2011-09-14 "Final Decision on Rattlesnake Island Development by Lake County Board of Supervisors Violates California Environmental Quality Act; Elem Pomo Call for Boycott of Nady Electronics" by Batsulwin Brown
LAKEPORT, CA –The Lake County Board of Supervisors issued a long-awaited final decision at the County Planning Commission hearing held last Tuesday, September 6th. The BOS voted 3-2 not to complete an Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which would have called for a focused study of the archaeological and cultural resources located on Rattlesnake Island.
During the hearing, the board permitted the attorneys and hired anthropologist of wealthy businessman John Nady to respond for four hours to testimony provided two weeks ago. Closing statements by Nady’s attorneys followed, with little time for any response by representatives of the Elem Pomo tribe, who seek to protect their sacred site from becoming Nady’s vacation home.
Evidence presented during the hearing clarified that Nady’s archaeologist had not 'consulted' with the Elem, as was previously claimed, nor had he been asked 'not to remove artifacts'. According to California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requirements, consultation must take place if there is a possibility of the presence of human remains. “When a significant resource is involved, CEQA requires that the permitting agency first consider project alternatives, which will allow the "resources to be preserved in place and left in an undisturbed state" (CEQA sec. 21083.2 [b]).”
Dr. John Parker, Archeologist noted, “In this case, the county has decided to approve the project without proper mitigation measures. By approving the project with only "monitoring" they are saying that they will not formulate mitigation measures until something "significant" is discovered during construction…Monitoring is a way of "deferring" mitigation to some later date, which is not allowed by law”.
Supervisor Comstock, the Lake County Board Supervisor who cast the deciding vote, commented, “I'm a huge proponent of private property rights.” He added. “My family's been living in Lake County for 150 years- you can't get more native than that”.
Statements made by Nady’s party included character assassinations of Elem Tribal member Jim Brown, who was portrayed as 'unreliable’. Jim Brown responded, “I don’t need three attorneys to manipulate what I want to say.” In his closing statement, Brown continued, “This [vote] is an embarrassment to your own planning department who made the recommendation; so it’s saying to them they’re not anybody. We need to stay together and make sure our laws are there for all of us, not just those that have the attorneys and money to manipulate.”
A request by Supervisor Rushing to follow up with an ethnographic report was ignored. The final vote was 3-2 in favor of the appeal to allow Nady's egregious development plans, which can begin within 45 days of the September 6th hearing. Nady can receive the building permit as early as November.
Nady’s development endeavor directly upon the village site and ceremonial grounds of the Elem Pomo, documented to be between 6-14,000 years, is not his first effort to desecrate sacred grounds. Nady’s company headquarters are located atop the Emeryville Shell mound, the largest Ohlone Shell mound in the bay area. In 2000, local bay area Native community members and allies attempted to block Nady’s development of the Emeryville Shell mound site, documented to be over 3,500 years old. Despite major community opposition at Emeryville City Council meetings, Nady was successful in his attempts to coerce council members to vote in his favor.
Due to his flagrant disrespect for local Indigenous communities, musicians & others of an electronic ilk are being asked to boycott NADY electronics http://www.nady.com/.
Help to protect the Environmental & Cultural Integrity of Rattlesnake Island. For more information and updates about efforts to Save the Island visit:
Stay tuned for further details about an upcoming protest at Nady Electronics.
The Headquarters of Nady Electronics is located at 6701 Shellmound Street
Emeryville, CA 94608-1023. www.nady.com
Urge the Lake County Board of Supervisors to reverse its decision against an EIR for Rattlesnake Island
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