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Alberta Fossil Laws


Regg Cato

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I'm wondering if anyone can give me a briefing on what the laws and regulations are for fossil hunting in Alberta; my understanding thusfar is only surface collecting on crown land or private property with permission of landowner, and collected fossils may not be removed from the province.

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That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Here is a brief description from the tyrrell museum website.

There are two methods of collecting fossils:

SURFACE COLLECTING (collecting isolated fossils that are clearly on the surface of the ground) is only permitted on private land with the landowner's permission and on provincial Crown land.

EXCAVATING (digging) refers to dislodging in any manner, fossils imbedded/buried in the ground or rock face. Excavating requires a permit, which is available only to professional palaeontologists.

Fossils in Protected Areas

Fossils may not be collected in any provincial/national park or protected area. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is located in Midland Provincial park-598 hectares of grassland in the Red Deer River valley. Collecting in this area is not permitted.

You planning on coming out to Alberta?

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I've been mulling it over for a while, though the objective has changed several times and I'd like to figure out what I'm doing before I go lol

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If you plan on coming out this way, get in touch with me. I can take you out if time permits.

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Draconiusultamius

I know this is a really old post, but I just found this and I have heard that you can't alter a fossil found in Alberta either.  I assume this includes removing any matrix material, cleaning the fossil with anything but a bit of water, and doing any sort of reconstruction.  Hopefully this doesn't include accidentally knocking a found fossil over and breaking it (I'm pretty sure it happens often if you're clumsy).  Does this sound correct?

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musicnfossils
On 2018-05-02 at 8:53 PM, Draconiusultamius said:

I know this is a really old post, but I just found this and I have heard that you can't alter a fossil found in Alberta either.  I assume this includes removing any matrix material, cleaning the fossil with anything but a bit of water, and doing any sort of reconstruction.  Hopefully this doesn't include accidentally knocking a found fossil over and breaking it (I'm pretty sure it happens often if you're clumsy).  Does this sound correct?

 

Replying to an old response to an old topic, but I don’t believe that part about altering them is true. I have legally obtained and sold dinosaur bones from Alberta that are fully prepared. (Matrix removed, crack repairs, coated) Sold at a store within miles of the Tyrrell. I’d imagine if there was some sort of law against altering legally obtained fossil material, a seller would be first on the hit list. 

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43 minutes ago, musicnfossils said:

 

Replying to an old response to an old topic, but I don’t believe that part about altering them is true. I have legally obtained and sold dinosaur bones from Alberta that are fully prepared. (Matrix removed, crack repairs, coated) Sold at a store within miles of the Tyrrell. I’d imagine if there was some sort of law against altering legally obtained fossil material, a seller would be first on the hit list. 

Alberta Historical Resources Act (RSA 2000) does explicitly mention repair and restoration in Sec,. 20 subsec. 9(1a):

 

(9) Notwithstanding any other Act, no person shall

  1. (a)  destroy, disturb, alter, restore or repair any historic resource

    or land that has been designated under this section

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musicnfossils
4 minutes ago, Kane said:

Alberta Historical Resources Act (RSA 2000) does explicitly mention repair and restoration in Sec,. 20 subsec. 9(1a):

 

(9) Notwithstanding any other Act, no person shall

  1. (a)  destroy, disturb, alter, restore or repair any historic resource

    or land that has been designated under this section

 

Well in that case the fossils I purchased must have had the original owner granted legal ownership through the disposition process, not fully aware of how that works or what the process itself is like but buying the specimens I have was the same as buying literally any other item, came with no paperwork or legal hassle, just pay and go. 

 

Personally I find the Albertan rules far too strict but I understand them from a scientific perspective. It basically turns collecting fossils into a major financial investment if you want anything truly remarkable and strips the fun out of actually hunting for them as all you can really do if you find something really cool is hand it over to the government. 

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5 hours ago, musicnfossils said:

Matrix removed, crack repairs, coated 

I've been to that store by near the Tyrrell nice stuff.   I think you can argue that the preparation is preserving the specimen not destroying it.   I have not heard of any paleontologist from that area having a problem with normal prep work.   The alberta fossil police that have attended past Tucson fossil shows are only concerned about a proper disposition.

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musicnfossils
2 hours ago, Troodon said:

I've been to that store by near the Tyrrell nice stuff. 

 

Were you there recently enough to see that massive triceratops skull she has for sale in the basement room? I was very surprised to see something like that for sale in Alberta. Will probably take that thing off her hands eventually given I have enough coin to do so. 

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46 minutes ago, musicnfossils said:

 

Were you there recently enough to see that massive triceratops skull she has for sale in the basement room? I was very surprised to see something like that for sale in Alberta. Will probably take that thing off her hands eventually given I have enough coin to do so. 

No have not seen it.  How complete was it?

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musicnfossils
1 hour ago, Troodon said:

No have not seen it.  How complete was it?

Here’s an image of it. 

 

 

04E647AE-25FD-4D8A-9C4E-CE600AEFB336.jpeg

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dinosaur man
On 2020-05-06 at 12:28 PM, musicnfossils said:

Here’s an image of it. 

 

 

04E647AE-25FD-4D8A-9C4E-CE600AEFB336.jpeg

I’ve been there and it is an amazing shop! And if you have a certificate or it’s from an old collection and not scientifically important it can be altered.

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  • 10 months later...
Dinosaur mom

@musicnfossils

I know it’s an old thread but wondering about obtaining Alberta found fossils from others. 
 

ive found fragments and I know others have hunted in the area too. I’d like to get a few more things and show to kids at a local school here but don’t want to buy fancy things from museums for this. I just want to show them what they would be likely to find and how to think they might fit together. 
 

the problem is people in AB can’t sell or buy so how do we transfer “ownership” as such?  
 

in other words how can I legally get more bones found in the past from the same area within Alberta?

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musicnfossils
10 hours ago, Dinosaur mom said:

@musicnfossils

I know it’s an old thread but wondering about obtaining Alberta found fossils from others. 
 

ive found fragments and I know others have hunted in the area too. I’d like to get a few more things and show to kids at a local school here but don’t want to buy fancy things from museums for this. I just want to show them what they would be likely to find and how to think they might fit together. 
 

the problem is people in AB can’t sell or buy so how do we transfer “ownership” as such?  
 

in other words how can I legally get more bones found in the past from the same area within Alberta?


Are you from Alberta? You can take surface fossils from crown land (not park land like dinosaur prov. or drumheller) or private land you have permission to access, but you may not sell or export them. If you aren’t from Alberta, there is a shop in drumheller that sells Albertan fossils (you can get small cheap Albertan fossils there not just big expensive ones) and they will give you their disposition number so you can legally transport them. 
 

the only legal way to transport out of province is again the disposition number given by the government. I haven’t gotten one for any of my fossils yet (other than my purchased Albertan fossils) as I live in Alberta and have no need to transport them but as far as I understand it, you need to bring fossils to the attention of someone at the Royal Tyrrell and if they decide to allow them to be exported the government will give you a disposition number assigned to those specific fossils and at that point they can be sold, traded, and/or removed from the province. 
 

Regarding fossils found by others, I don’t know if you can legally obtain fossils someone else has found if you are a fellow Albertan. If you aren’t from Alberta you certainly cannot. 

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