Print Page

<<Back to 2008 IMs

United States Department of the Interior
Montana State Office
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, Montana 59101-4669

January 17, 2008







In Reply To:
8270 (924.3) P

Instruction Memorandum No. MT-2008-025
Expires: 9/30/09
To:      State Management Team
From:    State Director
Subject: Potential Fossil Yield Classification System (PFYC) for
         Paleontological Resources
Program Area: Paleontological Resources Management, Planning, Lands and Realty Management, Minerals Management, and Range Management. 
Purpose:   This IM is a follow-up to WO IM 2008-009 which introduced and described the PFYC System for Paleontological Resources. The purpose of the classification system is to assess possible resource impacts and mitigation needs for paleontological resources resulting from federal actions involving surface disturbance, land tenure adjustments, and land use planning. See link
Policy/Action: The PFYC system classifies geologic units based on the relative abundance of vertebrate fossils or scientifically significant invertebrate or plant fossils and their sensitivity to adverse impacts. The system uses five classes of fossil potential with Class 1 having the lowest potential and Class 5 having the highest potential. The WO IM requires BLM field offices to evaluate the potential adverse impacts to paleontological resources using this system.
It also requires that once we have evaluated the potential for fossil resources using the PFYC system that we conduct and/or have conducted field survey and research for federal undertakings occurring primarily in Class 3 through 5 areas. The WO IM further requires mitigation of adverse effects to significant fossil resources and monitoring of construction activities when warranted. This IM is a specific reminder to review the provisions in the WO IM to ensure field office consistency with its provisions.
Timeframe: The WO IM 2008-009 became effective on October 15, 2007, for all BLM offices.
Budget Impact:  Costs associated with development of the PFYC system will be borne by the field offices.  Costs associated with implementation of its provisions will be borne by the BLM for BLM projects and by the applicant/proponent for all others.
Background:  It is now standard practice for each new resource management plan (RMP) to complete a Class I overview of paleontological resources to facilitate the use of that data for RMP development. A component of each of these Class I overviews has been the creation of a PFYC system. Thus far, PFYC systems have been developed for our Miles City and Malta Field Offices. The Lewistown Field Office is in the process of developing a PFYC system for all lands administered by that office.
Manual/Handbook Sections Affected: WO IM-2008-009 supersedes H-8270-1 (General Procedural Guidance for Paleontological Resource Management) chapter II.A.2.
Coordination: WO IM-2008-009 was developed by BLM’s regional paleontologists, other BLM employees, and outside reviewers. It was also internally reviewed by the WO Solicitor’s Office and WO-300.
Contact:  For questions regarding this IM, contact Gary Smith at 406-896-5214.
Signed by: Howard A. Lemm, Acting
Authenticated by: Kathy Iszler, Staff Assistant (924)
1 Attachment
Distribution w/Attm.
Assistant Field Manager, Havre Field Station – 1
Assistant Field Manager, Glasgow Field Station – 1

Last updated: 06-28-2012