What is Vertebrate Paleontology Fossil Preservation Law in the US
December 27, 2016
 
PRPA CONSULTATION
As described in this webpage, the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) is the U.S. law that calls for the preservation of paleontological resources on federal land. The Department of the Interior's proposed regulation under the PRPA has been published in the Federal Register and will remain available for public inspection and comment until Monday, February 6, 2017. While the Executive Committee is working with the SVP Government Affairs Committee on a formal comment from SVP, anyone may submit his/her own comment through the Federal Register site by the February 6 deadline. To access links to the proposed regulation and other helpful documents, you may navigate your browser to www.blm.gov/paleontology. Alternatively, you may navigate directly to the Federal Register at https://federalregister.gov/d/2016-29244.
 
CONSULTATION ON DISSEMINATION OF LOCALITY DATA
SVP strives to promote reproducibility of research results by ensuring that scientifically important vertebrate fossils and their contextual data are placed permanently in public-trust repositories to make them always accessible for researchers seeking to verify past results and to conduct new studies. To facilitate preservation of paleontological resources in the field and to maximize the scientific value of research collections now and in the future, the Society proudly introduces the first edition of the best practice guidelines for repositing and disseminating contextual data associated with vertebrate fossils: SVP fossil locality best practice guidelines.

These best practices were compiled by a working group of field paleontologists, collection managers, collection researchers, and database operators. Although the best practices presented are meant as guidelines, SVP expects members to be aware of these professional standards, while the Society will periodically review and revise this document as needed because recommended best practices may evolve. Any comments on this document should be addressed to Kenshu Shimada (kshimada@depaul.edu) with a subject line ‘SVP Best Practice Guidelines’.
 


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