Information and Guidance for Consulting Reports

Consulting Reports

After completing a field survey, the consulting paleontologist must file a written report with the BLM and the designated curation facility. If required, a copy should also be filed with the project proponent. This report must summarize the results of the survey as well as appropriate geological and paleontological background information. It should also include any recommendations for on-site monitoring or other mitigation.


Report Details:

Reports must be submitted to the BLM Paleontology Program Lead, each affected Field Office, and the BLM project manager or Authorized Officer (if appropriate).

Reports must contain the following details. Note that some of these categories may be combined. By using the BLM UT Consulting Report Cover Sheet, you will fulfill categories a, b, c, h, and i. 

(a) Name, affiliation, address, date of report, and permit number (if consultant) of paleontologist doing the survey.
(b) Project name and number (if used), name of proponent, and general location of project.
(c) Date(s) of survey and names of any personnel assisting with the survey.
(d) Brief description of the proposed project, emphasizing potential impacts to paleontological resources.
(e) Description of background research conducted. (Include overview of known paleontological information, institutions consulted, previous surveys in the area, previous projects of similar nature in the area, and general description of survey techniques employed).
(f) Summary of regional and local geology. May reference earlier projects for relevant information.
(g) Summary of regional and local paleontology. May reference earlier projects for relevant information.
(h) Summary of the survey results.
(i) Significance of findings.
(j) Potential impacts to paleontological resources resulting from the project.
(k) Detailed mitigation recommendations that may lessen potential adverse impacts.
(l) Potential fossiliferous areas to allow for future assessment of sites if applicable.
(m) Cited and other pertinent references.
(n) Map of project area, indicating areas surveyed, known localities, and new discoveries.
(o) Relevant photos, diagrams, tables to aid in explaining, clarifying, or understanding the findings.
(p) Listing of collected material, including field numbers, field identifications, and elements, cross-referenced to locality field numbers. This list may be submitted in electronic format, preferably in spreadsheet format.
(q) BLM locality form (8270-3) or equivalent for each new locality (including localities where fossils were observed but not collected) with a 1:24000 scale map showing the localities (not reduced in scale during photocopying).

Download a copy of this list by clicking here.

Reporting Paleontology Localities:

A Paleontologist Using Survey EquipmentExact locations of fossil localities contained in these reports are considered sensitive and must not be included in any public document. The BLM locality form (8270-3) or equivalent, map showing the localities, and any other information containing specific fossil locations may be bound separately or placed in a separate section to allow for preservation of confidential locality data. A copy of this confidential section must be submitted to the Paleontology Lead (in some cases, two copies may be required). A copy for each affected Field Office may be required. Another copy must be submitted to the official repository with the collected materials.

BLM GPS recording and data standards must be used to report paleontological locality data. Existing USGS topographic maps are often based on the NAD27 standard, so locality data calculated from a map base must be converted before submission. Data must be recorded and reported with a mean error of +/- 12.5 meters or less, at a 95 percent confidence level. For small localities, data should be reported as point data. Larger polygonal localities should be reported using coordinates of a centroid and a description of the approximate size, or the key coordinate points of a bounding polygon. Linear features, such as roads or surveyed project boundaries, must be reported as line data. The 1:24000 scale map(s) accompanying the locality forms should graphically illustrate the locality, either as a point or an outline of the locality as appropriate, and be clearly labeled with the locality or field number.

You might find helpful information at the UT BLM Cadastral Page or the UT BLM Geographic Information Page.

Report Approval:

The Authorized Officer will analyze the Survey Report for adequacy within 10 working days of receipt. Notification accepting the report, or explaining any identified deficiencies, will be sent to the consulting paleontologist and the project proponent with a copy placed in the project file. Any deficiencies must be corrected as soon as possible, usually initiated within five working days, and the report must be resubmitted for approval. Any resubmissions must be prompt, but consideration will be made for the amount of time needed for major corrections. Deficiencies directly affecting the survey, such as inadequate survey procedures or incomplete data, must be corrected before granting approval for the project to proceed. Deficiencies not directly affecting the survey, such as curation issues, will not prevent approval of the project, but must be corrected as soon as possible.