(KUTV) - The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) blocked at least 14 staff archaeologists and other specialists, including a few from Utah, to attend a gathering of the Society for American Archaeology in Washington, D.C.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that the staffers were scheduled to attend the event and lead a symposium titled, "Tough Issues in Land Management Archaeology." But a few days before the conference, BLM supervisors decided to not send the staffers, the majority of whom are based in Western states where BLM manages millions of acres that contain numerous sites and artifacts left by ancient American Indian civilizations.
In a written statement, the BLM said the decision was based on saving money.
“After reviewing the potential travel and other costs associated with attending the Society for American Archaeology’s national conference, the BLM authorized attendance by three BLM archaeologists,” the statement said.
According to the SAA conference program, the three staffers who were allowed to go were Diana Barg and Nathan Thomas of the Utah state office; Jamie Palmer of the Cedar City field office; and Nicole Lohman of the Price field office. They each delivered a 15-minute presentation on a crucial issue involved the management of archaeological resources on public land.