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Re: Fossil auctions

Food for thought....

An alternative would be to actually pay professional collectors to excavate
and place the material in a national clearing house where academic and
professional institutions could draw on material they need for research.
Cost to the school or museum would be limited to the cost of excavation. If
federal funding as well as private funding were made available this amount
could be reduced to below the actual cost of any one single excavation.

One scenario would be where a contracted professional collector would paid
to remove specific specimens from Toadstool National Park each season. Then
certified academic or museum institutions could conduct a computer search of
the clearing house listings and requisition specimens they need for research
or display. No actual ownership would be assigned and the specimens would
remain the property of the federal government. Preparation would be left to
the individual institutions. This could be applied to all protected lands,
BLM, state and federal parks.

Any thoughts.....

Jim Wyatt

-----Original Message-----
From: Danvarner@aol.com <Danvarner@aol.com>
To: Philidor11@aol.com <Philidor11@aol.com>
Cc: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Thursday, October 01, 1998 11:37 AM
Subject: Re: Fossil auctions

>In a message dated 98-10-01 09:26:31 EDT, you write:
><< I can see
> some logic in a professionally managed dig funded by the product when the
> alternative is the potential finds will be either destroyed by wind and
> or grabbed and sold by people who don't care about the context. >>
>   If commercial interests get involved, fossils will STILL be destroyed by
>wind and rain if they are not commercially viable for them to collect. They
>have a bottom line also.
>  The dealers have private land in which to collect, as the Natural History
>article makes clear. Collecting on public land is an entirely different
>matter. Here I refer you to the SVP statement on ethics once again and Jack
>Horner's recent book, _Dinosaur Lives_, last chapter. Dan Varner.