News Release

Shoshone-Bannock Tribes

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes (Tribes) have been notified about the conviction of Alan Thorkelson, of Challis, for illegal digging of an archeological site in Devil’s Canyon in 2017 that was being monitored for previous illegal activity for graffiti.

Chairman Nathan Small states, “We are pleased with the court case and prosecution and hope that the public understands how important these cultural sites are to my people. We are grateful to our partnership with the Bureau of Land Management and the local law enforcement for enforcing the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA).”

The Tribes appreciate the efforts of the Idaho Falls Bureau of Land Management law enforcement officials, Custer County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for investigating and convicting Thorkelson.

The Shoshone and Bannock people have resided and utilized these lands through the Western United States for thousands of years. What remains today are physical artifacts such as stone tools, rock writing, pottery and other indications of Native American use. The importance of preserving and protecting valuable non-replaceable cultural sites cannot be overstated. 

Chairman Small further states, “Loss of history occurs when these archaeological sites are disturbed, damaged, removed, or defaced. We are all stewards of the land and we urge the public to learn more about our local history and understand the importance of preserving archeological sites.” 

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