What is Vertebrate Paleontology Fossil Preservation Law in the US
NEW
Release Date: July 10, 2017
SVP COMMENTS ON 21 U.S. NATIONAL MONUMENTS

Part of the core mission of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP) is to support and encourage the protection of vertebrate fossils and fossil sites.  U.S. President Donald Trump has called for review of U.S. national monuments established since 1996 to determine whether their designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as "historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest" (Executive Order 13792). The public comment period to respond to the executive order that mandates a review of the boundaries of those monuments ended on July 10.  On July 9, SVP submitted a comment letter to call for protection of vertebrate fossils and fossil sites in all 21 non-marine national monuments, including Bears Ears and Grand-Staircase Escalante National Monuments. You can view the SVP's letter HERE.

SVP would like to sincerely thank everyone who supplied information about paleontological resources at those national monuments that tremendously helped drafting the letter.  Thank you.
 

From National Park Service
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Contact: Linda Slater, 760 786-3279, Linda_Slater@nps.gov

Fossils Stolen from Death Valley National Park

DEATH VALLEY, CALIF.—Park rangers recently discovered that fossil footprints were removed from Death Valley National Park. Trackways of mammals and birds were formed about 3 to 5 million years ago, when the animals left footprints in a muddy lakeshore area. Scientists visit the area regularly, photographing and recording the exact location of each footprint. They discovered the fossils were missing during a recent visit and reported it to park rangers.
Backpackers in the area were photographed and may have witnessed the crime or have information about those responsible. Investigators are offering up to $1,000 for information leading to the identification, arrest, and conviction of those responsible. Please see the attached flyer to view photos and for information about how to submit a tip.
“It’s illegal to collect fossils, rocks, or anything else in National Parks,” said Park Superintendent Mike Reynolds. “The purpose of National Parks is to conserve the landscape and everything it contains for the next generation. I ask that visitors come and enjoy all there is to see, and to leave it unimpaired for others to enjoy.”

www.nps.gov/isb and click “Submit a Tip”
 





 

 

Paleontological resources preservation act (PRPA)

Permitted excavation of a marine reptile (plesiosaur) skeleton on a Forest Service land involving volunteers (photo courtesy of Forest Service).
Geologic exploration and casual collecting of fossils on a Forest Service land by elementary school students during their class field trip (photo courtesy of Forest Service).
The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) is the United States law preserving paleontological resources on federal land.  The SVP has been working for many years to protect fossils on federal lands by encouraging enactment of The PARPA.  The provisions of this act will protect scientifically significant fossils on federal land. It provides a permitting system whereby researchers can collect and study scientifically significant fossils which will remain in the public trust. The act also provides for the collecting of common plant and invertebrate fossils for personal non- commercial use on BLM and Forest Service administered lands.


The Society of Vertebrate Paleontology supports the PRPA

SVP supports the preservation of vertebrate fossils.


More information available from the US Government

Geologic exploration and casual collecting of fossils on a Forest Service land by elementary school students during their class field trip (photo courtesy of Forest Service).
Permitted excavation of a marine reptile (plesiosaur) skeleton on a Forest Service land involving volunteers (photo courtesy of Forest Service).
The US Forest Service Final Regulations under for Paleontological Resources Preservation became effective on May 18, 2015. US Department of the Interior Bureaus are in the process of drafting regulations for the preservation of paleontological resources. Current information from the respective Federal organizations concerning existing regulations and regulations being drafted can be found at the following links:  

USDA Forest Service Paleontology

General Information

Permit Forms