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Recent Happenings

This page is provided to share recent news with our visitors.  We have summarized articles from today's top journals in an effort to keep you abreast of current developments in our world.

      Two Men Caught Looting Big South Fork Rockshelter

Date August 23, 2004 
On Sunday August 22, 2004, rangers with Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (NRRA) arrested two individuals caught digging and removing artifacts from one of the parks many rock shelters. Like all the natural and cultural resources located within Big South Fork NRRA, Native American artifacts are protected under federal law. 

While on a routine backcountry patrol, park rangers had noted signs of fresh digging in one of the many rock shelters they monitor. Subsequent patrols of the area were then made in hopes that the individual, or individuals, would return to further dig at the site. On Sunday morning a ranger again returned to the site and this time found two individuals digging in the rock shelter and collecting arrowheads.

After observing and taping the activities for some 30 minutes David Grover and Jackie Chaney, both of Burnside, Kentucky were arrested and are being charged under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) was enacted in 1979 recognizing that the archaeological resources on public lands such as Big South Fork NRRA and on Indian lands are an irreplaceable part of the Nation's heritage and that these resources are increasingly endangered because of their commercial attractiveness.

To further assist in the protection of its many natural and cultural resources Big South Fork NRRA now has a resource protection “Tip Line” where any suspicious or illegal activities may be reported. Any person noticing illegal or suspicious activities is encouraged to call the park at 423-569-2404 ext. 505 to report what has been seen. It should be noted that all information received will be handled with complete confidentiality. As Frank Graham, Chief Ranger for the park stated, “Big South Fork receives thousands of visitors each month, they are our eyes and ears in the backcountry. The resource protection tip line will now allow our many visitors to help in the protection of the very resources which makes Big South Fork such a wonderful place to visit.”

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Man charged with trying to sell 200-year-old skull on eBay

Associated Press September 9, 2004 EBAY09/10/04

LOS ANGELES -- A California man has been charged with trying to sell the 200-year-old skull of a Hawaiian native on eBay.

Jerry David Hasson is accused of violating the Archaeological Resources Protection Act, a federal law that protects archaeological finds.

Authorities contend he put the skeletal remains on sale on eBay in February, claiming the warrior died on Maui in the 1790s. On the site, Hasson allegedly claimed he found the skull and other remains on a Hawaiian beach.

An undercover agent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs arranged to buy the skull. An anthropologist determined the skull was that of an adult female of Polynesian ancestry who was around 50 when she died.

Hasson could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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