CAL FIRE Archaeology Program

CAL FIRE is responsible for the protection of resources over a large portion of the state. Cultural heritage resources, which include places where past events occurred and where material traces of these events can be found, are especially vulnerable.  Such traces include archaeological, historical and tribal cultural sites, structures, objects, features, places, cultural landscapes, sacred places and artifacts. Unlike renewable resources such as trees or wildlife, heritage resources are irreplaceable, and when damaged or destroyed, are lost forever. The purpose of the CAL FIRE Archaeology Program is to identify and manage archaeological, historical, and tribal cultural resources located within project areas under CAL FIRE jurisdiction and to develop methods to protect these resources from project-related impacts. This is accomplished through regulations, policies and procedures requiring cultural resource surveys of project areas, evaluation of potential impacts, and the incorporation of protection measures before project approval. This program provides cultural resource surveys, technical assistance, project review, and training to CAL FIRE staff and other resource professionals. The legal mandates that require CAL FIRE to protect archaeological, historical and tribal cultural resources are found in the California Environmental Quality Act, the Forest Practice Rules, California Executive Order W-26-92, and the California Register of Historic Resources.

What's New

Native American Notification Letters

The Forest Practice Rules and Archaeological Procedures for CAL FIRE Projects require project proponents to send letters to Native Americans. One such letter goes to the Native American Heritage Commission. This prompts the commission to check the Sacred Lands File for Native American sites of cultural and spiritual significance. To better facilitate this process, the Native American Heritage Commission has requested that project proponents include (1) an email address; and (2) the name of the 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle in their letter.

New CAL and CAA Forms

CAL FIRE has posted new confidential archaeological addendum and confidential archaeological letter forms on the web. The forms are in WORD format and contain check boxes and text fields for easier preparation. Project proponents are encouraged to begin using these new forms. They are at:

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