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Forgay Point Road maintenance stirs controversy

Joshua Sebold
Staff Writer
12/8/2010

The controversy around maintenance work done by the county at Forgay Point Road in Indian Valley came up at a recent Plumas County Planning Commission meeting.

Commissioner Betsy Schramel asked if the road department consulted with the planning department or was aware that a heritage site existed there.

“I don’t know if they’re aware, they didn’t discuss it with us,” senior planner Becky Herrin responded.

Indian Valley Resident Krisi Gorbet, who owns one of the properties the road passes through, told the commission, “All three of the landowners did not want the county to do anything back there, and they felt they had a right, so we’re going to take legal action against the county on this and it’s why I’m here today.”

Gorbet and her neighbor, Jason McIntyre, both discussed speaking with lawyers about the issue in a recent article in the Indian Valley Record, but this is the first report that she will be pursuing the matter further.

“There’s some people that just assume it was a county road, and I’m gonna force the county to prove that, because they can’t,” she added.

Public Works Director Robert Perreault has repeatedly argued that Forgay Point is a county road.

Perreault contends some citizens tried to remove the road from the county system in 1986 but hearings to abandon the road at that time became delayed and were eventually forgotten.

In terms of the potential impacts of the roadwork on nearby Native American heritage sites, Plumas National Forest archaeologist Dan Elliott said the action was “very deplorable in my personal and professional opinion.”

In a short phone interview Perreault responded to claims that the department harmed archaeological sites.

“We kept our activity within the travel way or the former travel way of the road, so we aren’t aware of any disturbance of any archaeological sites.”

“If we were getting away from the travel way I would contact the planning department.”

Perreault added that maintenance work was exempt from the California Environmental Quality Act rules.

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