Important Information About Collecting Fossils

There are plenty of opportunities to collect fossils of plants and invertebrate animals on public lands in the Bighorn Basin and throughout the West. However, each Federal and State agency has slightly different rules - VERY important rules - about what can and cannot be collected.  

The information on this site is thorough, but not exhaustive, so be sure to do your homework before you head out on your next paleo-adventure!


Bureau of Land Management

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages millions of acres across the West.  They also manage, preserve, and protect paleontological resources on public land using scientific principles and expertise.  They are our most important partner in just about everything we do.  

National Parks & Monuments

Fossil collecting in National Parks and Monuments is strictly prohibited.  These are America's greatest treasures - let's keep them that way.



The Bureau of Reclamation has recognized the importance of fossil resources for over 100 years.  They have documented 180 paleontological sites on its lands, and maintains 25,000 fossils in museum collections.