Code Section

Public Resources Code - PRC

DIVISION 5. PARKS AND MONUMENTS [5001 - 5873]

  ( Division 5 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 94. )
  

CHAPTER 1.75. Native American Historical, Cultural, and Sacred Sites [5097.9 - 5097.991]
  ( Chapter 1.75 repealed and added by Stats. 1976, Ch. 1332. )

  
5097.98.  

(a) Whenever the commission receives notification of a discovery of Native American human remains from a county coroner pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 7050.5 of the Health and Safety Code, it shall immediately notify those persons it believes to be most likely descended from the deceased Native American. The descendants may, with the permission of the owner of the land, or his or her authorized representative, inspect the site of the discovery of the Native American human remains and may recommend to the owner or the person responsible for the excavation work means for treatment or disposition, with appropriate dignity, of the human remains and any associated grave goods. The descendants shall complete their inspection and make recommendations or preferences for treatment within 48 hours of being granted access to the site.

(b) Upon the discovery of Native American remains, the landowner shall ensure that the immediate vicinity, according to generally accepted cultural or archaeological standards or practices, where the Native American human remains are located, is not damaged or disturbed by further development activity until the landowner has discussed and conferred, as prescribed in this section, with the most likely descendants regarding their recommendations, if applicable, taking into account the possibility of multiple human remains. The landowner shall discuss and confer with the descendants all reasonable options regarding the descendants’ preferences for treatment.

(1) The descendants’ preferences for treatment may include the following:

(A) The nondestructive removal and analysis of human remains and items associated with Native American human remains.

(B) Preservation of Native American human remains and associated items in place.

(C) Relinquishment of Native American human remains and associated items to the descendants for treatment.

(D) Other culturally appropriate treatment.

(2) The parties may also mutually agree to extend discussions, taking into account the possibility that additional or multiple Native American human remains, as defined in this section, are located in the project area, providing a basis for additional treatment measures.

(c) For the purposes of this section, “conferral” or “discuss and confer” means the meaningful and timely discussion and careful consideration of the views of each party, in a manner that is cognizant of all parties’ cultural values, and where feasible, seeking agreement. Each party shall recognize the other’s needs and concerns for confidentiality of information provided to the other.

(d) (1) Human remains of a Native American may be an inhumation or cremation, and in any state of decomposition or skeletal completeness.

(2) Any items associated with the human remains that are placed or buried with the Native American human remains are to be treated in the same manner as the remains, but do not by themselves constitute human remains.

(e) Whenever the commission is unable to identify a descendant, or the descendants identified fail to make a recommendation, or the landowner or his or her authorized representative rejects the recommendation of the descendants and the mediation provided for in subdivision (k) of Section 5097.94, if invoked, fails to provide measures acceptable to the landowner, the landowner or his or her authorized representative shall reinter the human remains and items associated with Native American human remains with appropriate dignity on the property in a location not subject to further and future subsurface disturbance. To protect these sites, the landowner shall do one or more of the following:

(1) Record the site with the commission or the appropriate Information Center.

(2) Utilize an open-space or conservation zoning designation or easement.

(3) Record a document with the county in which the property is located. The document shall be titled “Notice of Reinterment of Native American Remains” and shall include a legal description of the property, the name of the owner of the property, and the owner’s acknowledged signature, in addition to any other information required by this section. The document shall be indexed as a notice under the name of the owner.

(f) Upon the discovery of multiple Native American human remains during a ground disturbing land development activity, the landowner may agree that additional conferral with the descendants is necessary to consider culturally appropriate treatment of multiple Native American human remains. Culturally appropriate treatment of the discovery may be ascertained from a review of the site utilizing cultural and archaeological standards. Where the parties are unable to agree on the appropriate treatment measures the human remains and items associated and buried with Native American human remains shall be reinterred with appropriate dignity, pursuant to subdivision (e).

(g) Notwithstanding Section 5097.9, this section, including those actions taken by the landowner or his or her authorized representative to implement this section and any action taken to implement an agreement developed pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 5097.94, shall be exempt from the requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000)).

(h) Notwithstanding Section 30244, this section, including those actions taken by the landowner or his or her authorized representative to implement this section and any action taken to implement an agreement developed pursuant to subdivision (l) of Section 5097.94, shall be exempt from the requirements of the California Coastal Act of 1976 (Division 20 (commencing with Section 30000)).

(Amended by Stats. 2009, Ch. 208, Sec. 6. (SB 833) Effective January 1, 2010.)