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Please Write the California Coastal Commission
To Stop the Proposed Foothill South Toll Road
Dear Tribal/Community Leaders:
As a grassroots coalition of Acjachemen people devoted to the protection of our sacred sites, the United Coalition to Protect Panhe requests your support. The Transportation Corridor Authority has proposed to build a toll road through one of our sacred sites and burial grounds and we need your help to defeat their proposal.
Our people have called the coastlands of southern California home for ten thousand years. Panhe is an ancient village, ceremonial site and burial ground located on San Onofre State Park land in southern California. Many of the Acjachemen/Juaneno tribal members can trace their lineage directly back to the Village of Panhe, which is estimated to be at least 1,000 years old. Panhe is listed on the Sacred Lands Inventory maintained by the Native American Heritage Commission and is part of the San Mateo Archaeological District which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The TCA claims “there are no areas within the disturbance limits that are currently being used by living Native American representatives of the Juaneno,” yet our members have always used Panhe and continue to gather for ceremony, community events and to pay respect to the Ancestors buried there. Panhe is one of the few remaining Acjachemen sacred sites where the people can still gather for ceremony in an area that is secluded and exists in a pristine, natural state.
Construction of the toll road would pass within feet of our village and cemetery, drastically interfere with traditional ceremonial uses, and severely and irreparably damage the sacred site. In addition, the toll road would increase public access to the village and surrounding cultural and archaeological districts, and consequently increase the potential for looting and vandalism. According to the toll road’s own EIR, impacts to the San Mateo Archeological District “will be adverse, and cannot be mitigated to below a level of significance.”
On Thursday, October 11th the California Coastal Commission will hear public testimony and determine whether or not to certify the toll road’s application for consistency. If you can’t attend please write the Coastal Commission today and tell them to support the Acjachemen people and save our sacred site!
Letters should arrive by Thursday, September 27th at the latest.
FAX is (415) 904-5400.
Emails should be sent to the following special address:
Please distribute this alert, so the Commission knows how many people stand in support of the Acjachemen peoples’ right to access the site and practice our religious ceremonies free from interference! For more information contact Angela Mooney D’Arcy at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rebecca Robles at email@example.com
Sept. [ ], 2007
Patrick Kruer, Chair
ATTN: Mr. Mark Delaplaine
California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105-2219
RE: Foothill-South Toll Road CZMA Consistency Certification (Hearing Date, Oct. 11, 1007) – OPPOSITION
Dear Chairperson Kruer and Members of the Commission:
The Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) protects cultural, historical and habitat resources along the coast, which are of great importance to me. Due to severe impacts to these resources from the proposed Foothill-South toll road, the Commission must find inconsistency with the CZMA.
The toll road would have devastating consequences for the Native American sacred site, burial ground and ancient village Panhe and would seriously impair the ability of the Acjachemen people to practice their traditional cultural and religious ceremonies. Panhe is one of the few remaining Acjachemen sacred sites where the people can still gather for ceremony in an area that is secluded and exists in a pristine, natural state.
Specifically, the toll road would:
• Come within feet of the Acjachemen village and cemetery, thus severely and irreparably impacting the ceremonial use of the site. Currently the site is in a pristine natural state, the stars are easily visible at night and the noise level is generally low. However, if the toll road is built, the integrity of the site will be compromised and it will be difficult for Acjachemen people to engage in traditional religious practices at the site.
• Increase public access to the village and surrounding cultural and archaeological districts, and consequently increase the potential for looting and vandalism. According to the toll road’s own EIR, impacts to the San Mateo Archeological District “will be adverse, and cannot be mitigated to below a level of significance.”
The impacts of the proposed toll road on the sacred site and traditional cultural district of Panhe should not be examined in a vacuum. By its own study the toll road will not significantly alleviate traffic between San Diego and Los Angeles. The long term impact of the toll road will not be decreased traffic, it will be increased development. If the toll road is built, it is only a matter of time before more and more of the land within this traditional cultural district will be developed, leaving the Juaneno people with fewer and fewer places to engage in traditional cultural practices.
Please protect Panhe and San Onofre State Beach by opposing the Foothill South Toll Road.
[Your Name, Tribal or Organizational Affiliation]