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Native American Consultation Support Services

Several Federal and California laws require agencies to consult with Native American tribes before project approval and beginning construction. ECORP facilitates these discussions by providing Native American Consultation Support Services for state and federal agencies, private housing developers, city and county governments, public companies, and many other clients.

While the legal obligation to carry out tribal consultation rests squarely and fully with public agencies, ECORP can serve as an extension of staff by helping agencies navigate the consultation process and by providing knowledge, resources, and advice as they consult with Native American tribes in California.

By knowing the specific laws and regulations, what entities they apply to, and how to interpret their requirements, ECORP helps public and private agencies complete the legally required Native American consultation before beginning their project.

National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 Compliance

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act requires federal agencies to take into account the effect that projects may have on historic properties, including Native American Traditional Cultural Properties.

Identification of Traditional Cultural Properties can only be achieved through meaningful consultation with culturally-affiliated tribes. ECORP assists agencies during their consultation with Native American tribes to help identify Traditional Cultural Properties so that agencies can avoid, reduce, or mitigate possible adverse effects.

Additionally, Section 106 requires similar services for non-tribal cultural resources, including historically significant architecture and pre-contact archaeological sites. ECORP’s Cultural Resources Department includes a team of architectural historians and archaeologists that identify cultural resources, assess potential impacts, and design mitigation solutions.

Archaeologists mapping artifacts in compliance with National Historic Act, Section 106
ECORP archaeologists mapping artifacts in compliance with National Historic Act, Section 106.

California Senate Bill 18 — Local Governments and Native American Consultation Support Services

Native American Tribal consultation meeting completed in accordance with California Senate Bill 18
Native American Tribal consultation meeting completed in accordance with California Senate Bill 18.

In 2005, the State of California enacted Senate Bill 18 (SB 18) requiring local and county governments to consult with California Native American tribes prior to adopting or amending a General Plan or Specific Plan, or dedicating open space. The purpose of this consultation is to ensure that tribes have input on high-level planning decisions that affect future development which may, in turn, affect Native American sacred sites.

As part of our Native American Consultation Support Services, ECORP can act as a liaison between project proponents and local governments, the NAHC, and Native American tribes whose cultural resources may be impacted by a future project. This includes ensuring that all of the required thresholds and timelines are met, and that referral notices are sent at the proper times.

California Assembly Bill 52 and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Compliance Services

In 2015, the passage of California Assembly Bill 52 (AB 52) amended CEQA to require that lead agencies, though a prescribed process of tribal consultation, take into account the effects that projects under their jurisdiction will have under a new type of environmental area: tribal cultural resources. Unlike other forms of tribal consultation in California, AB 52 consultation requires very specific and intricate procedures.

ECORP was one of the first to implement AB 52 in the state and understands AB 52 better than other consultants. We have developed agency-specific standard operating procedures for implementing AB 52 for many jurisdictions in California and provide training and education to planners, consultants, and tribes throughout the state.

ECORP team members meeting with a local agency as part of CEQA
ECORP team members meeting with a local agency in San Diego County as part of CEQA compliance.

Beyond AB 52 compliance services, ECORP also offers a diverse range of other environmental consulting services to ensure that project proponents meet CEQA and NEPA regulations. This includes noise monitoring and analysisair quality and greenhouse gas modelingbiological resources assessments, and many other services for CEQA/NEPA compliance.

California Assembly Bill 168 — Tribal Consultation for Low-income Housing Developments

On September 25, 2020, California passed Assembly Bill 168 (AB 168), which creates a new “scoping consultation” process for projects pursuing approval under the state’s new Senate Bill 35 (SB 35) streamlined, ministerial approval process for low and moderate-income housing.

The required process is different than other existing consultation laws because it requires tribal consultation with a local agency before an application for approval is filed, and it requires a conclusion of consultation in agreement with tribes before an agency can process an application under SB 35. ECORP provides consultation support for AB 168 compliance to local agencies and project proponents in California.

Contact ECORP for Native American Consultation Support Services

Not only does ECORP provide Native American Consultation Support services, we also complete, review, and process all required environmental documents in accordance with CEQA, NEPA, and all other state, national, and local environmental regulations.

Contact ECORP today to discuss your project and learn more about our Native American Consultation Services.