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Italo40

Ferncliff Natural Area

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digit

Thanks for highlighting this spectacular site and for the background information.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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SteveE

It is indeed a GREAT spot.   Just FYI....  State regs say you have to have written permission to collect in PA state parks.  Sec 11.211 (pdf page 11) www.docs.dcnr.pa.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/d_001192.pdf

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Mark Kmiecik
On 11/22/2019 at 9:48 PM, SteveE said:

It is indeed a GREAT spot.   Just FYI....  State regs say you have to have written permission to collect in PA state parks.  Sec 11.211 (pdf page 11) www.docs.dcnr.pa.gov/cs/groups/public/documents/document/d_001192.pdf

I'm pretty sure collecting is not allowed at this site. Viewing only. It's a shame, because all the fossils in the river that are exposed to current will be blank rocks in less than 50 years and will have disappeared forever. I would rather see them in amateur collections or classrooms.

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digit

Some sites, like Mazon Creek, through special efforts have allowed fossil hunters to enjoy the riches (though ever more difficult to find these days). Most parks and natural areas have prohibited removal of any materials (other than garbage) with the "Take only photographs--leave only footprints" motto. By prohibiting things like collection of firewood for camp fires, pretty rocks from beaches, or, in this case, fossils from the river, the parks are trying to preserve the natural areas the way they are for the common benefit.

 

The argument for collecting the fossils before they erode to dust is a solid one and has merit for preserving a non-renewable resource--especially in the case of fossils that are Scientifically Important Specimens (SIS). In some cases parks may be blessed with an abundance of interesting fossil material that has already been scientifically cataloged and the new specimens eroded into view are not of great scientific importance (but still beautiful and wondrous). In cases where the rate of exposing new fossils is relatively slow, I can understand how collectors could collect virtually all exposed fossil material which would not leave any fossils for the non-collector visitors to marvel at during their visit. While it seems a shame to let any fossils disappear to the elements, untold billions of them likely disappear every year all around the world and there is not enough effort that could be marshalled to preserve all of earth's history in fossil form.

 

I can understand how some parks and natural areas would prefer to keep the fossils exposed on their sites for the common enjoyment of its visitors even if that means that the fossils will slowly turn to dust while (hopefully) being enjoyed by a wider group of visitors. As fossil hunters and collectors it may seem a shame to see any fossils "go to waste" but in many cases they are serving their purpose, in situ, to inspire future generations of potential fossil lovers.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

 

P.S.: It is in our best interest as amateur fossil hunters to obey the rules and collect where we can and refrain from pocketing specimens where we are prohibited. ;)

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