As used in this section, "archaeological site" means any mounds, earthworks, burial or settlement sites, or other place where evidence of prehistoric or early historic settlement or occupation lies on or below the surface of the ground.
The Ohio historical society may accept articles dedicating as preserves real property upon which significant archaeological sites are located, if funds and services are available for their preservation and protection.
An archaeological preserve is established when articles of dedication have been filed by or at the direction of the owner of [the] site, or a governmental agency having ownership or control thereof, in the office of the county recorder of the county in which the site is located.
Articles of dedication shall be executed by the owner of the land in the same manner and with the same effect as a deed or conveyance of an interest in real property and shall be irrevocable except as provided in this section. The county recorder may not accept articles of dedication for recording unless they have been accepted by the director of the Ohio historical society. The articles shall be recorded in the county record of deeds. The director may not accept articles of dedication unless they contain terms restricting the use of the property which adequately provide for its preservation and protection, for restoration where appropriate, and for archaeological research and study. Whenever possible and consistent with such purposes, the articles shall provide for public access in order that the maximum benefit be obtained.
Articles of dedication may contain provisions for the management, custody, and transfer to the state or the society of real property or any estate, or right therein, provisions defining the rights of the owner or operating agency and of the society and its agents, and such other provisions as may be necessary or advisable to carry out the uses and purposes for which the property is dedicated. They may contain conditions under which the owner and the society may agree to rescind the articles.
The attorney general, upon request of the director, may bring an action for injunction in any court of competent jurisdiction to enforce the terms of articles of dedication.
The director may make or accept amendments of any articles of dedication upon terms and conditions that are consistent with the purposes for which the preserve is dedicated. If the fee simple interest in the property is not held by the society, no amendments shall be made without the written consent of the owner. Each amendment shall be recorded in the same manner as the articles of dedication.
Archaeological preserves dedicated under this section shall not be taken for any other use or purpose except another public use or purpose after a finding by a court of common pleas of the existence of an imperative and unavoidable public necessity for such other public use or purpose.
All departments, agencies, units, instrumentalities, and political subdivisions of the state, including counties, townships, municipal corporations, park districts, conservancy districts, universities, colleges, and school districts, may dedicate real property under their jurisdiction as archaeological preserves in accordance with this section.
No person shall violate any terms or conditions of the articles of dedication of an archaeological preserve. No person shall sell, offer for sale, or possess any artifacts or skeletal remains removed without privilege to do so from an archaeological preserve dedicated under this section. Whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree. Whoever violates or threatens to violate this section may be enjoined from violation.
Effective Date: 08-24-1976