The Pala Band of Mission Indians Selects Current Tribal Historic Preservation Officer as New Environmental Director

November 4, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                CONTACT:    Doug Elmets
November 4, 2010                                                                               (916) 329-9180

PALA, CA  – The Pala Band of Mission Indians announced today that Shasta Gaughen, the current Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for Pala, has been selected to be the Tribe’s Environmental Director.


“The issues the Pala EPA tackles are a passion of mine, particularly our battle to save Gregory Canyon and stop a landfill from being built in a sacred location,” said Gaughen. “I’m very excited to continue my work for the Tribe in this new position.”


Gaughen has worked with the Pala Band since January of 2005, beginning as the Assistant Director of the Cupa Cultural Center. She was appointed to her current post as Tribal Historic Preservation Officer in August of 2009. Prior to working with the Pala Band, Gaughen earned her Masters in Anthropology from San Diego State University. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University. Her PhD in Anthropology from the University of New Mexico will be awarded in 2011.


“We’re very lucky to have such a talented individual on our staff,” said Pala Chairman Robert Smith. “Shasta has done an excellent job over the last five years. We are looking forward to her contributions as the director of the Pala EPA.”


The Pala EPA is the environmental arm of the Pala Band of Mission Indians and is responsible for the Pala EPA Geographic Information System Program which provides highly technical support to other EPA programs including the Pala EPA Pesticide Program which monitors pesticide use in accordance with the Federal Insecticide Fungicide Rodenticide Act, and Pala EPA Air and Water Programs which strive to maintain clean air and water for the community and environment. The Pala EPA is also responsible for the fight to save Gregory Canyon from a proposed landfill.


A current resident of Escondido, California, Gaughen also teaches Cultural Anthropology and Human Origins as an adjunct professor at California State University, San Marcos.


For more information, about the Pala EPA, please see


The Pala Band of Mission Indians consists of 1,117 members with 650 living on the reservation along the Palomar Mountain range, located along 5,000 square miles of California’s desert and approximately 30 miles northeast of San Diego on Interstate 15.

Pala Band of Mission Indians

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