Excellent query -At what point does trash, junk, and litter become a historic artifact? Actually there is a textbook answer -50 years for historical consideration and 100 years before we turn the archaeologists loose. Obviously, some events are historic well before those guidelines obtain - the twin towers of 9/11, for instance.

As one who has made a decent living and had many wonderful experiences dealing with the trash, junk, and litter, to say nothing of the garbage, of the past, I pay attention to how these potentially informative materials are handled....

i understand various alternatives are currently being considered with respect to the ultimate disposition of the bus. I don't have a dog in this particular fight, but I would only hope that due consideration is given to preservation of the bus and decent presentation of the story it embodies. There are lessons to be learned form that story.

What is it they say? "Those who do not learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them." or something like that...

The NPS doesn't have any kind of jurisdiction until a sitting president issues a proclamation establishing a National Monument or signs into law a bill, passed by Congress, creating a National Park or equivalent.

Alaska is a prime example of the process. During the Carter Administration, Congress stalled on passing a gargantuan bill creating numerous parks and preserves. Carter therefore proclaimed them as National monuments, forestalling destructive measures, until Congress got around to coming up with the legislation.
Geezer in Chief