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Re: Detectives on the trail of fossil looters (retry)

MKIRKALDY@aol.com reports:

<< The last paragraph puts the issue into perspective:

"Professional looters, however, are more brazen and have moved onto private 
land. It's so lucrative a business that many of the poachers are armed. And 
some, like the one Baldwin stumbled upon using a backhoe to rip up a 125-foot 
long petrified log, carry
automatic weapons. When confronted they often deny doing anything wrong, 
Baldwin said." >>

       This is nothing new. Back when I was doing fieldwork ten years ago, 
the Park and Forest Service law enforcement officers warned us to report but to 
stay away from those sticky-fingered entrepreneurs saving our fossils from 
erosion. They even told us what specific weaponage they were packing. That got 
our attention. Problem is that unless you are active in properly-done field 
people don't tend to care and are more interested in seeing new "T.rexes"or 
whatever sexy new tidbit is being premiered. Students are ones really taking it 
in the shorts. DV