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An over 20 year resistance to a 6 mile four lane freeway bypass through protected wetlands in Northern California took an important turn. A meeting was held in June 2014 between Native American tribal leaders who see their ancient village sites bulldozed - and environmentalists who for so long had worked in vain to stop or at least downsize the project by lawsuits, appeals to politicians and to the agencies empowered to prevent wetland and salmon stream destruction.
The gathering was held on June 8, 2014, across from the so-called Northern Interchange in full view of the wasteland that was once verdant marshes and ash groves. Even though Caltrans had been given archeological maps of the 14 Little Lake Pomo trading posts and villages sites within their construction area, and even though Caltrans by law has to comply with various state and federal historic preservation laws, Caltrans erased the entire village of Yami in September of 2013. They notified the local Sherwood tribe after they had bulldozed the topsoil, drilled 1,500 wick-drains into the village site and had already covered it with three feet of dirt.
Representatives from Mendocino Indian Tribes who are descendants of the Little Lake Pomo finally were given consultation meetings with the Caltrans archeologist. Former Tribal Chairwoman Priscilla Hunter said they had two demands: Reduce the size of the Northern Interchange to protect 30 acres of wetlands and archeological sites and enforce protection for the many additional sites on land that Caltrans now owns and plans to build ponds on to create artificial wetlands as substitute for the ones they are destroying.
Voices of Native American activists Priscilla Hunter and Edwina Lincoln, followed by journalist Will Parrish, poet Mary Korte, singer Gipsy Thorn, and environmentalist Karen Picket