The State Land Office strives to protect New Mexico’s irreplaceable cultural properties located on state trust lands.
All identified cultural properties are preserved in place whenever and wherever possible, as the long-term value of these resources can only increase over the years. When such avoidance is not possible, archaeological excavations sometimes must be conducted to recover priceless artifacts and information prior to construction. The artifacts and reports of archaeological excavations and analyses then are preserved in perpetuity within the Museum of New Mexico system, partially offsetting the loss of the resources themselves.
Land Office efforts to protect and stabilize cultural properties includes assessments of the condition of standing architecture at Navajo pueblitos and other sensitive historic sites.
Sometimes site protection consists of simply building a fence to control damage caused by livestock, wildlife and people. It also may include stream bank stabilization to prevent large-scale losses of cultural resources to erosion.