(a) The General Assembly finds that archaeological resources on private lands constitute the majority of the irreplaceable historic and prehistoric resources of the State. These resources are increasingly endangered and existing State laws do not provide private landowners with the means adequately to preserve these resources. There is currently no provision for assisting and giving recognition to a private landowner who wishes to preserve the archaeological resources located on the owner's property.
(b) The purpose of this Article is to preserve and protect for the present and future benefit of the people of North Carolina through a program of voluntary site enrollment the prehistoric and historic archaeological resources that are on private lands. (1991, c. 461, s. 2.)