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Joshua Tree: Illegal Digging In Park

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October 19, 2009 01:56PM
Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
Follow-up On Illegal Digging In Park

In April 2007, park rangers were told that a man was digging at a historical site within the park. Two rangers responded and contacted Scott Johnson of Foothill Ranch, California, as he was walking back to his car. Johnson had numerous digging implements and two old beer cans in his possession. Johnson was issued an optional appearance citation, which he soon paid. The park archaeologist and a ranger subsequently went to the site and found that 17 holes had been excavated. Because a more serious criminal case was no longer possible due to the citation, a Park Resources Protection Act (19jj) action was begun. The park archaeologist subsequently completed an archaeological injury assessment. In January 2008, Johnson was served with notice of a 19jj violation by an NPS special agent. In late February 2009, Johnson agreed to a settlement that included paying $2,000 in restitution to the park, initiating online discussions on the Brewery Collectibles Club of America (BCCA) and “Rusty Bunch” beer can collecting forums, and submitting an anti-looting article to the BCCA magazine, Beer Cans and Brewery Collectibles. Online discussions were begun by Johnson in April 2009, which led to a very lively discussion. In September 2009, Johnson’s article, “A Reminder to Consider Where We Dig”, was published in the BCCA magazine. This article outlines Johnson’s experience dealing with the violation, why the federal government preserves cultural resources, and lists a variety of federal regulations and laws that protect those resources.

Joshua Tree: Illegal Digging In Park

Rick2360October 19, 2009 01:56PM

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