On Tuesday, Nov. 18, Native American Tribal members, including direct descendants of the Pomo peoples who once populated the Little Lake Valley (Mendocino Co.) where Caltrans is currently building an oversized freeway bypass, will join environmental groups and AIM elders to protest the desecration of archaeological sites and destruction of wetlands.
The protest will be at the San Francisco office of the Army Corps of Engineers, 1455 Market St. at noon.
The Army Corps, as the permitting agency, has the authority to down-size the project, sparing both wetlands and many archaeological sites. Instead, they have stonew-alled Tribal members’ attempts to engage in government-to-government consultations.
Scores of protests at the construction site in Willits have included over 50 civil disobedience arrests, but Caltrans continues to violate permits, the law and all good sense. Some archaeological sites have been documented and fenced off by Caltrans, but are still slated to be destroyed by being permanently graded and buried under the bypass as currently designed, and more are “discovered by bulldozer” all the time.
The Coyote Valley Band of Pomo Indians’ Resolution for government consultation can be found at https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2014/07/14/18758603.php
Over 30 additional sites and more than 100 artifacts have been identified since bypass construction began. One site is thought to be the ancient village site of Yami. After initial assurances that construction on this large, known site would be avoided, Caltrans destroyed the village completely in the summer of 2013. Equipment operators did not stop work and did not notify the Tribes, as required by law. Caltrans admitted the destruction months later, calling it “accidental” and blaming faulty maps. The Army Corps has the power and responsibility to stop this, and rein in Caltrans.
Please join us Nov. 18 at noon, and tell your friends.
Info at http://www.savelittlelakevalley.org or phone 510/548-3113
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