Red Rock Canyon NCA
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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR
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Carson City District

Archaeological, Historical & Paleontological Resources

Archaeological, historical and paleontological resources are fragile and irreplaceable. For the benefit of all Americans, these resources are protected under federal laws. Please enjoy these fragile resources, but do not alter, deface, or take them.


What are the rules on collecting fossils and cultural artifacts?

FOSSILS
Petrified wood may be collected up to 25 pounds plus one piece per person per day, with a maximum of 250 pounds per person per year. Permits are required for pieces over 250 pounds. Petrified wood may not be traded, bartered or sold without permit.

Cave resources, including plant, animal and geologic features, are federally protected and may not be altered, damaged or removed.

Vertebrate fossils such as dinosaurs, mammals, fishes and reptiles, and uncommon invertebrate fossils may be collected only by trained researchers under BLM permit. Collected fossils remain the property of all Americans and are placed with museums or other public institutions after study.

CULTURAL ARTIFACTS
Historic sites such as cabins, sawmills, graves, trail traces, mining areas, town sites, ranches and railroads are not open to collecting.

Metal detector use is allowed on public lands. Modern money may be collected, but coins and artifacts more than 50 years old may not be collected.

Cultural materials on public lands may not be removed, damaged, disturbed, excavated or transferred without BLM permit. Cultural resources include prehistoric and historic artifacts and sites, broken objects and debris more than 100 years old which were used or produced by humans. Protected materials include arrowheads and other stone tools, grinding stones, beads, baskets, pottery, old bottles, horse shoes, metal tools, graves and trash scatters.

Common invertebrate fossils such as plants, mollusks, and trilobites may be collected for personal use, but may not be collected for commercial purposes.

For information on the Ruhenstroth Fossil Area click here.


Good Historical Reads

Silver & Borax: The Wadsworth & Columbus Freight Road (2.3 mb in pdf format)

Time Travel - Your Trip Through Nevada History on U.S. Highway 50 (2.2 mb in pdf format)