There is established within the Florida Museum of Natural History a program of vertebrate paleontology, which program has the following responsibilities:
- Encouraging the study of the vertebrate fossils and vertebrate paleontological heritage of the state and providing exhibits and other educational materials on the vertebrate fauna to the universities and schools of the state.
- Developing a statewide plan, to be submitted to the director of the Florida Museum of Natural History, for preserving the vertebrate paleontological resources of the state in a manner which is consistent with the state policies in s. 1004.57 and which will not unduly hamper development in this state, including mining and excavating operations.
- Locating, surveying, acquiring, collecting, salvaging, conserving, and restoring vertebrate fossils; conducting research on the history and systematics of the fossil fauna of the state; and maintaining the official state depository of vertebrate fossils.
- Locating, surveying, acquiring, excavating, and operating vertebrate paleontological sites and properties containing vertebrate fossils, which sites and properties have great significance to the scientific study of such vertebrate fossils or to public representation of the faunal heritage of the state.
- Enlisting the aid of professional vertebrate paleontologists, mine and quarry operators, heavy digging equipment operators, and qualified amateurs in carrying out the provisions of subsections (1)-(4), and authorizing their active support and cooperation by issuing permits to them as provided in s. 1004.576.
- Cooperating and coordinating activities with the Department of Environmental Protection under the provisions of ss. 375.021 and 375.031 and the Department of State under chapter 267 in the acquisition, preservation, and operation of significant vertebrate paleontological sites and properties of great and continuing scientific value, so that such sites and properties may be utilized to conserve the faunal heritage of this state and to promote an appreciation of that heritage.
- Designating areas as "state vertebrate paleontological sites" pursuant to the provisions of this section, which areas are of great and continuing significance to the scientific study and public understanding of the faunal history of the state. However, no privately owned site or grouping of sites shall be so designated without the express written consent of the private owner of the site or group of sites. Upon designation of a state vertebrate paleontological site, the owners and occupants of such site shall be given written notification of such designation by the program. Once such site has been so designated, no person may conduct paleontological field investigation activities on the site without first securing a permit for such activities as provided in s. 1004.576.
- Arranging for the disposition of the vertebrate fossils by accredited institutions and for the temporary or permanent loan of such fossils for the purpose of further scientific study, interpretative display, and curatorial responsibilities by such institutions.
History.--s. 205, ch. 2002-387.
Copied from State of Florida statutes web page