National Park Service awards $1.9 million for the return of Native American remains and sacred objects

Photo by NPS

National Park Service awards $1.9 million for the return of Native American remains and sacred objects

The National Park Service is distributing $1.9 million in grants to 12 Indian tribes and 18 museums to assist in the consultation, documentation, and repatriation of ancestral remains and cultural items as part of the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), the park service said in a press release. Seven grants will fund the transportation and return of 50 cultural items, more than 24,000 funerary objects, and human remains representing 3,483 ancestors.

“NAGPRA reinforces the basic right of people to determine how to best care for, and honor, the remains and societal objects of their ancestors,” said National Park Service Deputy Directory David Vela. “These grants will help tribes, museums and partners to respectfully transfer the items from museum collections to their traditional homes.” 

Looking Glass Falls and other popular destinations open in Pisgah National Forest

Popular Pisgah National Forest destinations like Looking Glass Falls and Picnic Area, and the picnic areas at Pink Beds, Stony Fork and Sycamore Flats reopened last weekend. Hiking trails, picnic areas and bathrooms at Roan Mountain have opened as well.

The forest service suggests following CDC guidance on masks and social distancing while hiking. “Very few people are wearing masks,” spokesperson Cathy Dowd told the Citizen Times. “In many sites where there is enough space to keep distance, people are doing it. However, we have been getting complaints that visitors are not social distancing at popular spots where there is not a lot of room to do so.” 

Temperatures in the Arctic reach over 100 degrees

In the Russian Arctic town of Verkhoyansk, temperatures reached a steamy 100.4 degrees on Saturday—an unprecedented temperature for a town that is usually frozen. Russia’s Arctic regions are among the fastest warming areas in the world, ABC News reports. 

Rising temperatures in the Arctic have been linked to wildfires that are increasing in intensity across the region. Warming temperatures have also been linked to the thawing of permafrost. When permafrost thaws it causes huge problems for the buildings and pipelines built on top of it and releases heat-trapping gas which dries the soil, increasing the intensity of wildfires.

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