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Release Date: 08/12/10
Contacts: Deanna Masterson, BLM Colorado Public Affairs Specialist, (303) 239-3671    

Collecting Artifacts, including Arrowheads, from Public Lands is Illegal (08-09-10)

DURANGO, Colo. – The Bureau of Land Management would like to remind you that collecting artifacts – including arrowheads – from federal public lands or Indian Tribal lands is illegal under federal laws and regulations. These objects are archaeological resources and remain the property of the United States.

According to the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, people who remove artifacts may be ordered by the court to relinquish or surrender any archaeological resources, vehicles, or equipment involved in the removal. These ARPA forfeiture provisions apply as a penalty in prosecutions regarding arrowhead removal.

Collecting archaeological resources, including arrowheads, is a violation under Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations 8365.1-5(a)(1).  It is also a violation of the Antiquities Act of 1906 and Title18 of the United States criminal code.  Violators may face prosecution and prison sentences of up to one year or more and/or possible fines in the tens of thousands of dollars.

We encourage everyone to learn more about the value of archaeological sites and to visit these places with respect.  For those interested in learning about modern American Indian perspectives and the importance of cultural resources, the Visit with Respect DVD, produced by the BLM in cooperation with American Indian tribes, is available at
As stewards of your public lands, the BLM asks for your assistance in preventing the loss of these irreplaceable artifacts.  BLM lands are patrolled by federal law enforcement officers who seek your participation in protecting archaeological resources.  Please call (303) 239-3803, email , or visit to report vandalism, looting, or artifact trafficking to BLM law enforcement.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

  15 Burnett Court      Durango, CO 81301  

Last updated: 08-13-2010