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Amah Mutsun Tribal Band receives the Hartzog Award

The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band from Pinnacles National Park received the Hartzog Group Volunteer Service Award. Tribal volunteers collaborated with the park and the University of California at Santa Cruz and Berkeley to conduct two research projects that took an innovative approach to habitat restoration by integrating traditional Native American land management practices with contemporary techniques to restore and protect the natural and cultural processes of a unique California grassland system. As part of their studies, a traditional burn was reintroduced to the Pinnacles landscape with Tribal elders making the first ignition.

Tribal volunteerism and involvement is also enriching interpretive stories and programs, understanding of the park natural and cultural resources, and strategic planning. The park hosted its first archaeological field school in 2011 with Amah Mutsun tribal volunteers working side by side with University of California Berkeley archaeologists and students to conduct detailed archaeological surveys. Tribal participation fostered a greater learning opportunity for the students and park staff as they relayed cultural practices and philosophies relevant to the past and present through dance, song, and storytelling.

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