U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: May 27, 2020
The purpose of this subpart is to provide procedures for the management and use of the public lands in the Fossil Forest of New Mexico.
The objectives are management in accordance with the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 and for protection of the aesthetic, natural, educational, and scientific research values of the Fossil Forest, including paleontological study, excavation and interpretation projects within the Fossil Forest, until Congress determines otherwise.
As used in this subpart, the term:
(a) Authorized officer means any employee of the Bureau of Land Management designated to perform the duties described in this subpart:
(b) Fossil means the remains or trace(s) of an organism or assemblage of organisms which have been preserved by natural processes in the earth's crust. The term does not mean energy minerals, such as coal, oil and gas, oil shale, bitumen, lignite, asphaltum and tar sands, even though they are of biologic origin:
(c) Fossil Forest or Fossil Forest Research Natural Area means those public lands as described in section 103(a) of the San Juan Basin Wilderness Protection Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-603, 98 Stat. 3155).
No activities will be permitted within the Fossil Forest that would significantly disturb the land surface or impair the existing natural, educational, and scientific research values of the area.
(a) Fossils may be collected, excavated, or removed only under a permit issued under § 2920.2-2 of this title by the Director, New Mexico State Office, Bureau of Land Management, P.O. Box 1449, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1419. Permits shall be issued only to institutions and individuals engaged in research, museum, or educational projects that are approved by the authorized officer and that provide for detailed recordation, reporting, care of specimens, and availability of specimens to other scientists and museums.
(b) Petrified wood shall not be collected and removed from the Fossil Forest either for free use as permitted under § 3622.3 of this title or for commercial sale as permitted under subpart 3602.
(c) The Fossil Forest is closed to motorized use, except as permitted by the authorized officer.
(d) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (a), (b), and (c) of this section, the provisions of part 8360 of this title apply to recreational use in the Fossil Forest.
(e) Rights-of-way may be approved only for temporary projects which do not significantly disturb the surface of the land or impair the existing values of the area.
(f) The grazing of livestock where such use was established before October 30, 1984, shall be allowed to continue under the regulations on the grazing of livestock on public lands in part 4100 of this title, so long as it does not disturb the natural, educational, and scientific research values of the Fossil Forest. Grazing permits or leases may be modified under § 4130.6-3 of this title, if necessary to protect these resources.
(g) The lands in Fossil Forest shall not be sold or exchanged except as authorized by section 105(b) of the San Juan Basin Wilderness Protection Act of 1984 (Pub. L. 98-603, 98 Stat. 3157).
(h) The Fossil Forest is closed to the operation of the mining laws and to disposition under the mineral leasing laws and geothermal leasing laws, as of October 30, 1984, subject to valid existing rights.
(i) Operations on oil and gas leases issued before October 30, 1984, are subject to the applicable provisions of Group 3100 of this title, including those set forth in § 3162.5-1, and such other terms, stipulations, and conditions as the authorized officer deems necessary to avoid significant disturbance of the land surface or impairment of the area's existing natural, educational, and scientific research values, including paleontological study, excavation, and interpretation.
(j) The regulations in 43 CFR part 7 apply to the management and protection of archaeological resources in Fossil Forest.
(k) The paleontological resources of the Fossil Forest shall not be willfully destroyed, defaced, damaged, vandalized, or otherwise altered.
(a) Any person who willfully violates any prohibition under either § 8224.1(b), (c) or (k) of this title shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment of not to exceed 12 months, or both.
(b) Any person who willfully and without authorization collects or removes palentological resources whose value is greater than $100, for which a permit is required under § 8224.1(a) or (b) of this title, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $10,000, or imprisonment not to exceed 10 years, or both (18 U.S.C. 641).