U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Nov 29, 2023
No. Casual collecting of paleontological resources is not allowed on lands administered by NPS or FWS. On those lands, collecting any paleontological resource must be conducted in accordance with a permit as described in subpart B of this part.
(a) Casual collecting of common invertebrate or plant paleontological resources is allowed on lands administered by BLM, except on BLM-administered land that is closed to casual collecting in accordance with this part, other statutes, executive orders, regulations, proclamations, or land use plans.
(b) Casual collecting of common invertebrate or plant paleontological resources is allowed on lands administered by Reclamation only in locations where the bureau has established a special use area for casual collecting using processes defined in 43 CFR part 423, Public Conduct on Bureau of Reclamation Facilities, Lands, and Waterbodies. Casual collecting is prohibited on Reclamation project land that is administered by NPS or FWS.
(c) Persons interested in casual collecting are responsible for learning which bureau manages the land where they would like to collect paleontological resources, learning if the land is open to casual collecting, and obtaining information about the managing bureau's casual collecting procedures.
(a) Casual collecting means the collecting without a permit of a reasonable amount of common invertebrate or plant paleontological resources for non-commercial personal use, either by surface collection or the use of non-powered hand tools, resulting in only negligible disturbance to the Earth's surface or paleontological or other resources.
(1) Common non-vertebrate paleontological resources means common invertebrate or plant paleontological resources.
(2) Reasonable amount means a maximum of 25 pounds of common non-vertebrate paleontological resources per day per person. Where the common non-vertebrate paleontological resources are embedded in rock, the collector, using non-motorized hand tools, may remove a slab or cobble of rock that exceeds 25 pounds in order to preserve the integrity of the embedded specimen.
(3) Negligible disturbance means little or no change to the surface of the land and minimal or no effect to natural and other resources.
(4) Non-commercial personal use means a use other than for purchase, sale, financial gain, or research.
(5) Non-powered hand tools means tools that do not use or are not operated by a motor, engine, or other mechanized power source, and that can be hand-carried by one person.
(b) In order to preserve paleontological or other resources, or for other management reasons, the Federal land manager may establish area-specific limits on casual collecting, including, but not limited to, restricting the weight of common non-vertebrate paleontological resources; limiting the depth of disturbance; establishing dates or locations for collecting; or establishing what paleontological resources in a specific area are not common.
(c) In consultation with knowledgeable paleontologists, the Federal land manager will determine which non-vertebrate paleontological resources are scientifically rare or unique and are therefore not common.
(d) Collecting common non-vertebrate paleontological resources inconsistent with this subpart is a prohibited act and may result in civil or criminal penalties.