The Archaeology in Tennessee blog would like to kindly thank the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology for bringing a very serious cultural resources protection issue to our attention on their Facebook site. It involves legislation scheduled to come before the U.S. House of Representatives for initial consideration tomorrow. Passage of this legislation poses a threat to archaeological sites, Native American sacred sites (traditional cultural properties), and environmental resources in the state of Arizona. The following letter summarizes what is at stake:
We are posting this message specifically because the Archaeology in Tennessee blog receives a considerable number of visitors and views from archaeologists and archaeology lovers living and working in the southwestern United States. If you live there or anywhere else in the United States, please consider contacting your elected representatives in the U.S. Congress to protest passage of this bill.
We here at the blog are not surprised that a reckless bill of this nature would surface for consideration in the Tea Party-infested U.S. House of Representatives. If this bill passes in the house, which seems quite possible, we further suspect that it will be “dead on arrival” in the U.S. Senate. If it should pass the U.S. Senate we also think it would be a prime target for a veto by President Obama. However, in the currently crazy political climate in Washington, D.C., deals could be made in back rooms such that this bill might make it into law. Operating on this possibility, it is up to us to raise our voices in Congress and kill this bill early before it gets a chance to grow. If you are an archaeologist, avocational archaeologist, artifact collector, or someone else who loves the subject matter of American archaeology, please do your part to help in defeating this bill. Thank you.