Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse Relocation Halted

Jan 4, 2018

Protesters climbed the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse and staged a sit-in to prevent the Civic Club's relocation efforts which puts the Tsurai Ancestral Village in jeopardy.
Credit Natalya Estrada

The Tsurai Ancestral Society and supporters remained at the Trinidad Memorial Lighthouse this week to ensure that construction to relocate the structure did not continue. They're worried that the new, but temporary location of the lighthouse will endanger the Tsurai Ancestral Village, which is directly under the bluff where the lighthouse stands. The lighthouse, however, needs to be moved because of an active slide under the structure which could cause it to fall off the bluff and ultimately damage the village. 

Lucas Garcia, a member of the Yurok Tribe and descendant of the Tsurai said that although construction has stopped, for now, he's still concerned that it could begin again. He and other protesters--many of them tribal members--are determined to stay at the site until the city of Trinidad, the Civic Club and the Tsurai Ancestral Society come to an agreement on a new and temporary location. 

"This is my home. This is who we are. This is part of our identity," Garcia said. "And for the city of Trinidad and the Civic Club to encroach on our village is like taking a part of who we are, our identity." 

Garcia was also one of four protesters who climbed up the lighthouse structure and hung a sign on the structure that read "An attack on one village is an attack on all," with the hashtag "All Graves Matter."

Updates from Trinidad City Manager Dan Berman indicated that the council, Civic Club and Tsuari are negotiating a new plan for relocation of the lighthouse. For now construction has halted, but according to Sarah Lindgren-Akana, also a descendant of the Tsurai and a cultural monitor, the city has not officially issued a stop work order.