Friday, December 10, 2010

Forest Service sacred sites policy under review

Federal officials are considering changes to management of Native sacred sites in national forests. A year-long review stems from conflicts in the Lower 48. But the new policies could affect burial sites and other locations in Alaska. Tribal groups have fought for years over protection of sacred sites on Forest Service land. One of the biggest battles was at a northern Arizona ski area, where recycled wastewater was used to make snow on a sacred mountain. Another was in Nevada, where a sacred rock was being used for recreational climbing. Forest Service officials recently decided to get fresh input from tribal groups as they consider how those decisions are made. John Autrey of the Tongass National Forest Tribal Relations Program says meetings are already taking place...more

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