Oregon Trail Damaged and Artifacts Stolen W. of Burley
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX)- Investigators are trying to figure out who damaged and took artifacts from a historical site west of Burley. Bureau of Land Management officials say someone destroyed parts of the Oregon Trail near the Milner Dam sometime between late June and early July. BLM Archaeologist Suzann Henrikson says she had gone to the site for a project they were working on and discovered the damage and theft.
Henrikson says she has never seen an incident this severe in her 5 years working for the Burley Field office. The artifacts could have been jewelry, wagon parts, utensils and other items from travelers in the 1800’s. Henrikson says she believes thefts such as this are on the rise thanks to TV programs such as “Diggers” on Spike TV. It’s a program where the shows crew pay property owners money to dig up possible artifacts. However this incident happened on federal land. The BLM says it is a felony to sink a shovel in an archaeological site. Taking artifacts, such as an arrow head, from federal lands can be considered a misdemeanor. Henrikson says crews will repair the damage done to the trail but can not do anything about the artifacts taken.
Henrikson says it is unlikely they will be able to recover the stolen items. BLM officials ask if anyone has information on the damage at the Oregon Trail site please call them at 208-524-7590.