OLG and DCRT
Strategic Plan
2014-15 through 2018-19

         

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§1601. Declaration of public policy

It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the state of Louisiana to protect and preserve prehistoric and historic properties, artifacts, treasure troves, and objects of antiquity which have historical value or which are of interest to the public, including but not limited to abandoned prehistoric or historic settlements, sites, properties, sunken or abandoned ships, or other objects, or any part thereof relating to the history, government, and culture of the state.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1602. Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission

A. There is hereby created the Louisiana Archaeological Survey and Antiquities Commission which shall be referred to as the "commission" for the purposes of this Chapter. The purpose of the commission shall be to promote the goals and objectives of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and to act in an advisory capacity to that department and its secretary in their administration of this Chapter and in matters relating to antiquities, archaeology, and other cultural resources.

B.(1) The commission shall be composed of eleven members. The person designated as state archaeologist and one representative each from the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and the Department of Natural Resources, and the Governor's Commission on Indian Affairs shall be ex officio voting members of the commission. The governor shall appoint seven members to the commission from a list of two nominees submitted to him by the ex officio members for each appointment he is to make, provided that at least one appointment shall be a member of the Louisiana Archaeological Society.

(2) The nominees shall be lay or professional archaeologists from throughout the state who possess such degree of training and experience as, in the opinion of the ex officio members, makes them exceptionally responsive to the scientific, social, aesthetic, and cultural needs of the public in the protection and preservation of the cultural resources of the state. Appointed members shall be confirmed by the Senate and shall serve terms concurrent with that of the governor making the appointment.

C. The seat of an appointed member which becomes vacant during the term of his appointment shall be filled by the governor from a list of two nominees submitted to him by the remaining members of the commission. The nominees shall possess the same qualifications as the other appointed members. The seat of any appointed member who shall miss three consecutive duly called meetings of the commission shall be deemed vacant and the vacancy shall be filled in the above described manner.

D. The members of the commission may be paid a per diem of fifty dollars for each day spent in attendance at meetings of the commission or on necessary business of the commission assigned by the commission and shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.

E. The commission shall elect one of its members as chairman and shall provide for its internal organization in a manner designed to best implement and accomplish its duties.

F. The commission shall meet at least four times a year to consider and vote on matters which come before it. Special meetings shall be held on the call of the chairman or on request of a majority of the members. Any six members of the commission shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of any and all business at any regular or special meeting. In the absence of the chairman, the remaining members may appoint a temporary chairman having all the powers of the absent chairman.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1603. Division of archaeology; state archaeologist

A. There is hereby created the division of archaeology, which shall be referred to as the "division" for purposes of this Chapter. The division shall be located within the office of cultural development of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

B. There is hereby created the position of state archaeologist. The state archaeologist shall hold a doctor of philosophy degree in anthropology, with specialization in archaeological research, and shall have demonstrated exceptional ability and interest in the protection and preservation of archaeological treasures for the benefit of the citizens of this state. The state archaeologist shall function as director of the division.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1604. Responsibilities of the division

The division shall initiate and promulgate a program in archaeology, which shall include but not be limited to the activities delineated in this Section. In carrying out this responsibility, the division shall:

(1) Promulgate reasonable rules and regulations concerning the recovery and study of historic and prehistoric archaeological remains which in any way relate to the inhabitants, prehistory, history, government, or culture, in, on, or under any of the lands belonging to the state of Louisiana, including the tidelands, submerged lands, and the bed of the sea within the jurisdiction of the state of Louisiana. These remains shall include but shall not be limited to:

(a) All prehistoric and historic American Indian or aboriginal campsites, dwellings, habitation sites, burial grounds, and archaeological sites of every character;

(b) All historic sites, objects, and buildings;

(c) All sunken or abandoned ships and wrecks of the sea or rivers, or any part of the content thereof;

(d) All treasure embedded in the earth or underwater; and

(e) All maps, records, documents, books, artifacts, and implements of culture which relate to such archaeological remains.

(2) Maintain the state archaeological site files, including but not limited to site records, field notes, maps, photographs, and reports.

(3) Function as legal custodian for all archaeological artifacts and objects of antiquity which have been recovered from state lands or donated from private lands, except those donated to the Louisiana State Museum or the office of state parks. The repository of all artifacts under the control of the division shall take into consideration the public nature and research value of these objects and insure that they are accessible to maximum public exhibit consistent with their preservation.

(4) Implement a program of activities that will make available to the public information about the historic and prehistoric resources of the state. This shall include but shall not be limited to press releases, newsletters, booklets, exhibits, audio-visual programs, and teaching materials.

(5) Serve as the archaeological advisory source for all state agencies by assisting them in evaluating any potential impact of their projects on archaeological resources.

(6) Administer those portions of the National Historic Preservation Act relative to archaeology.

(7) Advise the secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism and the state historic preservation officer on matters affecting archaeology.

(8) Administer an archaeological grants program.

(9) Implement for the state the Abandoned Shipwreck Act.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1605. Archaeological finds on state land; state property

A. All sunken or abandoned pre-twentieth century ships and wrecks of the sea and any part of the contents thereof and all archaeological treasure located in, on or under the surface of lands belonging to the state of Louisiana, including its tidelands, submerged lands and beds of its rivers, and the sea within the jurisdiction of this state are hereby declared to be the sole property of the state of Louisiana, under the administration and protection of the secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, hereinafter in this Chapter referred to as the "secretary".

B. It shall be unlawful for any agency, political subdivision, group, or person to take, alter, damage, destroy, or excavate on state-owned lands as herein described without first obtaining a permit or contract from the secretary. Permits shall be issued for purely scientific and educational projects and only when all recovered materials are to remain the property of the state and when there is to be no compensation to the permittee based on the value of the recovered remains. Contracts shall be entered into for recovery of materials when compensation is to be made to the contract holder based on the value of the recovered remains.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1606. Permits for recovery

The secretary, with the advice of the division, may issue a permit to any governmental agency, political subdivision, group, or person for the recovery of archaeological materials, treasure, sunken or abandoned ships and wrecks of the sea, or parts thereof or their contents, which are determined to be located on state-owned lands, or on private land if the written consent of the owner thereof is first obtained. All such permits shall specifically provide for the location, nature of, and time period for such operations and shall only be issued to qualified entities after the development of a research design. The division shall advise the secretary on the issuance of any such permit.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1607. Contracts for recovery

A. The secretary, with the advice of the division, may enter into a contract with any governmental agency, political subdivision, group, or person for the recovery of archaeological materials, treasure, sunken or abandoned ships and wrecks of the sea, or parts thereof or their contents, which are determined to be located on state-owned lands, or on private land if the written consent of the owner thereof is first obtained. Such contracts shall be approved by the attorney general and may provide for fair compensation to the salvager, and owner of the private land where applicable, in terms of a percentage of the reasonable cash value of the objects recovered or at the discretion of the secretary, with the advice of the division, of a fair share of the objects recovered.

B. The amount constituting a fair share shall be determined by the secretary, taking into consideration the circumstances of each operation, and the reasonable cash value may be determined by contractual agreement after appraisal by qualified experts or by representatives of the contracting parties. Each contract shall provide for the termination of any right of the salvager thereunder upon the violation of any of the terms thereof. Superior title to all objects recovered from state lands shall be retained by the state of Louisiana unless and until released by the secretary.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1608. Grants and fees

A. The division shall be authorized to accept gifts, grants, devices, and bequests of money, securities, or property.

B. The division shall be authorized to assess fees for technical services which it provides to public or private entities or persons, which fees shall be based upon the cost of operation of the division, including but not limited to its curation of artifacts, development and publication of technical materials, and conduct of workshops and seminars. Such fees shall be assessed pursuant to rules and regulations adopted in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act; the division may also provide in such rules for exemptions from or reductions in such fees for certain entities or persons.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1609. Access to information

Records of the division which specify the specific location of archaeological sites, including but not limited to the state archaeological site files, shall not be public information. Access to such records shall be restricted to individuals who have a legitimate research or management need as determined by the division.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1610. Prohibited excavations

No person, not being the owner thereof, shall without the consent of the owner enter or attempt to enter upon the lands of another and intentionally injure, disfigure, remove, excavate, damage, take, dig into, or destroy any sites or artifacts addressed by R.S. 41:1604(1).

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1611. Public cooperation; private lands

Every individual is encouraged, prior to knowingly disfiguring, removing, excavating, damaging, taking, digging into, or destroying any prehistoric or historic archaeological site, American Indian or aboriginal campsites, mounds, artifacts, burials, ruins, historic structures, or other archaeological remains located in or under any private lands within this state, to notify the division at least ninety days in advance and to allow professional supervision of same by the division or its agents.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1612. Injunctive relief

A. In addition to and without limiting the other powers of the attorney general, and without altering or waiving any criminal penalty fixed by this Chapter, the attorney general shall have the authority to bring an action in the name of the state in any court of competent jurisdiction for restraining orders and injunctive relief to restrain and enjoin violations or threatened violations of this Chapter and for the return of items taken in violation of the provisions hereof. The venue of such action shall lie either in the parish of East Baton Rouge or in the parish in which the activity sought to be restrained is alleged to be taking place or from which the items were taken.

B. Any citizen of Louisiana may bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction for a restraining order and injunctive relief to restrain and enjoin violations or threatened violations of this Chapter and for the return of items taken in violation of the provisions hereof. The venue of such an action shall lie in the parish in which the activity sought to be restrained is alleged to be taking place or from which the items were taken.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1613. State cooperation

The chief administrative officers of all state agencies are authorized and directed to cooperate with and assist the division, the secretary, and the attorney general in carrying out the purposes and intent of this Chapter. All state and local law enforcement agencies and officers are authorized and directed to assist in enforcing this Chapter and in carrying out the intent hereof.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.

§1614. Penalties

Any person violating any of the provisions of this Chapter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and upon conviction shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not more than thirty days, or by both. Each day of continued violation shall constitute a distinct and separate offense.

Acts 1989, No. 291,§ 1.