Feds unveil plan to guide protection of sites held sacred by American Indians, Alaska Natives

Four federal agencies and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have come up with a plan for improving the protection of sites held sacred by American Indians and Alaska Natives.

The plan announced Tuesday stems from a memorandum of understanding signed in December by the council and the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Energy and Interior. They all agreed to work together over the next five years to protect sacred sites as well as improve access for tribal members to sites that are on federal land.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the new plan will help guide the agencies, which have a responsibility to respect and foster tribal heritage.

Salazar also says his department plans to put together a report on several listening sessions on sacred sites that were held last year.