Protecting Federal Fossils from Extinction

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Vol: 26, Issue: 1, Page: 225

Publication Year:
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Lundgren, Gretchen
Environmental Law
commentary description
Fossils are important scientific and educational resources. In recent years, fossils have become popular commercial items. As a result, commercial fossil collection has increased, creating competition for scientific collectors. The United States public lands represent a refuge for scientists because they may not be used for commercial collecting. These lands, however, have been plagued by fossil theft due to the increasing commercial demand for fossils. While there are regulations in place that guide the land management agencies in managing fossils found on public lands, these regulations differ from agency to agency, are outdated, and fail to address the growing need Cor protection fossils require. This comment suggests a comprehensive, uniform national policy be enacted to require the protection of fossils on public lands and to give the land management agencies a legal framework within which to adequately manage fossils on public lands.