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Re: State paleontologists

>>It would be nice if major collection areas had a digger "on-call",
>>as it were, to check out reports and determine priorities as soon
>>as a fossil is discovered.  Maybe 1-800-FOUNDIT.

>Actually, several (mostly western) states have official State
>Paleontologists, who do pretty much just that.  Additionally, some of the
>major public lands regions with important fossil localities (primarily the
>various National Parks and National Monuments), have paleontologists on

That's neat.  Do they provide brochures for the "proper" way to deal
with fossil discoveries?  It might be handy in such venues to have
a little pamphlet that suggests what to do when a fossil is found -
how to mark it (maybe a stick or something, so you can cut down on
multiple found reports), how to photograph it, how to determine where
it is so it can be found later (maybe with instructions on photographing
the local area, and how to mark it on a map) and so on.  Even if the
information was not in itself all that useful, it would serve as a
thoughtful and non-coercive reminder about how to treat fossils -
much better than a little black-rimmed card reading "WARNING: PEOPLE
or some other way to tell people to just leave them alone.  In fact, if
someone did what the brochure told them for a new fossil, such parks
could give away free days, or food coupons, the usual incentives.  This
could not only make fossils safer, but could increase the number of
non-destructive eyes looking for them, and reduce the weathering and
exposure thereby.  Rather a neat way to raise visibility, I think.

Larry Smith