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Washington, D.C. 20240
October 15, 2007

In Reply Refer To:
1610, 8270 (240) P

Instruction Memorandum No. 2008-009
Expires:  09/30/2009

To:                   All State Directors
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning
Subject:           Potential Fossil Yield Classification (PFYC) System for Paleontological Resources on Public Lands

Program Areas:  Paleontological Resources Management, Resource Management Planning, Lands and Realty Management, Minerals Management, Range

Purpose:  This Instruction Memorandum (IM) transmits the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) classification system for paleontological resources on public lands. The classification system is based on the potential for the occurrence of significant paleontological resources in a geologic unit, and the associated risk for impacts to the resource based on Federal management actions. Copies of the classification system and implementation guidance are attached.
Policy/Action:  The Potential Fossil Yield Classification (PFYC) system will be used to classify paleontological resource potential on public lands in order to assess possible resource impacts and mitigation needs for Federal actions involving surface disturbance, land tenure adjustments, and land-use planning. Implementation of the PFYC system will not mandate changes to existing land use plans, project plans, or other completed efforts. Integration into plans presently being developed is discretionary. All efforts subsequent to issuance of this IM should incorporate the PFYC system. This system will replace the current Condition Classification in the Handbook (H-8270-1) for Paleontological Resource Management.
Timeframe:  This guidance is effective immediately for all BLM offices.
Background: This classification system for paleontological resources is intended to provide a more uniform tool to assess potential occurrences of paleontological resources and evaluate possible impacts. It uses geologic units as base data, which is more readily available to all users. It is intended to be applied in broad approach for planning efforts, and as an intermediate step in evaluating specific projects. This is part of a larger effort to update the Handbook H-8270-1 (General Procedural Guidance for Paleontological Resource Management) Chapter III (Assessment & Mitigation) and Chapter II.A.2 and will be incorporated into that Handbook update.
Impact on Budget: Costs for the initial classification of geologic units for those States that have not already determined the classification will be borne by each Office. Implementation of the PFYC system will have no additional costs.
Manual/Handbook Affected:  Supersedes H-8270-1 (General Procedural Guidance for Paleontological Resource Management) Chapter II.A.2.
Coordination:  The classification system is the product of the BLM’s regional paleontologists, other BLM employees, and outside reviewers. This system is very similar to the Forest Service’s Fossil Yield Potential Classification and will enable closer coordination of paleontological resource management between the agencies.

Contact:  For questions regarding application of this policy and guidance, please contact Lucia Kuizon, National Paleontologist, at (202) 452-5107 or lkuizon@blm.gov.


Signed by:                                                                   
Authenticated by:
Todd S. Chirstensen                                                    
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Deputy Assistant Director                                
Division of IRM Governance
Renewable Resources and Planning
2 Attachments:

Last updated: 10-21-2009