Pillaging cultural treasures

 

In Susan Cocking’s Dec. 27 article about airboats in Everglades National Park, the secretary of the Airboat Association proudly proclaims, “We are the protectors of the Everglades.”

More like vandals and thieves, if they do, in fact, “hunt for artifacts on tree islands,” because they are in violation of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979. Its purpose is to protect irreplaceable archaeological resources on federal, public, and Indian lands.

Not only are they desecrating and disrespecting Native American sites, they are stealing valuable cultural and historical resources from the public.

Once an archaeological site is pillaged, most of the scientific and historical information is lost forever, the context of the pillaged materials destroyed. The story makes it seem as if these people are heroes, but their disrespect for the country’s cultural treasures makes them thieves to me.

Ernest Lent, Cutler Bay

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