CASSP Annual Report for 2019 (download the 2019 annual report as a three-page PDF).

Submitted by Beth and Chris Padon, Partners for Archaeological Site Stewardship, and Karen Lacy and Michael DeGiovine, CASSP coordinators

small marker1. Organization

The California Archaeological Site Stewardship Program (CASSP) is a network of concerned people who are committed to protecting California s rich cultural heritage. Under CASSP, trained volunteers from the public regularly visit assigned archaeological and historical sites on public lands to record their conditions.

The volunteers are supervised by the local archaeologists at the agencies responsible for those lands. CASSP is supported by many members of the Society for California Archaeology (SCA), by agency archaeologists, by the interested public, by its volunteer site stewards and by the nonprofit Partners for Archaeological Site Stewardship. CASSP coordinators usually organize a general gathering during the SCA annual meeting where the public is encouraged to attend.

CASSP started as a program of the SCA and for twenty years it was sustained by the SCA business office and the SCA Site Stewardship Committee. In June 2018, the chairs of that committee, Beth and Chris Padon, incorporated a new nonprofit to support site stewardship activities across the country, Partners for Archaeological Site Stewardship (PASS). PASS is an independent legal entity with its own Bylaws and Board of Directors and received its 501(c)(3) letter of determination from the IRS. In March, 2019, the SCA Executive Board decided to transfer control of CASSP to PASS. We greatly appreciate the two decades of invaluable support that CASSP received from SCA members and SCA business office, and we will continue to work with the SCA to help protect cultural resources in California.

small marker2. Highlights from 2019

The most important parts of CASSP are the achievements of the volunteer site stewards, who are working all across the State. Their enthusiasm, dedication, and skills are making a real difference, and their efforts keep growing. Over the past year, we received reports from site stewards that documented more than 4000 volunteer hours; a total value of donated time greater than $100,000. Thanks to all!

On January 5, 2019, CASSP joined Partners for Archaeological Site Stewardship, Friends of Cedar Mesa, and Nevada Site Stewardship at the Archaeological Institute of American (AIA) ArchaeoCon. This event was open to the public during the AIA Annual Meeting in San Diego. Karen Lacy, CASSP coordinator, distributed flyers about the volunteer training program in California. Even though the weather turned cool and rainy, she collected contact information for over 30 interested people and talked to another 25. Site steward Ed Fox also participated at the CASSP table and enthusiastically talked about his experiences in visiting and protecting archaeological sites on public lands. Ed has volunteered with Erik Zaborsky at the BLM Central Coast Field Office.

At the 2019 SCA Annual Meeting, in Sacramento, CASSP held a poster session on Saturday afternoon, March 9. We were very pleased that over forty people attended the session and had the opportunity to talk with CASSP organizers, archaeologists, and site stewards.

State Parks archaeologist Brian Walsh and site steward Jan Bales presented a poster for the Northern Butte District of California State Parks, which showed their site stewardship activities around Lake Oroville for the past year.

A big thank you to Joan Schneider for bringing Astrid and Samuel Webb's poster that highlighted their volunteer efforts at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Astrid and Samuel Webb are volunteer site stewards with archaeologist Robin Connors. Astrid and Samuel also were honored at the 2019 SCA Annual Meeting, receiving the Helen C. Smith Award for Individual Avocationalist Achievement. Congratulations Astrid and Samuel, for your volunteer archaeology work over these many years.

Site steward Ed Fox presented a poster titled "A Day in December, 2018". Ed travels about 200 miles round trip to his sites in the BLM Central Coast Field Office, and hikes about 5 miles, a commitment that inspires us all. CASSP coordinators, Karen Lacy and Mike DeGiovine presented a poster, "What it means to be a Site Steward", showing site stewards' experiences in visiting their sites and what they learn, and about their contributions to protecting archaeology sites.

CASSP organizers Beth and Chris Padon presented a poster that traced the contributions of California State Parks to site stewardship. Site stewards volunteer at many State Parks across California, including parks in the Angeles District (with Barbara Tejada), Monterey District (with Rae Schwaderer), Northern Buttes District (with Brian Walsh), Colorado Desert District (with Robin Connors) and State Vehicle Recreation Areas of Carnegie, Hollister, and Ocotillo Wells (with Jay Baker). Thanks to everyone who stopped by the CASSP poster session. Also we thank the agency archaeologists for their involvement with these volunteers.

Many people stopped by the CASSP table in the book room of the 2019 SCA Annual Meeting. We thank Codifi Paperless Solutions and Michael Ashley for sponsoring the table for CASSP. CASSP Coordinators Karen Lacy and Mike DeGiovine talked with over 100 people about site stewardship and future volunteer training workshops, and 75 people signed up for further information.

In April 2019, CASSP celebrated its 20th birthday. The first workshop was held in 1999 at BLM Ridgecrest Field Office, and the 113th workshop was held in 2018 at BLM El Centro Field Office. We congratulate all participants, agency archaeologists, and site stewards for their continued efforts to help protect archaeological and historical resources, part of our shared past.

small marker3. CASSP training workshops

This year two volunteer training workshops were held; one at BLM Ukiah Field Office and the other with BLM Arcata Field Office. We thank archaeologists, Tony Overly and James Barnes at the BLM State Office for funding these workshops.

Archaeologist Sharyl Ferris-Kinnear hosted the BLM Arcata workshop on Thursday and Friday, May 30-31, 2019, and archaeologist Chris Lloyd hosted the BLM Ukiah workshop on September 28-29, 2019. At the May workshop a wide variety of people attended this workshop including local grazers, retirees, students and an ethnobotanist! After Thursday classroom instruction, BLM Archaeologist Sharyl Kinnear-Ferris hosted the second day field trip to Headwaters Forest Reserve, a beautiful area full of redwoods and historical buildings and sites from back when it was being used for the lumber industry.

BLM archaeologist Chris Lloyd hosted his CASSP volunteer training workshop at the Donald and Sylvia McLaughlin Reserve, which is a part of the Natural Reserve System at the University of California, Davis. Some of the attendees stayed at the reserve’s research station for the weekend and had a short commute for the second day field trip. On the field trip, participants practiced filling out the field visit form, learning that site stewardship involves recording their observations about the conditions at the archaeological site. A big thank you goes out to Sharyl Ferris-Kinnear and Chris Lloyd, and everyone who helped with and attended these workshops! And thanks to the new site stewards, who will work with Sharyl and Chris.

small marker4. Plans for 2020

We are pleased to announce that Lassen National Forest and the BLM Eagle Lake Field Office will host the next CASSP workshop. These agencies share an office building in Susanville. Planning for this volunteer training is underway for the Fall. In a month or two, look for further details on the CASSP web site, <>.

CASSP had planned on participating in the 2020 SCA Annual Meeting in Riverside on March 12-15 but this year’s conference was postponed because of the public health concerns about coronavirus. Instead of meeting in person this March, we are distributing the CASSP Annual Report by e-mail and on the CASSP web site, <>, to volunteers, archaeologists, and interested public on Saturday, March 14. Please send your comments about the program to Karen or Mike at <> or at <>. Let us know how CASSP is doing and what it needs to do for future volunteer workshops.

We realize this method of communication is less interactive, but safer given the current health risk. We hope everyone is and stays well!