Chumash Tribe looking to acquire federal site with sacred cave

The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians in California is trying to acquire a surplus federal property that's home to a sacred cave.

The Burro Flats Painted Cave features paintings and pictographs that date back at least 1,000 years. It's located at a former nuclear test site that's controlled by NASA.

"If the tribe owns the land, we'll be in the best position to protect sacred sites," Sam Cohen, the tribe's government affairs and legal officer, told The Los Angeles Times.

NASA is planning to sell or transfer the land. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has staked a claim on behalf of the tribe.

The Ventura County Star earlier this month reported that the tribe hopes to acquire the site in fee status rather than go through the land-into-trust process.

Get the Story:
At polluted Santa Susana lab site, sacred cave attracts tribe's bid (The Los Angeles Times 10/30)

Related Stories:
Chumash Tribe looking to avoid land-into-trust process at site (10/16)

Join the Conversation