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Gem dino bone from BLM land


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FossilDudeCO

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.

 

BLM1.thumb.jpg.9500515f3cb7d1719625a8297b96bc95.jpg

 

The first photo is our letter we received (if this shows too much can you please edit it further @Fossildude19)

 

BLM2.thumb.jpg.383ccb672984c76f37715ff94fd07999.jpg

 

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!

 

 

 

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Wow!!!

 

RB

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Wow very cool.  Did you ask where were the teeth :trex:  were :D?  Good for you an nice display item's that can be held.   Another reason to stay off BLM land to collect.   Amazing bureaucracy to manage chunks that could be put to better use.   

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FossilDudeCO

@Troodon yup, he said don't even bother to go looking for teeth and claws anymore, they are all at your house :P 

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Susan from PA

Wow, that's very interesting!  I have to believe that there were other specimens of higher value that the person involved collected, and perhaps passed on to other repositories.   I understand that people should never, under any circumstances, collect illegally on BLM land.  However, it's amazing that the government would use its valuable resources to go after fossils that some would consider to hold little value.  

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FossilDudeCO
1 hour ago, Susan from PA said:

Wow, that's very interesting!  I have to believe that there were other specimens of higher value that the person involved collected, and perhaps passed on to other repositories.   I understand that people should never, under any circumstances, collect illegally on BLM land.  However, it's amazing that the government would use its valuable resources to go after fossils that some would consider to hold little value.  

 

I do have to agree with your statement, I am sure there were better pieces and it is crazy to think that the BLM tracks these people down, honestly, most of them are turned in by other people that they have shown their finds too, according to the 'Special Agent'.

 

But I do look at this in a different light.

 

The place I work is an outdoor museum that has Morrison exposures (In fact it is in Morrison, CO) At least 2-3 times a year we catch people at our sites with hammers and chisels. They all say the same thing. "It's just unidentified chunks of bone, they aren't worth anything." While that is true, if they all take pieces, we wouldn't have sites to give tours of and tell the history of.

 

I look at these BLM gifts as ways to teach the public about the consequences of illegal collecting. If people think they can get away with small bits and pieces then they will continue to escalate. I am sure the person that collected these wasn't just looking for chunkosaurus, just like us they want to find that whole articulated 'velociraptor' like Dr. Alan Grant ;) 

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