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.
Members of the public are critical stewards in protecting our cultural heritage. 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.
All human remains and cultural items should be treated with care and respect. There are marked and unmarked burial sites located across the public lands due to use of the public lands by generations - historically and prehistorically.
If you discover any archaeological site on public lands, please do not pick items up, and notify the nearest BLM office. Please do not touch rock carvings or paintings known as petroglyphs and pictographs as the oil from your skin can cause damage. Also, it is a crime to remove, buy, sell, or trade artifacts found on public or Indian lands. Native American cultural items, including human remains, funeral or sacred objects, may need to be returned to either descendants or affiliated tribes.
For more information, please contact your local BLM office. To learn about becoming an archeological site steward or about BLM’s cultural heritage, visit: http://www.blm.gov/wy/st/en/programs/Cultural_Resources.html