Key highlights on regulations, policies, and program funding for the transportation professional

Caltrans Tribal Monitor Survey

Posted: 8/21/2023

The Caltrans Division of Environmental Analysis/Cultural Studies Office is surveying local and regional agencies in an effort to establish more consistent statewide policies regarding the participation and reimbursement of California Native American Tribes in project environmental and cultural studies, including tribal monitoring of transportation activities.

Providing reimbursements to culturally affiliated tribes for their participation during project delivery has been inconsistently applied throughout the state. These inconsistencies often strain diplomatic relationships between tribes, Caltrans, and local/regional agencies, and adversely impact transportation project delivery efforts.
Caltrans is seeking to create clear and consistent guidance for how and when to reimburse tribal monitors/experts, including the development of a toolbox of suitable reimbursement mechanisms and direction for determining fair and reasonable reimbursement rates. 
Your response to this five-question survey is confidential and greatly appreciated, as it will assist Caltrans in advancing the development of guidance for broad mutual benefit among all parties.

For an overview of current guidance and procedures on this topic, please see the Caltrans FAQ on Native American Consultation & Consideration of Tribal Traditional Knowledge.

Office of Cultural Studies

The Caltrans Office of Cultural Studies is responsible for studying and preserving the cultural and historical significance of transportation-related projects and activities in California.

It focuses on understanding how transportation projects might impact cultural resources such as historic buildings, archaeological sites, traditional cultural properties, and other important elements of the state's heritage.

The Office of Cultural Studies works to ensure cultural resources are properly identified, evaluated, and considered in the planning and implementation of transportation projects. 

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California LTAP Center

Phone: (562) 985-2872