Legal

New Law Provides California Native American Tribes More Input in Development

Posted on: December 11th, 2014 by Special Contributor 1 Comment

 

Last year, thieves stole carvings from Volcanic Tableland, an unprotected site sacred to the Paiute people. In his opinion piece, Mike Gatto, who authored the bill, expresses concern over this and other examples of neglecting to protect California history. | Credit:  The Greater Southwestern Exploration Company via Flickr via Creative Commons

Last year, thieves stole carvings from Volcanic Tableland, an unprotected site sacred to the Paiute people. In his opinion piece, Assemblyman Mike Gatto, who authored the bill, expresses concern over this and other examples of neglecting to protect California history. | Credit:
The Greater Southwestern Exploration Company via Flickr via Creative Commons

By Sarah Kozal

This past September, Governor Brown of California signed Assembly Bill 52, an amendment to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) that gives Native American tribes a stronger role in the protection of their cultural resources. The bill (AB-52), authored by Assemblyman Mike Gatto, D-Los Angeles, creates a new category of protected cultural resources. It also establishes tribal consultation rights for the first time under CEQA. Gatto says that the bill was prompted by his desire to preserve California’s history and the need to increase protection of tribal cultural resources from development projects. Proposed mining projects, landfills, and energy and infrastructure projects frequently put sacred sites at risk.... Read More →

Preserving Native American Places

Posted on: December 5th, 2014 by Will Cook 1 Comment

 

PreservingNAPlacescoverMany historic places supported by the National Trust have strong associations with Native American communities, such as the Nantucket Sound or the Mount Taylor National Treasure in New Mexico.  And although these are some of the oldest and most sacred sites in America, their continued preservation is not secure. Legal advocacy, however, is one way that communities everywhere can continue the good work of protecting these places. But sorting through complicated laws is not an easy task.

Through the generosity of a grant provided by the Indian Land Tenure Foundation, the National Trust is working to address this problem, and to this end has released its most recent publication, Preserving Native American Places: A Guide to Federal Laws and Policies that Help Protect Cultural Resources and Sacred Sites. Written in layperson’s terms, Preserving Native American Places gives examples of laws that communities everywhere can use to protect their history, culture, and places that they value. Illustrations of successes—and failures—help show how these laws work in a practical real-world way.

... Read More →

About Will Cook

Will Cook is an associate general counsel at the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Book Review: Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell

Posted on: September 16th, 2014 by Special Contributor

 

By Caitlin C. Fitzsimons

nutshellimageSara C. Bronin and Ryan Rowberry’s Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell (West Academic Publishing 2014) is a comprehensive resource for law students, attorneys, historic preservation law enthusiasts, and many more. Part of West Academic Publishing’s extensive “Nutshell Series” (or “Nutshells,” as law students affectionately call them), the study guide serves as an excellent companion to any law school course in historic preservation law as well as a summer legal internship in historic preservation law.

Like its fellow Nutshells, Historic Preservation Law in a Nutshell outlines the major case law and statutes in the historic preservation law field and presents the material in a clear and concise discussion that facilitates the connections law students make in reading their casebooks. Bronin and Rowberry walk their reader through the intricacies of the three foundational, federal laws governing historic preservation in the United States, namely the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act of 1966. The authors also contemplate local regulation of historic preservation at the state, county, and town levels via historic preservation ordinances, which vary widely across the country. After surveying historic preservation law statutes and supplementing their discussion with relevant case law, Bronin and Rowberry move to federal constitutional constraints on historic preservation law, including the police power, due process, takings, religious liberty, and free speech. The second half of the Nutshell explores subtopics in historic preservation law including architectural protections for antiquities and abandoned shipwrecks, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, and the federal and state rehabilitation tax credits. The authors conclude their study guide with a consideration of international preservation, highlighting the 1954 Hague Convention and 1970 and 1972 UNESCO Conventions.... Read More →