Park Service Report Criticizes Agency Culture

August 18, 2016

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Marching Bear Mounds in Autumn. Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa. (National Park Service)

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary amid criticism and scandal, as was highlighted recently in an internal agency report. Park Service officials, investigating the defilement of sacred- and ceremonial-grounds at the Effigy Mounds National Monument in northeast Iowa, documented internal problems that go beyond the Effigy Mounds, including:

  • More than a decade of projects that did not follow federal preservation or environmental laws, including an extensive system of boardwalks meant to protect more than 200 American Indian sacred mounds. The mounds are 1,200 years old.
  • Staff’s lack of knowledge and skill in cultural resource management and preservation laws
  • A lack of accountability

NPS Midwest Regional Director Cam Sholly said the wrongdoing not only “violated the law and damaged resources” but also compromised “our valuable tribal relationships and the public trust.”

Read more about this here.

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