Society for American Archaeology Calls on Senate to End Government Shutdown
The ongoing US government shutdown is placing the nation's cultural heritage at severe risk of degradation and destruction. Because of the shutdown, thousands of federal archaeologists are unable to do their work researching, investigating, cataloging, documenting, interpreting, and, of utmost timeliness and importance, protecting the archaeological sites and artifacts located on public land. Cultural resource managers are also adversely impacted because the federal agencies they work with in project review and compliance are not operating. Archaeological sites damaged during the government shutdown cannot be restored, and artifacts lost or stolen will not be easily recovered.
Ending the shutdown is vital, but it is just as important to oppose any move by the administration to build a border wall. The president would seek to waive federal laws such as the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) in order to speed construction of the project. Such an action would pose just as great a threat to the cultural heritage of the border region as the shutdown does.
Our shared past belongs to us all. SAA is asking the US public to support the protection of America’s cultural heritage and archaeological record by contacting their senators and urging them to re-open the Federal government without delay and without irresponsible expenditures such as a border wall.