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Idaho's Oregon Trail Restoration Begins After Treasure Hunter Destruction

Zeke Robinson

Federal officials along with a southern Idaho Boy Scout troop have started restoration efforts on a section of the Oregon Trail plundered by artifact hunters this summer.

Last week, scouts working with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management began restoration work on stretches of the historic trail near Burley.

Earlier this year, BLM investigators began looking into the removal of artifacts protected by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act. The Times-News reports the law carries prison time and fines even for first-time offenders.

Still, state and federal officials are puzzling over the appeal of the trail's artifacts, which do not include lost jewels or valuable heirlooms. Among the items likely taken by people armed with metal detectors include coffee pots, suspender straps, belt buckles or nails discarded by early pioneers.