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Site Visitation Ethics

The following ethics apply to the term of your membership and cover all Grand Junction Chapter sponsored field trips. Please read and understand the following ethics pertaining to site visits. When visiting a rock art or archaeological site you are viewing a cultural expression of Native Peoples. Please remember that living people today may consider these sites sacred. The following ethics are part of our expression of respect for the Native Peoples.

  • Model and teach good site stewardship to children and visitors. Discourage careless behavior around rock art and archaeological sites. Kicking up dust or dislodging rocks can cause damage to the site. Make sure pets (if allowed) are under control.

  • Don't touch rock art or surfaces around it. The oils in your skin may cause damage to rock art. Don't apply any substance to the rock art surface. Don’t trace images with sticks, stones, chalk, etc. Treat the images as one would treasure pieces in an art museum.

  • Don't attempt to remove anything from rock art panels or other archaeological sites including graffiti, chalking, lichen, bird droppings, etc. Unintended harm may be done by removal attempts. Leave this to the experts.

  • Don't collect or disturb artifacts or features at an archaeological site. Please make sketches or take photos of them. It is acceptable to pick up surface artifacts, examine and enjoy them, as long as they are returned to the place where found and no damage is done to the artifact. Do not climb or walk on walls or archaeological structures. These treasures are the cultural heritage of us all.

  • Don't remove soil to expose subsurface rock art or archaeological features and cultural deposits.

  • Minimize the number of vehicles going to a site. Stay on existing roads and trails. Do not "pioneer" vehicle trails or parking areas. Avoid disturbing rocks, vegetation, or cryptobiotic soil crusts.

  • Avoid camping or building fires near an archaeological site, even if the landowner or public land manager permits camping. Excessive traffic and use may inadvertently degrade the site.

  • Speak out when needed to prevent damage to archaeological sites. Report new site destruction, charcoal near the site, or site vandalism to land owner or governmental entity (BLM, Forest Service, Park Service, etc.).

  • Avoid publicizing locations of archaeological resources on social media.

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