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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Paleontological Resources Preservation Act Regulations Proposed

Administrative regulations to implement the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) were introduced last week.

PRPA was enacted into law in 2009. It is a federal statute that empowers public authorities to protect paleontological resources on federal lands, providing criminal and civil penalties for fossil theft and vandalism and requiring permits for collecting paleontological resources.

In a public notice dated May 23, 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) explains "The rule would address the management, collection, and curation of paleontological resources from Federal lands including management using scientific principles and expertise, collecting of resources with and without a permit, curation in an approved repository, maintaining confidentiality of specific locality data, and authorizing penalties for illegal collecting, sale, damaging, or otherwise altering or defacing paleontological resources."

The proposed rule seeks to "clarify that science, rather than other values, will be the primary management tool for paleontological resources on Forest Service lands."

The regulations, if adopted, would require a permit for collecting paleontological resources from Forest Service administered lands.  But those in engaged in the "casual collecting of a rock, mineral, or fossil" would not require a permit.

Written public comments will be accepted on the proposed regulations until July 22, 2013.  They may be submitted by online by visiting www.regulations.gov.

Photo credit: dyet

This post is researched, written, and published on the blog Cultural Heritage Lawyer Rick St. Hilaire at culturalheritagelawyer.blogspot.com. Text copyrighted 2010-2013 by Ricardo A. St. Hilaire, Attorney & Counselor at Law, PLLC. Any unauthorized reproduction or retransmission of this post is prohibited.  CONTACT INFORMATION: www.culturalheritagelawyer.com