Wednesday, February 19, 2014

News Release from Bankhead National Forest, Protecting Archaeological Sites Preserves the Past

NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Tammy F. Truett - 334-832-4470 Eric Schmeckpeper- 205-489-5111 Protecting Archeological Sites on the Bankhead National Forest Preserves the Past (Double Springs, AL) Feb. 19-- Archeological sites on the Bankhead National Forest are time capsules of information about the lives of people in the past and the conditions of the natural environment around them. The Forest Service manages these resources in a manner which recognizes their significance and provides protection. Disturbing archeological sites on federal lands is illegal. It violates several laws and can result in substantial penalties. Information recovered from archeological sites gives us a better understanding of how people lived. “Archaeologists often compare a site to a rare book in a library,” said Jean Allan, Bankhead National Forest district archaeologist. “If someone tears out several pages to keep and throws the rest away, we lose the ability fully understand the story.” Forest Service law enforcement officers are cracking down on illegal artifact hunters. If you see or suspect disturbance, vandalism or looting of an archaeological site, please help protect these sites by immediately reporting the details to the local Forest Service district office. Artifact hunting and disturbing archeological sites is a serious offense. Anyone caught disturbing or removing historical or prehistoric properties on national forests could face a stiff fine or years of imprisonment. When someone removes artifacts or disturbs a site, it destroys cultural information that links the past with the present. Leaving archeological sites undisturbed preserves a legacy that was left for all of us.

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