Skip to main content
Open Access Publications from the University of California

CEQA Tribal Cultural Resource Protection: Gaps in the Law and Implementation


Assembly Bill No. 52 (AB 52) amended the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in 2014 to mandate early tribal consultation prior to and during CeQA review, and it positions California Native American tribes as the experts on cultural resources within their own geographical areas. AB 52 affords tribal governments a seat at the decisionmaking table alongside public agencies and California local governments. The law also provides greater legal protection and demands more stringent consultation requirements than other historic and cultural resource protection statutes. However, despite formal advancement in tribal resource protection and recognition of tribal expertise, implementation of AB 52 is flawed. The purpose of this paper is to identify problems with the legislative language of AB 52 and gaps in its implementation to provide a point of reflection on how to improve government to government consultation.

Main Content
For improved accessibility of PDF content, download the file to your device.
Current View