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Bureau Of Land Management Investigates Damage To Oregon Trail
Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) Bureau of Land Management officials are in disbelief after a massive amount of damage to BLM property. The BLM is investigating ripped up trail heads at the Oregon Trail near Burley.
Archaeologists describe it as one of the worst cases of damage to historical public land in their careers.
"So about six weeks ago our Burley field Office archaeologist was out near the Milner Historic Recreation area. She was with a group of volunteers and they were out doing trail work when they discovered a hole and then another hole," said Heather Tiel-Nelson with the Bureau of Land Management.
In total three hundred and sixy holes had been dug along the historic Oregon Trail.
"We assume that what happened is someone used a metal detector to discover where the artifacts were along this section of the Oregon Trail," said Nelson.
Artifacts and gold coins can be worth major cash. But at Magic Valley Gold Buyers, they haven't seen an increase in historical coins or artifacts this summer.
"I haven't seen a major influx in any coins that would be from that era nor have I seen a major influx in anybody excessively treasure hunting or telling stories of going out on the Oregon Trail this summer," said Tony Roberts with Magic Valley Gold Buyers.
But the someone who committed the crimes is out there. And the BLM is hoping you might be able to help.
"We would really ask if anyone has any information, maybe if someone saw someone out there with a metal detector to please contact our special agent and report this," said Nelson.
The BLM is hoping that education and awareness will prevent more damage from occurring at historical sites.
"Digging for artifacts on federally managed land is illegal. In 1979 the Archaeological Resources Protection Act was passed specifically to prevent the excavation of our culture and historical sites on our public lands in the West," said Nelson.