§20-7A-5. Archaeology; permits for excavation; how obtained; prohibitions; penalties.
(a) No person may excavate, remove, destroy, injure or deface any historic or prehistoric ruins, burial grounds, archaeological or paleontological site including saltpeter workings, relics or inscriptions, fossilized footprints, bones or any other such features which may be found in any cave.
(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a permit to excavate or remove archaeological, paleontological, prehistoric and historic features may be obtained from the director of natural resources. Such permit shall be issued for a period of two years and may be renewed at expiration. It is not transferable but this does not preclude persons from working under the direct supervision of the person holding the permit: Provided, That the director shall take final action upon all completed permit applications within thirty days of receipt if the application is uncontested, or within ninety days if the application is contested.
A person applying for such a permit must:
(1) Provide a detailed statement to the director of natural resources giving the reasons and objectives for excavation or removal and the benefits expected to be obtained from the contemplated work.
(2) Provide data and results of any completed excavation, study or collection at the first of each calendar year.
(3) Obtain the prior written permission of the director of natural resources if the site of the proposed excavation is on state-owned lands and prior written permission of the owner if the site of such proposed excavation is on privately owned land.
(4) Carry the permit while exercising the privileges granted.
A person who violates any provision of subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, and may be imprisoned in the county jail for not less than ten days nor more than six months. A person who violates any of the provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, and the permit herein authorized shall be revoked.