NEWHALEM, Wash. — The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe is offering up to $5,000 for information that leads to an arrest after evidence of illegal digging was discovered at an archaeological site in North Cascades National Park.

The Newhalem Rock Shelter is a federally-protected archeological site that acts as both a mountain goat hunting camp and a culturally significant site to certain tribes, including the Upper Skagit.

U.S. Rangers said the illegal excavation has caused "irretrievable damage" to the site and the tribes' heritage.  

The digging was discovered in the summer of 2019. 

Archeological sites in national parks are protected from unlawful excavations by the Archeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA). First-time offenders can be fined up to $20,000 for a felony offense if they violate ARPA.

Those with information can call the Investigative Services Branch of the National Parks at 888-653-0009 or email tips to isb@nps.gov.

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