** Don’t Waste Your Comment! Read our guidelines below prior to commenting. **
The public comment period on the proposed regulations runs until February 6, 2017.
Comments may be submitted via one of two methods.
- Online at https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=NPS-2016-0003-0001
- Mailed to: Julia Brunner, Geologic Resources Division, National Park Service, P. O. Box 25287 Denver, CO 80225–0287 Be sure to reference Federal Register Number 2016-29244
- Familiarize yourself with the regulations and read our What’s so Bad? section before commenting. Make sure you know what you’re talking.
- Address **SPECIFIC POINTS** in the regulations, what is wrong with them, and how they should be changed. Reference them with section number. Comments that just voice general displeasure are likely to be ignored.
- Do not use form letters or simply copy & paste other comments. Duplicate or near duplicate comments get counted as a single comment.
- The law requires that the federal agencies, make rules to bring them into compliance with the law (PRPA). Comment on the regulations, not the law. Just complaining about the law will have little effect.
- The comment process is not a vote – one well supported comment is often more influential than a thousand ones that simply offer an opinion.
- Comments such as “this is bad”, or “dumb”, have no substance and are not considered in the record. Similarly, comments that only criticize the rule, but offer no preferred alternative have little weight.
- Comments should be respectful, articulate, well thought out and provide evidence backing your view.
- It is important that organizations comment, however this does not relieve individuals of the need to submit their own comments. The more comments submitted the stronger the voice.
Casual Collecting: What Are They Required To Define?
The PRPA (Law passed in 2009) requires that agencies write rules regulating the collection of fossils on public lands. The agencies are required by law to do two things regarding “casual collecting”, nothing more. First, they shall allow casual collecting. Second, they are required to define “reasonable amount”, “common invertebrate and plant paleontological resources” and “negligible disturbance”. Anything more than this will result in restrictions and regulations that are beyond the scope of the law.
Simply complaining about the law WILL result in your comment being ignored. The law itself can not be changed through comments on the regulations. You must comment on their definitions or areas where the regulations have gone outside the scope of the law.
The comments and analysis below will help provide inspiration and ammunition in writing your own comments. Remember do not copy and paste but please use the talking points, research and data provided to help make your case.