In their discussions with the Pala Band, GCL came to understand and appreciate the importance of the surrounding community and the interest in preserving a cultural landscape. GCL has begun to explore alternative uses for the remaining land which include residential and commercial development. The Pala Band has long urged developers to consider such alternative uses for the property and has agreed to show support for GCL throughout this process.
“The Pala Band of Mission Indians is very pleased to have been able to work cooperatively with GCL to achieve a result that protects both our sacred sites and the water resources critical to numerous users along the river,” said Pala Band Chairman Robert Smith. “Palasupports GCL’s efforts to construct an alternative and more desirable residential and commercial project on its remaining property.”
Pala Environmental Director and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Shasta Gaughen added, “This is a victory not just for Pala but for all Native people who continue the fight to protect sacred lands and waters all over the country. We are relieved to know that sacred Chokla will never again be threatened.”
Todd Mikles, principal of GCL, stated that, “Since my involvement two years ago, I made it a priority to understand the concerns of the Pala Band and neighboring community. I commend Chairman Smith and the entire Pala Band on working with us to reach a resolution. We are excited about the prospect of benefiting North County San Diego in the future.”
The Pala Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized tribe whose reservation is located along the Palomar Mountain range approximately 30 miles northeast of San Diego. The majority of the over 900 tribal members live on the 12,000-acre reservation,established for Cupeño and Luiseño Indians, who consider themselves to be one proud people – Pala.