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BLM warns against collection of artifacts

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 Title 18 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.