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I hope this does not open a can of worms? But I think an open discussion regarding legal vs. illegal collecting practices is worth the time. I have observed, via a number of threads in posts, some collectors DO NOT appear respectful of current collecting rules and regulations (i.e. collecting vertebrate fossils on public land or unauthorized collecting on private land). I can already guess, many members are going to ask for specific examples. I really don't want to point fingers. I'm sure, members who have participated in this forum for a long time, recognize this is a on-going issue. People who post may NOT overtly say they are collecting illegally, but the content within the post depicts a picture of illegal collecting (i.e. found whale bones in a drainage ditch with map coordinates that indicate it is a public road easement). I think what typically gets lost in discussion like this are 2 main points: (1) illegal collecting fuels the drive to change BLM collecting rules and regs (which we have seen), and (2) illegal collecting can "cheat" the legitimate scientific community from extracting valuable data (i.e. geologic in-situ information, micro fossils, specific coordinates, etc.). I recently had a in-depth discussion with the head of a paleontology department who said, "most of the surface material (fossils) are of little interest to the museum (unless rare)" as the "scientific data" has been lost. I know what most of us are thinking, which is then why not let us collect surface vertebrate material that is exposed or removed from it's matrix? Well there are some legitimate reason why the current laws are restrictive: (1) some collectors have NO formal training and don't know how to properly identify, classify fossils (don't know the difference between a femur or tibia) (2) some collectors have NO training on how to property excavate fossils (pot hole diggers). I think, in fairness to the online community, it would be beneficial to discuss the "challenges" to legal collecting and the importance of "legitimate" "legal" collecting to protect future collecting opportunities. I personally, would like to see more posted comments instructing members to abide by current laws when it appears members "may be" violating them.
The BLM stopped by our museum today with a little surprise! I figured some people may be interested to see what exactly happens when the police and the state come to confiscate your fossils! Say you have just been reported for collecting fossils on BLM land without a permit. The BLM comes to your house and basically runs an audit on you. They want documentation and paperwork for every fossil you have. If you don't have a reasonable explanation for them, they start questioning everything! Once the BLM makes their decision you are given a court date and a judge decides what should happen next. The fossils, if it is decided they were illegally collected, become property of the state and are sent to a repository. Along with the fossils we received: photos of each piece of bone with a court number A piece of paper telling us what was there a box of bone (weighing about 14 pounds!) I did not photograph the photographs as I don't have the skills or ability to edit the logos and court numbers out. The first photo is our letter we received (if this shows too much can you please edit it further @Fossildude19) This photo is the bones that we were given. You can see some have been sliced and marked up, obviously this person was going to slab and cab these pieces most likely to sell. While these may just be chunkosaurus the most important thing to remember is that they were collected illegally. Regardless of what they are the individual did not have permits or permission to collect them. I was told by the officer that this was a multiple offense case. Each piece of bone brings a separate charge as well as a larger charge on a whole. We didn't discuss much beyond broad terms, but the investigation was closed and the state decided that we could use these bones for educational purposes! The good news for us, we get some cool chunkosaurus to show off! The down side is that people don't follow the rules and it puts legal collecting at risk for all of us!
For those of us who live in or plan on visiting the "wild west" (USA), the interactive map on www.geocommunicator.gov may be a useful tool in your explorations. The site allows for the overlaying of BLM use (yellow squares of wilderness bliss ) boundaries onto road, topo and aerial maps! How cool is that? Upon opening the site, select "interactive maps". The map's upper tool bar lends the opportunity to zoom in and out, pan, label and identify areas by Lat./Long or UTM. You can even convert your map to a PDF and print! (though I will admit 'tis not as detailed as I would like) To the right of the screen, you will see folders that can be selected (checked). Under "base maps" you can choose your map of choice...road, topo or aerial. (these can also be selected by choosing the appropriate toggle at the bottom of the screen) Selecting the folder "Surface Management Agency" will overlay the BLM use for the map. (the opacity of the yellow can be adjusted at the bottom of the screen) Selecting the folder "BLM Administrative Areas" will identify the BLM field office that oversees the land. I am positive there is still much to fiddle with on this site, but nonetheless, it has been a great tool for prospecting. I hope you find useful as well. Happy hunting, -P.
Fruitbat posted a topic in DocumentsThese are a few of the pdf files (and a few Microsoft Word documents) that I've accumulated in my web browsing. MOST of these are hyperlinked to their source. If you want one that is not hyperlinked or if the link isn't working, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to send it to you. Please note that this list will be updated continuously as I find more available resources. All of these files are freely available on the Internet so there should be no copyright issues. Articles with author names in RED are new additions since October 5, 2016. United States - National Parks and other Federal Lands Blodgett, R.B., V.L. Santucci and L. Sharman (2011). An Inventory of Paleontological Resources from Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, Alaska. In: Rethinking Protected Areas in a Changing World: Proceedings of the George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. Boyd, C.A. and E. Welsh (2014). Description of an Earliest Orellan Fauna from Badlands National Park, Interior, South Dakota and Implications for the Stratigraphic Position of the Bloom Basin Limestone Bed. Dakoterra, Vol.6. Coleman, M.C. and C. Coleman. Identification Guide to the Fossils of Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Carlsbad Caverns and Guadalupe Mountains Natural History Association and SIPES. Dyman, T.S., et al. (2002). Upper Cretaceous Marine and Brackish Water Strata at Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. Geological Society of America Field Trip Road Log, May 2002. Gillette, D.D. and M.C. Hayden (1997). A Preliminary Inventory of the Paleontological Resources Within the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. Utah Geological Survey, Circular 96. Graham, J. (2009). Agate Fossil Beds National Monument - Geological Resources Inventory Report. Natural Resource Report NPS/NRPC/GRD/NRR-2009/080, National Park Service. Hunt, R.K., V.L. Santucci, and J. Kenworthy (2006). A Preliminary Inventory of Fossil Fish from National Park Service Units. In: Fossils from Federal Lands. Lucas, S.G., et al., (eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 34. Koch, A.L., V.L. Santucci and T.R. Weasma (2004). Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area Paleontological Survey. Technical Report NPS/NRGRD/GRDTR-04/01. Liggett, G.A. and R.J. Zakrzewski (1998). Final report on the geologic and paleontologic investigations of the Cimarron National Grassland. Report to the United States Department of Agricultural Forest Service. Mickelson, D.L., et al. (2006). Jurassic Dinosaur Tracksites from the American West. In: Fossils from Federal Lands (Lucas, S.G., et al., eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 34. Mickelson, D.L., et al. (2006). The Oldest Known Early Triassic Fossil Vertebrate Footprints in North America, from Zion National Park, Utah. In: Fossils from Federal Lands (Lucas, S.G., et al., eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 34. Nyborg, T.G. and V.L. Santucci (1999). Death Valley National Park Paleontological Survey. Technical Report NPS/NRGRD/GRDTR-99/01. Parker, W.G. and R.B. Irmis (2005). Advances in Late Triassic Vertebrate Paleontology Based on New Material from Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona. In: Vertebrate Paleontology in Arizona, Heckert, A.B. and S.G. Lucas (eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Bulletin Number 29. Ross, C.P. and R. Rezak (1959). The Rocks and Fossils of Glacier National Park: The Story of Their Origin and History. U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 294-K. Ruez, D.R. (2009). Framework for stratigraphic analysis of Pliocene fossiliferous deposits at Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, Idaho. Rocky Mountain Geology, Vol.44, Number 1. Sankey, J.T. (2008). Vertebrate paleoecology from microsites, Talley Mountain, upper Aguja Formation (Late Cretaceous), Big Bend National Park, Texas. In: Vertebrate Microfossil Assemblages , Their Role in Paleoecology and Paleobiogeography, Sankey, J.T. and S. Baszio (eds.), Indiana University Press. Santucci, V.L. (2000). A Survey of the Paleontological Resources from the National Parks and Monuments in Utah. In: Geology of Utah's Parks and Monuments. Sprinkle, D.A., T.C. Chidsey and P.B. Anderson (eds.), Utah Geological Association Publication 28. Santucci, V.L. (1998). The Yellowstone Paleontological Survey. Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, YCR-NR-98-1. Santucci, V.L. and J.I. Kirkland (2010). An Overview of National Park Service Paleontological Resources from the Parks and Monuments in Utah. In: Geology of Utah's Parks and Monuments. Sprinkel, D.A., T.C. Chidsey and P.B. Anderson (eds.), Utah Geological Association, Publication 28. Santucci, V.L., et al. (2006). Additional Fossil Vertebrate Tracks in National Park Service Areas. In: Fossils from Federal Lands. Lucas, S.G., et al., (eds.), New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 34. Santucci, V.L., et al. (2001). An Inventory of Paleontological Resources Associated with National Park Service Caves. National Park Service D-2231. Stoffer, P.W. (2003). Geology of Badlands National Park: Preliminary Report. U.S.Geological Survey. Stoffer, P.W., et al. (2001). The Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary Interval in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-56. Straight, W.H. (1996). Stratigraphy and Paleontology of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Boundary, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Masters Thesis - Texas Tech University. Wilson, P.K. and J.R. Moore (2016). Assessing the Control of Preservational Environment on Taphonomic and Ecological Patterns in an Oligocene Mammal Fauna from Badlands National Park, South Dakota. PLoS ONE, 11(6).