Yes! You Can Still Dig, but, Please Plan Ahead. NAGPRA Section 3 New Discoveries in Land Management

Author(s): Emily Palus

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "Beyond Collections: Federal Archaeology and "New Discoveries" under NAGPRA" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Vast, but not vacant, the 256 million acres of public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management offer are an incredible laboratory for archaeological research with 400+ academic and CRM permittees annually conducting thousands of surveys and hundreds of excavation projects. BLM manages these lands for multiple-uses to benefit the American people, so cultural resource projects are often for land-use compliance, but also academic research. Archaeologists have recorded 390,000 sites on just 10 percent of these lands; most are associated with Native American cultures. With high frequencies of cultural sites and increasing land-use, discoveries of Native American human remains and cultural items are inevitable, and often foreseeable. Section 3 of NAGPRA affirms tribal rights to inform land management and to custody of their ancestors and cultural property, prescribing to land managers specific planning and response procedures, and emphasizing tribal consultation. This paper demystifies "Section 3" responsibilities, identifying critical steps for archaeologists in planning projects, including coordinating—but not entangling—NHPA "Section 106" compliance and ARPA requirements, what do to upon discovery, and how to avoid suspending a project. By respectfully navigating the legal processes, there is opportunity to ‘balance’ or rather support archaeological research goals and uphold tribal rights.

Cite this Record

Yes! You Can Still Dig, but, Please Plan Ahead. NAGPRA Section 3 New Discoveries in Land Management. Emily Palus. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 451779)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -168.574; min lat: 7.014 ; max long: -54.844; max lat: 74.683 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24338