[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

More Erosion

>From the Rapid City Journal:        
Fossil snatcher sentenced

RAPID CITY -- A Rapid City man was sentenced in federal court on Monday for 
removing a fossil from U.S. Forest Service land.

According to a Forest Service news release, U.S. District Judge Karen E. 
Schreier placed Brian Everton on probation for one year for one misdemeanor 
of removing a fossilized jawbone from the Indian Creek area of Buffalo Gap 
National Grassland and one count of damaging the fossil. The jawbone was from a 
brontothere, a large rhinocerous-like animal that lived about 26 million to 34 
million years ago. The jawbone that Everton removed and damaged was described 
as "museum quality" by a Forest Service paleontologist.

Schreier also ordered Everton to pay a $300 fine along with $50 to a victims' 
relief fund, $800 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service and to perform 40 
hours of community service under the supervision of the U.S. Department of 

According to a Forest Service news release, a Forest Service employee saw 
Everton removing the fossil jaw from the Indian Creek area on Feb. 5, 2002.

The employee warned Everton that what he was doing was illegal. Everton 
ignored the warning and left with the fossil.

Forest Service law enforcement officers recovered the fossil from Everton's 
home the next day along with undeveloped film that showed the undamaged fossil.

When recovered, the jaw had sustained considerable damage, officers said.

The Forest Service reminds anyone who finds a vertebrate fossil on national 
grasslands or forest land to report the find to the nearest Forest Service 
office. It is illegal to collect such fossils.

To ensure that the fossils can be found again, marking the site on a detailed 
map or recording the GPS coordinates is helpful and will ensure that the 
specimen can be collected before it is destroyed by weathering or by being