Paleontological Resources Management
Table of contents
POLICY AND PROGRAM OBJECTIVES
Excavation and Collection of NPS Paleontological Resources
Confidentiality of Information about NPS Paleontological Resources
Preservation of Sites with Paleontological Resources
RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER GUIDANCE
The Nature of Paleontological Resources
Identification of Paleontological Resources
Evaluating the Significance of Paleontological Resources
Management Actions for Paleontological Resources
Recovery of Paleontological Resources Discovered During Other Activities
Scientific Research and Collection
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
EXHIBIT 1: Collection Survey Documentation
EXHIBIT 2: Paleontological Locality Form
EXHIBIT 3: Paleontological Collect/Leave In Situ Simplified Flow Chart
EXHIBIT 4: Preparation/Conservation Record
Paleontologic resources (fossils and their associated data) are a major source of evidence of past life. They are the basis for our understanding of the history of life on Earth, and are an integral part of our planet's biodiversity.
The NPS has significant paleontological resources in more than 145 park areas. In fact, a number of parks were established specifically to preserve paleontological resources. These areas are known in the international scientific community as outstanding windows to the life of the past.
Paleontological resources in the National Park System are exceedingly diverse. In size, they range from microscopic pollen to dinosaur skeletons over 100 feet in length. They range from only a few thousand years to over a billion years old. While some fossil organisms are known from only a single specimen, others are so abundant that they are the major component of some rock formations.
This section provides guidance to park staff in managing and protecting paleontological resources.Paleontological Resources Management Table of Contents | RM#77 Table of Contents