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Lake Elevation -16 feet
Native Brief: LAKE WHITNEY, TEXAS - This summer's long record-setting drought in Texas has lowered the water level and dried up parts of Lake Whitney.
Television station WFAA in Dallas reported Friday American Indian tools and fossils from eight thousand years ago are easy to find and looters are taking full advantage at Lake Whitney State Park.
“The looter and scavenger comes and digs up the site,”
said US Army Corps Engineer Brad Demsey to WFAA. "They just destroy all that and leave it to the side."
The tools and fossils are being looted from caverns that had not been seen in two decades.
It is illegal to remove American Indian artifacts from archaeological sites and burial sites. Texas has state laws against it. The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, enacted in 1990, is the federal law that prohibits looting of the ancient American Indian tools.
So far 30 arrests have been made. Violators were put on probation and fined thousands of dollars, according to WFAA.
The Lake Whitney State Park is located near Towash Village, which was named for a Hainai Indians leader who settled there in 1835.
posted October 3, 2011 6:00 am edt
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