[TBR Update] Resort Owners Calls for Archaeological Survey

As part of its efforts in preparing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Turtle Bay Resort Expansion Project, the resort owners have authorized a new archaeological inventory survey to be conducted on the property. This survey will supplement numerous surveys that have previously been done.

The purpose of the Supplemental Archaeological Inventory Survey (SAIS) is to determine whether areas proposed for ground-disturbing activities (grading, trenching, or excavation) related to the proposed expansion plan contain previously undetected cultural resources in the form of archaeological features, cultural artifacts, or burials.

The SAIS will consist of a series of test trenches to be carefully excavated by a team of professional archaeologists. A detailed plan showing the location of the test excavations and describing the techniques to be employed has been submitted to the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources for review and approval. No SAIS test excavations can begin until the plan is approved. The area to be studied includes approximately two hundred acres of land with dense thickets of haole koa and ironwood, the vegetation along a series of transects will have to be removed before the archaeologists can begin their work. While we are waiting for an approval of the SAIS Plan from the State, the resort will be initiating work to remove the vegetation along transects through in the areas to be studied. Vegetation removal will be accomplished using a backhoe or tractor equipped with a mechanized blade that mulches plant and tree material above ground level.

Biologists have already surveyed the areas to be cleared to ensure that no endangered species of plants or birds will be disturbed by the vegetation clearing process. The entire process of vegetation clearing will use equipment that does not disturb subterranean layers.

Once the SAIS plan is approved, the process of doing the trenching will take approximately three months. All excavation will be done under the supervision of the archaeological team. If archaeological or cultural deposits or features are discovered during the test excavations, the find will be documented and evaluated. Archaeological and/or cultural deposits will be preserved in place while a remediation plan is prepared and submitted to the State Historic Preservation Division for approval. A report on the outcome of all test excavations activity will be presented in the Supplemental EIS.

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