Huckleberries Online

Tribe: Taking Lake Artifacts Illegal

Spokeswoman Heather Keen of the Coeur d'Alene Indian Tribe said the Coeur d'Alene's disagree with the conclusion by Ken Reid of the Idaho Historical Preservation Office that taking Native American artifacts from Lake Coeur d'Alene is legal. Reid sent a letter to Huckleberries discussing a Coeur d'Alene Press story of a hobbyist with a metal detector who has found artifacts from old Fort Sherman off the north shore. Tribal Chairman Chief Allan responded in writing to today:

Notably missing from the article was any discussion about the laws that prohibit these kinds of actions. There are a number of tribal, state and federal laws in place to protect historic and cultural artifacts. Unfortunately, the State Historic Preservation Office made a mistake in their response to the article and incorrectly assumed the gentleman profiled was on private land when in fact he was digging on the bottom of the lake, which is public land. The fact of the matter is removing artifacts from public lands throughout Idaho, including the lake bottom, is against the law. Depending on where in the state you are, there are different laws under which looting is illegal. More here.

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