Heritage Protection and Emergency Management (HPEM)

Cogstone’s Heritage Protection and Emergency Management (HPEM) team provides all aspects of Heritage protection. With its team of Forensic Archaeologists and Criminal Investigators, HPEM has over 100 years of experience in protecting cultural resources. We can assist in the detection and investigation of archaeological violations and archaeological violation case report preparation. We can provide full archaeological damage assessment services for both terrestrial and submerged resources, including on-site damage assessment, Archaeological Resources Protection Act based value and cost determination, and archaeological damage assessment report preparation. Our investigation and damage assessment services are available for both criminal and civil cases.

Hello Everyone,
Cogstone Resource Management’s Heritage Protection and Emergency Management (HPEM) team is ready and able to assist public and tribal agencies in the investigation and assessment of damages for violations affecting cultural and paleontological resources during shutdowns and understaffing brought about by COVID-19. HPEM also provides online instruction on archaeological violation investigation and archaeological damage assessment. Our staff, with over 100 years of combined heritage protection experience, are currently working remotely throughout the U.S. including in Arizona, California, Florida, Idaho, and Montana. During this time, we remain committed to protecting our cultural heritage in the U.S. and will continue to do so as safely as possible.

Two factors make it very likely that looting of cultural and paleontological sites on public and tribal lands will increase during the U.S. government response to COVID-19.

First and most importantly, suspension of the operation of many businesses and resulting high levels of unemployment during the pandemic will result in some individuals seeking alternative sources of income. As is documented for the Great Depression of the 1930’s (see La Vere 2007), one potential source of income will be the theft and sale of protected archaeological resources. It is likely that paleontological resources also will be vulnerable to this threat.

Secondly, as the National Forests and Parks are scaling back operations, some facilities are closing, while some remain open, but are under-staffed. Similar actions occurred during the federal government shutdown of 2018, which led to an increase in the destruction and theft of natural and cultural resources.

HPEM remains at the ready to assist you effectively and safely during this time. Working together, we are ready to develop strategies that will allow us to protect our resources, while keeping ourselves and those around us safe as well. During this time, we will continue to provide the same quality services including:

  • Assisting in the identification of looting activities
  • Conducting field damage assessment operations, where able to be done
  • Developing management plans or strategies for dealing with damaged cultural resources
  • Providing online instructional courses for training archaeologists, land managers, and law enforcement on how to identify and document damage to cultural resources
  • Discussing and implementing strategies for protecting cultural resources that will be effective not only during this time, but in the future as well

Please feel free to reach out to our HPEM team with any questions or concerns you may have during this time.
Stay Safe,
The HPEM Team

Upcoming Classes:

Due to Covid-19 all in-person Archaeological Violation Investigation classes are cancelled until further notice.