Paper No. 38-4
Presentation Time: 2:50 PM
DO I NEED A PERMIT FOR THIS? MAKING SENSE OF THE GEOLOGICAL AND PALEONTOLOGICAL PERMIT PROCESS WITH THE BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT TO AVOID POTENTIALLY COSTLY MISTAKES
Every year, well-meaning researchers are reprimanded or issued citations for failing to seek the required permissions to work on public land. Permitting is required by law and may involve several steps including environmental review, and because this involves a variety of officials, there is a certain amount of time involved in issuing the permit. Permitting officials in the BLM are colleagues who can advocate for geologists and paleontologists and guide professionals through the process. When working in paleontology there are significant differences in the processes used to issue “Consulting,” “Survey,” or “Excavation” permits, with the Excavation process requiring the most involved work on the part of BLM. There is no geological or research permit issued by BLM, so that geoscience work is generally authorized under a Special Recreation Permit (SRP). A further consideration includes designation of the land, such as Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC), Wilderness Study Area (WSA), National Monument, etc., which may require additional considerations for protecting other resources. Activities that may need permits include but are not limited to bringing groups such as field camps on public land; collecting rock samples for research; drilling cores for any purpose; prospecting, surveying, documenting, and collecting fossils of any kind for research purposes (including non-vertebrate, trace, plant, and vertebrate fossils); collecting or disturbing cultural artifacts or historic sites, documenting and making molds of trace fossils or other features; trenching to obtain fresh rock exposures; or any other action that has the potential for ground and/or fossil disturbance. Permitting officials at the BLM want to partner with geoscientists to help research to happen on public lands and will work hard to navigate the multiple mandates for land management in order to facilitate your project.