RAPID/Roadmap/11-NM-c

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New Mexico Human Burial Discovery Process (11-NM-c)

Where unmarked human burials or burial grounds are discovered on New Mexico state lands at any time during the project, developers must comply with strict notice and action requirements. Upon notifying local law enforcement, a Medical Investigator determines if the burial has medicolegal significance. Absent medicolegal significance, the developer must employ a qualifying archaeologist who then applies for a Permit to Excavate Human Burials. As part of the application, applicants must determine if the burials are Native American or Non-Native American and comply with differing notice requirements based on that determination. NMAC 4.10.11



Human Burial Discovery Process Process


11-NM-c.1 to 11-NM-c.2 Cease Activity and Notify Local Law Enforcement

A developer who discovers an unmarked human burial or unmarked burial ground must cease any activity that may disturb that burial or burial ground or any object or artifact associated with that burial or burial ground and shall notify the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction in the area. The local law enforcement agency will then notify the Medical lnvestigator (MI) and the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division (NMHPD). 4.10.11.8

11-NM-c.3 to 11-NM-c.4 Does the Burial Have Medicolegal Significance?

The MI and a NMHPD representative will make a joint determination as to whether or not the burial or burial grounds have medicolegal significance. If the burials have medicolegal significance, the MI retains sole jurisdiction over the burials and begins a medical investigation. Development may not continue during the course of the medical investigation. 4.10.11.8

11-NM-c.5 to 11-NM-c.6 Retain Qualifying Archaeologist

If the MI and NMHPD representative determine that the burial or burial grounds do not have medicolegal significance, the developer must retain a qualifying archaeologist or anthropologist who then submits a NMHPD Application for Permit to Excavate Human Burials. Applications must include a legal description of the land, current vitas of personnel who may supervise the excavation, a proposal outlining the methods and techniques of excavation consistent with 4.10.11.10 and methods for identifying and notifying living persons who may be related to the human burial. 4.10.11.9

11-NM-c.7 to 11-NM-c.8 Are the Burials Native American?

The required methods for identifying and notifying living persons who may be related to the human burial depend on whether the evidence suggests a burial is of Native American origin as opposed to non-Native American origin. If Non-Native American, the permittee will attempt to locate and notify any persons who may be related to the human burial in writing or through legal notice. Persons contacted who may be related to the human burial have 30 days to make recommendations to the permitee regarding the disposition of the human remains. 4.10.11.11.B

11-NM-c.9 to 11-NM-c.10 Notify State Office of Indian Affairs

If the evidence presented in the NMHPD Application for Permit to Excavate Human Burials suggests the burial is of Native American origin, the NMHPD will notify the State Office of Indian Affairs (OIA) and transmit information about the human burial. The OIA will attempt to identify living persons who may be related to the human burial and either the OIA or a spokesperson for a tribe claiming a relationship to the human burial may make a recommendation for disposition of the human remains. Recommendations must be received within 30 days of notification to OIA by the NMHPD. 4.10.11.11.A

11-NM- c.11 Review Application

The NMHPD will review the NMHPD Application for Permit to Excavate Human Burials to ensure the proposal is in compliance with applicable regulations. The NMHPD will make a decision within 60 days of receipt of the application, however they may expedite the review process in emergency discovery situations. In either case, the NMHPD will notify the applicant in writing of the approval or disproval of the permit. 4.10.11.9.A

11-NM-c.12 to 11-NM-c.13 Individual Permit to Excavate Human Burials

Once the NMHPD awards an Individual Permit to Excavate Human Burials, the permittee may begin excavation in accordance with the conditions outlined in the permit. Within 45 days of completion of permitted excavations the permittee will submit a recommended plan for the disposition of human remains (if not already specified in the permit application and execution process) and, once approved by the NMHPD, implement the plan within 30 days. Within 12 months of fieldwork, all permittees are required to submit a final report on the excavations of a human burial conducted under the permit to the NMHPD.4.10.11.124.10.11.13


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