Amateurs will not be allowed to do research?
Amateurs and/or non-professionals will need a permit (if they can get one) to collect fossils for research. Casual collecting just will not fit the bill if these regulations go into effect. Who can do research collecting only 5 specimens of each type of fossil per year? And what is a type of fossil? Can I only collect 5 cephalopod fossils per year?
In fact, even professionals and academics will need a permit to collect invertebrate fossils for research (which is what they all collect for) on any public land (the BLM will adopt the same regs as the USFS), which has not been necessary before.
From the Definitions Section:
4. The term casual collecting would restate the definition contained in 16 U.S.C. 470aaa of the Act. To be considered casual collecting,
the activity would mean all of the following: Collecting 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 and other resources.
14. The term non-commercial personal use as used in the definition of casual collecting
would clarify the types of use allowed under casual collection, and
would mean uses other than for purchase, sale, financial gain, or
research. Common invertebrate and plant paleontological resources
collected for research purposes is not personal use and would need to be
authorized under a permit in accordance with Sections 291.13 through
291.20. Exchange of common invertebrate and plant paleontological
resources among casual collectors would be permissible as long as such
resources were collected in accordance with the Act and the proposed
18. The term reasonable amount as used in the definition of casual collecting
would quantify the maximum amount of common invertebrate and plant
paleontological resources that could be removed from Federal lands. A
person may remove up to one gallon of material in volume or 25 pounds in
weight, and up to five specimens of each type of fossil per calendar
year. If the fossil specimens are contained within rock slabs, the
reasonable amount would be limited to a slab that can be hand-carried by
one person without the aid of mechanical devices. The authorized
officer may modify the amount that is reasonable in order to preserve
fossil-bearing locations that may be at risk of being depleted, thereby
preserving paleontological resources in accordance with the Act.
I think I'll post a comment to this one...
If I can make the July 22, 2013 deadline...
Paleontological Resources Preservation US Forest Service