California Environmental Insights Oct. 2017, Practice Update – GEI’s Cultural Resources Team

August 25, 2017

Who are we?

We are GEI’s team of specialists in archaeology, geoarchaeology, Native American consultation, architectural history, history, and historic preservation. Our specialists are based in the Rancho Cordova office, but have worked throughout California and also in Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Ohio, and Georgia.

What do we do?

The team’s expertise encompasses many services. We are experts in federal and state regulations covering cultural resources, and we guide our clients through these processes efficiently and cost effectively.  We work with our clients to avoid and preserve resources whenever possible to reduce project costs and expedite project schedules.  Our archaeologists have long-established relationships with regulatory agencies and Native American Tribes, and our historians are experts in evaluating the built environment, including large infrastructure projects such as flood control systems, transportation systems, and urban developments. Our Tribal and regulatory relationships are critical to smooth the path to project approval and result in successful project approvals and construction.

Why do clients need cultural resources services?

Cultural resources services are required for most projects subject to state or federal approval, permitting, or funding, regardless of the presence of cultural resources.  Even when no cultural resources are present, archaeologists and historians must adhere to regulations that require specific steps to prepare documentation necessary to satisfy agency requirements. These services are even more important when archaeological, Native American, or historical built environment resources are identified at a project site. Due primarily to Assembly Bill 52 requirements and emerging Section 106 compliance interpretations, Native American cultural resources and Tribal concerns have become critical issues on many projects in California; a cultural resources team experienced and successful with local Native American issues and recent developments can be essential to implement projects without long schedule delays and budget overruns. GEI meets these needs for its clients.

What kinds of projects or clients would benefit from our services?

GEI’s cultural resources team can successfully navigate our clients through the cultural resources processes for state requirements (CEQA); federal requirements (NEPA and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act); and local requirements.  These processes require a complete assessment of archaeological, Native American, and historical built environment resources, regardless of size or known issues. We assist our clients with projects of any size or type but excel on complex projects that require an integrated cultural/environmental/design approach and that must stay on budget and schedule.