The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) reminds the public that archaeological artifacts such as stone tools, pottery fragments, fire pits, stone circles, homesteads, rock cairns/piles, and rock art are protected by federal law and must be preserved for all.

BLM spokeswoman Cindy Wertz says It is important that archaeological artifacts remain in place and undamaged. Laws such as the National Historic Preservation Act, the Archaeological Resource Protection Act, and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, prohibit disturbing, or removing artifacts.

Wertz says In the case of finding archaeological sites, artifacts and especially human remains on public land, it is important to immediately notify the local BLM field office as soon as possible. Prompt notification to BLM of human remains discoveries allows the agency to take immediate steps to further secure and protect the site for loss or damage, to identify and consult individuals and Indian tribes that may be related to the remains, and to determine the appropriate management approach, which may be to secure the burial in the original location or to excavate the remains and transfer custody.