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Details on Baucus Bill
I was poking around the Library of Congress Internet server for
the purpose of locating information on the Senate Baucus bill and
the "House Bill." So far, nothing has shown up for the "House
Bill"; my guess is it is too new to be in their system. However,
the following was available on the Baucus bill:
S.3107 (C102) 07/30/92
Sen Baucus Senate Energy and Natural Resources
AS INTRODUCED: (DATA FURNISHED BY THE SENATE)
A bill to provide for the protection of vertebrate
paleontological resources, and for other purposes.
Vertebrate Paleontological Resources Protection Act
COMMITTEE(S) OF REFERRAL:
Senate Energy and Natural Resources
SUBCOMMITTEE(S) OF REFERRAL:
Ssc Energy Conservation and Supply
ABSTRACT AS INTRODUCED:
Provides for the protection of paleontological resources on public
DETAILED STATUS STEPS:
Jul 30, 92 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and
Jul 31, 92 Referred to Subcommittee on Public Lands, National
DIGEST AS INTRODUCED:
Vertebrate Paleontological Resources Protection Act - States that
it is the intent of the Congress that under this Act: (1)
paleontological resources will be managed separately from
archaeological and cultural resources; and (2) paleontological
resources will be managed by or in consultation with
Requires permits in order to excavate or remove paleontological
resources on public lands and to carry out excavation or removal
activities. Specifies permit application contents. Limits
issuance of permits to qualified applicants for scientific,
educational, and public display uses, but not for uses that will
further commercial collecting. Permits suitable institutions to
contract for commercial excavation services, but maintains the
resources excavated as property of the United States. Specifies
permit terms and conditions. Provides for suspension and
revocation of permits for violations of specified prohibited acts
respecting paleontological resources on public lands. Sets forth
special rules respecting permits issued under the Antiquities Act
Requires paleontological resources that the Secretary of the
Interior determines are of scientific significance to: (1) be
deposited in suitable institutions; and (2) remain in the vicinity
of the site from which the resource was removed, to the extent
practicable. Imposes certain requirements on institutions that
receive such resources.
Requires Federal land managers to permit an amateur collector to
retain paleontological resources of non-significant scientific
value for his or her collection after receiving the collector's
report on the discovery of such resources. States that any
resource retained by an amateur collector shall remain the
property of the United States and may not be sold.
Sets forth criminal and civil penalties for specified prohibited
acts respecting paleontological resources on public lands.
Provides for judicial review of civil penalties.
Provides for rewards to persons who furnish information that leads
to findings or convictions of violations of this Act.
Sets forth guidelines governing disclosure of information related
to paleontological resources for which excavation or removal
requires a permit.
Requires Federal land managers to establish a program to increase
public awareness of the significance of paleontological resources
on public lands and the need to protect such resources.
Provides for improved cooperation and exchange of information
between applicable Federal authorities and private individuals
having collections of paleontological resources and data that were
obtained before enactment of this Act.
Requires appropriate parties to: (1) develop plans for surveying
Federal lands to determine the nature and extent of
paleontological resources on such lands; and (2) prepare schedules
for inventorying known paleontological resources.
The following summary of the Baucus bill was prepared by the
office of and sent attached to a letter signed by Edward H. Able,
Jr., Executive Director of the American Association of Museums. It
is written to reflect specific points that are of interest to
museums because "AAM's role will be to represent the institutional
interests of museums rather than to support one side or the other
within the scientific community."
SUMMARY OF S. 3107, THE VERTEBRATE PALEONTOLOGICAL RESOURCES
Congress finds that Federal laws in existence do not provide
adequate protection to prevent destruction and loss of
paleontological resources; that such resources have scientifically
significant and educational value; that access to resources should
be provided to professional and amateur paleontologists for
scientific purposes; that a mechanism to exchange scientific
information between professional and amateur communities should be
adopted; that the resources that are scientifically significant
should be placed in suitable repositories, including museums; that
each Federal agency should adopt a national policy on
paleontological collecting on Federal lands; that each State
should adopt a uniform policy on collecting on State-owned lands
and should appoint a designated State paleontologist; and that
each Indian tribe should adopt a uniform policy on collecting on
The purposes of the Act are to secure protection of
paleontological resources and sites that are on public lands; and
to ensure that all vertebrate fossils discovered on public lands
remain the property of the United States.
Amateur collector means an individual who collects paleontological
resources for personal enjoyment...and is affiliated with a
Federal land manager means, for public lands, the Secretary of the
Department or the head of any other agency having primary
management authority over lands, or the Secretary of the Interior.
Paleontological resource means:
(A) any scientifically significant naturally occurring remains of
a vertebrate that lived prior to the Holocene epoch;
(B) any remains that questionably meets the above description if
the Federal land manager, in consultation with a paleontologist
qualified to assess the remains, determine that the remains meet
the above description; and
(C) any fossilized remains of a vertebrate (as determined by the
Federal land manager in consultation with a qualified
(i) is discovered in deposits dating from the Holocene epoch; and
(ii) is not associated with a archeological resource.
Public lands means lands owned or controlled by the Federal
Suitable institution means an organization "that
(A) has established
(i) a fossil collection that is accessioned, catalogued, and
maintained in accordance with the standards of the American
Association of Museums or the collection maintenance policies of
the National Park Service;
(ii) research and educational programs in the field of
(iii) a procedure that permits open access to the collections of
the institution for the purposes of scientific research and
education by persons determined by the institution to be
(B) has no direct or indirect affiliation with a commercial
venture that engages in the collection of fossils (except as
provided in section 6(b)(1)(E) 'a suitable institution may
contract for commercial excavation services so long as the
resource excavated remains the property of the United States');
(C) in the case of a private organization
(i) is controlled by an independent body of volunteer directors;
(ii) specifically precludes any self dealing or other financial
enrichment for the directors."
Excavation and Removal:
A person may apply to a Federal land manager for a permit to
excavate or remove a paleontological resource located on public
lands. The application shall contain information concerning the
time, scope, location, and specific purpose of the proposed
excavation and removal; and identification of the individual
responsible; and a description of the arrangement that has been
made for the deposition of the resource institution, including the
storage conditions for the resource.
A permit may be issued if the land manager determines that the
applicant is qualified to carry out the permitted activity; the
activity is undertaken for the purpose of furthering
paleontological knowledge in the public interest; the activity is
consistent with any management plan applicable to the public lands
concerned; the applicant will not use the permit to further
commercial collecting; the resource will remain the property of
the United States; and the resource and copies of associated
records and data will be preserved by a suitable institution.
The land manager's determination as to whether to issue a permit
shall be based on the recommendations of
(A)(i) a paleontologist who is employed by the agency or
instrumentality that has primary management authority over the
lands on which the resource is discovered;
(ii) or a Federal regional adviser who is employed by that agency
or instrumentality exclusively for the purpose of managing and
protecting paleontological resources; and
(B) at the option of the land manager
(i) the designated State paleontologist; or
(ii) if the State has no designated paleontologist, on the
recommendations of a paleontologist who
(I) preferably resides in the State;
(II) is qualified to assess the activities proposed to be carried
(III) is qualified to assess the potential impact of the
activities on related research projects that are currently in
No permit or other permission shall be required under the
Antiquities Act of 1906 for any activity for which a permit is
issued under this section. Any permit issued under that Act prior
to the date of enactment of this Act shall remain in effect.
Custody of Resources:
Paleontological resources that the Secretary of the Interior
determines are of scientific significance shall be deposited in
suitable institutions; and, to the extent practicable, shall
remain in the vicinity of the site from which the resource was
Each suitable institution that receives paleontological resources
shall ensure that they are accessioned, catalogued, and maintained
in accordance with the standards of the American Association of
Museums or the collection maintenance policies of the National
Park Service; and remain accessible for scientific study and for
The Secretary of the Interior may provide for the exchange, when
appropriate, between suitable institutions, or paleontological
resources removed from public lands pursuant to this Act.
After an amateur collector reports a discovery, the Federal land
manager shall permit the collector to retain the resource unless
it is of significant scientific value. In making the
determination, the Federal land manager may consult with a
qualified paleontologist. Any resource retained by the amateur
collector shall remain the property of the United States and may
not be sold.
No person may excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or
deface, or attempt to do any of the above, a paleontological
resource located on public lands unless pursuant to a permit
issued under the Act.
No person may sell, purchase, exchange, transport, receive, or
offer to sell, purchase, or exchange a resource if it was
excavated or removed from public lands in violation of this Act or
any other provision of Federal law or State or local law.
Penalties include: fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment
of not more than one year, or both; if the value of the resource
and the cost of recovery, restoration, and repair exceeds $500,
the person shall be fined not more than $20,000 or imprisoned not
more than two years, or both; in the case of second or subsequent
violation, fine of no more than $100,000 or imprisonment of no
more than five years, or both. Civil penalties may also be
assessed by the Federal land manager.
If anyone locates more information on the "House Bill,"
particularly a H.R. number, please pass it on and I'll see what I
can do to retrieve more information on it. It would be good to see
what is has to say, too.
I hope this helps.
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Douglas E. Goudie To know all things is not permitted.
email@example.com -- Horace (65 - 8 B.C.)