Brooks Range
Grizzly along the Denali Highway Rafting the Gulkana National Wild River Native woman drying salmon on racks ATV rider on trails near Glennallen Surveyor
BLM>Alaska>Programs>Cultural Heritage>Collecting Fossils and Artifacts in Alaska
Print Page

What Can I Do To Help Protect
the Past For the Future?

Always leave vertebrate fossils and artifacts in place. Their location and position tell a scientist just as much about the past as the item itself. They can be extremely delicate and attempting to move them could destroy them. Remember, they have survived in place for dozens or even millions of years and a little more time won't make much difference.

Important fossils and artifacts have been found by volunteers and hobbyists. By reporting their discoveries to the proper authorities, these people have helped museums and government agencies preserve and protect these pieces of Alaska's past. However, in other instances we have lost valuable information and a part of our national heritage because non-permitted fossil and artifact hunters removed and sold their finds, or put them in private collections -- all of which are illegal activities.

By understanding the laws governing and protecting fossils and artifacts we can ensure that present and future visitors will have an opportunity to make discoveries. Enjoy the ancient wonders as you explore your public lands. But remember -- these Fragments of the Past are for all visitors to find and appreciate.

Please report your discoveries to the federal or state agency that manages the area where you made your find. You will he doing a great service to all Alaskans, including future generations.

  • Set in Stone (BLM Environmental Education Resources article)