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For Immediate Release: 12/18/2014

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Archeological Artifacts Stolen from Lake Oroville State Recreation Area Recovered


Aaron Wright, Sector Superintendent

Phone: (530) 538-2200


Thousands of stolen archeological artifacts that originated from Lake Oroville State Recreation Area were recovered this week, following an investigation that began last month.

On Monday, December 15, 2014, California State Parks Rangers served a search warrant in a residence located in the Feather Falls area of Butte County, resulting in the recovery of thousands of artifacts stolen from public lands over the past several decades. In late November of this year, State Park Rangers contacted a suspect who was seen removing artifacts from sensitive areas at Lake Oroville State Recreation Area. Based on evidence obtained at that time, Rangers continued the investigation with the assistance of the Butte County District Attorney’s Office, which culminated in the search warrant being served on the suspect’s residence.

The artifacts seized in the search warrant numbered in the thousands, with a large amount of projectile points--commonly referred to as “arrow-heads”--and a litany of other objects from various time periods, material and purpose.

“The recovery of these items is critical to the preservation of the cultural resources of our State, which helps us better understand our past and our history,” said Leslie Steidl, California State Parks Archeologist.

The suspect was issued a citation for removing archeological features from State Park lands, and further charges will be forwarded to the Butte County District Attorney for consideration of prosecution. In addition to the State Park regulations, there are a variety of State and Federal laws protecting all cultural resources on public lands.

“This investigation was the result of the cooperation of many entities, starting with the efforts between California State Parks, allied entities, and volunteers,” said Aaron Wright, Lake Oroville Sector Superintendent. “We are grateful these items are back where they belong, and urge the public to continue to help us protect these resources for future generations.”


NOTE TO EDITORS: The artifacts will be made available to video and take pictures on Friday December 19, 2014 between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. State Park Lake Oroville Office at 400 Glen Drive, Oroville, CA 95966. Pictures will also be available upon request.


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California State Parks provides for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high quality outdoor recreation.