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GATHERINGCLIMATE CHANGE On April 20 2015 the National Park Service Service released proposed regulations 80 FR 21674 to allow federally-recognized Indian tribes with tradi- tional associations or ancestral connections to Service properties access to gather plants and plant parts for non-commercial purposes. The proposed regulation would be an addition to 36 CFR 2.1 which generally prohibits the taking of plants wildlife or fish from Service properties. The current provision provides some exceptions to the general rule including an acknowledg- ment that the Service cannot impede reserved treaty rights and laws enacted by Congress allowing hunting fishing and gathering of plants on certain properties. Public comment on the proposed regulations was open until July 20 2015. GLIFWC submitted comments on behalf of its member tribes from an off-reser- vation perspective. Background Ancestral connections are different than treaty rights because with ancestral connectionsthereisusuallynoformalacknowledgmentontheexistenceofatribes ownership right of a particular area by the United States. The proposed regulations are potentially significant due to the fact that many National Parks are located on lands which were formerly owned and controlled by federally-recognized Indian tribes. Tribes were often forcibly removed from areas considered to be aestheti- cally significant to make way for national parks. Early environmentalists often considered any human interaction with natural landscapes to be harmful to the land and wildlife.Accordingly national parks were developed to preserve natural landscapes and prevent any manipulation of the environment by non-experts. This way of thinking is very different than traditional indigenous philoso- phy which includes an understanding of living and dynamic relationships among indigenous people and other aspects of creation. For instance many indigenous peoples view the respectful collection of medicinal plants not as a harm done to a resource but an activity that can benefit a resource. As medicinal plants are col- lected and used for healing it is often said that they will appreciate being used and increase in abundance. The proposed regulation Unfortunatelytheproposedregulationdoesnotseemtoincorporateatraditional perspective on gathering. In order to take advantage of the regulation tribes would have to enter into formal agreements with the Service. The process of entering into an agreement would start with a request describing the tribes connection to the property and what kind of gathering the tribe is interested in conducting. Upon receiving a request the Service would be required to conduct an in-depth analysis. Instead of allowing the Indian tribes to define their traditional connection and how gathering certain plants located within Service properties is consistent with their traditions the process requires the Service to make that judgment. The Service is also required to conduct an evaluation under the National Environmental Policy Act commonly referred to as NEPA. The Service may only enter into an agreement if it finds that the proposed use will not result in a significant and adverse impact and that the proposed use is otherwise consistent with other applicable laws and regulations. Under the proposed regulations agreements made between federally-recog- nized Indian tribes and the Service set forth allowable activities who can gather what can they gather where when and how they can gather and a description of how the tribe and the Service will monitor compliance with the terms of the agreement. However the proposed regulations allow the Service a great deal of flexibility in terminating agreements including termination for avoidance of conflict among visitor use activities. GLIFWC member tribes perspective Representatives of the GLIFWC member tribes appreciated the spirit of the proposed regulations to open up ancestral territories for traditional activities for tribes who may have lost that connection however voiced concerns about many of its features. Tribes were very concerned that the proposed regulations granted the Service too much latitude in deciding what types of activities are traditional for a particular tribe. In most cases tribal historic preservation officers or the tribes themselves are consulted regarding ancestral uses of land and traditional activities. Most federal and state agencies recognize that tribes themselves are the experts on their culture. Tribes also expressed concern that the Service would apply some of the procedures outlined in the proposed regulations to situations involving the imple- mentation of treaty rights. GLIFWC member tribes except the Bay Mills Indian Community entered into an agreement with the Service to allow their members to gather plants within the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in 2013. However the ceded territories contain other Service properties of which there is no formal agreement. The requirement to conduct a NEPAevaluation could prove particularly oner- ous for tribes. One of the problems with requiring a NEPA evaluation is that the process becomes public allowing for the participation of third party individuals and organizations. NEPA processes also provide third parties with opportunities to sue the agency. This added complication could make the process for tribes to obtain gathering rights overly complex and expensive. From a tribal perspective where traditional gathering activities do not necessarily lead to harm of a resource the expense related to a NEPA evaluation constitutes wasted resources. Next steps We expect the Service to review comments it received from the initial public comment period and develop a finalized version of the regulations in the coming months with another round of public comments. However the Service has already been sued over the proposed rule by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility claiming that the proposed plant harvest threatens National Park resources. Park Service proposes gathering regs based on ancestral connections Tribes question amount of red tape involved By Philomena Kebec GLIFWC Policy Analyst GLIFWCs climate change program studies impacts on treaty resources Odanah Wis.Our earths cli- mate is changing impacting people and ecosystemsaroundtheworld.Whatdoes thismeanforAnishinaabegwhodepend onthebountyofthelandtosustainthem To evaluate how climate change willimpacttreatyresourcesintheceded territories and to understand how those impacts threaten Anishinaabe lifeways GLIFWChasbegunathree-yearClimate Change Program. Several parts of the program will rely on gikendaasowin traditional knowledge to guide efforts to determine how climate change is impacting conditions in ceded territory ecosystems. Several individual projects will occur over the course of three years. With guidance and direction received from tribal knowledge bear- ers GLIFWC will conduct a phenology study of treaty harvested plant species in two ceded territory study areas. Phe- nological changessuch as the timing of budding of plants emergence of insects migration of birds thawing of lakeiceareusefulindicatorsofcurrent and future climate impacts. The phenology study will collect information about the timing of impor- tant phenological changes in relation to culturally important resources at two locations and their possible relation to climate change. Another project will look at ceded territory lakes with declining walleye populations to assess whether climate change might be contributing to low fish numbers. The goal is to develop a long-term monitoring and study plan for climate related impacts and identify ceded territory waters where climate change could be jeopardizing native walleye populations. The Climate Change Program will also be conducting climate change vulnerability assessments within the cededterritories.Thisprocessevaluates which species habitats and ecosystems are most vulnerable to climate change which depends on factors such as expo- sure sensitivity and the ability to adapt to predicted changes. Vulnerability assessments have become an important tool in understanding climate change effects and how to adapt to them. A pilot project will identify tradi- tionally harvested plant species with the intention of establishing a seed bank. GLIFWC will also be compiling and analyzing existing data and literature to developclimatechangeriskassessments on designated treaty species. AnotherprojectwithintheClimate Change Program is a baseline dietary study of several Lake Superior fish spe- ciesthatwillbringgreaterunderstanding of the lakes food web and provide data needed for ecosystem models. A second project related to Lake Superior fish uses archival tags to collect information on the depth and temperatures used by lake trout repli- cating a 2001-2003 study conducted underaUSFishWildlifeServiceGreat LakesFishandWildlifeRestorationAct grant. Current information collected under the Climate Change Program will thenbecomparedtodatacollectedinthe earlier study. See Glimpsing the secret lives of lake trout page 9 As the program continues GLIF- WCwilluseresearchresultstohelpguide management strategies and adaptation plans for the ceded territories and tribal resources. Several new GLIFWC staff mem- bers will be working in the Climate Change Program. Travis Bartnick and Hannah Panci climate change scien- tists will carry out much of the primary research under the program. RonParisienJr.fisherytechnician is working on the Lake Superior fish studies with longtime GLIFWC staffer Bill Mattes. Kim Stone is the program coordinator. Existing GLIFWC person- nel will play various roles in assisting with Climate Change Program research and evaluation. Look for Climate Change Program featuresinfutureissuesofMazinaigan. By Kim Stone GLIFWC Policy Analyst 4 PAGE 3 MAZINAIGANFALL 2015