Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Heavy-Handed Feds?

While various archaeological blogs applaud the government's prosecutions of pot hunters, public opinion amongst the locals out West may not be so approving. See: http://www.kutv.com/content/news/local/story/Artifacts-Raid-Families-Allege-Intimidation-Rough/J2bxpx07SEaiPShQB97FZQ.cspx

The Feds obviously want to send a message aimed at discouraging pot hunting on federal and tribal land, but is this the best way to do it? Local officials don't think so:

City officials in Blanding, where most of the defendants live, have expressed "outrage." A prepared statement from the Blanding City Council called some of the tactics used in the roundup, "beyond belief." City leaders said the federal government has resisted helping fight illegal drugs and illegal immigration in their community, but has now focused on "minor infractions" over the artifacts.

"There are so many people devastated here," said one. "It's unreal what this has done to this community." Some contend artifacts are not hard to find, as easy as looking down on the ground. Investigators said the artifacts, which were being sold, were taken from public or tribal land, in violation of federal law.

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