Oil Companies Discovering Archeological Sites | VideoJennifer Joas | 6/22/2012
What was once public access is now being restricted. The State Historical Society will begin removing the site location information from archeological published reports across the state.
"Many of the sites are on private land, and to protect the rights of the land owner. And second, and equally important, is to protect the location of those cultural resources," said Paul Picha, State Historical Society Chief Archaeologist.
Archaeologists say because of the increased oil activity, the Historical Society is reviewing 30 percent more reports per month than three years ago. They want to protect these sites from possible damage.
"There is so many more archaeological finds being located that people are going to be curious. And once you lose one of these archaeological finds, you cannot get it back," said Brian Kalk, Public Service Commission Chairman.
"They often times can and will contain one of a kind information about the past. Another important consideration to remember is that cultural resources are non-renewable," said Picha.
The development in the oil industry has allowed the state to discover much more about its heritage.
"We are learning more about the archaeological background. We are learning more about the history of what North Dakota used to be. So I think it is a good thing but we also need to make sure we can protect it," said Kalk.
Picha says there have been minimal disturbances to the sites in North Dakota. The site locations will remain in the Public Service Commission reports for commissioners to vote on.