NEVADA The search for any scrap left by wayfarers in Southern Nevada as early as 5,000 years ago is a labor of love for archaeologist Greg Seymour and his team. Public protests and a renewed interest in the site has launched a Las Vegas Springs Preserve Foundation.

UTAH A California man pleaded guilty Monday to scratching his name on a panel of prehistoric pictographs in San Juan County. Sotero Oviedo, 49, a native of Mexico who is a legal resident of the United States, vandalized the panel between Aug. 22, 1997, and Sept. 24, 1997. He was temporarily working in San Juan County on a drilling and mapping project. In November, Oviedo will be sentenced in U.S. District Court on one count of violating the federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act. County supervisors on Tuesday approved a three-year contract with Cal State Fullerton anthropologists to sort and catalog hundreds of artifacts and bones that have languished in an overcrowded warehouse. The $350,000 contract calls for scientists to begin systematic documentation of the artifacts and establish a database for fossils found over the years during housing, highway and other construction.

NEW MEXICO People here don't want to lose their culture. And that applies to ancient buildings as well as the dark sky. There are over 900 buildings on the National Register in Las Vegas alone. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission upheld the license previously issued by the Commission in 1998 to HRI Inc. Intervenors had challenged the HRI Crownpoint license on ten specific areas of concern including Archaeological and Cultural Resources.

CYBERIA A group of Mongolian lawmakers and journalists visiting the United States to see how corruption is handled arrived in Wyoming. Like Mongolia, Wyomings' economy is linked to agriculture and mining. Mongolia's transition from a centralized economy brings up issues of private property, political power and media freedom. Also on the group's agenda in Wyoming was a discussion of Native American issues and the preservation of spiritual and archaeological sites such as the Medicine Wheel in northern Wyoming. Here in the back room of a three-story building off Red Square is what remains of the life of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. Exhibits once seen by as many as 2 million visitors a year were relegated to the warehouse. The collapse of the communist state -- and the repudiation of Lenin's oppressive legacy -- prompted calls for his burial, but the effort stalled amid angry resistance from Russia's still sizable legion of communists. Lenin is still on display, but his artifacts aren't. For the moment, they are neatly tucked away in dozens of 7-foot-tall vaults in the second-floor storage room. The totalitarian Soviet state decreed Lenin a revered and unchallenged leader, says Garazha. Now, nearly a decade after his fall from grace, he is vilified as a tyrant.