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Re: Fossil Legislation
The Rocks-and-Fossils forum has had a lively discussion about this
for several weeks. Evidently the "Bauccus bill" is dormant. There
is an ALAA (American Lands Access Association Bill) pending which
would cover both invertebrates *and* invertebrates (the Bauccus bill
addressed only vertebrates), and which was originally supposed to be
more favorable to amateur collecting. However, after carefully reading
the most recent draft of the ALAA bill, I am troubled by a number of
things. For example, it is very vague on some key points, and requires
a federal permit for collecting invertebrate fossils on federal lands
for anything but "surface collecting" without tools of any sort, but
does not spell out what surface collecting is. For example, would a
fossil have to be totally exposed and loose on the surface, mostly
exposed, or exposed at all to qualify. In any case, if no tools (even
hand tools were allowed), a collector might well just scratch and claw
with his hands or a rock (if not by law a tool) to remove the specimen.
Also, the bill limits surface collecting without a permit to "one day"
but does not say whether this is one day per year, per season, per
trip, per lifetime, or what. I can email the bill as an attachment to
those interested (or to the group) if enuf poeople are interested.
There evidently are several other bill peripherally pertinent to fossil
collecting (some concerning "mining" or access to federal lands. I
have written to ALAA to ask for the current status of all such bills,
and will past along any information I receive from them. I believe
there are some Internet sites from which one may obtain any federal
bill also, I will check into this and send the addresses when I get
I will also soon post the instructions for subscribing to
Rocks-and- Fossils, and another group called Fossil Nuts, in case
anyone here was not aware of them and wishes to subscribe. The
Rocks-and-Fossils group is the more active of the two, with about 10-20
messages per day. About hafe concern fossils (prep, site info, etc.),
the rest are mineral/gem related, or (lately) concern legislation.