Message #291:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Re: Collecting Arrowheads on Federal Land
Date: Fri, 01 Aug 1997 16:47:21 -0700

Re: Message 232
	Message 223

From: Ellie McDowell-Loudan

Recently, after years of nonaction, there has been some indication that
local New York State representatives of a federal agency here are
patroling some of their lands with an eye to prevention of artifact
collection on those lands. An adjacent private landowner has been
assisting with this and has had some
unpleasant interactions with those who are collecting.  

The recommendation to me, as the archeologist with a federal permit to
excavate on the federal land (and permission from the adjacent landowner
to work there) was to post the private and federal land.  This would aid
the federal and private landowners in their efforts to stop the looting.
 Prior to this, the federal land has been unposted and not fenced.  The
entire tract is
planted in corn (the adjacent private landowner rents the federal

Although there aren't signs indicating that the federal land is
federal, all the local collectors with whom I've talked were aware that
it was part of the federal control property.  For about five years, they
have known that it was illegal to collect artifacts on the land, but
only "stay off during the archeological field season."  That, in their
logic, appears to make looting all right.

Like much of the rest of the country, there appear to be too few
federal officers for whom archeological site protection is said to be
part of their job.  Therefore, patrol of the lands cannot be consistent
or frequent. While explaining what archeologists do and why this yields
more data for everyone and can be shared by more people than can the
gathering of objects piecemeal, may convince some, in other cases the
only deterrent appears to be
the threat of punishment.  When that threat is extremely
minimal--probably unlikely to exist, we need to find more convincing
ways to proceed.

Public programs and invitations to visit sites during field seasons,
works sometimes.  However, frequently this publicizes the site's content
and "archeological value," and often leads to more unauthorized site
"visits."  The struggle continues!

Ellie McDowell-Loudan