January 30, 2017
The American Institute of Biological Sciences weighed in on a draft rule regarding the protection and preservation of paleontological resources on federal lands.
The draft rule from the Department of the Interior would create a new permitting process for researchers who want to collect fossils on lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service, or National Park Service.
In its comments, AIBS highlighted the burdens the new permitting system would have on academics, as the four agencies will use two different permitting forms. Even when agencies have proposed to use the same form, they have their own instructions. The differences in the instructions are significant enough that an applicant would have to complete a new application for each permit they seek.
AIBS also raised concerns about the proposed prohibition on releasing the location of paleontological resources and new criminal punishments for scientific misconduct.
Read the letter at https://www.aibs.org/position-statements/20170130aibscommentso8.html.