National Park Service pledges to work with tribes to protect cultural sites on public lands
When he was a young man, Charles F. “Chuck” Sams III, the first tribal citizen appointed as National Park Service director, pitched the idea that tribes should be working directly with the federal government to steward public lands.
Now, 27 years after that meeting with then-Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, Sams announced new guidelines to strengthen protections for Indigenous sacred and cultural sites by giving tribes a greater voice in protecting cultural assets and sacred sites on park service lands.
The new policy, outlined Tuesday, shapes the agency's initiative to create co-stewardship agreements with tribes in its 423-park system. It also reflects...