NPS plan would let Maine tribes harvest sweet grass at Acadia

By Rob Hotakainen | 05/08/2024 01:36 PM EDT

Five tribes may soon be permitted to gather the grass for ceremonies, weaving baskets and other purposes.

Superintendent Kevin Schneider (left) talks while sitting at a picnic table with Management Assistant John Kelly.

Superintendent Kevin Schneider (left) and Management Assistant John Kelly talk at park headquarters at Acadia National Park in Maine. Acadia is working with local tribes to allow tribal citizens to harvest sweet grass. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Tribes in Maine could soon be allowed to gather sweet grass at Acadia National Park, a traditional practice that ended with the creation of the park in 1916.

Under a new co-management plan proposed between the National Park Service and five federally recognized tribes in the Pine Tree State, each enrolled tribal citizen would be allowed to harvest 450 to 2,700 grams of sweet grass per season, depending on conditions.

Before signing off on the plan, NPS said it would accept public comments on its environmental assessment of the proposal until June 5.


The agreements would involve the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Mi’kmaq Nation, Passamaquoddy tribes at Pleasant Point and Indian Township, and Penobscot Nation, known collectively as the Wabanaki.