Project Highlights

Cultural Resources Support Services, Fort Irwin, California

The Army is steward to more than 66,000 historic buildings, 82,000 inventoried archeological sites, and Native American sacred sites on 14 installations. The US Army Environmental Command helps ensure that installations make informed decisions regarding the cultural resources under their control in compliance with public laws, in support of the military mission, and consistent with sound principles of cultural resource management.

The cultural resources program at Fort Irwin, California has been an important component of understanding the prehistoric human occupation of the Mojave Desert with temporal periods spanning the Pleistocene and Holocene divided into seven major cultural complexes including the Paleoindian, Lake Mojave, Pinto, Deadman Lake, Gypsum, Rose Spring, and Late Prehistoric. The area was occupied by a number of distinct ethnographic groups, which were mobile hunter-gathers, although a few groups in the far eastern Mojave Desert conducted horticulture. The historical-period occupation of Fort Irwin area is associated with four main activities: homesteading, mining, transportation, and military training.

Redhorse supported the cultural resources program at the Fort Irwin in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and Nation Environmental Protection Policy Act (NEPA). Redhorse was responsible for the preserving its cultural resources while supporting the training mission of Fort Irwin under their Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan (ICRMP). Tasks included conducting literature searches to determine the potential of existing or new archeological sites in project areas; conducting archeological site inventories and evaluations of eligibility to the NRHP in accordance with NRHP Section 106 and 110; preparation of State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) consultation letters and Native American consultation letters; and recovering diagnostic artifacts and properly curating.

Redhorse also provided outreach and education of Fort Irwin’s cultural resources, which included providing briefings to newcomers, contractors, soldiers and their families; preparation of pamphlets, presentations, and exhibits. Redhorse provided construction site monitoring to ensure preservation of cultural resources during projects. The organization and management of data is a critical piece of the program in which Redhorse is responsible and includes the management of all hard files, GIS data, and artifacts.