When Archaeological Research arrived on site, an excavation protocol was developed
see protocol. The protocol was developed to insure that the rest of the project met the
requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act and Archaeological Resource
Protection Act.

There were several occasions when
CH2MHILL contractors (acting under
the direction of the EPA) did not follow
the excavation protocol while working
within the boundaries of recorded
archaeological sites.  As the project
archaeologist was not permitted to
stop project activities long enough to
conduct the necessary data recovery
work, these instances caused
unmitigated damage to significant
historic and prehistoric resources in
violation of the National Historic
Preservation Act.

This section lists the specifics of
those cases and the amount of damage
done.  This map shows areas of
unmitigated damage tied to the
descriptions listed below.
History and Prehistory of Lake County
and Beyond
1878 Painting
Area 1: Water Truck Haul Road

On 8-19-06, The project archaeologist told
CH2MHILL that the water trucks turning
around near the lake were causing damage
to cultural site soils.  A request was made
that the area be covered with geotextile
material and base rock to protect the
underlying cultural soils from water and
tire damage (violation of protocol item #2).

On 8-23-06, Tribal monitor Sandy Thomas was stung by a bee while
monitoring excavation in the cul-de-sac area (by Lot 19) and had to leave her
post for medical treatment.  Excavation did not stop as required by protocol
and by the time the project archaeologist could get to the area, excavation
had proceeded through the mine waste and 60cm into cultural soil (violation
of protocol item #1).

Unknown volume of cultural soil damaged.

On 8-24-06, excavation of mine waste began before the Tribal monitor had returned from lunch
break (by Lot 22).  The project archaeologist (still eating lunch nearby) stepped in to monitor
the work so a work stoppage would not be necessary.  A CH2MHILL employee told the project
archaeologist that he couldn’t be in the area.  The archaeologist explained to the employee that
if he left, excavation would have to stop per the protocol.  The CH2MHILL employee refused to
stop work when the archaeologist left the area to report the incident to the CH2MHILL on-site
director.  (violation of protocol item #1).

Unknown volume of cultural soil damaged.
Area 3: North Road Waste Removal Excavation

On 8-29-06, the project archaeologist was monitoring mine waste removal in front of Lots 2, 3,
and 4.  He directed the contractors to stop digging when cultural soils were encountered below
the mine waste.  His directions were not followed and excavation removed both mine waste
and all underlying cultural soils (violation of protocol item #7).

Unknown volume of cultural soil damaged.
Area 4: Historic Feature Area Grading (west road)

On 8-30-06, waste removal in front of Lot 23 excavated below the mine waste layer and at least
30cm into cultural soil below the original 1906 ground surface.  CH2MHILL employees
admitted that they were not taking toxic chemical measurements but using visual cues only to
determine the depth of the contaminated soil.  Their later measurements indicated that this
pre-1906 cultural soil had no contamination (violation of protocol item #7).
Area 5: North Road Area Grading

On 9-9-06, Archaeologists John Holson and Kevin Bartoy of Pacific Legacy
excavated through and destroyed cultural soils in an area that was not
scheduled for grading (violation of protocol items #5 and #7).

Approximately 0.6 cubic meters of cultural soil was needlessly destroyed.

On 9-11-06, CH2MHILL’s grader operator asked the project archaeologist if
he could grade through archaeological site soils along the northern road
to level the surface for the fill trucks.  Due to the cultural soils present,
the archaeologist indicated that grading through this area could not be
done (see Protocol #2 and #3).  Within 20 minutes, the road grader was
cutting through the area anyway, damaging cultural soils and unearthing
a pestle (violation of protocol items #1, #2, and #3).

Unknown volume of cultural soil damaged.

On 9-16-06, the project archaeologist gave instructions to a CH2MHILL
subcontractor not to disturb cultural soils north of the telephone pole
and oak tree at the north end of Elem Drive in the areas of Lots 1A and 1B.
These instructions were ignored and the subcontractor used a dozer to
cut into the bank ~50cm deep on both sides of the road (violation of
protocol items #2 and #7).

Unknown volume of cultural soil damaged.

Area 7: Grading Between Lots 2 and 30

On 9-19-06, the big excavator returned to an area where mine waste had
already been removed and proceeded to excavate into cultural soil to a
depth of 60cm across an area 24 meters long by 14.4 meters wide.  No data
recovery work was allowed prior to this disturbance (violation of protocol
items #2, #5, and #7).

Approximately 207 cubic meters of cultural soil was needlessly destroyed.

In an effort to salvage a small amount of information from the damaged
area, the project archaeologist told CH2MHILL contractors to place the
cultural soils on top of clean fill that had already been deposited on Lot
1B.  The plan was to have the archaeological crew dry-screen through the
soils to recover any artifacts before the soils were taken to the Sulphur
Bank Mine waste deposit area.  

On 9-22-06, Richard Sugarek (EPA Project Director) spotted the pile of
cultural soil and had it hauled to the mine waste disposal area before any
screening could take place.
Map showing areas of resource damage due to protocol violations
Almost 4 weeks of water truck traffic passed before the construction
contractors complied with this mitigation request.  By that time, a hole had
been created in cultural soils that was 5 meters in diameter and 30cm deep.

This unmitigated activity destroyed ~6 cubic meters of cultural soil.
Unknown volume of cultural soil damaged.

On 9-1-06, the project archaeologist had a field inspection and meeting with Mr. Emami (BIA
Highway Construction Engineer) to discuss the treatment of the sensitive historical features
along the western road.  Mr. Emami expressed his concern that adequate compaction be
obtained prior to road construction.  The archaeologist explained that if it became necessary
to disturb the exposed historic features, then a data recovery program would need to take
place before the damage was done.  After more than an hour of discussion, an agreement was
made to place a thin layer of fine-grained fill over the historic features, then a layer of
geotextile material that would bridge the voids, allowing the proper compaction of road fill.  It
was agreed that this treatment would satisfy Mr. Emami’s concerns for road compaction and
also protect the underlying historical features.

On 9-9-06, under the direction of
the EPA and CH2MHILL, a road
grader ripped and scraped through
the historic features, destroying an
area 16 meters wide by 80 meters
long to a depth of 50cm.  Six of the
seven pre-1906 historic features
were destroyed along with an
unknown amount of prehistoric
cultural soil.  A buried mortar was
broken and then unearthed by the
activity (violation of protocol items
#5 and #7).

At least 640 cubic meters of cultural soil was destroyed.  To learn more
about these historic features
click here.
Pestle unearthed during illegal north road grading
Site maintained as a public service by Archaeological Research, PO Box 1353, Lucerne, CA 95458.
Contact: dr.john@wolfcreekarcheology.com  Copyright 2013, Archaeological Research