FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Extreme History Project Says NO to “Diggers: Montana Juice” After TV Producers Break State Laws
LIVINGSTON, Montana– March 12, 2012- The Extreme History Project, based in Montana, rallied against National Geographic TV and its recent show, “Diggers: Montana Juice.” The episode, which was filmed at The Old Territorial Prison in Deer Lodge, Montana, has received a great deal of criticism from archaeologists and historical preservationists across the country. Now, after review of legal statutes, questions are raised as to whether the digging and filming were in fact illegal.
In a letter sent by the Montana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to Diana Koch, Chief Legal Counsel for the Montana Department of Corrections, questions arise as to why the State of Montana, the Department of Corrections and other authorities were never contacted by National Geographic in advance of filming. The historic preservation leadership is demanding accountability from all parties for allowing access to the State-owned land for the National Geographic Channel filming crews to search out remains that had historical value.
Marsha Fulton, Co-Founder for The Extreme History Project explains, “It’s truly unfortunate that National Geographic, an organization that holds international respect and authoritative voice, has irresponsibly taken on a project for which it hasn’t done even the slightest due diligence to ensure that the work was not only ethical, but legal. This issue, though, offers an opportunity for organizations around the country to educate people on the importance of protecting our historical heritage.”
In question is the processes by which the National Geographic Channel moved forward with filming without fulfilling all required disclosures, permits, and gaining clearance to access the site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The important historic site, the Old Territorial Prison, is owned by the State of Montana and is designated as a Heritage Property. Citing a violation of state statute, (MCA 22-3-432,-442) the Montana State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) reveals that National Geographic did not request the required State Antiquities Permit in advance.
The Montana SHPO is said to have received dozens of inquiries and expressions of concern regarding the TV show that aired February 28, 2012 on the National Geographic Channel. Online sites, including The Extreme History Project, http://extremehistory.wordpress.com/ have been laden with commentary about the potential destruction of valuable antiquities on public land.
“No one is bashing the general use of metal detectors in appropriate places. This is about television shows that are irresponsibly planned and promote the illegal destruction of important archaeological sites on public property. There are laws protecting these lands for a reason and that is to insure the preservation of our national heritage,” explained Marsha Fulton.
Joining The Extreme History Project in condemning these actions by National Geographic are organizations such as The Society of American Archaeologists, The Society of Historical Archaeology, National Association of State Archaeologists (NASA), The Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) and the Montana State Historical Preservation Office.
The Extreme History Project may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Or by visiting their website at: http://extremehistory.wordpress.com/
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