Native Americans and the U.S. Air Force in Northern California

Keywords: regulatory compliance, construction, infrastructure, management plans, government-to-government consultation

Challenges

  • Large, complex, multi-year construction projects with potential to disturb cultural materials
  • Lack of comprehensive agreement for handling of human remains, funerary materials, inadvertent discoveries
  • Unresolved questions about interpretation and significance of cultural materials
  • Outdated cultural resources management plan (ICRMP) 

Solutions

  • Developed Native American THPO and State of California SHPO consultation packages for four large scale, long-term, base-wide construction projects. The projects required repair and replacement of major infrastructure elements that include power lines, drinking water lines, sewer lines, and secure entry gate construction and upgrades.
  • Facilitated collaborative composition of a draft Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) comprehensive agreement by Tribal representatives and Air Force land managers for management of Native American cultural items on federal lands.
  • Re-evaluated bedrock mortar and cupule sites significant to local Tribes. Prepared forms and documentation to support nomination of bedrock mortar and cupule sites. Site boundaries were redefined to include ethnobotanical and geological features with significant cultural value to be preserved and managed as a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP).
  • Conducted a comparative analysis of existing cultural resources management plan against new Air Force Instructions. Drafted and conducted reviews of a new, draft ICRMP that is AFI compliant, user friendly, and includes updates to management policies that reflect values of all stakeholders in federal lands, including local Native American tribes. 

 

 

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