Bay Area Briefs

Tuesday September 10, 2002

Bay area Indians denied  

federal recognition 

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has decided not to grant federal recognition to the San Francisco Bay area’s Muwekma Ohlone Indians. 

Neal McCaleb, the Interior Department assistant secretary who runs BIA, said the tribe failed to document that it is a distinct community and represents a continuing government back through history. The decision was issued late Friday. 

Federal recognition brings with it federal money, access to health care and the opportunity to have the government hold land in trust for tribes. 

The Muwekma held early discussions with Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown to open a casino at the old Oakland Army Base. But only federally recognized tribes can take part in casino gambling. 

The Muwekma had complained about the slow pace of the recognition process. Two years ago, the tribe won a federal court order to speed a decision on their status 

The tribe can appeal BIA’s decision to the Interior Department’s Board of Indian Appeals. 

Point Reyes seashore  

celebrates 40 years 

POINT REYES – Point Reyes National Seashore is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month with tours, cultural demonstrations and history presentations. 

President John F. Kennedy signed legislation on Sept. 13, 1962 establishing Point Reyes as a National Park. It is the only National Seashore on the Pacific Coast. 

Point Reyes receives 2.5 million visitors a year and its 80 miles of coast line is one of the top 30 visited units of the National Park system. 

This weekend's events include a presentation Saturday on the birth of the Point Reyes National Seashore and a ranger-led, two-day tour of native plant and animal habitat in the area of Point Reyes Lighthouse and the dunes at Abbots Lagoon.