USACE seeks public’s help to protect artifacts at Norfork and Bull Shoals Lakes

Published April 12, 2023
News Release Images

News Release Images

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. –USACE is reminding everyone that it is against the law to remove artifacts from public lands surrounding Norfork and Bull Shoals Lakes. 

Digging for artifacts is illegal and can be punished by severe fines or jail time.    Depending on the circumstances and severity of the thefts, fines can run as high as $250,000 and jail terms can be up to ten years.

Minor offenses can lead to misdemeanor charges, while more serious offenses or second offenses can lead to felony charges and convictions. 

“When individuals pursue what they consider a harmless hobby of digging up or removing Native American artifacts or relics for their own personal collection or to sell, the historical context is destroyed,” said USACE Archaeologist Allen Wilson.  

 Laws covering the removal of artifacts from public lands include the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, which protects any item of archeological interest that is more than 100 years old and Title 36 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, which deals with theft or destruction of public property.

If you see someone illegally digging on the public lands surrounding Norfork and Bull Shoals Lakes, please call the Mountain Home Project Office at 870-425-2700.



Release no. 23-039