Resources Protection Act of 1979
| Findings and Purpose | Definitions
| Excavation and Removal | Custody
Acts and Criminal Penalties | Civil Penalties
| Rewards; Forfeiture | Confidentiality
with Private Individuals | Savings Provisions
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-
(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.
- (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
- (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
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
Arct 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 -
(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;
- (i) the national park system,
- (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. EXCAVATION AND
(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, includgin
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
(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
- (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.
(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. )
- (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.
(i) Issuance 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).
- (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 this section.
- (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.
(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
PROHIBITED ACTS AND CRIMINAL PENALTIES
- (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,
- (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 this Act.
(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-
(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 violati on of any provision, rule, regulation,
ordinance, or permit in effect under State or local law.
- (1) the prohibition contained in subsection (a), or
- (2) any provision, rule, regulation, ordinance, or permit in effect under
any other provision of Federal 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 imprison ed 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.
(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
(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 su ch 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
(2) The amount of such penalty shall be determined under regulation
promulgated pursuant to this Act, taking into account, in addition to other
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 double 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.
- (A) the archaeological or commercial value of the archaeological resource
- (B) the cost of restoration and repair of the resource and the
archaeological site involved.
(3) No penalty shall be assessed under this section for the removal of
arrowheads located on the surface of the ground.
(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
- (B) after a court in an action brought under paragraph (1) has entered
a final judgment upholding the assessment of a civil penalty, 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.
(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 States upon-
(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.
- (1) such person's conviction of such violation under section 6,
- (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.
(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-
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsectoin (a), upon the written request
of the Governor of any State, which request shall state-
- (1) further the purposes of this Act or the Act of June 27, 1960 (16 U.S.C.
- (2) not create a risk of harm to such resources or to the site at which
such resources are located.
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.
- (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.
(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.
SAVINGS PROVISIONS Sec.
(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
NAGPRA federal law: PUBLIC LAW 101-601--NOV. 16, 1990
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