The Role of Ethnobiology in Developing Plant Gathering Agreements at Acadia National Park

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 15:45
, Michelle - Virginia Tech/ Montana State University

Proposed changes to the National Park Service Code of Federal Regulations (36 CFR 2) would provide federally recognized tribes with expanded plant gathering rights on parklands.   But, what will this look like in practice, how will we get there, and how can ethnobiology contribute to the process? This paper will introduce initial steps towards developing plant gathering agreements at Acadia National Park in coastal Maine. In advance of proposed regulation changes, Acadia has begun working with Wabanaki tribes using an ethnobiological approach with the goal of creating a model practice for other parks. Based on tribal consultations, ethnobotanical research and meetings with Park staff, we will discuss a suite of key issues including gatherer privacy, permitting and identification, and respectful incorporation of traditional knowledge into park management, monitoring and interpretation.