A Letter by Bill Drake, President of FSRA

Bill Drake

As we end another year, I want to express my gratitude for each of you who are our members and friends. Your continued support for our important work of protecting Native American resources is much appreciated.

Our end of the year/New Year’s newsletter is later than intended due to a heavy winter storm in late December. Jane, our newsletter editor, and I were out of power for almost a week and one-half.

We are delighted to welcome Amber Nelson, the Tahoe National Forest’s new District Archaeologist for the Yuba River District, working out of the Nevada City office. She replaces our friend Bill Slater who was District Archaeologist and FSRA’s main TNF contact throughout our first 30 years. A few weeks ago, FSRA board member Nolan Smith and I were able to take Amber and her two assistants, Luciano and Emma, to visit sites in Bear Valley and on Spaulding Ridge. This was her introduction to our region’s rock art. “Virus permitting,” Amber will be our featured speaker at an FSRA public event in May. As for other TNF personnel: Jesse Krautkramer serves as District Archaeologist on the Foresthill District, Nolan Smith’s old position. And, to our good fortune, Carrie Smith continues in her role as Forest Archaeologist. (See article on Amber in our Winter Newsletter.)

The year 2021, with COVID and California’s fires, smoke, and unusually high temperatures, has had its challenges for us. In spite of this, we did fit in some outings as well as monitoring visits, and were able to do a couple of on-site monitor trainings. In addition, FSRA produced a YouTube video on regional rock art ( This fall we received a $2,000 grant. The money will be used to support our site monitoring program.

Our board has been working on a 5-year plan for FSRA (see separate article in our Winter Newsletter). The goals we wish to achieve are based on input from members (solicited last year) and board members. A long range project is the creation of a thorough site record for the Many Panels (AKA Byers Lake) site, which is accessed by a long, semi-strenuous, hike out Grouse Ridge. Many Panels has, as the name implies, multiple panels of petroglyphs spread out over a large area. (Our newsletter at the end of last year included a photo of an area of rock art that was stolen from this site.) The recording project will involve two stages. Initially, a small crew will make a simple survey of the area of concern to obtain a better sense of the site’s features.

Members are encouraged to mail in ballots for next year’s board and membership renewals. PLEASE MAIL YOUR MEMBERSHIP AND BALLOTS BY FEBRUARY 5, 2022. Related forms are at the end of this newsletter. In addition, members who want to make a year end donation to our site protection/preservation endeavors are welcome to do so.

Wishing you the best for 2022!

Bill Drake

Click on the the Winter – January 2022 image to download the FSRA Newsletter

Become a Member of FSRA!

A Membership in FSRA…

Allows you to be part of a community that supports the protection of rock art in the northern Sierra region in general, and on the Tahoe National Forest in particular. The TNF has dozens of petroglyph sites that date from 500AD to 2,000BC. FSRA has monitored them for over 30 years, while assisting with site surveys and recording. We also do public education and, at times, work with Native Americans and agencies besides the TNF. Membership support in the form of dues and, in some cases, volunteer hours, is essential for our ability to do this work.

Gives you the opportunity to experience these ancient images while learning about how we work to protect them and about the people that made them. Educational outings to sites are offered to members with an agreement that their locations are kept confidential. See our Code of Ethics, Confidentiality Agreement, and Release of Liability text below.

Offers the option of becoming a site monitor. Monitoring sites keeps FSRA and the TNF abreast of any changes at their locations and lets you have an intimate experience of these ancient markings.

Keeps you up-to-date on cultural resource protection and FSRA’s activities with our quarterly newsletter and occasional in-house emails. Your e-mail address & contact information is never given out to third-parties for any reason.

FSRA Work Party!

Download our 3-page Membership Form as a PDF file, which includes a Membership Application, Code of Ethics (text below), Confidentiality Agreement, & Release of Liability. Fill out the Application, write a check for the proper amount, and mail to the enclosed address. Thank You!


Members of Friends of Sierra Rock Art (FSRA) and guests participating in events sponsored by this organization shall adopt & promote a preservationist / conservationist ethic in regard to rock art, and all other archaeological resources by upholding the following:

  • Persons participating in FSRA events shall observe all applicable local, state, federal, and international antiquities laws.
  • Persons participating in FSRA events shall not damage or disturb archaeological sites or features in any way, nor collect or damage artifacts.
  • Persons participating in FSRA events shall not damage or disturb locations used by Native Americans for ceremonial or other traditional cultural activities.
  • Persons participating in FSRA events shall honor the confidentiality of site locations.
  • Membership in good standing in Friends of Sierra Rock Art shall be contingent upon compliance with the ethical standards of conduct stipulated in this section.


  1. AGREEMENT TO COMPLY WITH LAWS • I agree to comply with the basic ideas in: Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1979, as amended • National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended.
  2. CONFIDENTIALITY • I fully understand the confidential nature of archaeological, historical and paleontological sites and data and I agree to respect that confidentiality.
  3. NON-DISCLOSE • I will NOT DISCLOSE or SHARE SITE SPECIFIC INFORMATION without the prior and specific authorization of the landowner‐Agency Archaeologist. This includes (a) Locations (b) Maps (c) Photos‐Drawings (d) Narratives (e) UTM. I agree not to use any GPS information on any information I share. I further agree to not specifically identify any site/ location on any photograph I share including those posted to any form of social media.
  4. BORROWED DOCUMENTS • I agree to RETURN ALL DOCUMENTS BORROWED from the landowner, Agency and FSRA, annually, or when requested.


Friends of Sierra Rock Art (FSRA) is a volunteer organization operating for the purpose of helping to provide stewardship of Native American petroglyph and pictograph sites located in the region of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and elsewhere. In furtherance of its purpose, FSRA sponsors field trips to various locations and other activities.

I (we) wish to participate in such field trips and other activities and understand the potential dangers incidental to participation in such activities, including outdoor activities.

In order to obtain permission from FSRA to participate in FSRA activities, I voluntarily release FSRA from any and all liability for personal injury, ailment, illness or combination thereof; property damage; or wrongful death arising out of or in connection with my participation in FSRA field trips and other activities.

Neither I nor my heirs will prosecute any claim for personal injury, ailment, illness or combination thereof; property damage; or wrongful death against FSRA, its directors, members, guests or agents, whether or not such claim arises out of negligence of said persons. If any person prosecutes a claim against FSRA which arises out of or is in connection with my participation in any FSRA activity, I/we (or my/our heirs) will indemnify FSRA and hold FSRA harmless from any such claim.