The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has partnered with Soar Environmental Consulting to increase the pace and scale of activities that reduce wildfire risk and make CDFW lands more resilient when fires occur. We are tasked with providing cultural resources survey work on CDFW lands with sizes from 500 to 10,000 acres. The completed surveys will document and report any findings of cultural resources to the State Office of Planning and Research and allow ground-disturbing activities and projects to proceed without inadvertent impacts on cultural resources on the sites.
Soar Environmental is embarking on this massive project with necessary records searches on the Northern and Southern California target sites. The records search results identify previous studies and previously recorded cultural resources on or adjacent to the CDFW lands. In addition, Soar Environmental performs Sacred Lands File Searches with the Native American Heritage Commission regarding culturally sensitive locations within or near the survey sites. We work with the State Historic Preservation Office as part of research activities as needed. Next, we are performing Phase 1 Cultural Resources Assessments by our Registered Professional Archaeologist and her team. As part of these surveys, we are assessing the landscape for cultural resources and documenting and reporting these to the State. We are working with Tribal representatives on their interest in the site surveys per Assembly Bill 52 legislation. Once our desktop and site surveys are completed, we are compiling the data into technical reports to be supplied to the CDFW for review. Any cultural resources that are found that require further study will be included in a Phase 2 report.
The initial phase for 2024 is getting underway. We are privileged to provide our expertise with such an esteemed California State Agency as the prime contractor for this important work. Stay tuned for updates as we work to protect state and tribal resources environmentally and culturally in this wildfire resiliency effort.