When looking for an archaeological consultant, you should ask yourselves two things:
1) Is this firm or person qualified?
2) Do they have the necessary permits?
Find consultants with permits
Since people with the necessary permits are also often qualified, it’s often worth starting there. Here are the guidelines on permits:
State: A person who does work on state-owned land needs a state permit. People with state permits can be found listed on this website: http://governor.utah.gov/publiclands/archaeologicalpermitting.htm
Federal: Federal law requires that work on federal land be done by qualified people. Federal agencies such as the BLM or Forest Service maintain their own list of permitted contractors. You should contact these agencies directly.
Try a consultant list
Another possible source for finding qualified consultants is the American Cultural Resources Association. See http://acra-crm.org/ for a list. A consultant on this site may not be qualified or permitted to do all work in all places, though. We recommend checking in detail with consultants directly regarding their experience and qualifications.
At the end of the day, we recommend that people treat a cultural resources contractor with the same care they treat any other contractor/consultant. It’s always good to shop around, get multiple bids, check references, and do careful homework to find a person who can do the work to your needs and satisfaction, at a competitive price.