Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance

protecting the past for the future

About the Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance

Archaeological sites on public lands throughout the West represent thousands of years of human adaptation to unique Western environments, with each site and every artifact unfolding answers to the mysteries of how prehistoric humans lived in concert with their ever-changing environment, and how human survival in this harsh region depended upon man’s ability to understand, respect and recognize the limitations of that environment. In short, archaeological resources represent non-renewable resources that offer insights into our own survival on this remarkable landscape. Yet these same irreplaceable resources are being lost at an alarming rate under the combined weight of oil and gas development, irresponsible off-road vehicle use, increased recreational use of public lands and the persistent problem of vandalism and looting.

The Colorado Plateau Archaeological Alliance (CPAA) seeks to protect and preserve human landscapes of national significance by working collaboratively with governmental entities, industry, private land owners and conservationists. Our approach to cultural resources protection is solution based. We do not obstruct development but rather we encourage more responsible development. We encourage federal officials to embrace more enlightened management of cultural resources for their long-term protection. And we work closely with the conservation community to foster recognition that rich human landscapes are also part of our national heritage.

As identified by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation in a 2005 policy statement, natural and human landscapes found on public lands are interrelated, and the preservation and management of these values should be integrated to ensure that cultural values are afforded equal consideration.  Utah-based CPAA is the only non-profit organization (IRS 501c3) working on the Northern Colorado Plateau that is singularly dedicated to the preservation of the human past, from the traces of the Ice Age hunters who roamed the canyon country 12,000 years ago to the isolated homesteads and ranches of the nineteenth century dreamers.


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