Cultural Resources Legislation – AB 52
In October 2014, Wishtoyo celebrated a great advocacy victory when the California State Legislature passed of AB-52 to enhance protection of tribal cultural resources under the California Environmental Quality Act ("CEQA"). Working closely with Assembly Member Gatto’s office, the Chumash Native American community, and a coalition of California tribes, Wishtoyo utilized its expertise in cultural resources protection to secure enhanced protections for tribal cultural resources and the ability for all tribes to consult with California government agencies in the CEQA process. Wishtoyo staff and board dedicated countless hours of legal and community organizing work in the process, and continues to work hard to ensure OPR adopts sufficient regulations and guidance documents to implement AB-52 as intended. The consultation gained under AB-52 holds great promise for ensuring state actions identify all impacts to Native American cultural resources and mitigate these impacts to a less than significant effect through avoidance and preservation in place.
CPUC Victory to Protect the Channel Islands from New Developments and Cell Phone Towers
In February 2014, Wishtoyo Foundation secured a victory on its Administrative Protest before the California Public Utilities Commission (“CPUC”) that thwarted the Channel Islands Telephone Company’s attempt to install unneeded telecommunications infrastructure on the Channel Islands. Wishtoyo, serving as lead Complainant on behalf of the Chumash community and providing the legal services of its staff attorney, protected Chumash heritage and cultural practices, the environment, and the enjoyment of all those who cherish a pristine Channel Islands with flourishing wildlife and an undisturbed landscape.