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Park service looking for archaeological site looters


National Park Service rangers are investigating damage to an archaeological site in North Cascades National Park and looking for help in locating those responsible for the damage, according to a post on the park service’s Facebook page.

Park rangers recently discovered evidence of illegal digging in an area called the Newhalem Rock Shelter, an archaeological site that was used extensively by native people for 1,500 years. Charred and split mountain goat bones suggest that the site was a place for traditional hunting and processing activities.

“This archeological site is extremely significant to the culturally associated tribes and the illegal excavation has caused irretrievable damage to the site and the tribes’ heritage,” the National Park Service said in the press release.

The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe is offering up to $5,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of those responsible, according to the post.

The site is protected from unlawful excavation by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.

The National Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch asks that anyone with information that could help get in touch by calling or texting (888) 653-0009, emailing nps_isb@nps.gov, or going to nps.gov/isb and clicking “submit a tip.”