SAA Call for Help from Avocational Archaeologists

We urge USA members to talk with local avocational archaeological societies about joining CoAS. For $35/yr, CoAS members receive a copy of The SAA Archaeological Record, preliminary annual meeting programs, tables of contents of publications, and, now, an e-mail copy of SAA’s Government Affairs Updates. Most importantly in the present political climate, SAA can reach CoAS member societies with Take Action alerts, thereby mobilizing grassroots support for archaeology.

Because Trump campaign documents signaled that they would seek to devolve some environmental regulatory functions to the states, SAA is concerned that we keep an eye on legislative initiatives at the state as well as federal levels. We are still recruiting for our Government Affairs Network State Representative (GANSR) system, comprising a volunteer member in each state to keep SAA updated on state-level legislative and regulatory issues affecting archaeology. As you can see from the map below, we’ve made progress, but still have some work to do. (States appearing in white are still in need of a representative.) To give a good reason why we need GANSR, that environmentalist bastion, California, has recently seen introduction of AB 278, which proposes to alter the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) in ways that could disadvantage both CRM and tribes. If you work in a job that monitors state initiatives, or you already have an interest in this, do volunteer. Many states only grudgingly supportive of cultural heritage protections are as yet not covered.

The volunteers will be connected electronically by SAA’s Manager, Government Affairs, letting us know about important state issues that SAA should know about. This will help keep fellow archaeologists informed when it’s time to act on an issue before your legislature or regulatory agencies. If you want to join the GANSRs, please contact David Lindsay (david_lindsay@saa.org) as soon as possible.