Corps ᏌᏊ ᎢᏳᏩᎪᏛ ᎤᏅᏔᏅ ᎯᎠ ᎦᏙ ᎾᎿ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛ ᏕᎦᏍᎩᎸ ᏗᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ, ᏥᏳ ᏫᏓᏔᎳᏗᏍᏗ, ᎠᏑᏗ ᎬᎾᏕᎾ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏂᏒᎯᎭ ᏧᏂᎵᏦᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗᏗᏒ ᏍᎦᏚᎩ. ᎾᏍᎩ ᎦᏓ ᎠᎲᎢ ᏂᏕᎬᎾᏓ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏗᎫᏓᎸᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏂᎦᎥ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᎥᏓᎵ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏪᏴᎢ. ᏅᎩ ᏝᏃ ᏱᏓᏅᏗ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᏄᏍᏛᏊ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎠᏅᏗᏍᎪ ᎯᎠ ᎯᏍᎩᏁᎢ. ᎯᎠ ᎡᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎬᏩᏂᏒᏍᏗ ᏓᏂᎵᏦᏛᏍᎪᎢ ᏚᏙᏢᎭ, ᏥᏳ ᏫᏚᏂᏔᎳᏗᏍᏗ, ᏗᎵᏍᏓᏴᏗ ᏕᎦᏍᎩᎸ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏑᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᏚᏙᏢᎭ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏧᏂᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎯ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎾᏅᏁᎭ.

“ᎾᎯᏳᏃ Corps ᏥᏚᏒᎪᏔᏅ ᎦᏙ ᎤᏘᏴ ᏧᏂᏁᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎦᏙ ᎤᎷᏨ ᎾᎿ ᏐᏁᎳᏚ ᎢᏍᎪᎯᏧᏈ ᏐᏁᎵᏍᎪ ᏧᏁᎳ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏃᏪᎳᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎤᏂᎯ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏌᏊ ᎾᎿ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎨᏒ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎯᏍᎩ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏓ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅ ᎣᏂ ᏚᎾᏓᏁᏤᎸ ᎤᎶᏐᏅ ᎾᎿ ᏔᎵ ᏯᎦᏴᎵ ᏦᎢ ᎤᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗᏒᎢ, ᏃᎴ ᎪᎯ ᎢᎦ ᏥᎩ ᎣᎩᏍᏓᏩᏕᎾ ᎠᏍᏚᎢᏓ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅ Gwin. ᎯᎠ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏌᎷᎾᎨᏴ ᎤᏪᏴ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗᎢ. ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ, ᏓᏅᎪᏔᏂᏙ ᎤᏂᏁᏟᏴᏍᏗ ᏚᏙᎥ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎤᎾᏦᏍᏓᏁᎭ ᏐᎢ ᎤᏠᏯ ᏧᏙᎢᏓ ᏌᎷᎾᎨᏴ ᎤᏪᏴ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎯᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎢᏴᎢ, ᎤᏛᏅᎢ ᏄᏍᏛᏊ ᎬᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏙᏢᎯ ᎧᏁᏥᏙᎯ G.V. Gulager.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᎨᎵ ᎤᏂᎩᏍᏗᏓ ᎯᎠ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏅᎩ ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᎤᎦᎾᏭ ᎾᎿ I-40 ᎾᎿ Dwight Mission ᎦᏅᏅ.

“ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ, ᎣᎩᏍᏚᎢᏏ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏎᏊᎢ. ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᎪ ᎤᏂᎲᎢ. ᎣᏥᏱᎵ Ꮟ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎣᎩᏍᏚᎢᏍᏗᎢ, ᎤᎪᏙ ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᎭ ᎠᎭᏂ ᎠᎴ ᎣᏦᏢᏍᎬ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎬᏩᎾᏛᏗ ᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎭᏂ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬ Gulager.

ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎤᏚᎵ ᎠᏟᎢᎵᏒ ᎠᏕᎳ ᎦᎷᎦ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏅ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏗᏐᎢ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ. Gulager ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎠᎾᏈᏱ ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ Ꮭ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᏱᏚᏂᎬᏩᎶᏙᎢ ᎠᎾᏗᏍᎬ ᎠᏂᏴᏫᎢ.

“ᎦᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏫᏛᏟᎢᎶᏟ, ᎠᎴ ᎢᏳᏂᏪᏓ (ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ) ᏗᏂᎳᏫᎦ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎬᏫᏳᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎠᏎ ᎠᏛᏁᏗ ᎨᏒ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.

Gulager ᎤᏛᏅ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏂᎪᏛ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᎰᏍᎬ ᎾᎿ ᏴᏫ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎪᏢᏒᎢ, ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏂᏓᎦᎵᏍᏔᏂ, ᎤᏟᏃ ᏥᏳ ᎠᎹᏱ ᏤᏙᎯ ᏧᏴᏯ ᎠᏂᎷᏨ.

ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎤᎾᏛᏅᎢᏍᏙᏗ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᎦᏎᏍᏗᏕᎦ, ᏙᏯ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ, ᎠᎾᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᏧᏄᏓᎸᏗ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎹ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏁᏙᎯ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏓᎵᎬᏩᏢᏍᎦ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

“ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ ᏃᏊ ᎨᏒ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎢᏳᏛᏗ, ᎠᏎᏍᎩᏂ ᎠᎪᏙᏒ ᎠᏎ ᎤᏣᏘᏂ ᎢᎸᏢ ᎠᏯᏍᏗ ᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎤᎵᏍᏕᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎡᎵᏊ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ ᏂᏓᏳᏓᎴᏗ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.

Gulager ᎤᏁᏉᎥ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᏐᎢ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏕᎪᏢᏒ ᎾᎿ ᎣᎦᎵᎰᎹ ᏓᏍᏚᎲᎢ ᎾᎿ ᎠᏕᎳ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᏍᎬ, ᎤᏂᎪᏓ ᏴᏫ ᏓᏂᎷᎦ ᎾᎿ ᏌᎷᎾᎨᏴ ᎤᏪᏴ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ. ᎠᎴ ᏅᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎠᏎᏊ ᎨᏒᎢ, ᎤᏪᏚᎯ ᎡᏓᏍᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎠᏂᏴᏫ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎩ ᎤᎵᏨᏓᏩᏗ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏓᏂᎵᏦᏛᏍᎪ, ᎠᏂᏑᏂᏙᎭ ᎠᎴ ᏥᏳ ᎠᎹᏱ ᏤᏙᎯ ᏓᏅᏗᏍᎪ, ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.

ᎯᎠᎢᏃ ᏴᏫ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗ ᎨᏒ ᎤᏠᏯᏍᏗ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏗᎾᎦᎵᏍᎩ ᏧᏂᏏᎳᏛᏗ ᎢᎦᏓ ᏚᏙᏢᏒ ᎤᏁᏓᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏍᎩᎸ, ᏓᏤᏢ ᎢᏗᎬᏁᏗ ᏅᏃᎯ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏗᏨᏍᏗ ᎢᏗᎬᏅᏙᏗᎢ. Gulager ᎤᏛᏅ ᎠᎹᏟᏗ ᏕᎪᏢᎭ ᎾᎿ ᎦᏓ ᎠᎲᎢ ᎤᏅᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎡᎵᏊ ᏗᎦᎪᏢᏗᎾᎿ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᎰᏒ ᎾᏍᎩᎾ ᎠᏂᎳᏍᏓᏢ ᎤᎾᏓᏢᎦ ᎤᏂᏃᎮᎸᎢ. ᎤᏛᏅᏃ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎬ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᏧᏩᏅᏗ ᏙᏯ ᏧᏁᏓᏍᏗ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᎦᎵᏦᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏕᎦᏍᎩᎸ ᎦᎸᎳᏗᏝ.

“ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏄᎬᏫᏳᏒ ᎣᏣᏓᏅᏖ ᎯᎠ ᎪᎳ ᎠᎴ ᎯᎠ ᎪᎨᏯ, ᎤᎪᏛ ᎠᎹ ᏫᏚᎷᎯᏍᏗ ᎾᎿ ᏚᏙᏢᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᎦᏓ ᏗᎬᏩᎾᏙᏗ ᎠᏁᏙᎯ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ.

ᏐᎢᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎢᎬᏁᏗ ᎧᏁᏉᏍᏗ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᎦᏅᏅ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᎾᏝᏅᏓᏕᎰ ᎤᏂᎦᏖᎾᏍᏗ ᎤᏬᏚᏒᎢ ᎤᏙᏢᏒ. Gulager ᎤᏛᏅ ᏧᏍᏗ ᏕᎦᏅᏅ ᏧᎵᏍᏚᎢᏓ ᏏᏅᏓ ᎠᏎ ᏥᎨᏒ ᎠᎴ ᎦᏳᎳ ᎤᎪᏛ ᏯᏛᎾ ᏔᎵᏧᏈ ᏅᎩᏍᎪᎯ ᏐᏈᎵ ᏚᎾᎩᎸᏔᎾ ᎤᏂᎶᏌ.

“ᏄᏍᏛᏃ ᎣᏣᏁᎶᏗᏍᎬ ᏲᎦᏛᏗ ᎤᎪᏛ ᎤᏙᏢᏅᏗ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎾᏂᎥᎢ,” ᎤᏛᏅᎢ. “ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛᏊ ᎤᏬᏚᎯ ᏄᏩᏁᎭ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏍᏆᏂᎪᏗ ᏄᏩᏁᎭ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎠᏰᎵ. ᎾᎿ ᏂᎦᏚ ᎢᏗᏍᎦᏚᎩ, ᎾᏍᎩ ᎯᎠ ᏫᏓᏤᎵ ᏗᎧᎾᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎡᏓᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᎵᎮᎵᎦ.”

About the Author
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. 

For many years h ...
WILL-CHAVEZ@cherokee.org • 918-207-3961
Will Chavez is a Cherokee/San Felipe Pueblo Indian who has worked in the newspaper and public relations field for 25 years. During that time he has performed public relations work for the Cherokee Nation and has been a writer, reporter and photographer for the Cherokee Advocate and Cherokee Phoenix newspapers. For many years h ...

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