Arizona Site Stewards Volunteer Program

Arizona Site Steward 30th Anniversary Conference

The 30th Anniversary Conference held June 7-8th, 2016 was a great success! Many thanks to the generous sponsors supporting this program:

  • Center for Digital Antiquity (tDAR)
  • Verde Valley Archaeology Center
  • Archaeology Southwest
  • Concord General contracting
  • Arizona Musem of Natural History
  • Arizona Lottery
  • Arizona State Parks
  • PaleoWest Archaeology

    Individual contributions
  • Paula Pflepsen
  • Shelley Rasmussen
  • Mary Estes
  • Darlene Brinkerhoff
  • Ruthanna Battilana

Speakers and Presenters included Ann Howard - Deputy SHPO, Mary Estes - long time former ASSP program coordinator, Peter Pilles and J. Scott Wood - original founding partners in the development of the ASSP, Tom Wilson - Director Arizona Museum of Natural History and Governors Archaeology Advisory Commission Chairman, Nicole Armstrong Best - Director Pueblo Grande Museum, along with representatives of several agency program partners such as National Forest Service, Border Patrol, Luke Air Force Base, BLM, Law Enforcement, and Verde Valley Archaeology Center and contributions from ASSP regional coordinators and site stewards.

We were also honored to sponsor a tribal cultural sensitivity training and discussion from several local tribal representatives including the Salt River-Maricopa Pima Indian Tribe, the Tohono O’odham Nation, the Hualapai Indian Tribe, and Ft. McDowell Indian Tribe.

Congratulations to the following 2016 award recipients presented by James Keegan, Deputy Director ASP:

  • Regional Coordinator of the Year - Lila Elam, Agua Fria, SRV, Hassyampa, Cave Creek, Tonopah, and Central regions
  • Assistant RC of the Year - Gordon and Linda Hanson, Tucson region
  • Land Manager of the Year - Jim McKee Prescott NF
  • Site Steward of the Year - Christine Stephenson, Flagstaff region
  • New Site Steward of the Year - Martin Szekeresh, Payson region
  • Regional Support Steward of the Year - Carol Farnsworth, Northeastern AZ region
  • Thief of Time Award - Richard Logsdon, AZ Strip region
  • Site Steward Program TEAM award - Tucson region/Saguaro National Park Team

Also, 5 special appreciation awards were announced and 19 site stewards were recognized for 20 plus years of service in the program.

The ballroom was filled on Wednesday evening for the shared ASSP/SHPO Preservation Conference mixer/silent auction event. A huge thank you to all of our item donors and bidders. All proceeds directly support the Arizona Site Steward Program.

Thank you to all who participated in this great celebration highlighting 30 years of the ASSP!

Bruce Babbitt

The Arizona Site Steward program was developed 30 years ago by Governor Bruce Babbitt and his Archaeological Advisory Commission in an attempt to support the protection of cultural sites on public lands. Starting with 3 regions, and 4 partners, the program has grown to encompass the entire state and 32 local, state, federal and non-profit partners. Currently administered by Arizona State Parks, the program is supported by the Arizona State Parks Foundation – a 501(c).

Download the 2016 event agenda HERE. ( 250 KB PDF)

The Watch Masthead

Summer 2015 issueNovember 2015 Issue of The Watch

Arizona Watch is the quarterly Site Stewards newsletter filled with news and information about the program.

Read Spring 2016 Issue Online

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Read past issues online.


Site Stewards are are volunteers dedicated to protecting and preserving cultural resources and the heritage of Arizona.

The Arizona Site Stewards Program is an organization of volunteers, sponsored by the public land managers of Arizona, whose members are selected, trained and certified by the State Historic Preservation Office and the Governor's Archaeology Advisory Commission. The chief objective of the Stewards Program is to report to the land managers destruction or vandalism of prehistoric and historic archaeological and paleontological sites in Arizona through site monitoring. Stewards are also active in public education and outreach activities.

Goals of the Arizona Site Steward Program

Site Steward PhotographA Site Steward’s primary role is to monitor archaeological, historical, and paleontological sites and report any looting/vandalism to the land manager. Site Stewards make an important contribution to preserving our cultural heritage by working closely with Federal, State, Tribal, County, and municipal agency staff and archaeologists. The Site Steward Program is designed to meet the interests and skills of the volunteers.

  1. To preserve major prehistoric, historic and paleontological resources for the purposes of conservation, scientific study, and interpretation.
  2. To increase public awareness of the significance and value of cultural resources and the damage done by vandalism.
  3. To discourage site vandalism and the sale and trade of antiquities.
  4. To support the adoption and enforcement of national, state, and local preservation laws and regulations.
  5. To support and encourage high standards of cultural resource investigation throughout the state.
  6. To promote better understanding and cooperation among agencies, organizations, and individuals concerned about the preservation of cultural resources.
  7. To enhance the completeness of the statewide archaeological and paleontological inventory.

Site Steward Training

Volunteer training involves at least 10 hours of classroom instruction and field training. The training sessions include antiquity laws, crime scene management, artifact, site and feature identification, and map & GPS reading. The program seeks volunteers with strong interests in cultural resource conservation who enjoy the outdoors.


State and Federal antiquity laws prohibit damage to archaeological and paleontological sites. Help protect Arizona's irreplaceable cultural resources by becoming a Steward of the past. To become a Site Steward, please fill out an online application at: You will be contacted shortly by a coordinator to schedule training.

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