[Rev. 11/21/2013 11:14:21 AM--2013]

CHAPTER 383 - HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND ARCHEOLOGY

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 383.011           Definitions.

NRS 383.021           Creation of Office of Historic Preservation; duties; inclusion of Comstock Historic District Commission within Office.

NRS 383.031           Administrator: Qualifications.

NRS 383.041           Administrator: Duties; employment of personnel.

NRS 383.075           Administrator: Establishment of stewardship program; selection and training of volunteers; powers of program; acceptance of gifts and grants.

NRS 383.081           Preparation and contents of plan for statewide historic preservation; federal financial assistance.

NRS 383.085           State Register of Historic Places.

NRS 383.091           Program for historical markers.

NRS 383.101           Grants, gifts and donations; payment for services rendered.

NRS 383.111           Contracts: Historic preservation and archeological activities; expenses for overhead.

NRS 383.121           Intergovernmental cooperation required.

NRS 383.125           Programs by certain nonprofit organizations to raise money to benefit historic places; prohibitions; regulations.

PROTECTION OF INDIAN BURIAL SITES

NRS 383.150           Definitions.

NRS 383.160           Duties of Office of Historic Preservation.

NRS 383.170           Procedure upon discovery of Indian burial site; permissible excavation.

NRS 383.180           Prohibited acts; penalties; exceptions.

NRS 383.190           Civil remedy.

PROTECTION OF HISTORIC AND PREHISTORIC SITES

NRS 383.400           Definitions.

NRS 383.405           “Historic site” defined.

NRS 383.410           “Political subdivision” defined.

NRS 383.415           “Prehistoric site” defined.

NRS 383.420           “State agency” defined.

NRS 383.425           “State land” defined.

NRS 383.430           Office of Historic Preservation authorized to enter into agreement with state agency or political subdivision regarding acquisition of land from Federal Government; requirements of agreement; submission of information to Office required for changes to use of land or new project on land.

NRS 383.435           Prohibited acts; penalties; exceptions; civil remedy.

NRS 383.440           Regulations.

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GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 383.011  Definitions.  As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:

      1.  “Administrator” means the Administrator of the Office.

      2.  “Advisory Board” means the Board of Museums and History.

      3.  “Cultural resources” means any objects, sites or information of historic, prehistoric, archeological, architectural or paleontological significance.

      4.  “Director” means the Director of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

      5.  “Office” means the Office of Historic Preservation of the State Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1357; A 1993, 1592; 2001, 934; 2005, 1576; 2011, 2981)

      NRS 383.021  Creation of Office of Historic Preservation; duties; inclusion of Comstock Historic District Commission within Office.

      1.  The Office of Historic Preservation is hereby created.

      2.  The Office shall:

      (a) Encourage, plan and coordinate historic preservation and archeological activities within the State, including programs to survey, record, study and preserve or salvage cultural resources.

      (b) Compile and maintain an inventory of cultural resources in Nevada deemed significant by the Administrator.

      (c) Designate repositories for the materials that comprise the inventory.

      (d) Provide staff assistance to the Commission for Cultural Affairs of the Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs.

      3.  The Comstock Historic District Commission is within the Office.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1357; A 1985, 716; 1989, 504; 1993, 1592; 2005, 1576; 2011, 2981)

      NRS 383.031  Administrator: Qualifications.  The Administrator of the Office:

      1.  Must be selected by the Director with special reference to his or her training, experience, capacity and interest in historic preservation or archeology, or both.

      2.  Must have an advanced degree in history, archeology, architectural history, historic preservation or a related field or in public administration with course work and experience in one of the fields of historic preservation and archeology.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1357; A 1985, 418; 1993, 1592)

      NRS 383.041  Administrator: Duties; employment of personnel.  The Administrator, subject to administrative supervision by the Director, is responsible for carrying out all provisions of law relating to the functions of the Office. The Administrator may employ, within the limits of available money, any clerical and operational personnel necessary for the administration of the Office.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1357; A 1993, 1592)

      NRS 383.075  Administrator: Establishment of stewardship program; selection and training of volunteers; powers of program; acceptance of gifts and grants.

      1.  The Administrator shall, by regulation, establish a stewardship program to:

      (a) Protect cultural resources located on public land in this State;

      (b) Increase public awareness of the significance and value of cultural resources and the damage done to cultural resources by an act of vandalism;

      (c) Discourage acts of vandalism and the unlawful sale and trade of artifacts, including, without limitation, archeological and paleontological materials;

      (d) Support and encourage improved standards for investigating and researching cultural resources in this State;

      (e) Promote cooperation among governmental agencies, organizations, private industries, Native American tribes and persons who wish to protect cultural resources and enter into agreements with those agencies, organizations, private industries, Native American tribes and persons to promote the protection of cultural resources; and

      (f) Increase the inventory of cultural resources maintained pursuant to NRS 383.021.

      2.  The Administrator shall select, train and certify volunteers to serve in the stewardship program based upon the requirements established by the Administrator.

      3.  The stewardship program may:

      (a) In cooperation with governmental agencies, organizations, private industries, Native American tribes and persons specified in paragraph (e) of subsection 1, submit a proposed list to the Administrator for approval setting forth any sites that are or may include cultural resources located on public land in this State;

      (b) Schedule periodic monitoring activities by volunteers of sites included on the list approved pursuant to paragraph (a);

      (c) Establish requirements for reporting any act of vandalism to appropriate authorities as determined by the Administrator; and

      (d) Establish programs for educating the members of the public concerning the significance and value of cultural resources and the loss to the members of the public resulting from damage to cultural resources.

      4.  The Administrator shall coordinate the activities of federal agencies, private industries, Native American tribes and state and local governmental agencies, as necessary, to carry out the stewardship program.

      5.  The Administrator and the Office shall provide administrative services to assist in carrying out the stewardship program.

      6.  Volunteers selected for the stewardship program serve without compensation and are not entitled to receive any per diem allowance or travel expenses.

      7.  The Administrator may accept gifts, grants, donations or contributions from any source to assist the Administrator in carrying out the stewardship program.

      8.  As used in this section, “act of vandalism” means to damage, destroy or commit or threaten to commit any other act that defaces or harms any cultural resources without the consent of the owner or appropriate governmental agency, including, without limitation, inscribing, marking, etching, scratching, drawing, painting on or affixing to the cultural resources any mark, figure or design.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 1575)

      NRS 383.081  Preparation and contents of plan for statewide historic preservation; federal financial assistance.

      1.  The Administrator shall prepare and maintain a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan. The plan must contain:

      (a) An evaluation of the needs for preservation of historic sites;

      (b) A program for carrying out the plan; and

      (c) Other information which the Administrator determines to be necessary.

      2.  The plan must:

      (a) Take into account relevant federal resources and programs; and

      (b) Be correlated insofar as practicable with other state, regional and local plans.

      3.  The Administrator, subject to approval by the Director, may represent and act for the State in dealing with the Federal Government or any of its agencies, instrumentalities or officers for the purposes of receiving financial assistance for planning, acquisition or development of historic preservation projects pursuant to the provisions of federal law.

      4.  The Administrator, subject to approval by the Director, may administer and disburse to other state agencies, political subdivisions, eleemosynary organizations, nonprofit organizations and private persons and enterprises money paid by the Federal Government to the State of Nevada as financial assistance for planning, acquisition or development of historic preservation projects, and the Administrator shall, on behalf of the State, keep such records as the Federal Government prescribes and as will facilitate an effective audit, including records which fully disclose:

      (a) The amount and the disposition by the State of the proceeds of that assistance;

      (b) The total cost of the project or undertaking in connection with such assistance as given or used; and

      (c) The amount and nature of that portion of the cost of the project or undertaking supplied by other sources.

      5.  Authorized representatives of the Federal Government have access for the purpose of audit and examination to any books, documents, papers and records of the State that are pertinent to financial assistance received by the State pursuant to federal law for planning, acquisition or development of historic preservation projects.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1358; A 1979, 159)

      NRS 383.085  State Register of Historic Places.

      1.  The Office shall prepare and maintain the State Register of Historic Places.

      2.  The Office shall establish procedures, qualifications and standards for listing historic places in the State Register.

      3.  The Office shall prepare a list of eligible sites, structures, objects and districts on public and private land.

      4.  The Administrator may, by agreement with the appropriate state agency or private owner, place any site, structure, object or district which is located on state or private land in the State Register. The Administrator may by agreement with the appropriate federal agency place any site, structure, object or district which is located on federal land in the State Register.

      (Added to NRS by 1979, 272; A 1993, 1593)

      NRS 383.091  Program for historical markers.

      1.  The Administrator shall:

      (a) Establish the qualifications and standards for a historical markers program, designate and make an inventory of qualified sites on both public and privately owned lands, and place and maintain historical markers on all public lands and all private lands when the owner consents.

      (b) Establish a state historical marker registry system.

      (c) Consult with the Nevada Historical Society to determine the content of the legend on all markers. The Nevada Historical Society has the final authority to determine the content of any legend.

      (d) Solicit the cooperation of owners of private property for the installation of historical markers on eligible properties and structures in order that they may be included in the State Historical Marker Registry.

      (e) Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, install, maintain and protect all registered historical markers.

      2.  The Administrator may contract with, or cooperate with, public or private agencies for suitable markers and directional signs, including signs on highways and roads, at the site of, or on the approaches to, registered historical markers. The contracts may include provisions for the installation, maintenance and protection of the markers.

      3.  When the owner of private property consents to the placement by a nonprofit organization of a historical marker in or on a structure located on his or her property, the owner shall be deemed to have consented to the maintenance of the historical marker in or on the structure for as long as the structure remains standing unless the owner notifies the nonprofit organization and requests the organization to remove the historical marker. The owner shall notify any person to whom he or she sells or otherwise transfers ownership of the structure of the duty to maintain the historical marker. The purchaser of a structure in or on which a historical marker has been placed by a nonprofit organization shall maintain the historical marker on the structure for as long as he or she owns the structure and shall notify any person to whom he or she sells or otherwise transfers ownership of the structure of the duty to maintain the historical marker unless the purchaser notifies the nonprofit organization and requests the organization to remove the historical marker. If the structure in or on which a historical marker is placed by a nonprofit organization is renovated or remodeled in such a manner as to require the removal of the historical marker, the owner shall ensure that the marker is reattached to the structure in the same place or in a place of similar prominence as soon as practicable after the completion of the renovation or remodeling project.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1358; A 1997, 3127)

      NRS 383.101  Grants, gifts and donations; payment for services rendered.  The Administrator, subject to the approval of the Director, may:

      1.  Apply for grants, gifts and donations from public and private sources, including the Federal Government.

      2.  Receive money from public and private sources in payment for services rendered.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1358; A 1979, 618)

      NRS 383.111  Contracts: Historic preservation and archeological activities; expenses for overhead.

      1.  The Administrator, subject to the approval of the Director, may negotiate contracts for:

      (a) Historic preservation activities.

      (b) Archeological activities.

      2.  Any contract for services may include a charge sufficient to cover overhead expenses.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1358)

      NRS 383.121  Intergovernmental cooperation required.

      1.  All departments, commissions, boards and other agencies of the State and its political subdivisions shall cooperate with the Office in order to salvage or preserve historic, prehistoric or paleoenvironmental evidence located on property owned or controlled by the United States, the State of Nevada or its political subdivisions.

      2.  When any agency of the State or its political subdivisions is preparing or has contracted to excavate or perform work of any kind on property owned or controlled by the United States, the State of Nevada or its political subdivisions which may endanger historic, prehistoric or paleoenvironmental evidence found on the property, or when any artifact, site or other historic or prehistoric evidence is discovered in the course of such excavation or work, the agency or the contractor hired by the agency shall notify the Office and cooperate with the Office to the fullest extent practicable, within the appropriations available to the agency or political subdivision for that purpose, to preserve or permit study of such evidence before its destruction, displacement or removal.

      3.  The provisions of this section must be made known to all private contractors performing such excavation or work for any agency of the State or its political subdivisions.

      (Added to NRS by 1977, 1359; A 1993, 1593)

      NRS 383.125  Programs by certain nonprofit organizations to raise money to benefit historic places; prohibitions; regulations.

      1.  A nonprofit organization that has as its primary purpose the raising of money to benefit historic places in this State that are listed in the State Register of Historic Places or the National Register of Historic Places, or programs conducted pursuant thereto, may, with the approval of the Administrator, engage in a program to raise money to benefit such a historic place or program pursuant to which a donor of money is allowed to name such a historic place, or any portion thereof, that receives any part of its funding from or through this State.

      2.  The Administrator shall not approve a program pursuant to which a donor is allowed to rename a historic place or any portion thereof.

      3.  The Administrator may adopt such regulations as he or she determines are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 1653)

PROTECTION OF INDIAN BURIAL SITES

      NRS 383.150  Definitions.  As used in NRS 383.150 to 383.190, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires:

      1.  “Cairn” means stones or other material placed in a pile as a memorial or monument to the dead.

      2.  “Grave” means an excavation for burial of a human body.

      3.  “Indian burial site” means the area including and immediately surrounding the cairn or grave of a native Indian.

      4.  “Indian tribe” means a Nevada Indian tribe recognized by the Secretary of the Interior.

      5.  “Professional archeologist” means a person who holds a graduate degree in archeology, anthropology or a closely related field as determined by the Director of the Division.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 573)

      NRS 383.160  Duties of Office of Historic Preservation.  The Office shall:

      1.  Upon application by:

      (a) An interested landowner, assist the landowner in negotiating an agreement with an Indian tribe for the treatment and disposition of an Indian burial site and any artifacts and human remains associated with the site; and

      (b) Either party, mediate a dispute arising between a landowner and an Indian tribe relating to the treatment and disposition of an Indian burial site and any artifacts and human remains associated with the site.

      2.  In performing its duties pursuant to NRS 383.150 to 383.190, inclusive, endeavor to:

      (a) Protect Indian burial sites and any associated artifacts and human remains from vandalism and destruction; and

      (b) Provide for the sensitive treatment and disposition of Indian burial sites and any associated artifacts and human remains consistent with the planned use of land.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 575; A 1993, 1593)

      NRS 383.170  Procedure upon discovery of Indian burial site; permissible excavation.

      1.  A person who disturbs the cairn or grave of a native Indian through inadvertence while engaged in a lawful activity such as construction, mining, logging or farming or any other person who discovers the cairn or grave of a native Indian that has not been previously reported to the Office shall immediately report the discovery and the location of the Indian burial site to the Office. The Office shall immediately consult with the Nevada Indian Commission and notify the appropriate Indian tribe. The Indian tribe may, with the permission of the landowner, inspect the site and recommend an appropriate means for the treatment and disposition of the site and all artifacts and human remains associated with the site.

      2.  If the Indian burial site is located on private land and:

      (a) The Indian tribe fails to make a recommendation within 48 hours after it receives notification pursuant to subsection 1; or

      (b) The landowner rejects the recommendation and mediation conducted pursuant to NRS 383.160 fails to provide measures acceptable to the landowner,

Ê the landowner shall, at his or her own expense, reinter with appropriate dignity all artifacts and human remains associated with the site in a location not subject to further disturbance.

      3.  If the Indian burial site is located on public land and action is necessary to protect the burial site from immediate destruction, the Office may cause a professional archeologist to excavate the site and remove all artifacts and human remains associated with the site for subsequent reinterment, following scientific study, under the supervision of the Indian tribe.

      4.  Any other excavation of an Indian burial site may be conducted only:

      (a) By a professional archeologist;

      (b) After written notification to the Administrator; and

      (c) With the prior written consent of the appropriate Indian tribe. Failure of a tribe to respond to a request for permission within 60 days after its mailing by certified mail, return receipt requested, shall be deemed consent to the excavation.

Ê All artifacts and human remains removed during such an excavation must, following scientific study, be reinterred under the supervision of the Indian tribe, except that the Indian tribe may, by explicit written consent, authorize the public display of a particular artifact. The archeologist, Indian tribe and landowner shall negotiate an agreement to determine who will pay the expenses related to the interment.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 574; A 1993, 928, 1594; 1995, 579)

      NRS 383.180  Prohibited acts; penalties; exceptions.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 383.170, a person who willfully removes, mutilates, defaces, injures or destroys the cairn or grave of a native Indian is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of $500 for the first offense, or by a fine of not more than $3,000 for a second or subsequent offense, and may be further punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 364 days.

      2.  A person who fails to notify the Office of the discovery and location of an Indian burial site in violation of NRS 383.170 is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of $500 for the first offense, or by a fine of not more than $1,500 for a second or subsequent offense, and may be further punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 364 days.

      3.  A person who:

      (a) Possesses any artifact or human remains taken from the cairn or grave of a native Indian on or after October 1, 1989, in a manner other than that authorized by NRS 383.170;

      (b) Publicly displays or exhibits any of the human remains of a native Indian, except during a funeral ceremony; or

      (c) Sells any artifact or human remains taken from the cairn or grave of a native Indian,

Ê is guilty of a category D felony and shall be punished as provided in NRS 193.130.

      4.  This section does not apply to:

      (a) The possession or sale of an artifact:

             (1) Discovered in or taken from a location other than the cairn or grave of a native Indian; or

             (2) Removed from the cairn or grave of a native Indian by other than human action; or

      (b) Action taken by a peace officer in the performance of his or her duties.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 574; A 1993, 929; 1995, 1271; 2013, 983)

      NRS 383.190  Civil remedy.

      1.  In addition to the imposition of any criminal penalty, an Indian tribe or an enrolled member of an Indian tribe may bring a civil action to secure an injunction, damages and other appropriate relief against a person who violates NRS 383.170 or 383.180. The action must be brought within 2 years after the discovery of the action by the plaintiff. The action may be filed in the district court for the county in which the cairn, grave, artifacts or remains are located, or within which the defendant resides.

      2.  If the plaintiff prevails in the action:

      (a) The court may award reasonable attorney fees to the plaintiff.

      (b) The court may grant injunctive or such other equitable relief as is appropriate, including forfeiture of any artifacts or human remains acquired or equipment used in the violation. The court shall order the disposition of any forfeited equipment as it sees fit, and order the reinterment of the artifacts and human remains at the defendant’s expense under the supervision of the Indian tribe.

      (c) The plaintiff may recover actual damages.

      3.  If the defendant prevails in the action, the court may award reasonable attorney fees to the defendant.

      (Added to NRS by 1989, 575)

PROTECTION OF HISTORIC AND PREHISTORIC SITES

      NRS 383.400  Definitions.  As used in NRS 383.400 to 383.440, inclusive, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and terms defined in NRS 383.405 to 383.425, inclusive, have the meanings ascribed to them in those sections.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 569)

      NRS 383.405  “Historic site” defined.  “Historic site” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 381.195.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 569)

      NRS 383.410  “Political subdivision” defined.  “Political subdivision” means a county, city, irrigation district or any other local government as defined in NRS 354.474.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 569)

      NRS 383.415  “Prehistoric site” defined.  “Prehistoric site” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 381.195.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 569)

      NRS 383.420  “State agency” defined.  “State agency” means the State of Nevada or any board, commission, department, division or other public agency of this State.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 569)

      NRS 383.425  “State land” defined.  “State land” means land that is owned by or under the control of a state agency or political subdivision.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 569)

      NRS 383.430  Office of Historic Preservation authorized to enter into agreement with state agency or political subdivision regarding acquisition of land from Federal Government; requirements of agreement; submission of information to Office required for changes to use of land or new project on land.

      1.  Upon request by any state agency or political subdivision, the Office may enter into an agreement with that state agency or political subdivision regarding any land which the state agency or political subdivision intends to acquire from an agency of the Federal Government. The agency of the Federal Government may be a party to the agreement.

      2.  An agreement made pursuant to subsection 1 must:

      (a) Include provisions that are sufficient to ensure that the land, when acquired, will receive protection for any historic or prehistoric site at a level equivalent to the protection provided if the land had remained under federal ownership;

      (b) Require the state agency or political subdivision to submit a proposal and consult with the Office before changing the use of the land or initiating a project on any portion of the land; and

      (c) Require that any expenses associated with carrying out the agreement are the responsibility of the state agency or political subdivision.

      3.  If a state agency or political subdivision submits a proposal to change the use of the land or initiate a project on any portion of the land pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 2, the state agency or political subdivision shall:

      (a) Provide to the Office a written statement:

             (1) Identifying any Indian tribes that may be concerned with the religious or cultural importance of the site and other interested persons for inclusion in the consultation required pursuant to paragraph (b) of subsection 2;

             (2) Identifying any historic or prehistoric sites in accordance with the requirements of the Office for recording and reporting for those sites;

             (3) Evaluating any historic or prehistoric sites for inclusion in the State Register of Historic Places, including any text excavations or other research;

             (4) Evaluating the effect of the change in use of the land or the project on a historic or prehistoric site that is eligible for inclusion in the State Register of Historic Places; and

             (5) Evidencing the preparation and carrying out of treatment plans that comply with the requirements of the Office for those plans; and

      (b) Any other information relating to the proposed change of use required by the Office.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 569)

      NRS 383.435  Prohibited acts; penalties; exceptions; civil remedy.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person who knowingly and willfully removes, mutilates, defaces, excavates, injures or destroys a historic or prehistoric site or resource on state land or who receives, traffics in or sells cultural property appropriated from state land without a valid permit, unless a greater penalty is provided by a specific statute:

      (a) For a first offense, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of $500.

      (b) For a second or subsequent offense, is guilty of a gross misdemeanor and shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 364 days or by a fine of not more than $3,000, or by both fine and imprisonment.

      2.  This section does not apply to any action taken:

      (a) In accordance with an agreement with the Office entered into pursuant to NRS 383.430; or

      (b) In accordance with the provisions of NRS 381.195 to 381.227, inclusive, by the holder of a permit issued pursuant to those sections.

      3.  In addition to any other penalty, a person who violates a provision of this section is liable for civil damages to the state agency or political subdivision which has jurisdiction over the state land in an amount equal to the cost or, in the discretion of the court, an amount equal to twice the cost of the restoration, stabilization and interpretation of the site plus any court costs and fees.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 570; A 2013, 983)

      NRS 383.440  Regulations.  The Office may adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of NRS 383.400 to 383.440, inclusive.

      (Added to NRS by 2005, 570)