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Re: documentarian seeks direction and advice

Concerning Peter Larsen's excavation of the "Sue" _T.
rex_ fossil, "Jaime A. Headden" <qilongia@yahoo.com>

> and without getting political, he did have a valid
> claim to her excavation and subsequent possession
> and
> preparation. 

Mickey has asked us not to discuss this, but I fear
that this incorrect statement may adversely affect
people collecting in the field, so I will risk his
wrath to simply say as follows.

If you are collecting in the United States on land
owned by an "Indian", and you wish to purchase
something you found and wish to excavate from the
Indian's land, note well that the Indian has first to
get the permission of the federal government to sell
the rights to the item, as the Indian's land is held
in trust for the Indian by the U.S. government.  

Seeing the Larsen case as a precedent, if you excavate
the fossil without such permission you will probably
not be imprisoned or fined, but the fossil will
probably revert back to the Indian, who is then free
to sell the excavated (and maybe prepared!) fossil to
anyone he or she chooses.

Please don't take this as legal advice, just a
suggestion that you know your rights before entering
into an agreement of this nature, spending precious
time and resources on something that may then be sold
to someone else. 

We now return you to your regularly-scheduled sauropod
neck discussion.


"I've been ionized, but I'm OK now."


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