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

philidor11@snet.net posts:

<< The alternatives I was looking at were:

An expert collector receives approval and excavates appropriately 
using public/private funds, with all material going to a museum 
or other public venue.

Private collectors who will sell finds are licensed to excavate, 
but only with the guidance/approval of a government-approved 
expert, who prepares all documentation.  The material found will 
be sold, and the high prices assure there's money to pay for 
the expert's services.

The excavation is undertaken illegally, and the excavators have 
a premium on working quickly to finish work as quickly as possible. 
The materials are sold where the highest profit is available, 
which means much of the material is more or less lost.

No one excavates the material, and a certain amount disappears 
because of natural processes.

If the first, best alternative is impossible because of lack 
of money or time, which of the other 3 would you prefer, Mary? 
(I know you're not Dan, but I was replying to his post.  Sorry.) >>

       Dan here. Again, I must wonder if you've had experience in the field, 
where all this good stuff happens. Substitute archaeology for paleontology and 
see where your arguments go.

<< I'm concerned that if this issue is presented to government and 
the public as a potentially large, profitable industry which 
can produce valuable information for science, but which is crippled 
by excessive regulation and the arrogance and exclusivity of 
experts, then we could easily end up with a less protective law 
than would be possible otherwise. >>

       I'd like to see all that valuable information for "crippled" science. 
Can I take a look at it? How much will it cost me? "Arrogance and exclusivity 
of experts" is a very unfortunate phrase. Sorry that you went there. Same old 
spiel. DV