About Us

The mission of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO) is to carry out the Tribe's commitment to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of the Ute people on all Ute Ancestral Lands.



Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO)

Director:Terry Knight

P.O. Box 468

Towaoc, Colorado 81334


Monday to Friday

8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Phone: 970-564-5731

email: thpocrm@utemountain.org



THPO Overview

All cultural resources on Ute Mountain Ute Reservation lands are subject to oversight by the Tribal Historic Preservation Office (THPO). The THPO was established by Tribal Resolution in 2009 and a Cultural Resource Management Plan (CRMP) was developed to guide all cultural resource work.

As stated in the letter dated December 18, 2009 (Appendix C of the CRMP), the Director of the National Park Service has formally approved the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe to assume certain State Historic Preservation Officer duties within the exterior boundaries of the Tribe’s reservation in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

As stated in 36 CFR 800.2(c)(2)(A), the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer (THPO) appointed or designated in accordance with the NHPA is the official representative for the purposes of Section 106. As such, agency officials shall consult with the THPO in lieu of the SHPO regarding undertakings occurring on or potentially affecting historic properties on tribal lands. This includes those historic properties within the Ute Mountain Tribal Park and the Ute Mountain Ute Mancos Canyon Archaeological District. 

Flowchart of procedures for projects on tribal lands

THPO Authority and Oversight



Do's and Don't of Cultural Resources

Applicable to all reservation lands of the Ute Mountain Ute:

  • Do get appropriate permits from the THPO to visit archaeological sites on reservation lands
  • Do have a valid crossing permit to be on reservation lands
  • Do contact the THPO if any potential human remains are found on reservation lands
  • Do report anybody collecting artifacts to the THPO


  • Don't dig on archaeological sites
  • Don't collect any stone, dirt, or artifacts from archaeological sites
  • Don't deface rock art
  • Don't leave graffiti or litter


Permitting and Fee Schedule for Cultural Resource Investigations

Please list the permit types, and put a button that links to "download all permits" which will be a single pdf.

Cultural Resources Permits for fieldwork are required on all Ute Mountain Ute tribal lands. Fieldwork conducted without the proper permit(s) is illegal and will result in prosecution pursuant to the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) (43 CFR Part 7). 

The Ute Mountain Ute THPO is responsible for issuing permits (except ARPA permits, which are the purview of the BIA) for cultural resources investigations on Ute Mountain Ute tribal lands. Permits are required for any cultural resources investigations that are outside the realm of traditional use and visitation and are required by any non-tribal member for any cultural resources work on tribal lands. These permits are:

  • Annual Cultural Resources Permit Application (required prior to all project specific project applications)
  • Site Visitation Permit Application
  • Cultural Resource Inventory Permit Application (project specific)
  • Archaeological Excavation Permit Application (project specific)
  • Ethnographic Research Permit Application (project specific)


Tribal members are only required to obtain the necessary permits if excavation or disturbance of an archaeological or historical site is to occur. Tribal members do not need a Visitation Permit or an Ethnographic Study Permit.

Complete and return forms and submit permit fee to:

Ute Mountain Ute Tribal Historic Preservation Office
P.O. Box 468
Towaoc, CO 81334
Phone: (970) 564-5731 Fax: (970) 564-5410
E-mail: THPOcrm@utemountain.org


Download all permits and fee schedule



Cultural Resource Management Plan

Complete Cultural Resource Management Plan (CRMP)


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About the Reservation

The Ute Mountain Ute Reservation is located in the Four Corners region of the United States. The majority of the reservation consist of lands about 553,008 acres in Montezuma and La Plata Counties, Colorado and San Juan County, New Mexico.

All of these lands are held in trust by the U.S. Government. The Ute Mountain Ute Reservation has substantial range, historical, and archaeological resources.

The Ute Mountain Ute Reservation is a Sovereign Nation.Currently the reservations has about 2,000+ residents.


    - Geology & Resources of the Paradox Basin 1996

    - legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com

Tribal Parks
How to do buisness
Sovereign Nation


We elect to practice our Sovereign rights and use TRIBAL PREFERENCE – To Qualified Individual In Following PRIORITY FOR EMPLOYMENT:


Employment List

Employee e-mail

Contact Us:

  • Phone:
    (970) 565-3751
  • Fax:
    (970) 564-5709
  • Address:
    125 Mike Wash Rd.
    Towaoc, CO 81334