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Trevor

Private Property

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Trevor

I just started this topic to gain other NJ fossil hunters' opinions. There are a few cretaceous streams that I found that could potentially have fossils. However, they're on private property. Do you think I should have the courage to ask for permission or just avoid the matter entirely?

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Auspex

Nothing ventured, nothing gained!

The worst they can do is say no. Be respectful, and avoid using the word "hunting" ("looking for fossils" raises fewer objections), and don't be carrying any tools of mass-destruction.

When you gain access, give the land owner some specimens, and explain what they are and how old.

Good luck!

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sixgill pete

Trevor, while I am not from New Jersey I would say this. It never hurts to ask. The very worst they can say is no. Find out who owns the land and just ask. Explain what you wish to do and you may be surprised at the answer you get.

If you do obtain permission, don't dig into the banks, and leave the area cleaner than you found it. Take the time to show the owners what you find, maybe even make a display for them. And always, be polite and gracious.

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BobWill

In my experience landowners who have had trespassers on their property in the past are glad that I bothered to ask whether they give permission or not. If they seem reluctant I make it clear I'm not asking for carte blanche to go in any time I want, but are willing to tell them each time I'd like to go in. You might even assure them that you are willing to let them decide which institution gets anything of value to science you happen to find. This will assure them you are not collecting for profit. These courtesies go a long way to changing their views of fossil collectors and whether to grant permission.

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Trevor

Thanks to everyone so far. From the information gathered, I think I will ask, without any gear in hand, and show the owners a few of the fossils from the area. If the owners do say yes and I do find some fossils on the property I will give them some for their generosity.

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Jeffrey P

Friday I planned to visit a Paleocene site near New Egypt, NJ but found it posted with No Trespassing signs. I intend to look up the owner and ask for permission. Hope you have luck as well.

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Auspex

...let them decide which institution gets anything of value to science you happen to find...

I would not use the word "value", "scientific importance" is (1) more accurate, and (2) less likely to have 'em imagining dollar signs.

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Herb

all very good suggestions.

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