Park employees view Native Americans as exempt from plant collection rules

August 11, 2010, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility news release:

Contrary to longstanding rules, national park managers are allowing Native Americans, even those not affiliated with any federally recognized tribes, to gather entire plants, roots, or other plant parts from parks, according to agency documents reviewed by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. This widespread noncompliance occurs with the support of the National Park Service director who has declared the rules to be “wrong” and vowed their repeal.

There has been a general prohibition against removing plants, wildlife and other resources since the very first park system rules in 1936. The current version of the regulation was adopted during the Reagan administration in 1983, following the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act.

Read more here.

flickr/Chuck “Caveman” Coker

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