Nez Perce National Historical Park

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Nez Perce National Historical Park
IUCN category V (protected landscape/seascape)
Bear Paw Battlefield.jpg
Map showing the location of Nez Perce National Historical Park
Map showing the location of Nez Perce National Historical Park
Location Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, USA
Nearest city Lewiston, Idaho
Coordinates 46°26′49″N 116°49′23″W / 46.447°N 116.823°W / 46.447; -116.823Coordinates: 46°26′49″N 116°49′23″W / 46.447°N 116.823°W / 46.447; -116.823
Area 4,561 acres (1,846 ha)1
Established May 15, 1965 (1965-May-15)
Visitors 286,259 (in 2011)2
Governing body National Park Service
Official website

The Nez Perce National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park comprising 38 sites located throughout the states of Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington, which included traditional aboriginal lands of the Nez Perce people. Established in 1965, a museum was opened on the main site in 1983. Three main ecoregions are found in the 38 sites, covering a wide range of elevations and climate. Numerous animal species inhabit the park, including several that are considered sensitive.

History

The park commemorates the history, culture, and stories of the Nez Perce. It includes sites associated with the Nez Perce War of 1877, when it resisted takeover by the United States, and the flight of Chief Joseph and his band. The park is administered by the National Park Service, although a number of the sites are managed by other federal and state agencies as well as local communities, and the park's headquarters are located in Spalding, Idaho, east of Lewiston.

The park was established by Congress in 1965.34 Construction of the planned headquarters site and museum were delayed by land acquisition and federal funding problems.56 Soon after construction began in September 1979, Native American graves were discovered that needed to be preserved in consultation with the Nez Perce. Construction of the visitor center and museum was later restarted.7 The museum opened in June 1983.89

Sites

The Nez Perce National Historic Park does not follow the format of most national parks, in that it is composed of dozens of sites spread over four states. The 38 sites are linked by the history of the Nez Perce people, rather than by geographic location.10 Twenty-six of the sites are on or near the Nez Perce Reservation and can be toured in one day. Adjacent states host the other twelve sites.11

Several of the sites are connected by the Nez Perce National Historic Trail, managed by the United States Forest Service.10

The sites include:

Ecology

The NPNHP sites cover three main ecoregions. The first, found on the sites in the Palouse grasslands and Missouri Basin, is shortgrass prairie. These flat or slightly rolling prairies include rivers and streams, and have an altitude of about 1,000 to 3,500 feet (300 to 1,070 m). The second, found in the Columbia River and Snake River plateaus, is sagebrush steppe at around 3,000 ft in altitude that includes lava fields and flows. The third, found in the sites in the Blue Mountains, Salmon River Mountains, southwestern Montana and northern Rocky Mountains, is conifer and alpine meadows. These high elevation sites have lower temperatures and greater precipitation than the other ecoregions.12 Numerous species of mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds and invertebrates inhabit the park sites. Several of these species are considered to be threatened, endangered or sensitive at the state level. Montana arctic grayling, mountain plover, swift fox, great grey owl, boreal owl and several fish species are all sensitive species that inhabit the park, while gray wolf and bald eagles are sometimes seen.13 There are several ecological management issues of concern in the park, including invasive plant species, the degradation of animal habitat due to human activity, the presence of endangered species and climate change.14

References

  1. ^ "Listing of acreage as of December 31, 2011". Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  2. ^ "NPS Annual Recreation Visits Report". National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 
  3. ^ Hewlett, Frank (May 6, 1965). "Nez Perce historical park assured by Senate action". Spokemsan-Review. p. 12. 
  4. ^ "Senate quickly agrees on park bill changes". Lewiston Morning Tribune. May 6, 1965. p. 16. 
  5. ^ "Park acquires almost all land needed for headquarter site". Lewiston Morning Tribune. March 14, 1968. p. 16. 
  6. ^ "Federal economy ax falls on park visitor center". Lewiston Morning Tribune. February 22, 1973. p. 20. 
  7. ^ "Indian graves delay construction". Lewiston Morning Tribune. September 16, 1979. p. 2B. 
  8. ^ Lee, Sandra L. (March 30, 1983). "Nez Perce Park's visitor center to open about June 15". Lewiston Morning Tribune. p. 1C. 
  9. ^ "New visitor center opens at Spalding". Lewiston Morning Tribune. June 29, 1983. p. 14E. 
  10. ^ a b "Nez Perce National Historic Park Sites". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  11. ^ Pia Hallenberg Christensen (September 14, 2008). "Nez Perce museum in Spalding, Idaho, a hub for tribe's history". Seattle Times. 
  12. ^ "Nature & Science". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  13. ^ "Animals". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 
  14. ^ "Environmental Factors". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-12-05. 

External links








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