Cultural Resource Survey for the Atwell Island Restoration Project
Client: Bureau of Land Management
Location: Kings and Tulare Counties
Time Frame: 2014-2015
Project Manager: Sarah Nicchitta
• We applied our regulatory expertise to guide the BLM Atwell Island Restoration Project in protecting cultural resources under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) and Sections 106 and 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).
• Albion’s knowledge of the local resources and technical skills allowed us to thoroughly survey the area and record archaeological sites contained within the 3,075-acres of land proposed for habitat restoration.
• We provided the BLM with information about the location, characterization, and significance of archaeological sites, essential for executing land management goals while preserving the archaeological record.
Atwell Island was once an extensive sand dune complex located along the southern margin of the Tulare Lake bed. Currently, the BLM plans to restore the island, which has been heavily impacted by farming, to a functioning sustainable ecosystem that supports native wildlife species. Between August 2014 and February 2015, Albion conducted a pedestrian survey of 3,075-acres, as well as background research and a preliminary review of known cultural resources in the area. Based on this study we designed an archaeological survey of the area proposed for habitat restoration. We identified and recorded seven extensive archaeological sites, some of which we determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). We provided the Bakersfield Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management with a summary of findings and management recommendations to guide the preservation of the archaeological resources within the project area.