What You Missed: Chuck Sams Confirmed As Director Of The National Park Service

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Thursday, the Senate voted unanimously to confirm Charles “Chuck” Sams III as Director of the National Park Service. This decision makes Sams the first Native American to lead the NPS in its 105-year history.

Sams is a United States Navy veteran and member of the Confederate Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation. After the vote, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat, praised Sams in a public statement.

“Chuck Sams is the right fit to lead the National Park Service as he takes on these challenges. I know Chuck. He works hard. He’s committed, ”Wyden said. “Chuck is a role model in the stewardship of American lands and waters, wildlife and history. And now, thanks to the Senate’s unanimous decision to confirm his appointment, Congress and visitors to the park will have someone stable and experienced to count on for years to come.

Sams faces a long list of challenges in the role, from an increase in public visits to the agency’s long-standing struggle with harassment and abuse. In August, Outside Contributor Wes Siler wrote about the obstacles Sams would face if he took over the agency. Siler also interviewed former NPS director Jon Jarvis to get some perspective.

The NPS has been without a director for more than four years, which has led to organizational chaos during the Trump administration. But Jarvis thinks Sams now has the chance to reinvent him.

“There is money for the maintenance backlog, there is a friendly administration, and there is the public interest,” Jarvis said. “The parks service will also be critical to meeting Biden’s climate change and infrastructure goals. “

Canadian police arrest protesters supporting Indigenous resistance to pipeline

Canadian police in northern British Columbia yesterday organized a raid on protesters block access to a construction site for a multi-billion dollar gas pipeline. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said they arrested 14 protesters manning a barricade along a service road to the Coastal GasLink pipeline just outside of Houston, a town some 600 miles north of Vancouver. According to the Société Radio-Canada, the barricade was erected by members of the local Wet’suwet’en and Haudenosaunee nations.

The RCMP said the protesters were violating a 2019 court-ordered injunction prohibiting all obstruction of the road.

But the Wet’suwet’en chiefs say they did not allow the pipeline to pass through their territory. The pipeline is supposed to pass under the Wedzin Kaw River – a main water source for the tribe – and a protest camp still occupies a drilling site near the river.

“Drilling under the spring would be disastrous for our drinking water. We currently drink straight from the river, ”protester Molly Wickham said. “Protecting the river is essential to our livelihood. “

There has been a succession of acts of civil disobedience against the extractive industries in British Columbia. In September, the province’s Supreme Court ordered police to withdraw from the blockade of Fairy Creek, a 14-month protest against logging in southwest Vancouver Island.

Let it snow

Looks like the people of Steamboat Springs, Colorado are trying to convince Mother Nature to break the snow drought.

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