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Re: fossil collecting

>> allow the public to do surface collections only - no digging.
>> for excavation, permits/licencing would be required.
>> let museums/academics decide whether the commercial operations get to
>> be licenced.  that would ensure that commercial operations would
>> be more likely to be reputable.
>     I think that this would be extremely difficult to enforce.  Seeing
>something lying on the ground and NOT digging in further to see what else
>is there is a very difficult impulse to curb.  I would imagine collectors
>would be doing this left and right.  How could you prove that they didn't
>collect something on the surface unless you saw them do it?
>LN Jeff

It seems to me that there is an immense distrust of anyone collecting=
 fossils who does not have a degree or two under his/her belt.  I wonder if=
 this is due to arrogance on our part, thinking that anyone who does not=
 have the schooling cannot be trusted.  Are we really this paranoid?
Granted, those who aren't professional may not have the skills or training=
 on how to document their find in a way that is usefull for its scientific=
 information, but that's something that could be learned.  What if the major=
 colleges and universities out in dinosaur country would compile a packet of=
 information designed for the amateur.  It would give them all relevant=
 stratigraphic information for their area, and would give them basics on how=
 to document their fossil; and if it really is something major, who to=
 contact for further instructions.
I know that compiling these packets will take a lot of work (sounds like a=
 graduate project for me), but I think that the rewards would benifit us=
 all.  Hopefully, it will allow us all to sleep a little easier.


The pun is the lowest form of humor,
  --Unless you thought of it first!!!