THE LAWS THAT PRESERVE OUR PAST
One of the functions of the STIPP is to provide protection against theft and damage of cultural resources in the Lake Roosevelt area. Archaeological/cultural resources (artifacts, sites, historic buildings, burials) are legally protected by the Federal Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) and Washington state revised code RCW 27.53.060. ARPA protects against illicit damage, and theft of cultural materials from public and tribal lands; RCW 27.53.060 extends this protection to private lands in Washington State. ARPA covers trafficking (buying and selling) of cultural materials from archaeological and historic sites as well. Only qualified professionals with the proper permits are allowed to affect the context of archaeological/cultural resources.
Fines and punishment are determined by the infraction class, which can range from a misdemeanor to a Class A, B, or C felony. The maximum penalty for a first -time individual felony offender under ARPA is $20,000 and up to one year in prison. Second-time felony offenders can be fined up to $100,000 and imprisoned for up to 5 years. Tools and vehicles used in the commission of the crime may also be seized.
STIPP and National Park Service archaeologists performing an ARPA damage assessment.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP
- Enjoy cultural heritage by looking, not touching
- Pack out your trash after enjoying nature
- Call your local historic preservation office if you find something you think should be recorded
- Collect arrowheads or other artifacts
- Purchase “Indian” artifacts at trade shows or online
- Enter or dig in unauthorized areas
- Deface/move/paint/alter anything you think may be archaeological or historic in nature