Pinnacles National Park
The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band has been collaborating on a Cooperative Habitat Restoration Project with Pinnacles National Park beginning in 2008. In addition, we obtained a Joint Fire Science Program Grant. Both these projects take a novel, integrated approach to habitat restoration and research by incorporating traditional Native American land management practices with contemporary techniques to restore and protect the natural and cultural processes.
On April 27th, 2013, the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pinnacles National Park which reaffirmed the relationship between Pinnacles and the Amah Mutsun. The MoU provides a written record for the Amah Mutsun and the park to show the continued practice of our traditional ceremonies in the Park as we have done for years already.. To date we’ve held Rites of Passage ceremonies, spring and fall dances, talking circles with elders on issues related to retaining and/or restoring balance, and restoring indigenous knowledge. The MoU is a monumental for the tribe as it symbolizes an affirmation of the tribe’s connection to Pinnacles.
Furthermore, the Amah Mutsun regularly share elements of our traditions, history, and culture with park visitors.
Pinnacles is one of five release sites for the federally endangered California Condor. Our tribe regularly consults with Pinnacles to provide an understanding of the cultural meanings of the Condor and hopes to further the restoration of the species.
In 2011, UC Berkeley held an archaeological field school at Pinnacles which conducted a five week study regarding cultural resources within Pinnacles. This study was conducted in partnership with the Tribe.
The Amah Mutsun received the George B. Hartzog, Jr. group award from the National Park Service for being the Outstanding Volunteers of the year. This award recognized our innovative habitat and grassland restoration projects by integrating traditional Native American with contemporary land management practices. The Amah Mutsun has had as many as 70 members volunteer for some cultural events at Pinnacles. It also recognized our Tribal elders for reintroducing burn methods in a deergrass meadow. (See: National Park Service awards Amah Mutsun with Hartzog award.)