Located west of Rancho Bernardo, the 4S Ranch Project is one of the largest land development ventures in San Diego County.
BFSA began work on the 4S Ranch Project in 1980, which included an intensive archaeological survey of the 3,600-acre property that resulted in the identification of 170 archaeological sites. Since 1980, eight additional studies have been conducted on the 4S Ranch Project, including a testing program to determine the significance of the 170 archaeological sites and assess the potential impacts of the proposed development of the property.
The final survey and testing report for the 4S Ranch Project is a 10-volume, 5,000-page document that became a technical appendix for the 4S Ranch Environmental Impact Report, which was accepted by the County of San Diego in 1998. As part of the 4S Ranch archaeological program, a master Cultural Resource Management Plan was developed in concert with the County of San Diego and in compliance with CEQA. The Cultural Resource Management Plan was designed for the management of all cultural resources within the property and, as a result, over 80 sites of various levels of importance were preserved in open space.
For the significant sites within the development envelope, a master research design was prepared to outline the relevant research objectives of future excavations, the range of special studies needed to complete the research, and the size of excavations for data recovery programs to achieve the mitigation of impacts. The data recovery program completed in 2011 represents one of the largest data recovery programs ever undertaken in San Diego County and has resulted in major advances in our understanding of prehistoric cultures in this area.