Florida Museum of Natural History

Vertebrate Paleontology

1004.576 Destruction, purchase, and sale of vertebrate fossils prohibited, exceptions; field investigation permits required; penalty for violation.

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  1. The destruction, defacement, purchase, and sale of vertebrate fossils found on or under land owned or leased by the state and on land in state-designated vertebrate paleontological sites are prohibited, except that the Florida Museum of Natural History may sell vertebrate fossils and may adopt rules defining "nonessential vertebrate fossils" and prescribing the conditions under which such fossils may be sold or otherwise disposed of by a person holding a permit issued by the Florida Museum of Natural History. Field investigations of vertebrate fossils, including, but not limited to, the systematic collection, acquisition, excavation, salvage, exhumation, or restoration of such fossils, are prohibited on all lands owned or leased by the state and on lands in state-designated vertebrate paleontological sites, unless such activities are conducted under the authority of permits issued by the Florida Museum of Natural History. A permit may be granted by the Florida Museum of Natural History upon application for the permit accompanied by an application fee not to exceed $5. The privileges authorized pursuant to the grant of a permit as provided in this subsection may not be assigned or sublet to any other party.
  2. Any person who, in violation of this section, engages in any of the activities described in subsection (1) without first having obtained a permit to engage in such activity commits a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 6 months, or both; and, in addition, he or she shall forfeit to the state all specimens, objects, and materials collected and excavated in violation of this section, together with all photographs and records relating to such materials.
  3. The Florida Museum of Natural History may institute a civil action in the appropriate circuit court for recovery of any unlawfully taken vertebrate fossil. The fossil shall be forfeited to the state if the Florida Museum of Natural History shows by the greater weight of the evidence that the fossil has been taken from a particular site within this state and that the person found in possession of the fossil is not authorized by law to possess such fossil.

History.--s. 206, ch. 2002-387.

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