Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Update on Paleontological Resources Preservation

This morning (Wednesday, January 14), the Senate voted to invoke cloture on debate over S. 22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. This means that, in the next day or so (possibly as soon as Thursday), the Senate may vote on passage of the legislation. As I have noted, among the myriad provisions of this bill is the language of the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act considered last Congress (S. 320 and H.R. 554). The opposition continues to mischaracterize the impact of the legislation on amateur fossil collecting on federal land -- we have very limited access now which is unlikely to change under the legislation. Rather, the legislation will give teeth to provisions prohibiting the taking of fossils from federal land for commercial purposes. This a good step and should be supported.

Background on the controversy is covered in prior posts.

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