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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
December 8, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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December 8, 2010

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 9A Planners must consult with native groups to attempt to contact Native American groups, using a tribal consultation list of fed- erally recognized and non- recognized tribes Wood's or- ganization maintains. The planning process has to consider the views of Na- tive American groups in a way that recognizes cultural values and attempts to find agreement "where feasible." Wood added that the rules require the department to "recognize the tribes' poten- tial needs for confidentiality with respect to places that have traditional tribal cultur- al significance." Wood cited a public re- sources code that prohibits "causing any severe or ir- reparable damage to any Na- tive American sanctified Joshua Sebold Staff Writer The Plumas County Plan- ning Commission heard re- ports on requirements to con- sult with local tribes on the general plan and other plan- ning efforts involving areas with possible heritage sites, or areas with historical or ar- chaeological value. Associate government pro- gram analyst Rob Wood, of the California Native Ameri- can Heritage Commission, explained government codes and laws relating to the coun- ty's obligation to attempt to involve local tribes and rancherias in the planning process. The planning department must use all means possible cemetery, place of worship, religious or ceremonial site, or sacred shrine located on public property, except on a clear and convincing show- ing that it is required by the public interest." The code also indicated ar- chaeological or historical sites fit into that rule. Wood's contact lists include e-mail addresses, phone num- bers and mailing addresses, and encouraged the planning department to try all avenues to contact tribes, as many of them are swamped with corre- spondence from government agencies. Tribes that respond could request notification 10 days before public hearings relat- ing to their areas and would have a chance to review the draft general plan. Local archaeologist Diane McCombs asked what the planning department did so far to contact tribes. Senior planner Becky Her- rin said the department got a list from the NAHC in 2006, when the general plan update began and sent out letters to the tribes. "But there was no follow- up beyond just the letters?" Wood asked. "Well, the process kind of went into a holding pattern," Herrin responded, referenc- ing the lack of movement on the general plan until .a con- sultant was hired to direct the effort in 2009. "It's a process that we're working on. We're,getting ed- ucated today," Herrin added. McCombs said the contact had to be made early in the process from what she under- stood. Planning Director Randy Wilson was not even part of the department in 2006. "We're certainly not so far along in the process that I be- lieve anything would be com- promised," he concluded. Herrin explained the de- partment consulted with tribes on various general plan amendments to the cur- rent plan in the past, "So it's not like we haven't done this process in a limited sense." Wood assured the commis- sion the consultation process got easier over time as the de- partment established rela- tionships with the tribes. Greenville Ra.ncheria Envi- ronmental Director Cristal Stewart agreed, "I'm hoping i that this process further de- velops our relationship." The rancheria's participa-i tion in the general plan up- date was another step to-: wards more community in- volvement. "The" tribe was reinstated! in the '80s and they really: have spent all these years try-: ing to build their capacity:: and grow. "We've been working with' Greenville, IVCSD (Indian i Valley Community Service: District), we're putting in a: second well for them this! week with tribal funding and :: we're hopefully putting in an- i other fire station out there to !' do some more fire protection i resources." County considers using cultural research firm = Joshua Sebold Staff Writer The Plumas County Plan- ning Commission heard pre- sentations and comments at a late November meeting n tac- tics to protect or record histor- ical resources. The main presentation con- sisted of a proposal to use an archaeological research ser- vice, rather than having the county maintain its own his- torical and cultural sensitivi- ty map. Northeast Information Cen- ter assistant coordinator Amy Huberland told the board about her agency's ability to look up past archaeological and historical surveys and conduct research on an area upon request. Huberland said her group is the state authorized agency and the northeastern Califor- nia unit she works for is based at Chico State University. The agency has records go- ing back for 30 years and would not only search those, but also make recommendations on whether a survey should be done in a project area. The group charges a fee for record searches, but offers a discount for local gQvern- ments. Huberland encouraged the board to work with local tribes as well as her group. Many tribes don't put some of their heritage sites in her database because they want them to remain confidential. Planning director Randy Wilson told her he would like to set up an agreement be- tween the group and the coun- ty as soon as possible. Plumas National Forest ar- chaeologist Dan Elliott said the Forest Service worked with Huberland's group fre- quently and he thought the county was making the right move. He explained one of the old- est barns in the county was re- cently torn down and histori- ans didn't get a chance to record it beforehand. Elliott said the goal wasn't to prevent the demolition of his- torical buildings "but at least know what we're looking at and know what we're losing." "Sometimes people tear things down without getting appropriate permits and it's a difficult one to address," Wil- son responded. "Certainly there's a code en- forcement process when that happens. However, just recog- nize that sometimes people take it on their own initiative to tear something down im- properly, according to the building codes and, because of that, we don't get a chance to trigger our issues and re- views." "I understand," Elliott an- swered. Local archaeologist Jim Cullum said the planning de- partment caught some of these situations, ihdicating senior planner Becky Herrin request- ed a second survey on the Feather River Inn after some remodeling had begun. Wilson said the depart- ment's goal is to get people to follow the process, but "in practice it causes a lot of is- sues because you often have contractors hired and ready to go and it delays them, and we've been successful in deal- ing with the frankly angry phone calls that sometimes we get. Especially in this econo- my when contractors want to go to work and tear down a building and we start all over again." He said there are also issues with shoddy work by archae- ologists at times, even by peo- ple with doctoral degrees. Herrin added, "The initial review for Feather River Inn said 'there are no historic re- sources on the property' so it' was pretty easy for me to de- termine that that probably wasn't an pdequate review." Elliott said the point wasn't to control everyone's life but a historical resource should be documented so it can be part of the historical record, "be- fore it's gone forever." Wilson agreed, "On two re- cent demolition permits in the Almanor area the end result was they were documented: and then torn down." Comments wanted for mental health plan Plumas County Mental Health (PCMH) is eligible to request Mental Health Ser- vices Act (MHSA) funding from the California Depart- ment of Mental Health (DMH). The process to request funds involves input from the mem- bers of Plumas County during the planning phase, and upon drafting the work plans. The MHSA work plans will be available for review and comment to the public during a' 30-day period beginning Dec. 8. PCMH will open a public re- view process for MHSA work plans for the Community Ser- vice and Support component and the Prevention and Early Intervention component Dec. 8. The work plans describe mental health services and in the documentation required by DMH. The plans are' available in hard copy at Plumas County Mental Health service sites in Chester, Greenville, Quincy and Portola, as well as accessi- ble electronically on the Plumas County website coun- tyofplumas,com If any member of the public desires to comment on the content of a work plan, he may do so intwo ways: Write com- ments to Plumas County Men-. tal Health, 270 County Hospi- tal Road, Suite 109, Quincy, CA 95971, to be received before Jan. 9, 2o11; orattend the scheduled public hearing dur- ing the Mental Health Corn-' mission meeting Jan. 12, 2011, at noon at the Work Connec- tion office in Quincy. Plumas County Mental Health intends to submit the work plans to DMH in mid- January 2011. Plumas County anticipates a decision from DMH on the: request for funds and ap- proval of proposed services in'. May 2011. 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