February 20, 2020         
The Author Incubator Launches New Program for Spanish Speaking Entrepreneurs   •   VHS Learning Opens 2020 Summer School Registration   •   2020 Honda Civic Type R Arriving Soon with Upgraded Performance, Honda Sensing® and new LogR™ Datalogging Smartphone A   •   Unboxing is brought to life with HEXBUG JUNKBOTS at the New York Toy Fair   •   The CBA National Apprenticeship Program Gets Approved by Department of Labor   •   7,000 Bacardi Employees Turn on Their ‘Out of Office’ to Visit Hundreds of Bars Across the Globe to Spark Conversati   •   All-New Honda LogR™ Datalogging App Helps Type R Drivers Improve Their Skills with Exclusive In-Depth Driving Data   •   Fulton Mortgage Company Honored With First Annual Community Revitalization Award in Philadelphia   •   Lovers, Sub a Sandwich for a Ring This Leap Day and Quiznos May Cater Your Wedding – Assuming They Say “Yes”!   •   To Honor World Cancer Day, The WISDOM Study Seeks Support from Women to Modernize Breast Screening Guidelines   •   Contigo Reannounces Recall of 5.7 Million Kids Water Bottles Due to Choking Hazard; Additional Incidents with Replacement Lids P   •   InventHelp Inventor Develops New Jewelry Item to Express Religious Beliefs (RSD-106)   •   iPhone 11 Pro doubles radiation exposure deemed safe for consumers, according to new test   •   Learning Ally is Giving Students a Chance to Meet Popular Children's Book Author, Dan Gutman ...Register Today for this Exciting   •   U.S. Flunks Reproductive Health and Rights Report Card   •   Hemp Depot Redefines U.S. CBD Farming Economics With 70% Reduction in Feminized Seed Pricing   •   Comcast Celebrates the Year of the Rat With Continued Sponsorship of San Francisco’s Chinese New Year Festival & Parad   •   New ESA ‘Game Generation’ Campaign Shows Video Game Play Brings Benefits Beyond Fun   •   CER recommends approval for NGTL 2021 System Expansion Project   •   To Honor World Cancer Day, The WISDOM Study Seeks Support from Women to Modernize Breast Screening Guidelines
Bookmark and Share

Native Americans Allowed To Violate Park Rules

 WASHINGTON — Contrary to long-standing 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 (PEER).  This widespread noncompliance occurs with the support of the National Park Service (NPS) 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 (AIRFA).

Documents obtained by PEER under the Freedom of Information Act evidence widespread violation of these rules. Some park managers have done so by permits.  Other parks such as Zion, Bryce and Pipe Springs entered into Memoranda of Understanding, without public involvement or required environmental reviews, and improperly citing AIRFA as authority, in open contradiction of the NPS’ official rules.  Many of other violations are under the table without a paper trail, however.  For example in 2009, the acting Superintendent of Yosemite National Park advised a gathering of Indians that they could take any plant they wished and did not need either a permit, or to report what or how much they had taken.

“In clear defiance of regulations, the Park Service has adopted a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ posture on Indian removal of plants,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, pointing to a formal legal opinion by the Interior Office of the Solicitor underlining that NPS is legally required to protect park resources absent an explicit congressional waiver.  “Any decision made by the Park Service to completely reverse course on protecting plants has direct implications for park wildlife, minerals and cultural artifacts.  As with plants, a number of Tribes still claim hunting or other gathering rights on a score of iconic national parks.”

This unofficial rejection of the “no-gather” regulation appears to be led by Jon Jarvis, both as a Regional Director and now as NPS Director.  At a Tribal Consultation meeting with Cherokee officials on July 16, 2010 concerning the gathering of ramps (a wild onion) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Jarvis declared that the regulation is “just wrong” and would be changed soon:  “It became a mission of mine to fix this.  Now, that I’m director, I’m in a position to fix it.”

Director Jarvis cannot unilaterally change a federal regulation.  Document requests by PEER have not yielded any evidence that the complicated process for regulatory rewrite has even begun.  There are also questions about whether Indians would be subject to limits of sustainability and who would enforce those limits.  Moreover, it not at all clear that NPS is entitled to okay harvest of plants without a change in law.

“Director Jarvis’s sentiments may be heartfelt but our national park system cannot be governed by sentiment,” added Ruch, who today asked the Interior Office of Inspector general to review the conduct of Jarvis and other senior NPS managers.  “Jon Jarvis took an oath to uphold the law and he may not selectively ignore the regulations he does not personally appreciate.”



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News