Working Towards a Traditional Plant Harvesting Agreement: An Example from Mount Rainier National Park.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, 17 March, 2016 - 16:00
, David - The University of Montana and Mount Rainier National Park

Last year, the United States’ National Park Service purposed a rule change, that if accepted, would establish procedures to develop policies which would allow traditional plant collecting, by federally recognized tribes, within park lands. If these rule changes go through, the establishment of collecting agreements require both an understanding of cultural, and biological factors that influence traditional harvesting practices. Since 2006, I, with cooperation of the Nisqually Native American Tribe, and Mount Rainier National Park, have studied the ecology of traditional plant harvesting. The mechanisms for the sustainable harvest of beargrass (Xerophyllum tenax), pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata), and peeling bark of western redcedar (Thuja plicata) are cultural practices, which works within the plants tolerance to damage, or maintains its ability to reproduce. The approach used in conducting this research is one possible set of methods for collecting data needed in establishing collecting agreements.