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UPDATED OCTOBER 2020 | The following reflects the adopted Countywide Plan and is presented for public review as a beta version of the web-based Policy Plan. Graphics, photos, and search functionality are in development and will be included in subsequent releases of the web-based Plan.


  • Introduction

    Cultural resources provide both tangible and intangible links to the past. Such resources may include archaeological sites, sacred landscapes, historic buildings, and even culturally important plants and animals. These resources are valuable in that they can serve to recognize the diversity of our county’s many previous, current, and future inhabitants. Not only can a resource be a memorial to historical events and individuals, but it can also be an important object/place of modern cultural significance, as well as be something that will contribute to the continuance of a community’s cultural identity. Additionally, paleontological resources, which most commonly manifest as fossils related to animals, plants, and the ecosystem, provide great insight into our county’s past prior to human habitation. As such, it is vital that we find and implement culturally appropriate ways to preserve and conserve these resources, while also continuing to grow and develop in the unincorporated parts of our county.

  • Purpose

    The Cultural Resources Element:

    • Establishes direction on notification, coordination, and partnerships to preserve and conserve cultural resources.
    • Provides guidance on how new development can avoid or minimize impacts on cultural resources.
    • Provides direction on increasing public awareness and education efforts about cultural resources.
  • Principles

    We believe:

    • Today’s generations are stewards of the county’s cultural history and are responsible for conserving it for future generations.
    • Preserving and celebrating cultural resources enhances our understanding of the world in which we live.
    • Cultural resources are valuable assets that attract visitors and support local businesses.


  • Goal CR-1 Cultural Resources

    Tribal cultural resources that are preserved and celebrated out of respect for Native American beliefs and traditions.

    Policy CR-1.1      Tribal notification and coordination.
    We notify and coordinate with tribal representatives in accordance with state and federal laws to strengthen our working relationship with area tribes, avoid inadvertent discoveries of Native American archaeological sites and burials, assist with the treatment and disposition of inadvertent discoveries, and explore options of avoidance of cultural resources early in the planning process.

    Policy CR-1.2      Tribal planning
    We will collaborate with local tribes on countywide planning efforts and, as permitted or required, planning efforts initiated by local tribes.

    Policy CR-1.3      Mitigation and avoidance.
    We consult with local tribes to establish appropriate project-specific mitigation measures and resource-specific treatment of potential cultural resources. We require project applicants to design projects to avoid known tribal cultural resources, whenever possible. If avoidance is not possible, we require appropriate mitigation to minimize project impacts on tribal cultural resources.

    Policy CR-1.4      Resource monitoring
    We encourage active participation by local tribes as monitors in surveys, testing, excavation, and grading phases of development projects with potential impacts on tribal resources.

  • Goal CR-2 Historic and Paleontological Prehistoric Resources

    Historic resources (buildings, structures, or archaeological resources) and paleontological resources that are protected and preserved for their cultural importance to local communities as well as their research and educational potential.

    Policy CR-2.1      National and state historic resources
    We encourage the preservation of archaeological sites and structures of state or national significance in accordance with the Secretary of Interior’s standards.

    Policy CR-2.2      Local historic resources
    We encourage property owners to maintain the historic integrity of resources on their property by (listed in order of preference): preservation, adaptive reuse, or memorialization.

    Policy CR-2.3      Paleontological and archaeological resources
    We strive to protect paleontological and archaeological resources from loss or destruction by requiring that new development include appropriate mitigation to preserve the quality and integrity of these resources. We require new development to avoid paleontological and archeological resources whenever possible. If avoidance is not possible, we require the salvage and preservation of paleontological and archeological resources.

    Policy CR-2.4      Partnerships
    We encourage partnerships to champion and financially support the preservation and restoration of historic sites, structures, and districts.

    Policy CR-2.5      Public awareness and education
    We increase public awareness and conduct education efforts about the unique historic, natural, tribal, and cultural resources in San Bernardino County through the County Museum and in collaboration with other entities and organizations.