By: Renee Lewis / Source: Fusion
RAINIER NATIONAL PARK, Wash.—High in the alpine meadows surrounding Washington state’s Mount Rainier, Native American tribes gathered huckleberries and other traditional plants every autumn for thousands of years.
After the area became a national park at the turn of the 20th century, their tradition of collecting plants was outlawed. The law was a blow to the tribes, who depended on the mountain’s resources for their livelihoods and cultural traditions.
That ban was finally overturned in July, when the National Park Service (NPS) issued a new rule opening up the parks to plant collection by tribes that could show their practices were traditional and sustainable.