Dispute Could Put An End To Arizona Archaeological Council

By Bridget Dowd
Howard Fischer, Capitol Media Services
Published: Thursday, January 16, 2020 - 11:10am
Updated: Friday, January 17, 2020 - 9:17am
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Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services
Gail Griffin

The Arizona Archaeological Council is a special panel that keeps construction projects from damaging tribal remains and antiques. But a dispute between ranchers and Native American tribes could make that council nonexistent.

Earlier this week, members of the Arizona House Committee on Natural Resources, Energy and Water refused to recommend that the council continue for another three years.

The next day, they introduced legislation that would allow it to go on for just one more year.

Republican Rep. Gail Griffin said that gives the council a chance can change the way it operates and take into account the concerns of rural landowners.

"We don't want to step on the rights of ancestors," Griffin said. "We just want a timely process.”

This comes after complaints that the council was needlessly holding up projects and requiring landowners to do more than required under federal law.

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