Oregon Trail Historic Site Damaged


By Brittany Cooper

Burley, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KTWT-TV ) The Bureau of Land Management is investigating damage to a cultural site in the Burley area.

The BLM discovered pristine ruts of the Oregon Trail damaged by those they believe were searching artifacts such as coins. Using possibly metal detectors, hundreds of items were removed from a few miles of the trail.

But it's listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The ruts are located on land managed by the BLM and protected under the Archaeological Resource Protection Act.

"Excavation is illegal. This is a very deliberate act. There were over 300 holes that have been dug along two miles of the Oregon-California trail near the Milner Recreation Area," exclaims Heather Tiel-Nelson, Public Relations, BLM.

And officials say if you sink a shovel in an archaeological site on public land, you could be convicted of a felony. The collection of arrowheads though is not a felony, but theft of government property is a misdemeanor.

If you have any information on the damage to the Oregon trail ruts, please contact Special Agent Linden Schlenker at (208) 524-7590.

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