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Published: January 25, 2013

NCTC comments to State Lands Commission on sonic testing permit

Richard Greenwood
California State Lands Commission,
12th Floor, 200 Oceangate,
Long Beach, CA 90802.

RE: State Permit PRC 8391, Fugro Petagos, Inc.

Dear Mr. Greenwood,

The Northern Chumash Tribal Council (NCTC) has forwarded a permit issued by your office for sonic testing around the Sacred Chumash Nations Santa Cruz and Anacapa Islands, which is to start February 9th 2013.   This permit was issued January 21, 2013.  On December 3, 2012 NCTC sent you a letter expressing the California Native American Chumash Tribal concerns about the California State Lands Commission’s ability to thoroughly review geo-physical permitting process and the effects on California Native American Cultural Resources, which the animal and plants nations.  In our December letter to you we describe the potential for sonic/seismic testing to disrupt the natural life pattern of zoo plankton too endangered Gray Whales and migratory pathways of fish, turtles, whales, dolphins, and all birds and mammals that feed on any of the affected above mentioned ocean life.  The 10 day narrow window for comment period concerning the geo-physical permits in which your office issues, is flawed.  This short narrow window for meaningful consultation and meaningful input is one of the glaring points of the CSLC geo-physical permitting process that is dire need of review.  Based on this one point alone NCTC is asking the CSLC to postpone the finalization/authorization of the above referenced permit until the review of CSLC geo-physical permitting process has been completed, and we are asking you and your office to not permit any new geo-physical permits until this already in review process is completed.

As NCTC explained in our letter of December 3, 2012 the local fishing communities and local residents of San Luis Obispo County have documented the effects of low level sonic/seismic testing along the San Luis Obispo County Coast line, please see NCTC’s letter and maps below which explain NCTC concerns about the review process for geo-physical permitting.  It is NCTC understanding that the most difficult component in the process is to have the proper staffing and funding available to do the necessary review, it is NCTC analysis that the California Coastal Commission (CCC) has the most proven ability to review the potential effects of LESS and HESS before a permit is issued.  NCTC does understand that the CCC is understaff and underfunded and these are consideration that must be look at, but it is still extremely important that an environmental and cultural resources review take place, and a through public input process occur.

The Channel Islands are the birth place of the Chumash Nation, they are extremely important to us.  The waters around the Islands are Sacred, the animals, fish, birds are all Sacred.  Any potential harm or harassment to our Dolphins who are our ancestors would not be acceptable.  Our Creation Story “The Rainbow Bridge” is world renown as is our love for our ancestors the Dolphins.  The Chumash People have a deep inter-connectivity with all life along our coastline and around our Islands of origin, any disruption of these patterns of life must have a complete and thorough review process with the Chumash Community, for our lifeway’s will be “AFFECTED”.  There are hundreds of whales moving south every day, currently.  Any disruption to zoo plankton that would affect the feeding of small fish, which whales and migratory birds eat, is a violation of CEQA, Coastal ACT, Migratory Bird Act, UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Native American Freedom of Religion Act, and others.  This is not the time to be in a hurry, take your time and get this right, CSLC will be responsible for any harm that comes for the disruptions of Sacred Life around the Chumash Nations Sacred Islands.

low energy seismic survey

NCTC was not properly notice for the potential harmful, harassing action; this is another glaring flaw in CSLC geo-physical permitting process.  The possible affects to local fishing industry and recreational tourism is potential critical.  CSLC need to conduct a thorough review before the above referenced permit is authorized.

 NCTC will be asking the CCC and National Parks Service to take a serious look at the potential effects of your permitting actions.  What data will be provided by the permitting of these tests?

There are too many glaring unanswered concerns that need to be looked at very closely before any permits are issued.

low energy seismic survey 2

NCTC was present when the whales and dolphins came to Avila Beach, this was the weekend of our Tomol Event, our sacred canoes were in the waters, we were also there with Fergo showed up two days later and all the whales and fish left, in the blip of a Fergo, they were gone.

NCTC is asking the CSLC to stop the geo-physical permitting process until the thorough review of the entire process has been completed.

Please allow the California Native American Chumash Nation to participate in the “Due Process” of your permitting process which will affect the Chumash Nation Cosmology.

Your anticipated cooperation is appreciated.

Fred Collins
Tribal Administrator
Northern Chumash Tribal Council

Northern Chumash Tribal Council: 
Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary: 
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