Protection Act of
Protection Act of 1979
AN ACT To protect archaeological resources on public lands
and Indian lands, and for other purposes.
Be it enacted of the Senate and the house of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled,
Section 1. This Act may be cited as the "Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979".
FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
SEC. 2. (a) The Congress finds that-
(1) archaeological resources on public lands and Indian lands are an
accessible and irreplaceable part of the Nation's heritage;
(2) these resources are increasingly endangered because of their commercial
(3) existing Federal laws do not provide adequate protection to prevent the
loss and destruction of these archaeological resources and sites resulting from
uncontrolled excavations and pillage; and
(4) there is a wealth of archaeological information which has been legally
obtained by private individuals for noncommercial purposes and which could
voluntarily be made available to professional archaeologists and
(b) The purpose of this Arct is to secure, for the present and future benefit
of the American people, the protection of archaeological resources and sites
which are on public lands and Indian lands, and to foster increased cooperation
and exchange of information between governmental authorities, the professional
archaeological community, and private individuals having collections of
archaeological resources and data which were obtained before the date of the
enactment of this Act.
SEC. 3. As used in this Act-
(1) The term "archaeological resource" means any material remains of past
human life or actiivities which are of archaeological interest, as determined
under the uniform regulations promulgated pursuant to this Act. Such regulations
containing such determination shall include, but not be limited to: pottery,
basketry, bottles, weapons, weapon projectiles, tools, structures or portions of
structures, pit houses, rock paintings, rock carvings, intaglios, graves, human
skeletal materials, or any portion or piece of any of the foregoing items.
Nonfossilized and fossilized paleontological spcimens, or any portion or piece
thereof, shall not be considered archaeological resources, under the regulations
under this paragraph, unless found in an archaeological context. No item shall
be treated as an archaeological resource under regulations under this paragraph
unless such item is at least 100 years of age.
(2) The term "Federal land manager" means, with respect to any public lands,
the Secretary of the department, or the head of any other agency or
instrumentality of the United States, having primary management authority over
such lands. In the case of any public lands or Indian lands with respect to
which no department, agency, or instrumentality has primary management authority,
such term means the Secretary of the Interior. If the Secretary of the Interior
consents, the responsibilities (in whole or in part) under this Act of the
Secretary of any department (other than the Department of the Interior) or the
head of any other agency or instrumentality may be delegated to the Secretary of
the Interior with respect to any land managed by such other Secretary or agency
head, and in any such case, the term "Federal land manager" means the Secretary
of the Interior.
(3) The term "public lands" means-
(A) lands which are owned and administered by the United States as part of -
(i) the national park system,
(B) all other lands the fee title to which is held by the United States,
other than lands on the Outer Continental Shelf and lands which are under the
jurisdication of the Smithsonian Institution;
(ii) the national wildlife refuge system, or
(iii) the national forest system; and
(4) The term "Indian lands" means lands of Indian tribes, or Indian
individuals, which are either held in trust by the United States or subject to a
restriction against alienation imposed by the United States, except for any
subsurface interest in lands not owned or controlled by an Indian tribe or an
(5) The term "Indian tribe" means any Indian tribe, band, nation, or
other organized group or community, including any Alaska Native village or
regional or village corporation as defined in, or established pursuant to, the
Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688).
(6) The term "person" means an individual, corporation, partnership,
trust, institution, association, or any other private entity or any officer,
employee, agent, department, or instrumentality of the United States, of any
Indian tribe, or of any State or political subdivision thereof.
(7) The term "State" means any of the fifty States, the District of
Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
SEC. 4. (a) Any person may apply to the Federal land manager for a permit to
excavate or remove any archaeological resource located on public lands or Indian
lands and to carry out activities associated with such excavation or removal.
The application shall be required, under uniform regulations under this Act, to
contain such information as the Federal land manager deems necessary, including
information concerning the time, scope, and location and specific purpose of the
(b) A permit may be issued pursuant to an application under subsection (a) if
the Federal land manager determines, pursuant to uniform regulations under this
(1) the applicant is qualified, to carry out the permitted activity,
(2) the activity is undertaken for the purpose of furthering archaeological
knowledge in the public interest,
(3) the archaeological resources which are excavated or removed from
public lands will remain the property of the United States, and such resources
and copies of associated archaeological records and data will be preserved by a
suitable university, museum, or other scientific or educational institution, and
(4) the activity pursuant to such permit is not inconsistent with any
management plan applicable to the public lands concerned.
(c) If a permit issued under this section may rsult in harm to, or
destruction of, any religious or cultural site, as determined by the Federal land
manager, before issuing such permit, the Federal land manager shall notify any
Indian tribe which may consider the site as having religious or cultural
importance. Such notice shall not be deemed a disclosure to the public for
purposes of section 9.
(d) Any permit under this section shall contain terms and conditions,
pursuant to uniform regulations promulgated under this Act, as the Federal land
manager concerned deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this Act.
(e) Each permit under this section shall identify the individual who shall be
responsible for carrying out the terms and conditions of the permit and for
otherwise complying with this Act and other law applicable to the permitted
(f) Any permit issued under this section may be suspended by the Federal land
manager upon his determination that the permittee has violated any provision of
subsection (a), (b), or (c) of section 6. Any such permit may be revoked by such
Federal land manager upon assessment of a civil penalty under section 7 against the
permittee or upon hte permittee's conviction under section 6.
)(g)(1) No permit shall be required under this section or under the Act of
June 8, 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431), for the excavation or removal by any Indian tribe
or member thereof of any archaeological resource located on Indian lands of such
Indian tribe, except that in the absence of tribal law regulating the excavation or removal of
archaeological resources on Indian lands, an individual tribal member shall be
required to obtain a permit under this section.
(2) In the case of any permits for the excavation or removal of any
archaeological resources located on Indian lands, the permit may be granted only
after obtaining the consent of the Indian or Indian tribe owning or having
jurisdiction over such lands. The permit shall include such terms and conditions
as may be requested by such Indian or Indian tribe.
(h)(1) No permit or other permission shall be required under the Act of June
8, 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431-433), for any activity for which a permit is issued under
(2) Any permit issued under the Act of June 8, 1906, shall remain in effect
according to its terms and conditions following the enactment of this Act. No
permit shall be required to carry out any activity under a permit issued under
the Act of June 8, 1906, before the date of the enactment of this Act which
remains in effect as provided in this paragraph, and nothing in this Act shall
modify or affect any such permit.
(i) Isssuance of a permit in accordance with this section and applicable
regulations shall not require compliance with section 106 of the Act of October
15, 1966 (80 Stat. 917, 16 U.S.C. 470f).
(j) Upon the written request of the Governor of any State, the Federal land
manager shall issue a permit, subject to the provisions of subsections (b)(3),
(b)(4), (c), (e), (f), (g), (h), and (i) of this section for the purpose of
conducting archaeological research, excavation, removal, and curation, on behalf of the State or its
eduational institutions, to such Governor or to such designee as the Governor
deems qualified to carry out the intent of this Act.
CUSTODY OF RESOURCES
Sec. 5. The Secretary of the Interior may promulgate regulations providing for-
(1) the exchange, where appropriate, between suitable universities, museums, or other scientific or educational institutions, of archaeological resources removed from public lands and Indian lands pursuant to this Act, and
(2) the ultimate disposition of such resources and other resources removed pursuant to the Act of June 27, 1960 (16 U.S.C. 469-469c) or the Act of June 8, 1906
(16 U.S.C. 431-433). Any exchange or ultimate disposition under such regulation
of archaeological rsources excavated or removed from Indian lands shall be
subject to the consent of the Indian or Indian tribe which owns or has
jurisdiction over such lands. Following promulgation of regulations, under this section, notwithstanding any
other provision of law, such regulations shall govern the disposition of
archaeological resources removed from public lands and Indian lands pursuant to
PROHIBITED ACTS AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES
Sec. 6. (a) No person may excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface
any archaeological resource located on public lands or Indian lands unless such
activity is pursuant to a permit issued under section 4, a permit referred to in
section 4(h)(2), or the exemption contained in section 4(g)(1).
(b)No person may sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to
sell, purchase, or exchange any archaeological resource if such resource was
excavated or removed from public lands or Indian lands in violation of-
(1) the prohibition contained in subsection (a), or
(c) No person may sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or offer to
sell, purchase, or exchange, in interstate or foreign commerce, any
archaeological resource secavated, removed, sold, purchased, exchanged,
transported, or received in violation of any provision, rule, regulation,
ordinance, or permit in effect under State or local law.
(d) Any person who knowingly violates, or counsels, procures, solicits, or
employs any other person to violate, any prohibition contained in subsection (a),
(b), or (c) of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than
$10,000 or imprisoned not more than one year, or both: Provided, however,
That if the commercial or archaeological value of the archaeological resources
involved and the cost of restoration and repair of such resources exceeds the sum
of $5,000, such person shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned not
more than two years, or both. In the case of a second or subsequent such
violation upon conviction such person shall be fined not more than $100,000, or
imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
(2) any provision, rule, regulation, ordinance, or permit in effect under any
other provision of Federal law.
(e) The prohibitions contained in this section shall take effect on the date
of the enactment of this Act.
(f) Nothing in subsection (b)(1) of this section shall be deemed applicable
to any person with respect to an archaeological resource which was in the lawful
possession of such person prior to the date of the enactment of this Act.
(g) Nothing in subsection (d) of this section shell be deemed applicable to
any person with respect to the removal of arrowheads located on the surface of
Sec. 7. (a)(1) Any person who violates any prohibition contained in an applicable
regulation or permit issued under this Act may be assessed a civil penalty by the
Federal land manager concerned. No penalty may be assessed under this subsection
unless such person is given notice and opportunity for a hearing with respect to
such violation. Each violation shall be a separate offense. Any such civil
penalty may be remitted or mitigated by the Federal land manager concerned.
(2) The amount of such penalty shall be determined under regulation
promulgated pursuant to this Act, taking into account, in addition to other
(A) the archaeological or commercial value of the archaeological
resource involved, and
(B) the cost of restoration and repair of the resource and the archaeological
Such regulations shall provide that, in the case
of a second or subsequent violation by any person, the amount of such civil
penalty may be ouble the amount which would have been assessed if such violation
were the first violation by such person. The amount of any penalty assessed
under this subsection for any violation shall not exceed an amount equal to
double the cost of restoration and repair of resources and archaeological sites
damaged and double the fair market value of resources destroyed or not recovered.
(3) No penalty shall be assessed under this section for the removal of
arrowheads located on the surface of the ground.
(b)(1) Any person aggrieved by an order assessing a civil penalty under
subsection (a) may file a petition for judicial review of such order with the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia or for any other
district in which such a person resides or transacts business. Such a petition
may only be filed within the 30-day period beginning on the date the order making
such assessment was issued. The court shall hear such action on the record made
before the Federal land manager and shall sustain his action if it is supported
by substantial evidence on the record considered as a whole.
(2) If any person fails to pay an assessment of a civil penalty-
(A) after the order making the assessment has become a final
order and such person has not filed a petition for judicial review of the order
in accordance with paragraph (1), or
the Federal land managers may request the Attorney General to institute a civil
action in a district court of the United States for any district in which such
person is found, resides, or transacts business to collect the penalty and such
court shall have jurisdiction to hear and decide any such action. In such
action, the validity and amount of such penalty shall not be subject to review.
(c) Hearings held during proceedings for the assessment of civil penalties
authorized by subsection (a) shall be conducted in accordance with section 554 of
title 5 of the United States Code. The Federal land manager may issue subpenas
for the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of relevant
papers, books, and documents, and administer oaths. Witnesses summoned shall be
paid the same fees and mileage that are paid to witnesses in the courts of the
United States. In case of contumacy or refusal to obey a subpena served upon any
person pursuant to this paragraph, the district court of the United States for
any distrcit in which such person is found or resides or transacts business, upon
application by the United States and after notice to such person, shall have
jurisdiction to issue an order requiring such person to appear and give testimony
before the Federal land manager or to appear and produce documents before the
Federal land manager, or both, and any failure to obey such order of the court
may be punished by such court as a contempt thereof.
(B) after a court in an action brought under paragraph (1) has entered a
final judgment upholding the assessment of a civil penalty,
Sec. 8. (a) Upon the certification of the Federal land manager concerned, the Secretary of the Treasury is directed to pay from penalties and fines collected under sections 6 and 7 an amount equal to one-half of such penalty or fine, but not to exceed $500, to any person who furnishes information which leads to the finding of a civil violation, or the conviction of criminal violation, with respect to which such penalty or fine was paid. If several persons provided such information, such amount shall be divided among such persons. No officer or employee of the United States or of any service in the performance of his official duties shell be eligible for payment under this subsection.
(b) All archaeological resources with respect to which a violation of
subsection (a), (b), or (c) of section 6 occurred and which are in the possession
of any person, and all vehicles and equipment of any person which were used in
connection with such violation, may be (in the discretion of the court or
administrative law judge, as the case may be( subject to forfeiture to the United
(1) such person's conviction of such violation under section 6,
(c) In cases in which a violation of the prohibition contained in subsection (a), (b), or (c) of section 6 involve archaeological resources excavated or removed from Indian lands, the Federal land manager or the court, as the case may be, shall provide for the payment to the Indian or INdian tribe involved of all penalties collected pursuant to section 7 and for the transfer to such Indian or Indian tribe of all items forfeited under this section.
(2) assessment of a civil penalty against such person under section 7 with respect to such violation, or
(3) a determination of any court that such archaeological resources, vehicles, or equipment were involved in such violation.
Sec. 9. (a) Information concerning the nature and location of any archaeological resource for which the excavation or removal requires a permit or other permission under this Act or under any other provision of Federal law may not be made available to the public under subchapter II of chapter 5 of title 5 of the United States Code or under any other provision of law unless the Federal land manager concerned determines that such disclosure would-
(1) further the purposes of this Act or the Act of June 27, 1960 (16 U.S.C. 469-469c), and
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsectoin (a), upon the written request of the Governor of any State, which request shall state-
(2) not create a risk of harm to such resources or to the site at which such resources are located.
(1) the specific site or area for which information is sought,
(2) the purpose for which such information is sought,
(3) a commitment by the Governor to adequately protect the confidentiality of such information to protect the resource from commercial exploitation,
the Federal land manager concerned shall provide to the Governor information concerning the nature and location of archaeological resources within the State of the requesting Governor.
REGULATIONS; INTERGOVERNMENTAL COORDINATION
Sec 10. (a) The Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture and Defense and the Chairman of the Board of the Tennessee Valley Authority, after public notice and hearing, shall promulgate such uniform rules and regulations as may be appropriate to carry out the purposes of this Act. Such rules and regulations may be promulgated only after consideration of the provisions of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (92 Stat. 469; 42 U.S.C. 1996). Each uniform rule or regulation promulgated under this Act shall be submitted on the same calendar day to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the United States Senate and to the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs of the United States House of Representatives, and no such uniform rule or regulation may take effect before the expiration of a period of ninety calendar days following the date of its submission to such Committees.
(b) Each Federal land manager shall promulgate such rules and regulations under subsection (a), as may be appropriate for the carrying out of his functions and authorities under this Act.
COOPERATION WITH PRIVATE INDIVIDUALS
Sec. 11. The Secretary of the Interior shall take such action as may be necessary, consistent with the purposes of this Act, to foster and improve the communication, cooperation, and exchange of information between-
(1) private individuals having collections of archaeological resources and data which were obtained before the date of the enactment of this Act, and
(2) Federal authorities responsible for the protection of archaeological resources on the public lands and Indian lands and professional archaeologists and associations of professional archaeologists.
In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall, to the extent practicable and consistent with the provisions of this Act, make efforts to expand the archaeological data base for the archaeological resources of the United States through increased cooperation between private individuals referred to in paragraph (1) and professional archaeologists and archaeological organizations.
Sec. 12. (a) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to repeal, modify, or impose additional restrictions on the activites permitted under existing laws and authorities relating to mining, mineral leasing, reclamation, and other multiple uses of the public lands.
(b) Nothing in this Act applies to, or requires a permit for, the collection for private purposes of any rock, coin, bullet, or mineral which is not an archaeological resource, as determined under uniform regulations promulgated under section 3(1).
(c) Nothing in this Act shall be construed to affect any land other than public land or Indian land or to affect the lawful recovery, collection, or sale of archaeological resources from land other than public land or Indian land.
Sec. 13. As part of the annual report required to be submitted to the specified committees of the Congress pursuant to section 5(c) of the Act of June 27, 1960 (74 Stat. 220; 16 U.S.C. 469-469a), the Secretary of the Interior shall comprehensively report as a separate component on the activities carried out under the provisions of this Act, and he shall make such reommendations as he deems appropriate as to changes or improvements needed in the provisions of this Act. Such report shall include a brief summary of the actions undertaken by the Secretary under section 11 of this Act, relating to cooperation with private individuals.