Saguaro Fruit Traditional Harvest in Saguaro National Park
The overall objective for this report is to examine the Tohono O'odham people's traditional gathering and use of saguaro fruit in the Tucson Mountain District (TMD) of Saguaro National Park (SAGU). It is intended to aid park planning and environmental assessment work, as well as other related management decisions. Potential use of this report includes updating and informing the park's cultural and natural resource programs, and public education programs. Based on tribal concerns, the focus of the study shifted to the existing harvest camps in TMD, an ethnohistory of harvest in TMD, and an ethnobotany of the saguaro. The 2004 harvest season provided our only access to field interactions with harvesters, however, it was a year of poor production and only a handful of people came to the camp in TMD. The ethnography, consequently, was limited to two individuals, one of whom wrote her account privately. Both women came from families with an unbroken saguaro harvest tradition and have continued the practice with their immediate families. The report includes an ecological overview of the saguaro, an ethnohistory of the saguaro harvest and harvest camp in the TMD, and an ethnobotany of the saguaro. A final management discussion includes impacts, traditional knowledge, and suggestions from the study participants.