The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Taking a Remediation Project from Project Design to Implementation while Protecting Significant Cultural Resources within a Sacred Site and Landscape

Presenters:  Christopher Harper, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe / AhaMakav Cultural Society; H. Jill McCormick, Quechan Indian Tribe; Nora McDowell, Fort Mojave Indian Tribe; Dawn Hubbs, Sunrise Consultation, LLC.; and Jennifer Darcangelo, Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Through a combination of presentations and panel discussion, the participants will explain the multi-year process necessary for integrating cultural resource protection into the design and implementation of a groundwater remediation project within a sacred cultural landscape. The session will explore the Topock Groundwater Remediation project from the Tribal and Proponent perspectives; explain the project history, regulations that guided the process; and the lengthy consultations between multiple Federal, State, and Tribal entities. Discussions will include the lessons learned, Tribal perspective and collaboration; advice on what worked, what failed, and the lasting cultural effects beyond the physical remediation of the contaminants.

This session exemplifies how tribal historic preservation of sacred cultural landscapes integrates into the design and implementation of hazardous waste and contamination remediation projects. Each participant is part of a larger collaborative group consisting of past and present historic preservation and tribal professionals, some who have actively taken part in the Topock project since its inception. The session focus applicability would include: 1) Tribal Preservation, 2) Historic Preservation Activities in AZ and CA, 3) Assessing Cultural and Historic Landscapes, 4) Public Lands Management.