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National Park

Give Back Stolen Land

In a May 2021 article in The Atlantic magazine entitled “Return the National Parks to the Tribes,” Native American author and activist David Treuer details the genocidal violence through which Native American tribes were expelled from some of the US’s earliest and most famous national parks. He begins with the story of the Mariposa Battalion, a white militia composed largely of miners who came upon the Yosemite Valley in 1851 during an expedition to hunt and kill members of California’s Miwok tribes. The militia set fire to Miwok wigwams and shot people as they fled, ultimately driving the tribes from Yosemite. Thirty-nine years later, Yosemite became the first national park, the crown jewel in what would become a continent-spanning archipelago of parks.

Prayer Walk Demands Justice For Native Man Assaulted By US Feds

Native groups have taken to Petroglyphs National Monument in Tiwa Territory, commonly known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, to demand justice for Darrell House, a native man who was brutally tasered by rangers of the U.S. National Park Service (NPS), while he offered prayers on a hike with his sister and dog one week ago. A prayer walk from Ogahpogeh (Santa Fe) arrived to the site on Saturday afternoon, as reported by The Red Nation's Nick Estes, who tweeted, "#JusticeforDarrell walk ended at Petroglyphs National Park. Askia Trujillo from Ohkay Owingeh led the prayer walk. Walkers are demanding the firing of the two rangers who brutalized Darrell and an apology and restitution, as well as #LandBack."

As COVID19 Spikes, Blackfeet Leaders Close Entrances To Glacier Park

Blackfeet Nation leaders, citing the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, have decided to keep the eastern entrances to Glacier National Park closed for the rest of the tourism season. The Blackfeet Reservation borders the east side of the park. The tribe’s Business Council passed an ordinance on Thursday closing the entrances, saying the move was necessary to protect residents of the reservation — where tribal citizens suffer from higher rates of existing health conditions that put them at higher risk of serious complications of COVID-19 — as case numbers continue their recent rise statewide.  The closure affects entrances along Two Medicine, Chief Mountain, St. Mary’s, Cut Bank Creek and Many Glacier roads, according to the tribe. 

Groups Fight To Keep Desert National Wildlife Refuge Intact

Las Vegas - Conservation groups say Nevada eventually could lose its Desert National Wildlife Refuge north of Las Vegas if Congress approves a request from the U.S. Air Force to expand its sprawling military range. Russell Kulhman, executive director of the Nevada Wildlife Federation, said the proposal to add acreage to the Nevada Test and Training Range would dramatically shrink the number of acres for recreation, and possibly threaten the area's bighorn sheep population. He said every couple of decades, the Air Force requests more space on the refuge, reducing the public's access to bird watching, hiking, backpacking and camping. "In another 20 or 40 years, there really won't be a refuge," he said. "Obviously, the mission comes first for their priorities and wildlife will be secondary."

National Park Service Rule Change Threatens First Amendment Rights In Capital

Washington, DC– The National Park Service (NPS) has proposed rule changes that, if enacted, would limit the duration of protests at parks in the National Capitol Region. The rule changes include time limits which could abolish protests such as the ongoing White House Peace Vigil and severely restrict the duration of protests resembling the two Washington, DC Occupy encampments in 2011-2012. The NPS, part of the Department of Interior, proposes “to revise special regulations related to demonstrations and special events at certain national park units in the National Capital Region. The proposed changes would modify regulations explaining how the NPS processes permit applications for demonstrations and special events.

Landscapes Of Dispossession: National Park Service At 100 Years

By Nick Alexandrov for Counter Punch - Late June, late afternoon. I speed the rental westward on CA-120, past where Jeffrey pines loom, then brake at Mono Lake. The sun falls to the Sierra Crest’s far side. Wind gusts through the sagebrush. I think of a woman, of the summit I’ll soon climb. I tell myself, You’re in nature. Months pass. I learn Lt. Tredwell Moore entered Mono Basin in 1852. He’d chased Ahwahnechee Chief Tenaya from Yosemite—“discovered” by whites the year before, “during a military campaign to subdue the peoples of the central Sierra Nevada,” writes Mark David Spence.

History of Violent Displacement Created National Parks

By Julian Brave NoiseCat in The Huffington Post - Tuesday marked the 99th anniversary of the National Park Service, perhaps the most-loved division of the federal government. For many Americans, excursions to the national parks conjure up memories of family road trips, camp songs and hikes set in some of the country's most beautiful locales. Ken Burns called the parks, "America’s best idea." Cue Woody Guthrie: "This Land Is Your Land." But what's often left unmentioned is that for the parks to become the protected lands of public imagination, their prior inhabitants -- such as indigenous peoples and the rural poor -- had to be evicted.
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