- Please contact your local museum
and ask about collecting in your area.
- In order for fossils to be protected they must be collected,
otherwise they will be lost to weathering. To have scientific
value, they must be collected properly. Important specimens such
as holotypes should go to a proper repository where they can
be classified and available for study. Many fossils that are
redundant scientifically have value to stimulate interest in
earth sciences and to provide funding for more collecting and
future research. The more fossils that are collected, the more
chance there is of finding scientifically important ones.
Realistically, when a law restricting possession and sale
of fossils is imposed, it rarely protects the fossils. We've
seen it time and time again with fossils from all over the world.
It only fosters hurried and careless collecting and assures the
loss of the associated data.
More could be gained by allowing open collecting by licensed
individuals working in conjunction with museums and universities.
Proper collecting methods could be taught and permits issued
for collecting on public lands to anyone who completes the required
classes and agrees to follow established guidelines. Certain
areas of public land could be closed to collecting if they are
especially significant. Closing all public land is not in the
best interest of the fossils or the people who enjoy collecting
them. Historically, museums have been the beneficiaries of the
majority of the important specimens that amateur collectors have
recovered. Private collectors or their heirs eventually donate
their collections to their favorite museum or alma mater.
The survival of our civilization requires an ever greater
understanding and appreciation for the earth. Fossils of creatures
great and small that once inhabited our planet have a way of
influencing our thinking and stimulating our imaginations. Owning
a small fragment of earth's history can be very educational and
inspiring to future scientists worldwide.
We believe in education. It's our
hope for the future.