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Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit

Idaho State Cultural Considerations (11-ID-a)

Idaho has a statute that provides state law protection to cairns and grave sites. The Idaho State Historical Society administers the protections afforded by the statute.

State Cultural Considerations Process

11-ID-a.1 - Is a cairn or grave impacted by the project

It may be difficult to identify a cairn or grave before project development. During groundbreaking, the developer may discover human remains, funerary objects or other indicia that a grave has been disturbed. Any disturbance of the grounds would qualify as impacting a cairn or grave.

11-ID-a.2 - No permit needed; Continue with project

If no cairn or grave is ever impacted, there is no need to contact or consult with Idaho State Historical Society.

11-ID-a.3 - Is reinternment necessary to protect the cairn or grave

If a cairn or grave is discovered, the developer and Idaho State Historical Society must determine if mitigation measures are possible. In some cases, the project may be altered to preserve the cairn or grave. If the project cannot be altered and impact is unavoidable, reinternment is an option.

11-ID-a.4 - No permit needed; Continue with project

No action is necessary if the cairn or grave may remain undisturbed.

11-ID-a.5 - Consult to determine interested tribes

In the event the cairn or grave must be moved, the developer must consult with Idaho State Historical Society. ISHS has the resources to determine the necessary Native American tribes who may be interested in the cairn or grave. Sometimes the cairn or grave may have no association with a Native American tribe. In that case, ISHS need not designate a tribe.

11-ID-a.6 - Did ISHS designate a tribe for notification

The burden is on ISHS to determine all potentially interested tribes, which relieves the developer of the responsibility of conducting the research.

11-ID-a.7 - Notify the appropriate tribe

If ISHS determines that the grave or cairn may be associated with a particular tribe, the developer is responsible for notifying the tribe. As many details as possible should be provided to the tribe. The location of the cairn or grave, an inventory of the items that are visible around he cairn or grave.

11-ID-a.8 - Did the tribe give permission to proceed with excavation and reinterment or have 60 days elapsed without a response

In Idaho, the developer need only wait 60 days for a response after they have notified the ISHS designated tribe. If the tribe does not give permission to relocate the cairn or grave, the developer must consider alternatives or legal recourse.

11-ID-a.9 - Excavate, Scientific Study & Reinternment

If the tribe does give permission to relocate the cairn or grave, the developer must retain a professional archaeologist to assist with reinternment. The archaeologist may excavate, conduct necessary scientific study and relocate the remains to a new site. Permission to conduct scientific studies may not be granted by the tribe. In some cases, it may be prudent to negotiate a written agreement with the tribe as to how the reinternment is to proceed.

Contact Information

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Edit Idaho State Historical Society
State Cultural Considerations Contact
208-334-3847 x108
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Edit Idaho State Historical Society
State Cultural Considerations Contact #2
208.334.3847 x106
Visit Website