It is long, tedious and expensive work. Hearthside’s hired archaeologist, Nancy Wiley, famously pegged the cost of the sifting operations at $15 million. As Patricia Martz, a Cal State Los Angeles anthropology professor, told the commission, it would have been cheaper for Hearthside to build a park over the remains and keep them buried.

Still stunned by the commission’s revocation decision as he exited the chambers, Morales said the last hope “for dignity” is in the hands of California’s Native American Heritage Commission, which is scheduled to hear the Bolsa Chica matter Dec. 12 in San Juan Capistrano. Asked if that panel has the teeth to stop the project until his concerns are met, Morales said, “I think they do. I hope so.”

Morales: "This action is an attack on our culture"
Russ Roca
Morales: "This action is an attack on our culture"

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