U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Oct 04, 2023

§ 49.810 - What is casual collecting?

(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.