Unauthorized cultural resource alterations range from looting and grave robbing to contract violations and wildland fires. Such alterations degrade cultural resources’ spiritual, communal, ecological, economic, and scientific values. Alterations often violate communal senses of place, security, and belonging. Alterations complicate jurisdiction-specific management, which is premised on up-to-date information on resource sizes, conditions, and significance. Cultural resource damage assessment protocols based on proven forensic practices distil to eight fieldwork steps: verify the alteration, assemble the team, survey the scene, document the evidence, gather the evidence, assess the archaeological value and the cost of repair and restoration, prescribe emergency remediation, and confirm evidence documentation and custody. The eight steps give special consideration to local communities and Indigenous Territories, where unauthorized alterations are as common as they are elsewhere, whereas impacts to spiritual and cultural values are generally greater. Adapted to jurisdiction- and incident-specific circumstances, the steps will guide responses to alterations by community leaders, land managers, regulators, law enforcement agents, and archaeologists, including preparation of excellent damage assessment reports. Damage assessment practitioners and land managers should refine these practices to deter alterations, engage Tribes and other affected communities, halt postalteration degradation, ensure accountability, and enable jurisdiction-scale curation of cultural resources and their unique value constellations.