Leaders of the Winnemem Wintu tribe asked the U-S Forest Service to grant them private access to a campground in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. But forest service officials say regulations don’t allow for exclusive use. Tribe spokesman Gary Mulcahy says the tribe is worried that campers and boaters will interrupt the event.
"There’s always that possibility. You’re trying to hold a religious ceremony and then you have this kind of possible interruption and disruption of it. There’s a good opportunity there for tension."
Forest Service officials have approved a voluntary closure of the area. The tribe is trying to revive an ancient rite-of-passage ritual. The four-day ceremony ends on Tuesday.