Ute Mountain Tribe, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah


A high-end subdivision on 1,200 acres a few miles outside Cortez has no restrictions on home size or campers parked on the street. It has strict deed limits on how owners of the 32 lots must handle the archaeological features from the ancestral puebloan culture, the Anasazi. To excavate, a landowner must commit to a professionally conducted dig and produce a detailed report - costing $100,000 - or the goods stay buried and protected. Former California developer Archie Hanson's stone house has what looks like a long carport - a $100,000 shelter protecting an excavated pueblo dating to about 1025, with a kiva. In a state where the law allows anyone to do as he pleases with cultural artifacts and prehistoric structures on private land - including bulldozing them - Hanson's blend of commercialism and conservation is looking better and better. "It would be a dream for the country or state to adopt similar rules," said Indian Camp archaeologist Doug Bowman, also archaeologist for the spectacular Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Park. Any artifacts uncovered in Indian Camp can remain in the landowner's possession for his lifetime, then finds revert to the subdivision's collection. Residents who uncover human remains or funeral objects must leave them in place.