ManatakaAmerican Indian Council









Keep Bullets out of

American Indian Sacred Sites

in Los Padres National Forest

Support the The Coalition to Save Husahkiw-Chumash Wind Caves



The Husahkiw Wind Caves site, like Petroglyph National Monument, is qualified for National Monument designation. It is an internationally recognized archaeological site, known to be one of the most significant
in North America due to the unique polychrome images - Sacred Cave Paintings. It is still utilized by Chumash People.  This site has been constantly degraded by the Winchester Gun Club.


Manataka feels there is ample evidence for the U.S. Forest Service to deny the Winchester Gun Club access to the 140 acres of land adjacent to and anywhere within hearing distance to the the Wind Caves sacred site -- regardless of present or past lease for this purpose.


*    The sound of gunfire seriously affects religious ceremonies conducted at and near this site.


*    The sound of gunfire also negatively impacts other visitors to the National Forest.


*    There is a clear and present danger to the public safety from bullet ricochets and stray bullets.


*    The soil, air, surface and ground water may be permanently damaged from lead and toxic contamination

      from hazardous shooting debris and chemical residues created from target shooting that are a definite    

     environmental risk.


*    As a result of the negative impact on water and sound, local wildlife and plants are damaged.


*    There is no need for another shooting range when other nearby ranges exist.


*    There is a strong potential for wildfires anytime live explosive materials are used in a forest.


*    Sound vibrations from constant exploding gunfire could cause the earth to move causing cave-ins.


According to Dr. Steven J. Waller, Ph.D., of  La Mesa, California and member of the American Rock Art Research Association:


"...Acoustic measurements are presented that document the presence of strong echoes and reverberation at the “Husahkiw” Chumash Wind Caves rock art site (CA-SBA-509). 


This observation is culturally significant, since there are many myths from around the world that attest to the belief that echoes were attributed to supernatural spirits.  Thus the presence of echoing at Husahkiw may have contributed to the belief that this site is sacred, and may help explain the motivation for the rock art placement there.  These results are consistent with the observations of unusual acoustics at over 300 rock sites on six continents. 


Also documented at Husahkiw was the presence of gunshot noise from the nearby Winchester Gun Club.  It was noted that the sound of these gunshots were not only significantly above background level, but also have a greater than expected auditory impact because of the amplification caused by the echoing and reverberation in the rocky amphitheater-like site. 


In light of the spiritual significance of echoes and the need for a quiet background to experience and practice religious rituals including those involving echoes, the disruptive and intrusive noise from gunshots near Husahkiw should be discontinued.  Conservation of the natural acoustics at rock art sites including Husahkiw is urged...."


From: "Acoustic Ecology at Husahkiw Chumash Wind Caves (CA-SBA-509), 21 May 2004


Immediate public pressure must be applied to Congressional representatives and the U.S. Forest Service to stop this blatant abuse of an important American Indian sacred site.  Please contact



Steven J. Waller, Ph.D., La Mesa, California


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