For several months, southern Utah has been consumed in a fiery debate about the culture of collecting there, illicit looting, and the role of the federal government in managing archaeological resources.
“Two people are dead, and a lot of the living are furious,” begins this article on the controversy. “After an FBI raid last month in Blanding, Utah, which ended with 19 residents hauled in for trafficking in ancient artifacts, one of those indicted, a local doctor, killed himself with poisonous carbon monoxide. The second man used a gun to kill himself.”
The article goes on to describe the creation of the “Kanab Archaeology Project,” which aims to build a museum that “will create jobs and educate children about the need to respect these ancient sites, much as they’re taught to respect pioneer Mormon settlements.” An interesting development in a difficult case.