36 CFR 296.7 - Notification to Indian tribes of possible harm to, or destruction of, sites on public lands having religious or cultural importance.
(a) If the issuance of a permit under this part may result in harm to, or destruction of, any Indian tribal religious or cultural site on public lands, as determined by the Federal land manager, at least 30 days before issuing such a permit the Federal land manager shall notify any Indian tribe which may consider the site as having religious or cultural importance. Such notice shall not be deemed a disclosure to the public for purposes of section 9 of the Act.
(1) Notice by the Federal land manager to any Indian tribe shall be sent to the chief executive officer or other designated official of the tribe. Indian tribes are encouraged to designate a tribal official to be the focal point for any notification and discussion between the tribe and the Federal land manager.
(2) The Federal land manager may provide notice to any other Native American group that is known by the Federal land manager to consider sites potentially affected as being of religious or cultural importance.
(3) Upon request during the 30-day period, the Federal land manager may meet with official representatives of any Indian tribe or group to discuss their interests, including ways to avoid or mitigate potential harm or destruction such as excluding sites from the permit area. Any mitigation measures which are adopted shall be incorporated into the terms and conditions of the permit under § 296.9.
(4) When the Federal land manager determines that a permit applied for under this part must be issued immediately because of an imminent threat of loss or destruction of an archaeological resource, the Federal land manager shall so notify the appropriate tribe.
(1) In order to identify sites of religious or cultural importance, the Federal land manager shall seek to identify all Indian tribes having aboriginal or historic ties to the lands under the Federal land manager's jurisdiction and seek to determine, from the chief executive officer or other designated official of any such tribe, the location and nature of specific sites of religious or cultural importance so that such information may be on file for land management purposes. Information on sites eligible for or included in the National Register of Historic Places may be withheld from public disclosure pursuant to section 304 of the Act of October 15, 1966, as amended ( 16 U.S.C. 470w-3).
(2) If the Federal land manager becomes aware of a Native American group that is not an Indian tribe as defined in this part but has aboriginal or historic ties to public lands under the Federal land manager's jurisdiction, the Federal land manager may seek to communicate with official representatives of that group to obtain information on sites they may consider to be of religious or cultural importance.
(3) The Federal land manager may enter into agreement with any Indian tribe or other Native American group for determining locations for which such tribe or group wishes to receive notice under this section.
(4) The Federal land manager should also seek to determine, in consultation with official representatives of Indian tribes or other Native American groups, what circumstances should be the subject of special notification to the tribe or group after a permit has been issued. Circumstances calling for notification might include the discovery of human remains. When circumstances for special notification have been determined by the Federal land manager, the Federal land manager will include a requirement in the terms and conditions of permits, under § 296.9(c), for permittees to notify the Federal land manger immediately upon the occurrence of such circumstances. Following the permittee's notification, the Federal land manager will notify and consult with the tribe or group as appropriate. In cases involving Native American human remains and other “cultural items”, as defined by NAGPRA, the Federal land manager is referred to NAGPRA and its implementing regulations.