Eastern Cherokees lobby for rules to allow gathering at parks

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina is lobbying the Obama administration to allow tribes to gather plants in national parks.

Chief Michell Hicks met with National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis in Washington, D.C., to push for new rules that recognize tribal rights. Jarvis later met with the leaders of 50 tribes to discuss the issue.

“This is due to a lot of hard work from myself, tribal council and tribe members with a lot of positive input for the proper way to gather and the importance of cultural heritage,” Hicks told The Asheville Citizen-Times.

A draft regulation has been developed and could go out for public comment later this fall, an NPS spokesperson said.

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Cherokees push for right to gather plants in Smokies park (The Ashville Citizen-Times 8/30)

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