Cultural Resources Support Services, Fort Irwin

Redhorse supported the cultural resources program at the Fort Irwin, California in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and Nation Environmental Protection Policy Act (NEPA). The cultural resources program at Fort Irwin 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 was responsible for the preserving these 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.