COARSEGOLD — Construction work was stopped Wednesday morning on the new Chukchansi Crossing fuel station on Highway 41 at Lucky Lane when a Tribal Cultural Technician uncovered what appears to be a fragment of a human bone, according to Chukchansi Tribal Chairwoman Claudia Gonzales.
“All construction on tribal lands of the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians of California is carefully evaluated and monitored by Tribal Cultural Technicians to make sure that the ancient and cultural artifacts of our Tribe are protected,” said Gonzales in a statement released late this afternoon.
After the discovery early this morning, Gonzales says the Tribe has “taken all steps necessary including securing the area and notifying experts at Fresno State University, the Tribal Historical Preservation Officer of the Natural Cultural Resource Department, Madera County Sheriff’s and Coroner’s Office.
“In the area surrounding this find we have halted construction until we have a better understanding of what has been uncovered. Our heritage on Tribal lands is sacred and we take responsibility to our lands very seriously.”
Groundbreaking took place at the site on Jan. 30, as construction began on the fueling station and retail center expected to bring about 200 new jobs to the area.