A child's hand placed against a dinosaur tracksite print in Utah. BLM photo.

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The BLM manages paleontology on the public lands using scientific principles and expertise. Scientific and paleontological research on the public lands have led to the discovery of new types of organisms and have also brought us important revelations about the history of ecosystem diversity and climate change on planet Earth. The BLM paleontology program works to preserve and protect paleontological resources for the benefit of current and future generations; assess for the presence and significance of paleontological resources prior to making land use decisions; facilitate insightful research into the geology and paleobiomes that preserve extinct organisms; and produce programs that increase the public’s awareness and appreciation of paleontological resources.

Dinosaur dig in New Mexico.  BLM photo.

Check out our significant finds pages.

Paleontological Resources Preservation Act

A proposed Department of Interior regulation has been released to guide implementation of the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act of 2009 (PRPA). The proposed regulation provides standards for a coordinated approach to the management of valuable paleontological resources on the public lands managed by the BLM. The regulation clarifies how the BLM will manage paleontological resources on public lands to ensure they are available for current and future generations to enjoy as part of America’s national heritage.  The proposed regulation is now available at the Federal Register. Search for Regulation Identification Number 1093-AA16. 

PRPA applies to land managed by five bureaus: the BLM, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Fish & Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, and the Forest Service.  All of these bureaus, except for the Forest Service, are part of the Department of Interior. The proposed regulation applies to lands managed by these four bureaus in the Department of Interior. The Forest Service, as part of the Department of Agriculture, undertook their rulemaking process separately.  The Forest Service rule is available here. The BLM has provided a fact sheet available here.

View partner paleontology websites through the links below.