PRESS RELEASE – On Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, work was stopped in a Dust Control Area of the Owens Lake Dust Mitigation Project. This work was stopped by Kathy Bancroft, the Tribal Monitor on site and Tribal Historic Preservation officer representing the Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation.
According to the Tribe, no work is to take place until a final determination of mitigation measures is made as recommended by the Cultural Resources Task Force designated by the Memorandum of Understanding between Great Basin Unified Air Pollution Control District (Great Basin) and L.A. Department of Water and Power (DWP).
The site in question contains thousands of artifacts from various prehistoric and historic times, and includes the site of a massacre of native people which took place at the hands of US military out of Ft. Independence. This site is sacred to the Paiute Shoshone, and qualifies as a Traditional Cultural Property through the Department of the Interior.
Since Feb. 3, there has been a series of conversations between Tribal representatives, LADWP officials, Great Basin, Garcia and Associates, and KDG, the construction management team for the Phase 7a project, regarding the process for getting DC T37-1 placed into Phase 7b, Areas of Cultural Concern. While Great Basin has said that moving the site from Phase 7a to 7b can happen "almost automatically", a full week has now passed with Great Basin not taking the action necessary to stop DWP from continuing construction. DWP has committed that they will continue construction this Thursday, February 13, if they have not received the appropriate paperwork from Great Basin.
The Tribe is calling for a Rally to Protect the Sacred Sites on Wednesday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. off of U.S. 395 south of Boulder Creek, and is planning further action to protect cultural resources on Thursday, should no agreement be reached on Wednesday.
Concerned residents and organizations are also urged to contact decision makers immediately calling for immediate resolution of this dispute:
•Ted Schade, Great Basin Air Quality Control District: firstname.lastname@example.org:
• Chuck Holloway, LA DWP: Charles.Holloway@ladwp.com
• Mayor Garcetti: email@example.com