History and Purpose of the Golden Trowel Award

In 1989, CAL FIRE and the California State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection (Board) established a state award to recognize superior accomplishments in archaeological site stewardship. Designated the Golden Trowel Award, recipients are given an engraved plaque with a mounted Marshalltown Trowel in recognition of outstanding achievements in the identification, documentation, and protection of California's archaeological resources. A perpetual plaque bearing the name of all previous award recipients is permanently displayed at the Board office in Sacramento. This award symbolizes the effective integration of archaeological site identification and management into the practice of professional forestry within California and informs the public about the remarkable success of an archaeological training program for resource professionals working on privately-owned timberland and rangelands throughout our state. This program has become recognized as one of the most successful archaeological training programs of its type in the nation.
Archaeological sites are public-trust resources that are particularly vulnerable to damaging effects from logging, fire-fighting, dozer line construction and other forestry related land management activities CAL FIRE oversees because these resources are both fragile and easily overlooked during project environmental planning. Unlike wildlife habitat, timber stands, or other important natural resources (which CAL FIRE also protects), archaeological sites are NOT renewable and damage to them is irreversible. The typical kinds of archaeological resources CAL FIRE and the Board are mandated to protect include Native American Indian villages, campsites, quarries, petroglyphs, hunting blinds, trails, ceremonial locations, sacred sites, and food-processing stations. They also include historic-era sites such as old homesteads, wagon roads, emigrant trails, mining features, cemeteries, or old logging camps. One of the problems in implementing a successful protection program is that archaeological sites can be easily missed during resource inventories. Most sites and features can only be identified, or, their significance only recognized, after the completion of a number of tasks including records checks, ethnographic, archaeological, and historical research, consultations with knowledge individuals (such as local Native Americans, neighbors, historical societies, or previous landowners), and careful surveys and inspections made be RPFs, archaeologists, and other resource professionals that have received training to locate and identify such resources.

In the early 1980's only a few dozen archaeological sites were being found each year during the review of CAL FIRE projects but many of these discoveries took place after receiving impacts from logging or other project activities. This situation has changed. Typically, several hundred sites are identified each year on the same number of CAL FIRE projects and these are almost always found, recorded, and protected prior to project approval. This remarkable improvement in the level of protection given to the state's archaeological resources is a result of a comprehensive set of regulations, passed by the Board in 1991 and revised in 1994 and 2003, that require THP applicants to complete a number of tasks to ensure archaeological resource identification and protection. The Archaeological Training Program, codified through these regulations, requires RPFs, their supervised designees, CAL FIRE Foresters, and other Resource Professionals to complete an intensive, five-day training course and periodic refresher courses. This training program has noticeably improved the quality and reliability of archaeological surveys, project reviews, and inspections made by key personnel. Over 1700 students have been trained since the formal CAL FIRE archaeological training program was initiated in 1982. The remarkable accomplishments of the graduates of these training courses demonstrates the success and value of this unique state government program which enhances the identification and protection of California's heritage resources.
In most cases, these discoveries are made, recorded and protected without undue cost to landowners or significant change in harvest volume, harvesting systems, or overall project objective. Since its creation in 1989, the Golden Trowel Award has been given to dozens of individuals and teams in recognition of outstanding efforts to identify and protect the state's archaeological resources. Most award recipients have come from the private sector, either consulting or industrial RPFs that were recognized for superior archaeological surveys and protection efforts. The contribution of several outstanding CAL FIRE Foresters has also been recognized for the role they play in ensuring site protection and adequacy of surveys. Not all of the sites are initially discovered during plan preparation - many are found during CAL FIRE's inspections. These surveys by state RPFs provide CAL FIRE with an opportunity to spot-check selected areas, evaluate adequacy of archaeological survey coverage and review proposed protection measures, prior to project approval. CAL FIRE staff archaeologists also play an important role. They review every CAL FIRE project, across 31 million acres of CAL FIRE's jurisdiction, to make field inspections, and advise CAL FIRE on the professional adequacy of archaeological work products, conformance with state regulations, and adequacy of protection given to archaeological resources.

Award Recipients

Persons eligible to receive the CAL FIRE-Board Golden Trowel Award include timberland owners, foresters, biologists, soils scientists, fire fighters, timber operators, and other forestry personnel. The following list identifies all award recipients and the year the award was given. Click on the person's name to review their accomplishments.

Bill Johnson received the award in 1990 for outstanding efforts to identify and protect archaeological sites located in the Coalinga District during his tenure as CAL FIRE Battalion Chief covering that Battalion from 1986-1990. This rural area west of Coalinga in the southern Diablo Range has proven to be extremely rich containing a wide variety of archaeological sites although prior to Bill's work very few of these were known.

His first encounter with the CAL FIRE Archaeology Program occurred in 1986 during implementation of a CAL FIRE controlled burn project located in Los Gatos Creek Canyon under the Department's VMP Program. Bill authorized construction of a firebreak (bulldozer line) on lands owned by rancher Jack James without knowing that he had placed that dozer line across a significant archaeological site located along the creek. Dan Foster came down from Sacramento to provide assistance. Soon a friendship and partnership was established based on a mutual desire to identify and protect archaeological sites in the Coalinga area. Bill, working with Dan Foster and Richard Jenkins, developed a plan to mitigate the damage caused by the bulldozed firebreak across the site. This was a week-long archaeological dig at the Corral Site which was attended by over 14 volunteers including several local landowners. This site dig, and the numerous archaeological surveys that followed it, converted Bill Johnson to become a full supporter of the Department's programs to protect archaeological sites.

Bill recruited the participation of an enthusiastic retired oil worker in town named Lou Deford and organized the Coalinga Archaeological Research Group (COALARG) - a group composed of local landowners, museum officials, agency archaeologists, and members of the public. Bill's group conducted numerous surveys of this rural backcountry and identified nearly 100 new archaeological sites. These included rock shelters, petroglyph boulders, village sites, chert quarries, and temporary camps. The sites were recorded and studied, artifacts from local collections were documented or given to the local museum, and basemaps were prepared to protect the sites during fire suppression efforts while fighting wildfires in this rugged part of California. The group was active for six years until Bill's transfer to the Shaver Lake Battalion and Lou Deford's death left the group without the local leadership necessary to continue.

Dan Ward is currently a CAL FIRE Battalion Chief at the Columbia Air Attack Base in Tuolumne County. He received the Golden Trowel Award in 1991 for his excellent work as a Forest Practice Inspector from 1985-1991. During those years Dan discovered numerous archaeological and historical sites on Timber Harvesting Plans he was assigned to review. In almost all cases these were sites which had been overlooked by the RPFs that wrote the plans, and the sites might well have been impacted or destroyed by timber operations had it not been for Dan's Preharvest inspection work. He successfully negotiated protection measures for these sites, even during those years preceding the Board Rules requiring protection of sites.

Leonard Gwinn received the award in 1992 for his outstanding work as a CAL FIRE Forest Practice Inspector. His careful observations saved a significant housepit village site from certain destruction that would have occurred during one proposed THP. The RPF that wrote that plan did not identify any site. Back in those, the early years of the CAL FIRE Archaeology Program, THP review did not include a well-developed process involving oversight by a professional archaeologist that is in place today. The CAL FIRE Archaeologist could be called-in for assistance from time to time, but the responsibility was placed on the CAL FIRE Inspector to determine when that was necessary.

The area in question occupied a portion of a ridgetop which trended from east to west. Leonard remembered during his archaeological training that such ridgelines were used by Native Americans in this portion of Mendocino County as travel corridors and occupation sites could be found on such ridges, especially if a water source occurred nearby.

During the preharvest inspection Leonard made it a priority to see if an archaeological site might have been overlooked during the original survey performed by the RPF. He carefully inspected locations with a favorable topographic and environmental setting and found a series of slight, circular depressions adjacent to a natural lake which he suspected they might be prehistoric Native American housepits. He insisted that a CAL FIRE archeologist be brought in to evaluate the possible site. Mark Gary later accompanied him and the RPF on a subsequent PHI. An intensive examination of the area resulted in the identification of a housepit village site containing sixteen circular housepits and a surface scatter of chipped-stone artifacts. Leonard was absolutely correct in his assessment that the circular depressions represented a significant cultural resource that was threatened by the project. The RPF had flagged the P-Line for a proposed road directly through the housepit village. CAL FIRE insisted the flagging be removed and the road was relocated to a location far removed from the site. Leonard retired from state service in 1995.

Brian Bishop is an RPF working in northwestern California. He was given the award in 1993 for outstanding work in cultural resource management. He discovered and recorded an important late prehistoric/early historic Coast Yuki village site on Lincoln Ridge, near Westport, California, while preparing a Timber Harvesting Plan. His efforts to serve as an intermediary between San Jose State University and Louisiana-Pacific Corporation made possible a SJSU field school excavation at the site during the summer of 1992. His enthusiastic support and willingness to provide valuable assistance with the logistics of a major archeological project greatly contributed to the success of the research. By providing project personnel with relevant articles and scientific literature related to forest ecology and logging history, he assisted greatly in the interpretation of the archeological evidence that proved crucial to demonstrate local significance. His vigilance saved an important archeological site, and his persistence made possible a major data recovery effort that led to a more complete picture of prehistory and history on the Mendocino Coast.

 

Larrie Mason is an RPF from Burney, California, and received the Golden Trowel Award in 1993 for his excellent work in archaeology and cultural resource management. The Northeast Information Center notified CAL FIRE that year that Larrie's archeological survey reports and site records are consistently some of the best they see from any forester working in Northeastern California. His discovery of a major prehistoric village site containing housepit depressions, rock rings, midden, and abundant surface artifacts in a location previously surveyed indicates the intensive effort Larrie makes during his diligent search for archeological sites which may be located within his Timber Harvesting Plans. The fact that he routinely records and provides complete protection for most of these sites is another example of the excellent stewardship he practices in California.

Dave Drennan is an RPF now retired from CAL FIRE. He was given the award in 1994 for his archaeological survey efforts while working as a CAL FIRE Forest Practice Inspector in southern Humboldt County. In 1993, Dave rediscovered a petroglyph site along the Eel River during his field inspection for a Timber Harvesting Plan. The site (CA-TRI-1, Slakaiya Rock see article under "Rock Art"), contains one of the spectacular rock art panels ever found in the North Coast Range. It was originally reported in 1911 by a railroad worker but was lost to science for over eighty years until Dave's discovery relocated it some four miles distant from its mapped location. Dave waded across the river to search for possible archaeological sites in an area that would not have been disturbed by the proposed logging operations, and discovered the rock art panel in a rock shelter amongst a cluster of large boulders. He led a team of archaeologists back to the site to fully record it, and facilitated additional research that led to a published report and made a major contribution to rock art research in California.

Steve Heckman is a private RPF that was recognized for his outstanding work in archaeological site stewardship. He received the award in 1995 for his archaeological surveys conducted on behalf of Natural Resources Management Corporation in Willits. The archaeological expertise he displayed during preparation of THP#1-94-534 MEN along the Mendocino County coast was particularly impressive. He discovered eight historical sites, including the long-since-vanished railroad logging townsite of Moody, including associated cabins, trails, graveyard, and roundhouse, which is perhaps the most significant historical find of that year. His well-documented, 59-page archaeological report not only facilitated a prompt review and approval of what otherwise would have been a complicated THP, it also provided a major contribution to the written history of a previously undocumented portion of Mendocino County. His keen interpretations and findings based on thorough archival research and intensive field survey demonstrated how an archaeologically-trained RPF can elevate a THP investigation into a scholarly document destined to be referenced for a long time to come.

 

Lee Susan is a consulting RPF who lives in Fort Bragg. During the past several years, Lee has discovered and recorded impressive numbers of both prehistoric and historic sites on his timber harvesting plans, but 1994 was truly remarkable. In February of that year, Lee found no fewer than 21 sites on a 570-acre THP in Mendocino County which illustrates his unique survey skills. That study has yielded significant information about ancient Californians, especially concerning the location, antiquity, and function of prehistoric chert quarries and lithic workshops where stone tools and projectile points were manufactured. However, his recent discovery of 15 petroglyph boulders (including hundreds of individual carved designs) on a Sonoma County THP stunned both the professional archaeology and forestry communities. His ability and tenacity to locate these petroglyphs on moss-covered surfaces of hundreds of boulders in a steep, forested ravine illustrates his dedication to intensive archaeological survey. His ability to protect these sites and willingness to show them to professional archaeologists interested in further study is another example of why he earned this award.

 

Tom Shorey is an RPF employed by Fruit Growers Supply Company, and was recognized in 1995 for his outstanding work in archaeological site identification and management. The Company lands under his jurisdiction are among the most sensitive in the State in regards to prehistoric archaeology, but Tom has met this challenge head-on. His archaeological survey work is recognized as superior not only by CAL FIRE staff reviewing his plans but also by professional archaeologists working in the region. His keen attention paid to archaeological survey design, site recordation, and site management separates his reports from most others, and his archaeological site records, usually containing detailed maps, sketches, photographs, and site descriptions, illustrate his dedication to preserving the archaeological record of California. His site management approach, which includes a working knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of equipment used during the harvest, coupled with his willingness to supervise operations in sensitive areas, has shown that timber harvesting and site protection can both be accomplished on the same property.

 

Becky Robertson is currently a Staff Chief in CAL FIRE's Southern Region Headquarters in Fresno. She received the Golden Trowel Award in 1995 in recognition of outstanding efforts to protect cultural resources as part of the environmental review of CAL FIRE's programs and projects in the Southern Region. During the early 1990's she served CAL FIRE as Forest Practice Inspector, Review Team Chairman, and Region Coordinator of VMP, CFIP, and other programs. She was committed to carry-out CAL FIRE's responsibility to identify and wisely manage archaeological sites throughout the Sierra Nevada and Central California regions. Through her outstanding ability to influence others, a heightened awareness for cultural resources spread through the entire forestry community in this area. Becky was instrumental in delivering the CAL FIRE Archaeology Program to the VMP program and contract counties in the Region. She helped make the initial contacts and reassured an apprehensive group that the archaeological review process CAL FIRE needed to carry out would not cripple the programs. Many such personnel have since developed outstanding cooperative relationships with CAL FIRE Archaeologists and Becky deserves recognition for helping develop the program. Her ability to influence others within the Department was demonstrated when she turned an incident of site damage that occurred during fire suppression activities into an environmental awareness training for CAL FIRE Heavy Fire Equipment Operators. The training not only included information on archaeology, but watercourse protection, and erosion control measures as well. Her ability to seize an opportunity to turn destruction into instruction is an example of a conscientious commitment to the protection of California's cultural resources.

Dave Dulitz, CAL FIRE Forester, was recognized in 1996 for his successful efforts to identify and manage prehistoric and historic archaeological sites located within Mountain Home Demonstration State Forest, a 4500-acre tract of state-owned timberland in eastern Tulare County. Dave's career at Mountain Home began in 1974 with his appointment as Assistant Forest Manager. He was later promoted to Forest Manager in 1979, a position he still currently fills. Only two confirmed archaeological sites were known to exist at Mountain Home when he first became forest manager. One of these sites, located at Sunset Point Campground, was being frequented by forest visitors as a place to view a grouping of the so-called "Indian Bathtubs" which are curious pothole depressions found in granite outcroppings in this area, and a small cluster of bedrock mortars located nearby. Dave recognized that the midden deposit at Sunset Point was being damaged through uncontrolled visitation by forest visitors and the unauthorized collection and removal of artifacts visible on the surface of the site. These included numerous small obsidian projectile points and flakes, and ceramic sherds made from a local pottery type known as Owens Valley Brownware. Dave temporarily discontinued public visitation at Sunset Point and initiated a multi-year archaeological survey program designed to locate all archaeological sites on the forest and provide a baseline of information from which to develop a management plan for their protection and interpretation. Dave's efforts to complete a cultural resource inventory of the forest began in 1982 when he hired a professional archaeologist as part of his seasonal work force for the summers of 1982-1983. During this two-ear period, Dave supervised and assisted in the intensive archaeological survey of the entire forest. This project led to the identification of 36 archaeological sites - 22 prehistoric, 13 historic, and one isolated find. All of these sites have been formally recorded and protected during subsequent timber sale activities conducted at Mountain Home, however, Dave wanted to further explore the function, antiquity, and complexity of the archaeological record so as to more accurately interpret the regional prehistory to forest visitors. Of particular interest was to shed light on the century-old question pertaining to the creation of the enigmatic "Indian Bathtubs" and how these curious features may have been used by the prehistoric inhabitants of the southern Sierra Nevada. Over the course of the next several years, Dave was successful in his continued requests to obtain funding for archaeological research on the forest. His persuasive arguments and postponement of other research priorities enabled limited funding to be secured for archaeological excavations at three prehistoric sites on the forest: Methuselah, Vincent Springs, and Sunset Point. These sites were investigated by Dr. William Wallace and Dr. Brian Dillon - two notable scholars in California Archaeology. They were attracted to the research by Dave's offer to provide full-time assistance from seasonal forestry aids and the opportunity to stay several weeks at the historic cabin known as "The House that Jack Built." Dr. Wallace's research explored the variation between the sites and led to the development of a regional chronology and site typology. Dr. Dillon's research focused on the Sunset Point site and led to the remarkable discovery of an archaic-period component beneath the midden; a period of occupation at Sunset Point beginning approximately 8000 years ago. Through these studies conducted at Mountain Home the archaeological record of the southern Sierra Nevada region has become more clear, and the state can now more accurately interpret the "Indian Bathtubs." In 1992 Dave began the development of an interpretive trail at Sunset Point. This project, completed in 1994, features a lined pathway through the site with five signboards providing information concerning the archaeological research conducted at the site, how the bedrock mortars and rock basins were used, and evidence concerning the time periods of occupation. This project is now recognized as one of the most successful educational/interpretive archaeological sites in California and the Sunset Point Open Air Museum has become one of most frequently visited localities on the forest. This attraction has provided an opportunity to educate the public regarding archaeological studies in forestry and to demonstrate effective multiple-use management within a working forest. Dave is also developing a plan to expand the interpretive trail to add another dimension to the story of the prehistoric past. Dave plans to recruit representatives from the local Native American community to assist in the creation of an additional educational signboard - one that speaks to current Native American activities in California. This trail expansion is planned for 1997-1998. The archaeology of Mountain Home State Forest is also exhibited in an artifact display located at the forest headquarters, and reports and interpretive brochures on the region's prehistory are available for the enthusiastic forest visitor. These efforts to disseminate archaeological information to the public has added considerably to the overall experience of visiting this beautiful state forest and has provided forest visitors with a more complete view of forest management in California.

Dave's interest and knowledge is not limited to the prehistoric period of occupation of this region. He is also interested in the Euro-american history of Mountain Home. Dave recently conducted extensive research on three historic buildings and wrote an excellent report summarizing the historical periods of the forest that established the context within which the significance of these three buildings can be appreciated. Dave's custom of using forestry aids and giving them on-the-ground training in forest archaeological management has led to a growing crop of young foresters who see archaeology not as an obstacle but as part of the forest landscape. Everyone who has ever worked with him has found Dave to be a boundless source of enthusiasm and wide ranging knowledge about this forest and the surrounding region.

The consulting firm David Levy Forestry was recognized for its outstanding work in archaeological site stewardship. Three members of their staff, including RPF Jeff Calvert, Forester/Archaeologist Lucky Gillette, and RPF David Levy, worked together during 1994-1997 as an archaeology team during forestry projects. This team has been responsible for the discovery and recordation of hundreds of sites. Their discoveries range from spectacular prehistoric rock art panels, thought to be some 4000 years old, to the more mundane types of historic mining sites found in the Sierra Nevada. But for all of these sites -- the spectacular discoveries and the more commonly seen historic sites and features, David Levy Forestry has developed a reputation for producing some of the best archaeological survey reports submitted to CAL FIRE and to the Archaeological Information Centers. All of their sites have been documented with state-of-the-art computer mapping and recording formats that achieve a level of professional quality which goes far beyond the requirements of the forest practice rules. It is unusual for Consulting Forestry Firm to devote so much time and diligence to the archaeological component of their work, however, the outstanding quality of archaeological survey documentation, particularly their site records, has made a large contribution towards changing the inaccurate perception that this type of archaeological work (conducted by persons other than professional archaeologists) is not reliable or is of poor quality. The work submitted by David Levy Forestry has gone a long way towards shattering this false view, and has increased the recognition that is due to the 1800 archaeologically-trained resource professionals working in California.

 

Mark Stewart has demonstrated a remarkable ability to locate prehistoric archaeological sites in the woods. His interest in finding them began in 1980 when he started working for Larry Hyder, a consulting forester in Camino, who had been raised in southern Idaho and had looked for Indian sites since he was young. Larry first showed Mark how to look for archaeological sites and helped train his eye to spot clues for likely locations. Mark's site survey skills were further developed during several Board-Sponsored Archaeological Training Courses he has attended, where he stood out as a star student with a genuine interest in archaeology and lots of experience in finding sites. In 1989, Mark started working as a forester for Bohemia lumber company.At that time, archaeological sites were only discovered on 7% of their company land THPs. In the three years that Mark worked there, the average rose to 40% of Bohemia THPs. Although Mark attributes the remarkable increase of discovered sites to implementation of the CAL FIRE Archaeological Training Program for Foresters, it also reflects Mark's ability to influence how company THPs are prepared -- that is -- with more intensive archaeological survey coverage given during the preparation of timber harvesting plans. When Mark began his Forestry Consulting business in 1992, one of his first projects was to record the 15-20 previously discovered but unrecorded archaeological sites on Wetsell-Oviatt Lumber Company land. Since that time, he has discovered and recorded over 100 archaeological sites on THPs throughout California. On the last 50 THPs he has prepared, Mark has found and recorded at least one archaeological site on over 60% of them. A truly remarkable record.

 

James Mervin Gamble is a private RPF that deserves recognition for outstanding archaeological work and received the award in 1997. Jim has accumulated a decade-long record of making important archaeological discoveries in Northwestern California. An RPF from the Willits area of Mendocino County, Jim works in a region, which most archaeologists agree, is the toughest place in California to find sites, yet he has overcome these difficulties with tenacity, genuine curiosity about the prehistoric past, and an intensive field survey method which leaves no place unvisited and no stone unturned. Not a year goes by without Jim finding, recording, and protecting at least 12 new sites. When asked to explain his distinctive prowess for discovering sites, Jim stated that the CAL FIRE Archaeological Training Courses have contributed to his interest and sharpened his skills and survey methods. His long-standing desire to study the archaeology of his area has resulted in considerable expertise in local site identification patterns. Over the years, Jim has discovered Pomo Indian housepit villages, midden sites along creeks, chert quarries, ridgetop campsites, and numerous isolated artifacts such as projectile points. The numerous isolated finds demonstrate that Jim has his "Archaeology Eyes" on all the time. In October, 1997, Jim discovered an old newspaper -- the front page of the January 27, 1918 San Francisco Examiner -- from inside an old logger's cabin, which helped date the cabin, but also proved to be a valuable artifact worth saving. Jim also deserves credit for his style of management through avoidance and protection, and for defending the worthiness of these efforts to his clientele.

James Mervin Gamble is a private RPF that deserves recognition for outstanding archaeological work and received the award in 1997. Jim has accumulated a decade-long record of making important archaeological discoveries in Northwestern California. An RPF from the Willits area of Mendocino County, Jim works in a region, which most archaeologists agree, is the toughest place in California to find sites, yet he has overcome these difficulties with tenacity, genuine curiosity about the prehistoric past, and an intensive field survey method which leaves no place unvisited and no stone unturned. Not a year goes by without Jim finding, recording, and protecting at least 12 new sites. When asked to explain his distinctive prowess for discovering sites, Jim stated that the CAL FIRE Archaeological Training Courses have contributed to his interest and sharpened his skills and survey methods. His long-standing desire to study the archaeology of his area has resulted in considerable expertise in local site identification patterns. Over the years, Jim has discovered Pomo Indian housepit villages, midden sites along creeks, chert quarries, ridgetop campsites, and numerous isolated artifacts such as projectile points. The numerous isolated finds demonstrate that Jim has his "Archaeology Eyes" on all the time. In October, 1997, Jim discovered an old newspaper -- the front page of the January 27, 1918 San Francisco Examiner -- from inside an old logger's cabin, which helped date the cabin, but also proved to be a valuable artifact worth saving. Jim also deserves credit for his style of management through avoidance and protection, and for defending the worthiness of these efforts to his clientele.

 

Nicholas Kent was given the award in 1998. He received his B.S. in Wildland Management from Humboldt State University in 1982, and his Master of Forestry degree from the University of Idaho in 1985. From 1987-1988, Nick worked as a timber sale appraiser for Bohemia Inc. of Eugene, Oregon. From 1988-1992, he wrote THPs and administered harvest operations for various forestry consulting firms in Mendocino and Humboldt counties. In 1990, he earned his license as a Registered Professional Forester in California. Nick was star student in the CAL FIRE Archaeological Training Course in 1992, and 1996. Nick operates his own consulting firm serving timberland owners located primarily in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties. His experience includes preparing THPs and Non-Industrial Timber Management Plans, administering timber sales, appraising timberlands, and consulting with property owners on forestland conservation easements. He is an active player in professional forestry, having been elected Vice-Chairman of the California Chapter of the Association of Consulting Foresters of America. He is also active in CLFA and Forestland Owners of California. Through his activities in these professional forestry groups, Nick has demonstrated remarkable skills in demystifying archaeology to both fellow foresters and timberland owners. He explains and demonstrates the requirements for the conduct of archaeological surveys, the preparation of confidential documents, and the management of sites in ways that foster acceptance of the rules, understanding of resource issues, and pride in land stewardship and resource conservation. Nick's success to demonstrate and promote archaeological site stewardship has resulted in the identification and complete protection of dozens of highly significant prehistoric sites, such as housepit villages, petroglyph boulders, and chert quarries. He has a remarkably keen ability to distinguish prehistoric chert quarries from natural chert deposits.

Tom Francis received the award in 1999. As the CAL FIRE Area Forester in Tuolumne County, Tom evaluates archaeological and historical resources for timber harvesting, prescribed burns, and CAL FIRE Engineering projects. Tom completed CAL FIRE/CLFA Archaeological Training Course #32 in 1993 and Course #56R in 1998. Like many RPFs in California, Tom has developed an excellent working relationship with professional archaeologists, and regularly consults with them to receive advice and technical guidance on archaeological or historical research, surveying, significance evaluations, and report writing. He uses these skills to protect historic and prehistoric resources during his review and impact evaluations for CAL FIRE projects in his area.

There are three major reasons why Tom was selected to receive this award:

  1. Diligence in locating and protecting archaeological sites: Although CAL FIRE held a only a minor responsibility in overseeing archaeological concerns for a new County fire station, Tom assumed a lead role to ensure resource protection. He requested an Archaeological Records Check from the Central California Information Center that noted that the project parcel was part of an old mining claim, but no sites had ever been recorded. He realized there was a high probability that a survey of the fire station property would likely result in the discovery of a significant, previously unknown historical site so Tom surveyed the parcel, found the site, and ensured that it was recorded in accordance with CEQA and professional archaeological standards.
  2. Ability to negotiate archaeological problems: Tuolumne County has a rich history, and THPs in this county contain a remarkably high average of three archaeological sites per plan. As a forest practice inspector, Tom reviews each of these plans and relocates each archaeological site in the field. He has an outstanding ability to determine if the proposed protection measures are adequate. In order to protect sites, Tom treats each site uniquely, and is able to recommend a variety of protection measures when he negotiates with other RPFs. He finds ways to develop archaeological site protection into plans without undue cost and enjoys working out solutions to problems.
  3. Research ability for CAL FIRE projects such as prescribed burn projects and minor capital improvement projects: Tom regularly completes remarkably-thorough prefield research prior to conducting archaeological surveys for CAL FIRE projects. This research provides clues as to what he might expect to find, where to find such sites, and provides the context to evaluate site significance. He enjoys interviewing people as part of his research. By emphasizing prefield research, Tom is able to find sites that might otherwise be overlooked during a survey. As an example, his excellent prefield work prior to the field survey for the Priest Coulterville VMP enabled Tom to locate 15 sites, both prehistoric and historic, which were previously unknown to science. He recorded the sites to professional archaeological standards and protected them from damaging effects. This survey effort by Tom was noticed by Ranger Unit, Region, and Sacramento Headquarters staff as a truly remarkable and outstanding piece of work. This one and several other survey reports prepared by Tom Francis have made a significant contribution to our body of knowledge of the history of Tuolumne County.

Ted James is a private RPF working for Sierra Pacific Industries and received the award in 2000. Ted grew up in San Diego where he developed a love for the outdoors. After high school he took a job with the Young Adult Conservation Corp. where he worked in National Forests building trails. During this time he started thinking about career possibilities in Forestry. Ted earned a 2-year degree in Forestry at College of the Redwoods and landed a job with PG&E as a Forestry Technician. After working 2 years as a technician, he went back to school and attended Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff where he completed his degree in Forestry in 1989. He accepted a job with Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) one week later and has been working in SPI's Lassen District ever since. Ted's main area of responsibility is preparing and administering THPs in the Shingletown area of eastern Shasta County although he works in the Lyonsville area of Tehama County as well. Ted excels in archaeological work due to his interest in the past. Because of this interest Ted has developed field methods that allow him to predict site locations on company lands. Once sites are discovered he goes out of his way to perform background research to learn more about the site's history. This background research not only provides a more accurate record for the site but also allows Ted to make informed site significance evaluations. This research, coupled with the use of state-of-the-art technology including digital cameras and computer mapping, make Ted's reports and site records rival and sometimes exceed in quality those prepared by professional archaeologists. Ted's archeology skills were further refined through the completion of CAL FIRE/CLFA Archaeological Training Course #30 in 1993 and Course #50R in 1997. One of Ted's specialties is a knack for dealing with historic linear resources. One example is Ted's work in documenting the 1870s Champion Ditch in Tehama County that transported Battle Creek water a dozen or so miles to the Empire Flume located in the Antelope Creek drainage. Ted later recorded a long segment of the Empire Flume itself - the first V-flume built in California, constructed in 1873. This feature transported rough-sawn lumber some 35 miles from the pineries to the valley below. Ted later mapped and recorded several miles of the 1870s Community Ditch in Shasta County. This feature sustained the ill-fated community of Plateau, which ceased to exist around the turn-of-the-century when the water was diverted away for hydroelectric power generation. As a result of Ted's efforts in dealing with archaeological resources his projects easily meet the intent of the Forest Practice Act, are approved with a minimum of delay, and often make a significant contribution of knowledge to the regional archaeological database. This is why Ted was selected to receive this award. 1. Diligence in locating archaeological and historic sites: Ted has demonstrated remarkable skills in the identification of archaeological and historical resources located on company lands where he works. His knowledge of the history of SPI's company ground allows him to predict site locations from the office and later find them on the ground. 2. Skill in site documentation: Board rules require that significant cultural resources be documented with archaeological site records. Ted's knowledge of the past allows him to accurately determine which of his discoveries merit recordation and which do not. His proficiency with new technology allows him to expertly document and map his discoveries. 3. Ability to protect sites and achieve management objectives: Ted has utilized his skills to find ways to include the protection of historical resources within his timber harvesting plans without undue cost. Using carefully thought-out protection strategies sites are protected and targeted timber harvest volumes achieved. Ted's planning efforts result in protection of archaeological resources and at the same time allow SPI to reach its objectives. Ted was present to receive the award, as were his family.

Jim Purcell, a CAL FIRE Forest Practice Inspector working in Mendocino County, received the award in 2001. Jim was recognized for his remarkable ability to locate unrecorded archaeological sites while inspecting timber harvesting plans, and excellent work with private landowners and RPFs, teaching them the importance of site protection. These efforts led to numerous site discoveries, ensured protection of sites discovered by others, and facilitated archaeological studies on these privately owned lands.

Jim completed five of the CAL FIRE-CLFA Archaeological Training courses and served as the RPF instructor for several additional classes in the late 1980's. He graduated from Penn State University in 1970 with a degree in Forest Science, and after a brief stint in the military, he began his forestry career in 1974 as an entry-level forester for Masonite working on THPs. He also worked for Sierra Reforestation Company supervising planting crews and for Mendocino County as a junior timber appraiser. He began his CAL FIRE career in 1975 as a forestry graduate trainee in Redding. At the end of the 1977 fire season Jim transferred to the Mendocino Unit as a Forest Practice Inspector and has been there ever since, earning his RPF License in 1979 and appointment to Forester II in 1980. That same year, Jim made his first archaeological site discovery - an extensive prehistoric occupation site located on Timber Harvesting Plan he was inspecting off Eureka Hill Road. In 1982, during review of the Buich and Masonite THPs along Jack Smith Creek, Jim's work led to the identification of two significant sites and his recommendations to the RPF led to their protection during logging. Jim's efforts on these plans took place before the existence of any rules or policies that required RPFs or Inspectors to search for archaeological sites. Jim has a keen ability to assist RPFs in accomplishing site protection at a minimum of cost to landowners and an excellent method of explaining to landowners why archaeological site protection is important. Two examples illustrate Jim's terrific work with apprehensive landowners and the significant archaeological discoveries that followed. These are Bob Burger and George Zeni properties near Yorkville.

While reviewing a small Exemption on the Burger Ranch, Jim asked the rancher if he had ever found Indian artifacts. The landowner was probably tempted to say "no" but Jim's professional and friendly style often leads landowners to reveal things and place their trust in CAL FIRE. The rancher disclosed that his wife "picks up stuff down by the creek". When asked if he meant "flakes" the rancher said she doesn't bother with those. He led Jim to a tremendous collection of sandstone bowls and cobble pestles stacked near the porch. He also learned that the rancher's brother had a "sweat house" on his adjacent land, which Jim checked out and discovered right along Highway 128. He obtained permission to bring the CAL FIRE Archaeologist out there and formally recorded both sites.

During a similar encounter with forest landowner George Zeni, Jim was told of a major rock art site located on a ridgetop setting near his ranch. Jim confirmed its location, and again obtained permission to get it recorded. In doing that work, Jim introduced Foster to George Zeni who operates an extensive Christmas Tree farm near Yorkville. Convinced by Jim that he need not worry, Mr. Zeni brought out for inspection one of the most remarkable artifact collections ever seen in the area. The collection contains several hundred projectile points and bifaces including six massive specimens (8-inches-long) thought to be ceremonial knives, and all of these items came from one huge site on his property. Jim's professional manner and salesmanship skills helped persuade Mr. Zeni to lose his fear. With that barrier broken, Jim made arrangements to bring Dan Foster to the property to record the site and view the collections. Mr. Zeni realized how lucky he was to have the opportunity to learn more about the prehistory of his property. Mr. Zeni subsequently allowed Dr. Thomas N. Layton to carry out two summers of extensive archaeological excavations with his students from San Jose State University. The result is an excellent master's thesis by Patricia Dunning, describing the prehistory of the region from the vantage of the Zeni Ranch. This is a fundamental pioneering statement of Coast-Interior archaeological connections, based on prehistoric commerce.

Jack Ringer of the Kern County Fire Department received the award in 2003 in recognition of his outstanding archaeological survey work to support Vegetation Management Program (VMP) projects throughout Kern County, in his capacity as county VMP coordinator. The Board presentation, delivered by Dan Foster, included a series of power point images shown to Board members and the general public through a new audiovisual system recently installed in the Resources Building Auditorium in Sacramento.Jack was born in Wasco, raised in Bakersfield, and has lived in the Bakersfield area for most of his life. He attended local schools and Bakersfield College. He attended Humboldt State University from 1969-1974 during what he calls the "conservation/environmental awareness era", and was interested in how things related in the ecosystem, not just the growing and harvesting of trees. He took a variety of classes and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Natural Resources Management. Coincidentally, while at Humboldt, Jack had the dorm room right next to Dave Dulitz, recently retired from CAL FIRE, who would later become the 1996 Golden Trowel Award recipient for his excellent archaeological work on Mountain Home State Forest.

Jack began a career in fire service in 1967 working as a seasonal firefighter for the KCFD. He worked in that position until 1970, when he went to work for the BLM as a seasonal firefighter at Lake Crowley. In 1971-1972 he worked as the helitack crew foreman for the Sequoia National Forest at Kernville. In 1973 he became the Fuels officer for the Cannell Meadow Ranger District. In 1974 he promoted to position as a Supervisory Forestry Technician at the Black Rock Station on the Kern Plateau. In 1975 he was hired as a permanent firefighter with the KCFD. A year later he promoted to fire apparatus engineer. In 1978 he promoted to Fire Captain and worked at various fire stations throughout the county over the next six years. In 1984 he went into what was then called the Chaparral Management Program and remained as the Program Manager ever since. During the period of 1990 through 1992 he was reassigned as a station captain due to budget cuts. Even then he still kept the department VMP Program going by working on it on his days off. In 1993 he returned to the VMP Program Manager position fulltime, and continues in that capacity to the present time.

Jack's interest in archaeology started at an early age when as a child he found Indian artifacts. His interest really took off when he came into the VMP Program and started reading books on archaeology of the local Indians and other California Indian tribes. He found his first pictograph site near Caliente in 1986 - a discovery which launched an intense interest in prehistoric rock art. He completed Archaeological Training Class #52 in 1997 and Refresher Course 81R in 2002. Jack also attributes much of his passion to his association and long friendship with Lew Resley, a fellow fire fighter at KCFD. Lew became his mentor, and Jack quickly developed the same passion for searching for pictograph sites. For several years Lew would accompany Jack while conducting fieldwork associated with planning VMP projects in the Kern County backcountry; work that always included a careful search for rock art panels and other sites that could be affected. Jack and Lew spent many years together, sometimes on their days off searching in surrounding counties as well. Jack has become known as a local expert with considerable knowledge about the location of rock paintings in this part of California. Although most of the 116 archaeological sites Jack has found are pictograph panels, he has also discovered midden deposits, bedrock mortars, lithic scatters, burials, cupules, rock foundations, and mining sites.

Jack's discoveries are within the Southern Sierra Pictograph Style area located in the dry foothill country of Kern, Fresno, and Tulare counties. Most of the elements of paintings in this style are abstract, curvilinear, but sometimes spectacular, and sometimes containing recognizable images such as human-like forms (called anthropomorphs) and animal-like depictions (called zoomorphs). The function and purpose of these pictographs is difficult to ascertain as we have such scant information about them. Two ethnographers in the late 1800s were informed that local Indians did not paint rocks, but we know they certainly they did. Apparently the informants were unaware of the practice. From stylistic analogy, it seems probable that the pictographs were made in connection with shamanistic practices, perhaps associated with hunting big game, as some panels have been found associated with shamans caches. The Southern Sierra may be the oldest of the painted styles, possibly dating from AD 1 to 1600 with most sites probably painted between AD 500 and 1200. Although scientists have known for years that pictographs occur in this country, Jack's work has led to the discovery of many new sites, which has contributed much more information about them.

One of Jack's favorite and most impressive pictograph discoveries is the site he named Three Springs, located on the San Emigidio Ranch. This magnificent pictograph site contains polychrome figures inside a small cave formed by a talus slope of sandstone boulders. Although the paintings at Three Springs are not particularly numerous nor extensive, they are wonderfully well-preserved and exquisitely painted on the back wall and ceiling of the shelter. Colors include red, black, orange, and blue. The use of blue is quite rare in prehistoric California. The images include anthropomorphs and other complex line or dot-and-line motifs. The most dramatic image, and the centerpiece of the panel, is a polychrome anthropomorphic figure with a small black head, feathers, with webbed feet and hands. It is painted in red, blue, and black. Beneath this beautiful image is a curious series of stick-like figures five painted in black and six painted in orange. The archaeological significance of this part of the panel is the dramatic evidence of superimposition, the orange paintings were clearly applied over the top of existing black images - and therefore younger in age. This panel also contains several curious "pinwheel" shaped images in red and paired lines and rows of dots in red and black. Another discovery Jack made on this ranch, named Lizard Cave, is the occurrence of a pictograph panel within the largest of several rock shelters contained in a massive sandstone outcropping. Most of the red figures are on the back wall of the shelter and include a series of parallel lines, tick marks, anthropomorphs, and a ladder motif in red. The centerpiece of this panel is a long, red stylistic figure of some type of animal located on the ceiling of the arch which encloses the entrance to the shelter. This strange figure, thought by Jack to possibly represent a "lizard", has human-like hands and skillfully painted fingers as well as two large projections or "horns" on its head. Sadly, in 1990, a private contractor hired to take soundings on this ranch for oil exploration, foolishly applied his name and the date of his visit in black felt pen during his lunch break. These horrible inscriptions were thoughtlessly applied over the prehistoric paintings. The landowners found out about this damage and the individual was required to pay the cost of graffiti removal performed by expert conservators working under the auspices of the Getty Conservation Institute of Marina Del Rey, California. Jack believes that there are possible summer solstice implications which he is continuing to investigate.

Jack has also discovered pictograph sites in rock shelters on surfaces that have much less protection from the elements. One such place that CAL FIRE named Ringer Rock contains red painted elements on a partially exposed rock surface.

Another one of Jack's many contributions we recognize is his long-standing effort to protect archaeological sites from site looters, relic hunters, and others that conduct illicit excavations at midden sites. One such example is the Back Canyon BRM and Midden Site, where he alerted the landowner about fresh digging at a rich midden site and effectively inspired the landowner to recognize the importance this resources and its unique potential to answer questions about the prehistory of the Back Canyon area. Jack has excellent skills at communicating with private landowners and informed many of them about the importance of protecting archaeological sites on their lands. These landowners, initially apprehensive, now proudly consider these sites as an asset to the property that they vigorously protect. That effort leads to the ultimate type of resource protection - protection efforts initiated by an inspired landowner, not through government regulations. Inspired landowners will give consideration to cultural resources during all types of land management activities, in the long term, not during projects initiated by KCFD or CAL FIRE.

Jack recently assisted UCLA in locating a piece of property in the Tehachapi area (Cummings Ranch) that contained known sites where students could practice archaeological survey techniques. He located such a property, secured permission from the landowner to hold the field class, and even participated as a guest lecturer.Through the VMP program, archaeological survey personnel are making tremendous discoveries in some of the rural, brush covered lands in California's foothills, and Jack Ringer was given special recognition for his tremendous accomplishments. Jack still lives in Bakersfield with his wife, Cindy, who is a registered nurse. Together they have two children, Jaclyn and Brittany. Jaclyn is a junior at Sonoma State University and Brittany is a senior in high school. In his spare time, when he is not out looking for rock art sites, Jack enjoys doing projects around the house, and photographing spring wildflowers. One of his future projects he plans to complete soon after his retirement (estimated to occur sometime in 2004) is to restore a classic 1970 Ford Mustang.

SPI District Forester Rich Wade - RPF #2016 - was given the 2003 award for his outstanding archaeological survey work completed on company lands near Camino. The presentation was made at the Board of Forestry meeting on January 8, 2004. Rich was born in Sacramento and raised in Carmichael. He received his BS Degree in Forestry from UC Berkeley in 1976. Between 1976 and 1983 he worked in a variety of forestry positions, most notably for James Nicklos and Associates in Fair Oaks and Western Timber Services in Arcata. During that time he also worked for the Forest Service on the Plumas National Forest. He became an RPF in 1982.

In 1983 he took a position as the forester for Cal Oak Lumber Company, a unique company that utilized several species of native California hardwoods for high grade lumber and other products. During that year he served on the Board of Forestry's Hardwood Task Force, an ad-hoc committee formed to examine issues relating to the status of native hardwoods. From this effort several hardwood research and education programs were spawned, including the Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program. Among his duties at Cal Oak was to write THPs and manage properties owned by small timberland owners. On these small properties his first sites were recorded. Beginning in 1991, he also became involved with the California Licensed Foresters Association, serving on its Board of Directors for six years, including serving as CLFA President in 1995-96. During that time revisions to the arch rules were proposed, and he served as the lead contact with the CAL FIRE to provide input from the RPF community regarding the archaeology rules.

In 1995 he took a position with Sierra Pacific Industries as a fee lands forester in Camino. The SPI Camino tract is rich with history, due to the railroad logging of the Michigan-California Lumber Company, gold mining, pioneer trails across the Sierra, and construction of large-scale water conveyance systems for mining and agriculture. Prehistoric milling and seasonal sites also can be found throughout the tract. Since arriving at Camino Rich has discovered and recorded approximately 85 sites in all, including perhaps 30 prehistoric sites and some 55 historic sites, and augmented several other records with new information. Some of the most interesting of these are related to historic mining activities, around the old town site of Bottle Hill, features dating from 1850-1880. He has also relocated several elements of the Michigan-Cal railroad, remnants of 19th Century mountain meadow dairy farming, and aggregations of prehistoric sites on the Georgetown Divide and in the Crystal Basin.

CAL FIRE has noticed superior archaeological work products submitted by RPF Rich Wade for over 15 years, but one particular project that stands out is his treatment of cultural resources during the preparation of Emergency Notices that covered SPI-owned acreage that burned in Placer County during the August 2001 Star Fire. Richard performed archaeological surveys over hundreds of acres of ash-covered terrain that summer and discovered seven historic and two prehistoric sites and prepared excellent site records for each site. These records serve to document the discovered historic sites prior to their possible destruction by fire-induced erosion and therefore represent an invaluable contribution to the regional archaeological data base maintained by the State Office of Historic Preservation. Members of the Archaeology Program staff at CAL FIRE, as well as the Information Centers that receive the products generated by RPFs are aware that there is some variation in the overall quality of archaeological work done by foresters in the context of developing and implementing Timber Harvest Plans. There may be many reasons for this, but certainly one factor that generates a more thorough, higher quality product is simply one?s concern for the subject. Many of the RPFs who have gone through the CAL FIRE Archaeological training program enjoy discovering and documenting archaeological resources when they prepare THPs, and invariably these are the individuals whose work stands out when it is reviewed by professional archaeologists. Rich Wade is one of these foresters. His concern for cultural resources is obvious, as is the conscientious manner in which he treats these when he encounters them. Rich understands why cultural resources are important and why these should be seriously addressed when preparing a THP. While working with Rich in the field, CAL FIRE has noticed that he is very concerned that he has identified site boundaries correctly and that he has not overlooked anything. Unlike some foresters who would rather have an archaeologist not come out and review their field assessments, Rich has actually called our staff to come back out and re-examine archaeological sites we had previously visited during a PHI because he had subsequently made some new discoveries that he felt might require altering the original plan in order to be sure the archaeological properties be adequately protected. This degree of concern and Rich's understanding of the importance of stewarding cultural resources while engaging in timber harvesting is exceptional. Rich serves as an excellent example of the potential effectiveness of our archaeological training program which allows foresters to act as paraprofessional archaeologists, working under the guidance of professional archaeologists on staff at the Department. Rich represents exactly the type of product that training hopes to produce.

The 2004 award was given to CAL FIRE's San Diego Unit for that team's innovation and leadership in protecting archaeological resources during wildland fire suppression activities. The award was presented on March 2, 2005 at the Board of Forestry meeting in Sacramento following a report delivered by Dan Foster.

The Unit's interest in protecting archaeological sites began during the 2002 Pines Fire when the Unit requested a team of CAL FIRE Archaeologists to respond. Afterwards, former Unit Chief Ken Miller, now retired, requested archaeological awareness training for the entire staff throughout San Diego County. Following this request, a four-hour archaeological site recognition course was delivered as part of Company Officer Academy in six separate week-long sessions from January to March, 2003. These training sessions generated considerable interest throughout greater Southern California, and similar training sessions were requested and delivered to Company Officer Academies in San Bernardino Unit that same March. What followed next was a complete surprise.

Unit Forester Thom Porter called Region Headquarters to request the full four-day certified archaeological surveyor course be provided locally so the Unit's Battalion Chiefs and Fire Captains could attend. The Unit was advised that a rather sizeable amount of funding would be needed to provide this certified course down in San Diego. Specific costs to be funded included printing the massive two-volume training manuals, renting adequate facilities, obtaining an AV consultant to provide digital projector, VCR, and lavaliere mike, and payment of time and travel for the non-CAL FIRE instructors. Not to be deterred, the Unit found a way to get this funded and promised at least 25 paid students. The class was delivered to 32 people in May 2003, including 25 CAL FIRE and 7 Native American students. Thom Porter deserves tremendous credit for making the local arrangements needed and locating funds to secure this training course. The classroom sessions were held at the magnificent Sycuan Indian Casino Resort. Thom was able to arrange free use of this facility in exchange for CAL FIRE providing training opportunities for seven tribal members.

The fieldwork portion of the class on Day four was held at nearby Cuyamaca Rancho State Park where a variety of different types of archaeological sites were examined and site survey exercises conducted.

The students were shown how archaeological sites in this part of California may be partially concealed by brush but telltale clues are still often visible to the trained eye, and that sites in the uplands of eastern San Diego County are often found along the margins of open meadow areas, within mesas, near watercourses, on ridgetops, and along ecotones.

The students learned that cultural resources include traditional cultural properties such as sacred peaks and places where important plants were traditionally gathered by Native Americans, and that sites are often found near springs, particularly in the mountains, but the most important environmental factor to trigger archaeological sensitivity is the presence of low, flat, smooth-surfaced rock outcroppings which might contain bedrock mortars, milling slicks, or oval basin milling features. Midden deposits are also likely to occur nearby.

The oval milling features, known locally as "Cuyamaca Ovals" re particularly distinctive in this region. The students practiced artifact recognition skills in field settings.Numerous projectile points and other artifacts were found at all the village sites we visited during this class. The most common type of artifact encountered, but the one most difficult to recognize without training, is the pot sherd. These fragments of plain brown ceramics are found in abundance on the surface of prehistoric archaeological sites throughout San Diego County.

The students also examined a cupule boulder located in a somewhat hidden spot adjacent to one of the richest village sites known for this area.

Battalion Chief Pete Scully deserves special mention for his efforts to obtain a better method of gathering information on known archaeological sites in time to accomplish protection, if such protection is possible, during any fire, including but not limited to major fires supported by an Incident Command Team. Pete learned that there are over 16,000 recorded archaeological and historical sites located in San Diego County, but only half of these locations had been digitized on to maps so a computerized database was yet unavailable for use by CAL FIRE. This site information would need to be gathered the old-fashioned way, by obtaining copies of maps and records during a visit to the Information Center. Pete saw this as an unacceptable format and for the past 18 months has been seeking outside funding necessary to complete the electronic database he envisions as one CAL FIRE could use more effectively, and to develop a use agreement that safeguards the confidential site information yet enables instantaneous access by CAL FIRE to help protect sites. Pete continues to be a strong field supporter of archaeological identification and preservation. He has identified several new sites including a large prehistoric village in the archaeology rich California/Mexico border region. Pete and other trained members of his battalion regularly participate in archaeological surveys supporting controlled burns and other types of CAL FIRE projects

The Coyote Fire broke out in July 2003. There were 480 known cultural resource sites within the fire perimeter and within the proposed contingency line area. An additional 11 sites were discovered while surveying the proposed and recently constructed lines. Although two of the recently discovered sites were found to have been impacted to a minimal extent by dozers, none of the 480+ previously recorded sites were damaged by bulldozers, thanks in large measure to the efforts made by San Diego Unit firefighters who had been trained to recognize such sites and work around them wherever possible. CAL FIRE Archaeologists reporting to the Coyote Fire were greeted by Unit Chief Chuck Maner upon their first day of arrival at incident base. The Unit Chief told the Archaeologists to let him know if anything at all was needed to help them get the job done . This was the most welcome reception and most enthusiastic participation ever seen by CAL FIRE Archaeologists on any fire. Chief Maner's support and recognition of how to maximize the use of all aspects and tools that the Department has to offer is exemplary. His support has made a positive impact on the Unit's efforts toward protection of archaeology.

During the 2004 Mataguay Fire near Warner Hot Springs, Unit Forester Thom Porter immediately recognized the archaeological sensitivity of the area and set archaeological review procedures into motion. He made certain that one of the CAL FIRE staff archaeologists was requested and initiated an archaeological records check of the area through the South Coastal Information Center at San Diego State University. The following day Porter retrieved the 6 inch thick stack of archaeological site records and maps and had it awaiting the arrival of the archaeologist. This level of planning saved the CAL FIRE archaeologist at least a day of time which allowed the archaeologist the opportunity to immediately go to work flagging sites for protection.

The Unit has employed a variety of tactics to protect cultural resources. On the 2003 Paradise Fire, the location of known archaeological sites within the fire perimeter and surrounding areas was entered as a layer within the GIS mapping system at incident base. These locations were printed on maps made available for Division and Group Supervisors, Dozer Operators, and members of the Plans Section. Those either planning new dozerlines or those actually putting in lines had the map showing site locations to avoid, if possible, and several sites were protected.On the Melton Fire, Air Attack was able to place the alignment of a retardant drop to miss a rock outcrop containing a panel of pictographs . The Luiseno pictographs of the San Luis Rey Style painted on boulder surfaces are thought to be associated with girls puberty ceremonies and are considered highly significant to local Native American groups, who were extremely appreciative of the state's successful effort to protect it during the fire.

The primary tactic used by the Unit is to avoid placing bulldozers through archaeological sites wherever possible, and with trained staff, assistance from a fire-trained CAL FIRE archaeologist, and the cooperation from the Unit, numerous sites have been saved through careful planning without delaying or interfering with emergency response operations.

Concern for the protection of California's unique and non-renewable cultural resources during wildland fire suppression has steadily increased throughout the Department with positive results. A heightened awareness has also steadily increased, not only in San Diego but statewide. It has been demonstrated to landowners, to RPFs, timber operators and fire control personnel that protecting cultural resources does not necessarily interfere with timber harvest or fire protection objectives. Where cultural resource protection efforts were once met with apprehension and concern, active support has now developed in many new program areas.

CAL FIRE's San Diego Unit deserves recognition for first getting this started, and for demonstrating how opportunities to protect cultural resources during emergency fire control operations can sometimes be realized with gratifying results.

The 2005 Golden Trowel Award was given to RPF Chuck Schoendienst for his outstanding efforts to incorporate archaeological site protection into forestry projects in northern California. The presentation ceremony took place on Wednesday February 8, 2006 at the Board of Forestry and Fire Protection meeting in Sacramento. CAL FIRE Archaeologist Richard Jenkins delivered an excellent report highlighting Chuck's career and listing his superior accomplishments in archaeological site stewardship. The information provided in this article was gathered from the report Rich Jenkins delivered to the Board.

Chuck grew up in Torrance, California and was active in the Boy Scouts of America. Chuck's Scout Master instilled the love of the outdoors in him and when it was time to go to college Chuck decided to leave urban Southern California behind to attend Humboldt State University. Chuck graduated with a Bachelors degree in Forestry from Humboldt State in 1976 and soon landed a job with Hollow Tree Lumber Company in Mendocino County. He later moved to the nearby Philo Lumber Company, and later still, on to the Louisiana-Pacific Lumber Company. Chuck helped prepare timber harvesting plans on private property for all three companies, and later on, with L-P, worked in their then-new Tree Enterprise Program.

Chuck came to work as a CAL FIRE Forester in 1981. He was assigned the task of preparing controlled burn projects under the old Chaparral Management Program and performing Forest Practice inspections in the western half of Tehama-Glenn Unit. Chuck has attended four CAL FIRE archaeological site recognition training sessions including one of the very first classes ever given in 1982. In fact, Chuck helped sponsor that course by securing the use of a training room at the CAL FIRE office in Red Bluff. The focus of the training was to familiarize CAL FIRE Foresters with archaeological procedures for the Chaparral Management and California Forest Improvement Programs that both required the identification and protection of archaeological resources. There were 20 CAL FIRE Foresters that attended that class and Chuck was student who eagerly accepted new archaeological review responsibilities.

In May, 1983, Chuck invited Dan Foster to look at some of his new site discoveries found on controlled burn and reforestation projects. Though these inspections Schoendienst and Foster were able to confirm site boundaries and make minor project changes to ensure protection. One of the properties inspected on that day was the Baccala Ranch located on the Campbellville Grade in eastern Tehama County. Chuck, RPF Chris Trott, and Foster walked through the project area on this ranch and found over a dozen previously unrecorded sites. These include a developed spring constructed by the Baccala Brothers in 1949, the ruins of an old cabin dating to the 1920s, and an a few unmortared stone corral. A very large site named "The Orchard Site" was also recorded by this 1983 survey team. This open meadow area contained the remains of old fruit orchard associated with the original homesteaders, and bedrock mortars and chert artifacts left by the Yana Indians at least 500 years earlier. Remnants of a very early historic structure were also recorded at the Orchard Site.

The largest and most complex archaeological site discovered that day was one that Chuck named "The Bell Springs Site", later recorded as TEH-1310. This beautiful spot on the ranch occupies another natural forest opening surrounded by pines and oaks, with natural spring seeps creating lush grassy areas. The meadow also contains places where the soil is so shallow that the underlying lava is exposed. These locations contained many ancient prehistoric artifacts from a very early occupation by Native Americans. Another historic stone corral was found at the Bell Springs Site during this same survey. Chuck located several prehistoric stone tools at Bell Springs including a large chopper made from a basalt cobble and a bedrock milling station on a large boulder down near the spring seeps.

The bedrock mortar contains two shallow mortar cups, probably used by the Yana Indians for pulverizing acorns. The acorn meal was ground, purified through a leaching basin lined with pine needles, and cooked into an edible soup through stone boiling in a large watertight basket. This was one of the staple foods for most California Indian groups. On another day Chuck took Foster to one of his VMP projects where they met the landowner and discovered a large midden site near the rancher's house.

The early part of Chuck's CAL FIRE career also coincides with the early history of the CAL FIRE Archaeology Program and Chuck deserves special recognition for his efforts to help this new program succeed within CAL FIRE's 30 million acres of mostly privately-owned forest and range wildlands throughout the state. Chuck has excellent "people-skills" and has developed positive working relationships with many ranchers and other types of private landowners that sometimes harbor a certain level of anxiety about resource inventory and protection work that CAL FIRE must complete in its role as CEQA lead agency. In these early years, some of these landowners were afraid of having archaeologists survey their lands for sites but Chuck helped overcome these worries and on his projects we were almost always able to complete archaeological site identification and protection work supporting the project and carrying-out the landowner's objectives. Chuck is certainly one of CAL FIRE's Foresters that helped teach the CAL FIRE Archaeologists how to work cooperatively with apprehensive landowners which is directly linked to the success of this program. During one of his visits with a rancher in western Tehama County, for instance, Chuck noted a peculiar artifact sticking out of a stone bowl mortar sitting on the porch. Chuck asked permission to examine the unusual football-shaped artifact fashioned from white quartz and remembered seeing a similar item in the CAL FIRE archaeological training class 5 years earlier. He contacted Dan Foster with news of the discovery and arranged to borrow the object for illustration and photography. To date only four such items have been scientifically documented, all from northern California, and Chuck deserves the credit for the discovery of the specimen from western Tehama County. (See the Plantation Cache Charmstone article for more information on this unique artifact type.)

Chuck became more involved with wildfires during the course of his career. He became qualified in many ICS positions and oftentimes assumed the role of Rehabilitation Unit leader once a fire was contained and controlled. During those assignments he coordinated the removal of soil pushed in to streamside zones, the construction of water bars on steep fire control lines, the seeding and mulching of unstable soils where appropriate, and also looked for evidence of archaeological sites. After serving in this Rehab role for a number of years Chuck joined forces with other CAL FIRE Foresters and helped develop the Fire Suppression Repair course that CAL FIRE still uses today. He and cadre members Bill Morrison and Barney Ward never received any formal training but used their experiences to develop the much-needed course. During the formulation of the course Chuck insisted that archaeological site recognition and protection be required as part of the post-fire analysis and worked with the CAL FIRE Archaeology Program staff to develop existing procedures. This is just another example of Chuck thinking out-of-the-box.

Chuck's latest achievement came in late 2005 while performing the role of the Tehama Glenn Unit Environmental Coordinator. Chuck had been reviewing Tehama County Planning Department documents for proposed subdivisions and other construction projects and found that the county archaeological review process was generally weak if not altogether non-existent. Chuck talked to Planning Department officials about CEQA requirements for archaeology and to the Archaeological Information Center folks at Chico State University about the Planning Department. The result of Chuck's input was a meeting between the Information Center and Planning Department that led to a vast improvement of the counties' archaeological review process. The Planning Department now queries Chico State's archaeological database for routine projects and requires project applicants to provide archaeological survey reports for projects deemed sensitive by the University. This is just another example of how Chuck has improved archaeological resource identification and protection during the course of his career, and for those efforts, he is to be commended.

The 2006 Golden Trowel Award was earned by RPF Craig Compton for his outstanding archaeological survey and site protection work in Northwest California. The presentation ceremony took place during the Board of Forestry meeting in Sacramento on February 8, 2007. CAL FIRE Northern Region archaeologist Richard Jenkins provided the Board with background information regarding the award and then introduced CAL FIRE Humboldt-Del Norte Unit Forest Practice Inspector Cary Japp who nominated Craig for the award. Information contained in this article was gleaned from Cary's presentation

Craig attended Humboldt State University and was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Forestry in 1985. He has also held a number of positions in the timber industry during his career. He worked as a forestry technician, choker setter, and timber faller from 1979 to 1989, went into business for himself as a contract timber faller in 1990, and served as a logging supervisor for a forest products company from 1998 to 2004. Craig was hired as a forester by Green Diamond Resource Company in 2004 and promoted to an administrative forester in 2006.

He earned his Registered Professional Forester (RPF) License in 1999 and has since submitted many documents to CAL FIRE for review. There was not any one particular archaeological site, survey report, or site record that caused CAL FIRE staff to nominate Craig for this award, rather it was the thoroughness in which he completed all of his archaeological work. Several examples of this work are presented below.

Craig's archaeological review of a new project starts with Pre-Field Research. He tries to learn about prehistoric and historic land use of the area by consulting with local Native American groups, consulting and agency archaeologists, and other individuals who may have knowledge of the subject area. He also researches pertinent published documents. After performing this research Craig is able to answer questions about early land use not just for the subject parcel but for the entire surrounding area.

Archaeological field surveys conducted by Craig are performed in a very complete manner. He is systematic in his survey approach and evidence of his work on the field, such as spots where leaf litter had been removed to enhance ground visibility, are commonly observed by CAL FIRE personnel during inspections. His observation skills are keen and he reports even the smallest of discovered cultural items. If questions arise regarding site significance or site boundary determinations he is quick to consult with the local CAL FIRE archaeologist.

The quality of Craig's documentation completes the process. Discovered sites are thoroughly documented with maps, diagrams, and pictures and his reports are thorough whether archaeological resources are found or not. After reviewing his archaeological reports it is clear to the reader that a complete and thorough archaeological evaluation of the project area has been conducted and that any site located within it has been well recorded and adequately protected. Craig has consistently made superior efforts in finding, documenting, and protecting the State's non-renewable archaeological resources and for this reason nominated for the annual Golden Trowel Award.

CAL FIRE Division Chief Walt Williams received the 2008 Golden Trowel Award for his long term management of an important archaeological site on State property, his forward thinking, and his work with the local Native American community. The presentation took place during the Board of Forestry meeting held in Sacramento on March 4, 2009. CAL FIRE Northern Region archaeologist Richard Jenkins delivered a PowerPoint presentation that discussed Walt's achievements and from which information for this article was drawn. Chairman Stan Dixon, with assistance from the entire Board, presented the Golden Trowel Award plaque to Walt at the conclusion of the presentation.

Walt was born and raised in Red Bluff California. He attended Red Bluff High School and following his Junior and Senior years served as a seasonal firefighter for CDF at the Tehama-Glenn Unit. After finishing high school and completing his second fire season with CDF Walt attended Shasta College to work on a Fire Science degree and at the same time served as a Student Firefighter with Shasta County. The following summer he returned to Tehama-Glenn as a firefighter then transitioned into an LT Fire Apparatus Engineer position at the Siskiyou Unit. Shortly thereafter he landed a Schedule A Engineer position in Los Molinos.

In 1978 Walt landed his first full-time position with the Department as an Engineer in the Butte Unit. In 1984 and 85 he served as an LT Captain at the Vina Helitack base in Tehama-Glenn and later in 1985 promoted to Fire Captain at the Butte Unit Command Center. In 1991 he promoted to Ranger I at the Tehama-Glenn Command Center and in 1998 promoted to Division Chief in charge of the Ishi Conservation Camp also in Tehama-Glenn. Walt retired from the Camp in 2007.

Walt was selected to receive this years' Golden Trowel Award for several reasons. The first reason was his sound stewardship of an important prehistoric village site located within the confines of Ishi Conservation Camp. During his tenure as Camp Manager Walt helped ensure that ground disturbing activities were limited in this important site that extends through the middle of the Camp compound.

The second reason for the award was Walt's forward thinking. When Walt became aware that the Camp was up for reconstruction he knew that the archaeological site presence would be a major concern. Walt was able to secure funding for an archaeological study by Chico State University that defined the true extent of the site and allowed for the placement of most new structures outside of the site footprint. Project engineers for the State Department of General Services have informed CAL FIRE that Walt's archaeological foresight will result in at least a 2 year time savings in completing the proposed project.

The last and perhaps most important reason that Walt was nominated for the award is due to his service to the local Native American community. Ms. Beverly Ogle from the Tasman Koyom Indian Foundation lives a short distance from Ishi Camp and became well acquainted with Walt over the years. She was unable to attend the award presentation due to impending knee surgery but did provide information for this report.

One of the things that Beverly liked about Walt's management of the Ishi Conservation Camp was that he kept her informed of projects that might disturb the known archaeological site. He always asked for input and extended invitations to come and inspect the actual project locations. She also appreciated invitations to the annual Ishi Crew Exercise where inmate firefighters from multiple camps come to the facility to demonstrate their readiness for the upcoming fire season.

Beverly especially appreciated Walt's willingness to help the local Native American community erect a stone monument to honor Ishi, the last "wild Indian" found in North America. Ishi, a Yahi Yana man, literally walked out of the stone age in 1911 and lived at the University of California until his death from tuberculosis in 1916. Beverly was involved with the Redding Rancheria in the year 2000 with the repatriation of Ishi's brain (recovered from the Smithsonian Museum) and his ashes (retrieved from a San Francisco Bay area cemetery) and wished to establish a monument to commemorate the return of said remains to his Deer Creek homeland. James Hayward at the Redding Rancheria agreed to fund a bronze plaque for a monument but the group needed someone to design and construct the monument itself.

When asked by Beverly if he could help out with the project, Walt responded that it was the least he could do given that his Camp was named after such an important figure in California history. Walt drew up plans for the monument and then sat before the Redding Rancheria Tribal Council to get the plans approved. He and the Ishi Camp crew then fabbed up a steel framework to secure the plaque and laid a concrete foundation. Walt personally set most of the stones which were collected from Mill Creek in the vicinity of Black Rock, one of Ishi's favorite places. A public unveiling of the monument took place in May, 2008 after Walt had retired.

It is for these reasons that retired CAL FIRE Division Chief Walt Williams was selected to receive the 2008 Golden Trowel Award.

These individuals deserve the recognition that comes with the Golden Trowel Award, and through their work CAL FIRE can demonstrate how significant archaeological and historical sites are being found and protected during forestry projects in California, in most cases, without undue cost to landowners or major changes to project activities

Procedure to Nominate a Candidate

Timing: The State of California's Golden Trowel Award is given once each calendar year. Nominations are considered during September and October. The selection is made in November, and the award is presented to the recipient during a scheduled award ceremony at a Board of Forestry and Fire Protection meeting. It is usually scheduled for the January or February meeting, depending on the preference of the Board and the availability of the recipient.
Eligibility: The recipient may come from the private sector, CAL FIRE, or other public agency and must not be a professional archaeologist. This award is intended to recognize outstanding contributions made by non-archaeologists leading to the identification and protection of cultural resources located on CAL FIRE projects or other areas under CAL FIRE's jurisdiction.

Nomination Procedure: A person may submit the name of a candidate by doing so in an email message sent to the CAL FIRE Archaeology Program Manager (currently Bill Snyder bill.snyder@fire.ca.gov ) and to the Board of Forestry's Executive Officer for Licensing (currently Eric Huff eric.huff@fire.ca.gov ). Those nominations may be submitted any time of the year. They should include:

* The name, email address, and phone number of the person making the nomination
* The name, email address, and phone number of the person being nominated
* A brief discussion indicating why the nominee deserves the award

These nominations will be evaluated by a committee established by CAL FIRE and the Board. Certain additional information may be requested from the person making the nomination.