News from OAC

New OAC Website Administrator Announced

After many years of often unrecognized work, Brian Redmond has stepped down as the OAC website administrator as of January 1, 2016. Please join me in thanking Brian for his many years of tireless effort on the OAC’s behalf! We could not have moved the website forward without his dedication. 

Through the efforts of Al Tonetti, ASC Group President Shaune Skinner has generously agreed to have ASC’s Tina Davis take over administration of the OAC’s website from Brian. Many years ago Tina began working at ASC as an archaeology field tech, then moved to supervisor, and has since transitioned to Cartography and IT. Please join me in welcoming Tina and in thanking Shaune Skinner! The OAC could not continue to promote the advancement of Ohio archaeology without the support of members like Shaune.

 

Columbus Dispatch Editorial Urges New Laws to Protect Native American Burial Sites

Protect the past:

Ohio should do more to deter and punish those who plunder history...

Click the link below to read more...

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/editorials/2016/01/15/1-protect-the-past.html

Ohio Archaeological Council Files Friend of the Court Brief on NAGPRA Case in the U.S. Supreme Court

On December 17, 2015, the Ohio Archaeological Council and Drs. Brian Kemp (Molecular Anthropologist, Washington State University) and Eske Willerslev (Evolutionary Biologist, University of Denmark), filed a friend of the court brief in support of White et al. v. University of California, et al. at the United States Supreme Court. This case concerns the proposed repatriation of the 9,000 year old La Jolla human remains. The brief was prepared by OAC Trustee Dr. Bradley T. Lepper and former OAC member and attorney Bradley K. Baker, as authorized by the OAC’s Board of Directors. The OAC filed a very similar brief regarding the interpretation of NAGPRA in the Kennewick Man case (Bonnichsen v. United States).

Our brief contends that the La Jolla human remains are not "Native American" as defined by NAGPRA, they have profound scientific importance, and repatriating the remains would damage NAGPRA’s delicate balance among the scientific and museum communities, Federal agencies, and Native Americans in the treatment of these and other ancient human remains.

The brief can be read here:

No._15-667_Amicus_Motion_for_Leave_and_Amicus_Brief.pdf

Enforcement of Ohio’s Damage Prevention Laws Begins

As of January 1, 2016, an "aggrieved person" as defined in ORC 4913.01 (A) now has the option of reporting a suspected compliance failure of one of the sections of the Ohio Revised Code defined in 4905.041 (A). Reports may be filed with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) and must be made within 90 days of discovering the suspected compliance failure, per ORC 4913.05 (A).

Please visit the PUCO website for further information on how to file a complaint and FAQs surrounding the details of this process:

http://www.puco.ohio.gov/puco/index.cfm/industry-information/industry-topics/damage-prevention/#sthash.ITbomrsb.dpbs

The Ohio Revised Code, as it pertains to damage prevention, can be viewed at:

http://www.oups.org/Explore-OUPS/The-Law

"Call Before You Dig" Enforcement Begins January 1, 2016

Call Before You Dig: It’s The Law in Ohio and Enforcement Begins January 1, 2016

On January 1, 2016, the enforcement provisions of Ohio’s call before you dig law take effect. Everyone who digs, including private land owners, must contact the Ohio Utility Protection Service (OUPS: call 811 or 1-800-362-2764) to get a dig ticket. Commercial excavators, such as archaeologists working in the private or public sectors, including academia, can use i-dig, and private landowners can use e-dig, to obtain a dig ticket at http://www.oups.org/. By law, everyone must contact OUPS at least 48 hours but no more than 10 working days (excluding weekends and legal holidays) before digging. Digging means penetrating the ground with any hand-held or mechanical tool to any depth for any reason.

Ohio’s Public Utilities Commission (PUCO) will enforce the law, aided by the Underground Technical Committee (UTC). Fines and other penalties will be assessed for non-compliance by the PUCO and the UTC. Every commercial excavation entity, not private landowners, will also need to register with OUPS and the PUCO, and pay a nominal registration fee, up to $50, annually. You will register the first time you request a dig ticket from OUPS.

The goal of Ohio’s call before you dig law is to make every excavation safe. It is not meant to punish excavators, but steep fines can be imposed for persistent and willful non-compliers. The Ohio Archaeological Council wants all archaeologists digging in Ohio to dig safely and comply with the law. The reputation of our industry with our clients, employers, peers, government officials, and the public is at stake.

Al Tonetti (614-310-3547, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) is representing the interests of Ohio Archaeological Council members on the Ohio Utility Damage Prevention Coalition (OUDPC), the group of industry representatives who drafted the enforcement provisions of the law. The OUDPC will meet again in the summer of 2016 to assess how enforcement is going and address any concerns. If you have any concerns, complaints, etc., about Ohio’s call before you dig process or its enforcement, please contact Al Tonetti so that the archaeological community’s voice can be heard when it matters most.

A final recommendation. Assuming you have contacted OUPS before you dig, document the condition of your excavation site before, during, and after your excavation is completed with photographs and/or video, paying particular attention to any markings made by utility locators. If a request for inquiry/complaint is filed against you, images of the excavation site will be important evidence in resolving the matter in your favor. They will also be important if you file a request for inquiry against a utility locator, etc.

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