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Text of H.R. 2943 (as introduced in the House of Representatives)


104th CONGRESS
          2d Session
          To provide for the collection of fossils on Federal lands, and for
          other purposes.
                             IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
                                    February 1, 1996
          Mr. JOHNSON of South Dakota (for himself and Mr. SKEEN) introduced
              the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on
              Resources, and in addition to the Committees on Agriculture, 
              and Transportation and Infrastructure, for a period to be
              subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for
              consideration of such provisions as fall within the 
              jurisdiction of the committee concerned
                                         A BILL
          To provide for the collection of fossils on Federal lands, and for
          other purposes.
           [Italic->]   Be it enacted by the Senate and House of
          Representatives of the United States of America in Congress
          assembled, [<-Italic]
          SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
            This Act may be cited as the `Fossil Preservation Act of 1996'.
          SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSES.
            (a) FINDINGS- Congress finds that--
                (1) paleontology, as distinct from archaeology, is the study
              of prehistoric, nonhuman life and is most closely allied with
              geology and biology;
                (2) the science of paleontology is best served by unimpeded
              access to fossils and fossil-bearing rocks in the field;
                (3) fossils have scientific, educational, and commercial value;
                (4) fossils are accessible on Federal lands, but the few
              Federal laws or regulations in existence on the date of
              enactment of this Act do not provide for uniform regulations 
              for their collection;
                (5) access to fossils on Federal lands should be provided to
              research scientists, educators, amateur collectors, and
              commercial entities under proper guidelines, but collecting
              decreases the benefit of Federal lands for the people of the
              United States if the collecting--
                    (A) separates scientifically unique fossils from their
                  geological and paleontological contexts,
                    (B) removes scientifically unique fossils from the realm
                  of public education or scientific study, or
                    (C) interferes with ongoing excavation by researchers
                  engaged in permitted studies or excavations.
                (6) scientifically unique fossils, as determined by the
              Council, must be deposited in institutions where there are
              established research, educational, and training programs in
              paleontology.
            (b) PURPOSES- The purposes of this Act are--
                (1) to secure, for the present and future benefit of the
              people of the United States, the protection, including
              collection and preservation, of fossils that are on Federal
              lands;
                (2) to provide a uniform national policy on fossil collecting
              on Federal lands that--
                    (A) enables research scientists, educators, amateur
                  collectors, and commercial entities to collect fossils on
                  Federal lands; and
                    (B) facilitates scientific research and education in
                  paleontology;
                (3) encourages the collection and preservation of fossils 
              from Federal lands in order to reduce the loss of fossils
              resulting from erosion and theft; and
                (4) encourages the identification, preservation and study of
              scientifically unique paleontological specimens and sites on
              Federal lands in order to increase our understanding of the
              history of life on earth.
          SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
            For the purposes of this Act:
                (1) FEDERAL LANDS- (A) The term `Federal lands' means the
              lands, other than wilderness, administered by the Bureau of 
              Land Management, the Forest Service, the United States Fish and
              Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the United
              States Army Corps of Engineers.
                (B) Such term does not include lands held in trust for the
              benefit of an Indian tribe or individual or held by an Indian
              tribe or individual subject to a restriction by the United
              States against alienation, lands administered by the National
              Park Service, lands designated by an Act of Congress as
              wilderness, and any other Federal lands not specifically
              included by subparagraph (A).
                (2) FEDERAL LAND MANAGER- The term `Federal land manager'
              means the Secretary of the department or head of the agency or
              instrumentality of the United States.
                (3) FOSSIL- The term `fossil' means any naturally occurring
              remains or trace of plant or animal life that--
                    (A) lived prior to the Holocene epoch; and
                    (B) is not associated with an archaeological resource or 
                  a cave resource.
                (4) ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE- The term `archaeological
              resource' has the meaning given such term in section 3(1) of 
              the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (16 U.S.C.
              470bb(1)).
                (5) CAVE RESOURCE- The term `cave resource' has the meaning
              given such term in section 3(5) of the Federal Cave Resources
              Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 4302(5)).
                (6) COUNCIL- The term `Council' means the National Fossil
              Council established by section 9.
                (7) DIRECTOR- The term `Director' means the Director of the
              United States Geological Survey.
                (8) SUITABLE PALEONTOLOGICAL INSTITUTION- An institution is a
              suitable paleontological institution if the institution is a
              nonprofit public or private organization, including a college,
              university, Federal or State repository, or museum--
                    (A) with a research, educational, or curatorial program 
                  in paleontology; and
                    (B) with open access to appropriate records for the
                  specimens collected under these permits for research and
                  education.
          SEC. 4. MANAGEMENT OF FOSSILS ON FEDERAL LANDS.
            (a) FEDERAL LANDS OPEN TO FOSSIL COLLECTING- Except as otherwise
          provided in this section, all Federal lands shall be open to fossil
          collecting, as follows: all Federal lands shall be open to fossil
          collecting by reconnaissance without a permit, except for those
          lands designated as requiring such a permit pursuant to subsection
          (c)(1)(B), and all Federal lands shall be open to fossil collecting
          by quarrying pursuant to a permit.
            (b) DUTY TO MANAGE SEPARATELY FROM ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE- Each
          Federal land manager, in consultation with the Council, shall 
          manage fossils separately from archaeological resources, cave
          resources, and cultural resources, but in conjunction with the
          natural resources within the jurisdiction of the Federal land
          manager.
            (c) TYPES OF COLLECTING AND WHETHER NOTICE OR A PERMIT IS
          REQUIRED- Collecting fossils from Federal lands shall be conducted
          in accordance with the following:
                (1) Reconnaissance- 
                    (A) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in subparagraphs (B)
                  and (C), collecting fossils from the surface is not subject
                  to advance notice to a Federal land manager or the issuance
                  of a permit. Such collecting is reconnaissance collecting
                  and--
                        (i) results in surface disturbance of less than two
                      square meters of the earth;
                        (ii) involves picking up loose specimens on weathered
                      rock surfaces;
                        (iii) may involve the use of simple hand tools (such
                      as hammers, chisels, pry bars, and rakes);
                        (iv) does not involve the use of power tools,
                      explosives, or mechanized equipment of any kind; and
                        (v) does not pose potential for significant
                      disturbance of sites of ongoing scientific research and
                      other important resources, including endangered 
                      species, cultural resources, archaeological resources,
                      cave resources, wilderness, or areas of critical
                      environmental concern.
                    (B) EXCEPTION- A permit is required for reconnaissance
                  collecting from those Federal lands under the jurisdiction
                  of the Federal land manager which the Federal land manager
                  may designate in accordance with the guidelines developed 
                  by the Council under section 9. The Federal land manager
                  shall publish in the Federal Register notice of each area
                  for which a permit is required for reconnaissance 
                  collecting and shall post in each such area appropriate
                  notice of reconnaissance collecting permit requirements.
                    (C) NOTICE BY GROUPS- Advance notice of not less than
                  seven days is required for reconnaissance collecting by
                  groups comprised of more than 10 persons.
                (2) QUARRYING- Fossil collection by quarrying means the
              collection of fossils by means other than reconnaissance
              collecting. Collecting fossils through quarrying may only be
              conducted pursuant to a permit and advance notice.
            (d) DETERMINATION OF SCIENTIFICALLY UNIQUE- The Federal land
          manager, in consultation with the Chair of the Council, shall
          determine whether a fossil is scientifically unique in accordance
          with regulations promulgated under section 10, except with respect
          to commercial permits. In the case of a commercial permit, the
          determination of scientifically unique shall be made by the Council.
            (e) Appeals- 
                (1) AGENCY PROCESS- Except as provided by paragraph (2),
              administrative appeals of a Federal land manager's decision
              under this Act shall be made in accordance with the appeals
              process, if any, established by the agency concerned.
                (2) COUNCIL- An appeal of a Federal land manager's decision
              under this subsection (d) may be made to the Council in
              accordance with regulations promulgated under section 10.
          SEC. 5. PERMITS.
            (a) General Authority- 
                (1) ISSUANCE- The Federal land manager shall issue permits
              under such terms and conditions as the Federal land manager may
              impose--
                    (A) for reconnaissance collecting under section 4(c)(1)
                  from those lands which the Federal land manager designates
                  in accordance with the guidelines developed by the Council
                  under section 9; and
                    (B) for the discovery, quarrying, and removal of fossils
                  under section 4(c)(2) that are located on lands under the
                  jurisdiction of the
          Federal land manager, including activity associated with such
          quarrying.
                (2) LIMITATION- Commercial permits may not be issued under
              this section for the quarrying or removal of a scientifically
              unique find, as determined by the Council.
                (3) PERIOD TO CONSIDER APPLICATION- Permits shall be issued 
              or denied within a reasonable time, but no later than 90 days
              after a permit application is received, unless extended by
              written notice of the Federal land manager to allow compliance
              with this Act.
                (4) CONTENTS OF PERMIT APPLICATION- An application for a
              permit under this section shall contain--
                    (A) a general description of the area in which collecting
                  activity is to occur and, when applicable, the purpose of
                  the proposed quarry;
                    (B) the beginning and ending dates of work and list of
                  tools for the proposed activity;
                    (C) the identity and qualifications of the individuals
                  responsible for carrying out the terms and conditions of 
                  the permit;
                    (D) in the case that the permit is for collecting fossils
                  for educational purposes, the agreement of the applicant to
                  the conditions specified in subsection (b);
                    (E) in the case that the permit is for collecting fossils
                  for scientific purposes, the agreement of the applicant to
                  the conditions specified in subsection (c);
                    (F) in the case that the permit is for collecting fossils
                  for sale, barter, or exchange, the agreement of the
                  applicant to the conditions specified in subsection (d); and
                    (G) the applicant submits in writing qualifications and
                  relevant proof of experience that are in compliance with 
                  the guidelines established by the Federal land manager and
                  are appropriate for the type of permit applied for.
            (b) EDUCATIONAL COLLECTING PERMITS- A permit for collecting
          fossils from Federal lands for educational purposes shall be issued
          pursuant to an application under subsection (a) if--
                (1) the applicant agrees to deposit all scientifically unique
              fossils, records, and data associated with such collecting in a
              suitable paleontological institution and to carry out the
              permitted activity primarily for the purpose of public education;
                (2) the applicant has a letter of agreement from a suitable
              paleontological institution; and
                (3) the Federal land manager determines that the activity is
              consistent with any management plan applicable to the Federal
              lands concerned.
            (c) SCIENTIFIC COLLECTING PERMITS- A permit for collecting 
          fossils from Federal lands for scientific purposes shall be issued
          pursuant to an application under subsection (a) if--
                (1) the applicant agrees to deposit all scientifically unique
              fossils, records, and data associated with such collecting in a
              suitable paleontological institution and to carry out the
              permitted activity primarily for the purpose of scientific
              research, public education, or public display;
                (2) the applicant has a letter of agreement from a suitable
              paleontological institution; and
                (3) the Federal land manager determines that the activity is
              consistent with any management plan applicable to the Federal
              lands concerned.
            (d) COMMERCIAL COLLECTING PERMITS- A permit for collecting 
          fossils from Federal lands for sale, barter, or exchange shall be
          issued pursuant to an application under subsection (a) if--
                (1) the applicant agrees--
                    (A) that the fossils to be extracted are for a commercial
                  purpose;
                    (B) to pay fees established in accordance with section 6;
                    (C) to deposit the paleontological records and data
                  associated with the commercial quarrying with the United
                  States Geological Survey;
                    (D) to report any unanticipated discoveries made under 
                  the commercial permit to the agency issuing the permit and
                  that scientifically unique finds will be property of the
                  United States and will be deposited in a suitable
                  paleontological institution; and
                    (E) to file a final report with the permit granting 
                  agency describing all quarried materials;
                (2) the Federal land manager determines that the activity is
              consistent with any management plan applicable to the Federal
              lands concerned; and
                (3) the permit application has been reviewed by the Federal
              land manager in consultation with the Chair of the Council.
            (e) Suspension and Revocation of Permits- 
                (1) SUSPENSION- The Federal land manager may suspend a permit
              issued under this section if the Federal land manager 
              determines that the holder of the permit has intentionally
              violated any of the terms of the permit or intentionally 
              engaged in an act for which a civil penalty may be imposed 
              under section 8.
                (2) REVOCATION- The Federal land manager may revoke a permit
              issued under this section if the holder of the permit is
              assessed a civil penalty under section 8.
                (3) PROTECTION OF RIGHTS- Before suspending a permit under
              paragraph (1) or revoking a permit under paragraph (2), the
              Federal land manager shall provide the permittee with notice 
              and an opportunity for a hearing on the record in accordance
              with section 554 of title 5, United States Code.
            (f) PERMITS ISSUED UNDER ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906- 
                (1) NEW PERMITS- No permit or other permission shall be
              required under the Act entitled `An Act for the Preservation of
              American Antiquities', approved June 8, 1906 (16 U.S.C. 431 et
              seq.), for any activity for which a permit is issued under this
              section.
                (2) PREVIOUS PERMITS- Any permit issued under such Act prior
              to the date of enactment of this Act shall remain in effect
              according to the terms and conditions of the permit. No permit
              under this Act shall be required to carry out any activity 
              under a permit issued under such Act prior to the date of
              enactment of this Act. Nothing in this Act shall be construed 
              to modify or affect a permit issued under such Act prior to the
              date of enactment of this Act.
          SEC. 6. FEES AND ROYALTIES FOR COMMERCIAL COLLECTING.
            (a) GENERAL AUTHORITY- The Federal land manager shall establish
          and collect fees relating to the commercial collection of fossils
          subject to this Act. The fee shall be determined by the Secretary 
          on a permit-by-permit basis and shall be sufficient to cover the
          cost to the Secretary of issuing a permit under section 5 and shall
          be based on the amount of surface disturbance which occurs under 
          the permit and the location of the collection activity.
            (b) ROYALTY- A permit for commercial collecting shall require
          payment of a royalty on the fair market value of each fossil 
          removed under the permit. The amount of the royalty shall be
          determined by the Council as a percentage of the value of the 
          fossil on the basis of what a willing buyer would pay a willing
          seller in an arms length transaction.
            (c) USE OF AMOUNTS COLLECTED- Amounts collected by a Federal land
          manager under this section shall be retained by the Federal land
          manager and used without further appropriation in the area with
          respect to which the amount was generated for the purpose of
          carrying out the paleontological program of the Federal land manager.
          SEC. 7. OWNERSHIP AND CUSTODY OF FOSSILS.
            (a) IN GENERAL- Except as provided by subsection (b), fossils
          collected pursuant to this Act are the property of the collector--
                (1) without restriction if collected under the provisions of
              this Act where no permit is required; and
                (2) are subject to the terms and conditions agreed to by the
              collector in connection with the issuance of a permit under 
              this Act if collected pursuant to the permit.
            (b) EXCEPTION- Fossils collected pursuant to a commercial
          collecting permit under section 5(c) which are scientifically
          unique, as determined by the Council, are the property of the 
          United States and shall be placed into custody with the Director of
          the United States Geological Survey. This paragraph applies with
          respect to a fossil regardless of when the determination of
          scientifically unique is made.
            (c) AUTHORITY OF UNITED STATES TO DISPOSE OF FOSSILS- The 
          Director of the United States Geological Survey may sell, exchange,
          loan, or donate any fossil placed into the custody of the Director
          under subsection (b).
            (d) Modification or Removal of Restrictions- 
                (1) APPLICATION TO COUNCIL- The collector of a fossil 
              pursuant to a permit issued under this Act may apply to the
              Council for the modification or removal of restrictions 
              relating to fossils collected under this Act.
                (2) STANDARD- The Council may modify or remove the
              restrictions, as the Council determines appropriate, if the
              Council determines that such modification or removal is
              necessary to better achieve an educational or scientific 
              purpose of the collector.
          SEC. 8. CIVIL PENALTIES.
            (a) AUTHORITY- The Federal land manager may assess a civil 
          penalty of more than $1,000 but not more than $100,000 against any
          person who--
                (1) willfully violates any provision of this Act, permit
              issued under this Act, or rule or regulation promulgated by the
              Federal land manager pursuant to this Act, including quarrying,
              removing, damaging, or otherwise altering or defacing, or
              attempting to quarry, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or
              deface, a fossil located on Federal land in violation of this
              Act or a permit issued under this Act;
                (2) knowingly sells, purchases, exchanges, transports,
              receives, or offers to sell, purchase, or exchange a fossil if
              the fossil was quarried or removed from Federal lands in
              violation of paragraph (1) or in violation of a law, ordinance,
              or permit in effect under any other provision of Federal law;
                (3) submits false, inaccurate, or misleading information on
              any application for a permit issued pursuant to this Act; or
                (4) fails to make or file any report required by this Act.
            (b) MITIGATION OF PENALTY- The Secretary may compromise, modify,
          or remit, with or without conditions, any civil penalty which may 
          be imposed under this subsection.
            (c) Interest- 
                (1) DATE ACCRUAL BEGINS- Interest shall accrue on a civil
              penalty imposed under this section on the later of--
                    (A) the date on which the order of the Federal land
                  manager becomes final, unless an action for judicial review
                  is brought in accordance with chapters 5 and 7 of title 5,
                  United States Code; and
                    (B) the date on which a final judgment is entered 
                  pursuant to an action referred to in subparagraph (A).
                (2) RATE- Interest for a period under paragraph (1) shall be
              at the rates specified for underpayments under section 6621 of
              the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
          SEC. 9. NATIONAL FOSSIL COUNCIL.
            (a) ESTABLISHMENT- The Director of the United States Geological
          Survey shall establish a council to be known as the `National 
          Fossil Council'.
            (b) DUTIES- The Council--
                (1) during the six-month period beginning on the date of the
              appointment of the initial members under subsection (c)(2)--
                    (A) shall develop guidelines and parameters for
                  determining `scientifically unique';
                    (B) shall develop procedures for identifying specimens as
                  scientifically unique, including procedures for cases in
                  which the determination is made during the collection
                  process or after the removal of the specimen from Federal
                  lands;
                    (C) shall develop a procedure for advising the Federal
                  land manager on scientifically unique fossils upon request
                  of the Federal land manager;
                    (D) shall develop guidelines for the Federal land manager
                  to determine which lands to close for reconnaissance
                  collecting;
                    (E) shall develop procedures for processing appeals of a
                  Federal land manager's decisions with respect to the
                  determination of scientifically unique;
                    (F) shall develop guidelines for the minimum acceptable
                  qualifications of collectors for each type of permit under
                  section 5;
                    (G) shall establish the royalty rate required by section
                  6; and
                    (H) may define or provide guidelines for determining 
                  which groups may engage in collecting for educational
                  purposes without a permit under section 5(b)(2);
                (2) provide advice to the Federal land managers in carrying
              out this Act;
                (3) review permit applications rejected pursuant to section
              4(d) on the basis of scientifically unique fossils;
                (4) review the procedures by which this Act is enforced to
              ensure uniformity of regulation consistent with this Act among
              Federal land management agencies; and
                (5) carry out the other duties required by this Act.
            (c) Membership- 
                (1) IN GENERAL- The Council shall be composed of seven
              members, as follows:
                    (A) The Director of the Geological Survey (or designee),
                  ex officio, who shall serve as the chair of the Council.
                    (B) One individual appointed by the Director, after
                  considering recommendations made by the United States
                  National Museum.
                    (C) One individual appointed by the Director, after
                  considering recommendations made by the Society of
                  Vertebrate Paleontology.
                    (D) One individual appointed by the Director, after
                  considering recommendations made by the Paleontological
                  Society.
                    (E) One individual who shall be representative of the
                  Federal land managers, appointed by the Director after
                  considering recommendations made by the Secretary of the
                  Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture.
                    (F) One individual appointed by the Director, after
                  considering recommendations made by the American 
                  Association of Paleontological Suppliers.
                    (G) One individual appointed by the Director, after
                  considering recommendations made by the Mid America
                  Paleontological Societies and the American Federation of
                  Mineralogical Societies.
                (2) INITIAL APPOINTMENTS- The Director shall make the
              appointments of the initial members within 60 days after the
              date of enactment of this Act.
            (d) Terms- 
                (1) IN GENERAL- Each member appointed under subsection (c)
              shall be appointed for a term of five years, except as provided
              in paragraphs (2) and (3).
                (2) TERMS OF INITIAL APPOINTEES- As designated by the 
              Director at the time of appointment, of the members first
              appointed--
                    (A) two shall be appointed for terms of three years; and
                    (B) two shall be appointed for terms of four years.
                (3) VACANCIES- Any member appointed to fill a vacancy
              occurring before the expiration of the term for which the
              member's predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for
              the remainder of that term. A member may serve after the
              expiration of that member's term until a successor has taken
              office. A vacancy in the Council shall be filled in the manner
              in which the original appointment was made.
            (e) BASIC PAY- Members shall serve without pay, and members who
          are full-time officers or employees of the United States may not
          receive additional pay, allowances, or benefits by reason of their
          service on the Council.
            (f) Quorum and Vote Required- 
                (1) IN GENERAL- Five members of the Council shall constitute 
              a quorum but a lesser number may hold hearings. Except as
              provided by paragraph (2), actions may be taken upon 
              affirmative vote by a majority decision, a quorum being present.
                (2) DESIGNATION OF SCIENTIFICALLY UNIQUE- (A) Designating a
              fossil as scientifically unique in connection with a commercial
              permit requires an affirmative vote of five members of the
              Council.
                (B) In an appeal of a decision of a Federal land manager 
              under section 4(d)(2), an affirmative vote of five members of
              the Council is required to modify or reverse the decision.
            (g) MEETINGS- The Council shall meet at the call of the Chair or
          as otherwise provided by this section.
            (h) STAFF OF FEDERAL AGENCIES- Upon request of the Chair, the 
          head of any Federal department or agency may detail, on a
          reimbursable basis, any of the personnel of that department or
          agency to the Council to assist it in carrying out its duties under
          this Act.
            (i) MAILS- The Council may use the United States mails in the 
          same manner and under the same conditions as other departments and
          agencies of the United States.
          SEC. 10. REGULATIONS.
            (a) General Regulations- 
                (1) ISSUANCE- Not later than one year after the date of the
              enactment of this Act, the Secretary of the Interior, the
              Secretary of Agriculture, and the Secretary of the Army, after
              consultation with other Federal land managers and
              representatives of concerned State agencies, after review and
              comment by the Council, and after public notice and hearings,
              shall each issue as soon as practicable, such regulations as 
              are appropriate to carry out this Act. Such regulations shall 
              be as uniform as possible and where not possible, shall include
              a list of all instances in which such regulations are not
              uniform and the reasons therefor.
                (2) SUBMISSION TO CONGRESS- The regulations issued under this
              Act shall be submitted to the Committee on Resources of the
              House of Representatives and the Committee on Energy and 
              Natural Resources of the Senate and may not take effect before
              the expiration of the 90-date period following the date of
              submission.
            (b) LAND MANAGEMENT PLANS- Each Federal land manager shall amend
          management plans as necessary to conform to this Act and the
          regulations issued under subsection (a).

(Source: Library of Congress)

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