Rep. Rob Bishop raises the red flag over an internal National Park Service report showing that NPS employees knew they were breaking the law during their decade-long effort to build boardwalks and trails over an Indian burial ground site in Iowa.
Lawmakers want to know how the Obama administration allowed National Park Service (NPS) officials to spend more than $3 million building an “extensive boardwalk on sensitive American Indian burial sites” they were tasked with protecting.
Utah Republican Rep. Rob Bishop wrote Interior Department Secretary Sally Jewell to find out why NPS officials spent taxpayer dollars on 78 projects that damaged sacred Indian sites, including boardwalks and trails over 200 sacred mounds without conducting any sort of impact analysis. Bishop, the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, wants Interior officials to brief committee staff on the situation no later than Sept. 9.
NPS disclosed this information in a 2014 report on agency actions at the Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa. The 2014 report found NPS officials “clearly knew what they were doing was against the law” during their decade-long effort building boardwalks and trails over Indian burial grounds.
“[T]he report highlighted findings that [Effigy Mounds National Monument] staff ‘failed to comply with the National Historic Preservation Act and/or the National Environmental Policy Act on at least 78 projects, using $3,368,704 in federal funds,’ which included the construction of an extensive boardwalk on sensitive American Indian burial sites,” Bishop wrote in his letter to Jewell.