The alternative mitigation program that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) established in 2008 to address impacts to the archaeological resources in the Permian Basin of southeastern New Mexico, now one of the most active of the nation's oil and gas energy fields, has supported more than $10 million in field research programs and is poised to be able to fund about $1 million in field research annually for the foreseeable future. The financial success of the program is mirrored by the program's outstanding contributions to our understanding of the Permian Basin's long and complex history of human occupation. Surprisingly, although other public lands under the auspices of the BLM are seeing similar rates of energy development, the critical elements of this program have not been picked up elsewhere in the BLM. The Permian Basin program appears doomed to be an example of a “one-off” alternative mitigation solution. The factors barring more widespread adoption include the ebb and flow of energy production activity, complications arising from mixed land status and the ability to work across jurisdictional boundaries, hesitation to change procedures that are working adequately for the time being, and a lack of capacity to institute systemic change.