Collecting Artifacts & Fossils

Indian and Other Historical Artifacts: You may not collect any artifacts, ancient or historical, on public lands without a permit. This includes arrow heads or flakes, pottery or potsherds, mats, rock art, old bottles or pieces of equipment and buildings. These items are part of our national heritage and scientists are still learning much from them. Human burial remains on both public and private land are protected by federal and state law from being collected.

fossil Vertebrate Fossils: These include dinosaurs, mammals, sharks and fish, or any animal with skeletal structure. You cannot collect these fossils without a permit from the BLM.

Invertebrate Fossils:  These include ammonites, trilobites, and common plant fossils such as leaf impressions and cones, and may be collected in reasonable amounts without a BLM permit.

Petrified wood can also be collected for personal use — up to 25 pounds each day, plus one piece, but no more than 250 pounds in any calendar year (43 CFR 3622). These materials must be for your personal collection and cannot be sold or traded.

Permits are given to people who meet specific qualifications. A letter from a BLM approved repository is required saying fossils or artifacts collected will be accepted. These items must be placed in the repository and cannot be kept by the collector.

Permits and Additional Guidance

Rockhounding Information