Pahne Maritime Village, California

picture of a body of water in a marsh

Part of the Pahne Village Complex, a Traditional Cultural Property and Sacred Site, is known by its designation as CA-SDI-13325. It is currently endangered by US Marine Corps military operations that are degrading the site.


Who Considers the Site Sacred?

Descendants of Pechanga and Juaneño Acjachemen tribes. Pachanga and Juaneño Acjachemen tribal representatives made an inspection of the site in May of 2017. Even though the Sierra Training Program had not begun, heavy track vehicles had made deep ruts throughout the site, displacing the decomposed granite and the underlying geocloth and exposing the cultural midden.

The mitigation is not sufficient to protect the site from vehicles weighing in excess of 30,000 lbs. The Marines have promised to put more decomposed granite on the site after each use. However, each time they use the site, they will have  grade and compact it.

This will eventually cause impacting erosion on the site and the destruction of the intact cultural deposits, including possible human remains.

“Military training operations by the U.S. Marine Corps

degrade parts of the Pahne Village Site – a significant

ceremonial and burial site.”

picture of a part of the Pahne Village Site which has been damaged by U.S. Marine Corps' machinery

Damage to part of Pahne Village Site by U.S. Marine Corps

Why is it Sacred?

 It is considered to be culturally significant and a sacred site. As such, it has ceremonial significance and as a village site it may contain burials.

What is its Status?

 It was listed as eligible on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. It is    also listed on the California Native American Heritage Commission’s Sacred Lands Inventory.

The Location

Located in San Mateo Valley, this U.S. Marine Corps Installations West Marine Corps Base is known as Camp Pendelton, CA. It is on Federal land owned by the Marines.

 

The Threat

Part of the Pahne Village Complex is used for heavy track vehicles by the U.S. Marine Corps in a program known as the Sierra Training Program. The top 50 cm has been disturbed by heavy track vehicles and sites plowed in this manner contain significant cultural materials. The Marine Corps mitigation of decomposed granite is not sufficient protection.