Target: Jim Nepstad, Superintendent of Effigy Mounds National Monument
Goal: Restore illegally damaged Native American burial grounds at a national monument
For nearly a decade, the sacred Native American grounds of Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa have been undergoing illegal construction. Costing approximately three million dollars, this construction took place under the watch of the National Park Service, who have done nothing to stop it.
The illegal construction consisted of installing boardwalks and other structures around the park, partly to make the park more handicapped-accessible. The park did not properly conduct archaeological research before the construction, which infringes on ancient burial mounds in the park.
Tim Mason, a park ranger who worked at the monument in the past, filed a complaint when he saw boardwalks and other structures being installed in the park. This led to a criminal investigation by a Park Service special agent, who found that the construction was violating federal and state laws, including the National Historic Preservation Act. The National Park Service is currently creating a corrective plan to ensure that nothing like this occurs again in the future.
Much damage has been done to the Effigy Mounds National Monument over the course of the past decade, and considerable restorative work needs to be done to correct this destruction. Please sign the petition below to urge the current park’s superintendent to plan and work toward restoring the sacred conditions of the park.
Dear Superintendent Nepstad,
It was quite shocking to read about the desecration of the ancient Native American burial mounds site that took place as a consequence of the construction at Effigy Mounds National Monument. Respecting the ancient Native American burial mounds in the park is necessary for preserving these people’s culture, and restoring the park to pre-construction conditions would be a viable option for overturning the injustice that has occurred. Restoration efforts will no doubt turn back much of the damage that was done to the park.
Please plan and work toward restoring the park to its condition prior to construction. The park depends on your efforts to ensure that its rich history and cultural heritage is properly persevered.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bill Whittaker via Wikimedia Commons