Skip to main content


  • 4S Ranch Project

    San Diego County

    Located west of Rancho Bernardo, the 4S Ranch Project is one of the largest land development ventures in San Diego County.

    BFSA began work on the 4S Ranch Project in 1980, which included an intensive archaeological survey of the 3,600-acre property that resulted in the identification of 170 archaeological sites.  Since 1980, eight additional studies have been conducted on the 4S Ranch Project, including a testing program to determine the significance of the 170 archaeological sites and assess the potential impacts of the proposed development of the property.

    The final survey and testing report for the 4S Ranch Project is a 10-volume, 5,000-page document that became a technical appendix for the 4S Ranch Environmental Impact Report, which was accepted by the County of San Diego in 1998.  As part of the 4S Ranch archaeological program, a master Cultural Resource Management Plan was developed in concert with the County of San Diego and in compliance with CEQA.  The Cultural Resource Management Plan was designed for the management of all cultural resources within the property and, as a result, over 80 sites of various levels of importance were preserved in open space.

    For the significant sites within the development envelope, a master research design was prepared to outline the relevant research objectives of future excavations, the range of special studies needed to complete the research, and the size of excavations for data recovery programs to achieve the mitigation of impacts.  The data recovery program completed in 2011 represents one of the largest data recovery programs ever undertaken in San Diego County and has resulted in major advances in our understanding of prehistoric cultures in this area.

  • Atomic Archaeology: The Manhattan Project's Hanford Energy Works Construction Camp Historic Landfill Study

    Washington State

    BFSA was selected to conduct historical archaeology at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in southeastern Washington.  The River Corridor Closure Project managed by the United States Department of Energy represented the largest Superfund project in the country targeted at the cleanup and remediation of the remnants of the Hanford Engineer Works, which was occupied from 1943 to 1945 and was the site for the generation of atomic material to be used in atomic bombs during World War II.

    Part of the remediation program included the removal of two refuse deposits used by the construction camp during the period of construction of the nuclear reactors used to create fissionable material.  These refuse pits were situated near the Columbia River and represented a source of potential contamination to the waterway.  BFSA investigated the refuse pits to document the range of materials discarded by camp occupants while World War II progressed.

    Within this top-secret facility, the variety of products available to the population was surprising, and the separation of the refuse by race and gender was reflective of the military organization of the camp.  Collected representations of artifacts were curated at the Columbia River Exhibition of History, Science, and Technology.  The National Register sites were cleared and all materials transferred to a permanent deposit site inland from the river zone.

  • San Diego Padres PETCO Park

    Downtown San Diego

    BFSA was retained by the San Diego Padres under the City of San Diego to implement the mitigation monitoring program for the new downtown ballpark.  During this program, hundreds of historic features and deposits were discovered and studied.  The analysis of artifacts from historic features identified several different periods of use and ethnicities between 1880 and 1940.

    The historic artifact collection from the PETCO Park Project represents one of the largest collections of historic artifacts in the city of San Diego.  Examples of these artifacts can be seen in an interpretive display assembled by BFSA in the Western Metal Supply Co. building inside the park itself.

  • Verlago Project

    Peoria, Arizona

    BFSA conducted an archaeological survey of the proposed 1,436-acre Verlago Project located in the Peoria Lakes area of Arizona, west of Lake Pleasant Parkway and east of the Agua Fria River. The property is being considered for residential and resort development. The project covers the mesas and terraces along the Agua Fria River where numerous prehistoric sites were recorded, including the Calderwood Ruins. The archaeological study included records searches at the Arizona State Museum and a physical survey of the property. A total of 32 archaeological sites were identified and subjected to an initial assessment of significance, including major prehistoric occupation sites with habitation structures, temporary camps, lithic scatters, rock walls, canal sections, and water collection channels.

  • Interstate 15 Widening Project

    Rainbow Valley to Riverside County
    The Interstate 15 Widening Project was completed for Caltrans and involved an archaeological survey and extended Initial Study for cultural resources within the Interstate 15 right-of-way alignments in northern San Diego County and a portion of Riverside County. Following the survey, the identified resources were subjected to testing for significance evaluations. The cultural resource study was conducted in compliance with CEQA and Section 106 of the NHPA.
  • Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) Bus Maintenance and CNG Fueling Facility Project

    County of Los Angeles

    BFSA provided mitigation monitoring expertise to the LADOT during the grading and construction of the new downtown bus maintenance yard.  BFSA monitored excavations that covered three city blocks and encountered multiple historic features and artifact deposits.  Off-site construction utility trenches also encountered human remains representing the prehistoric Gabrieleño occupation of the area.

    The archaeological study focused, in part, upon the relocation and assessment of the historic waterway, the Zanja Channel, which is mapped as crossing the property.  Significant discoveries during the mitigation program added important information to the history and prehistory of the county of Los Angeles.

  • Audie Murphy Ranch Project

    Riverside County

    BFSA conducted surveys and site evaluations for cultural resources with the Audie Murphy Ranch Project.  Located south of Sun City in Riverside County, the 1,100-acre project contained 38 prehistoric sites and five historic sites, including Audie Murphy’s ranch house.  The report for this project, released on September 16, 2002, contained in-depth descriptions of the project and the cultural resources within its boundaries, as well as a significance evaluation for each resource.

    The majority of the prehistoric sites were affiliated with the Late Prehistoric Luiseño, as determined through time-sensitive artifacts, rock art, and petroglyphs.  Many of the prehistoric sites were determined to be significant with the potential to contain valuable information that could contribute to our understanding of the prehistory of the area.  Further work, including an archaeological data recovery program to sample significant sites, was recommended prior to development of the area.

    The mitigation monitoring and data recovery program was completed in 2007.  The final technical report documents the extensive cultural resources within the project, including Archaic occupation (3,000 to 5,000 years before the present), Late Prehistoric Luiseño (400 to 1,500 years before the present), and historic homesteads.

  • Navy Broadway Complex Project

    Downtown San Diego

    As part of a City of San Diego and United States Navy EIR/EIS program, the proposed redevelopment of the Naval Supply Depot at the foot of Broadway in downtown San Diego was assessed under Section 106 of the NHPA.  The assessment included an architectural/historical survey and recordation of all structures within the Naval Supply Depot that fell within the parameters of potentially being historic buildings.

    A Historic American Buildings Survey analysis was completed for each historic building, which resulted in a National Register evaluation of the buildings and the facility as a potential historic district.  Historical research for the project also identified the potential for the presence of remnants of the shanty town that developed along the waterfront of New Town between the 1860s and 1900.  Several shanty structures and related waterfront features were buried by dredging material from the bay when the tidelands were covered and the bulkhead was constructed in the early 1900s.

    The cultural resources report for the Navy Broadway Complex was jointly reviewed and subsequently accepted by by the United States Navy, the State Historic Preservation Office, and the City of San Diego.  To reduce the effect of the project upon cultural resources, a number of measures were proposed, including the preservation of the primary buildings that were historically significant and met the criteria for eligibility to the National Register.

    Subsequently, BFSA was retained to implement the Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program for the demolition and grading of the eight-city block project.  The long-term development project, which began in 2018, is projected to be completed by 2021.

  • Kelly Ranch Project

    City of Carlsbad

    The results of the data recovery program conducted by BFSA at the Allan O. Kelly Site (CA-SDI-9649) during the summer of 2001 was released in early 2003 as a report summarizing the recovery, analysis, and interpretations of cultural materials from the site.

    The data recovery program was conducted to mitigate impacts to the site ahead of the construction of a housing development carried out by Shea Homes of San Diego.  The site, located in Carlsbad overlooking Agua Hedionda Lagoon, was determined to be a significant cultural resource through previous investigations.

    The site represented a La Jolla Complex habitation site occupied between 9,000 and 3,500 years ago.  Excavations at the site revealed a well developed shell midden containing an abundance of artifacts, marine mollusk shell, and animal bone, as well as two human burials.  The artifact assemblage revealed a variety of activities performed by the site’s inhabitants, including hunting and gathering of both marine and terrestrial resources, grinding of food resources, and tool manufacture and maintenance.

  • Scripps Poway Parkway

    City of Poway

    The cultural resource study for Scripps Poway Parkway involved various phases of work including surveys of proposed alternatives, evaluations of resources within selected alternatives, mitigation of impacts, and construction monitoring.

    The project was conducted for several agencies and regulatory requirements.  For CEQA compliance, the City of Poway was the lead agency, with additional review by the County of San Diego and Caltrans.  Additionally, a federal 404 Permit was required, which generated the need for a NHPA Section 106 review by the United States Army Corps of Engineers.  The Section 106 element of the study required that the affected resources be evaluated for National Register eligibility.

    As a result of the National Register evaluation, one prehistoric site was identified as potentially eligible.  The report prepared for the United States Army Corps of Engineers was also reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office.  The selected alignment for Scripps Poway Parkway could not avoid the National Register-eligible site, which then required that a Data Recovery Plan be developed under the authority of the United States Army Corps of Engineers to recover sufficient data to mitigate impacts to the significant prehistoric site and facilitate a finding of “No Adverse Effect” for the road project.

    The data recovery program required negotiations between the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Caltrans, the City of Poway, and the State Historic Preservation Office to establish the scope of work and facilitate the initiation of grading around the archaeological site while data recovery was in progress.