36 CFR § 291.9 - Determination of paleontological resources.

§ 291.9 Determination of paleontological resources.

(a) All paleontological resources on National Forest System lands will be managed, protected, and preserved in accordance with the regulations in this part unless the Authorized Officer determines that such resources are not paleontological resources in accordance with paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Using scientific principles and expertise, the Authorized Officer may determine that certain paleontological resources do or do not meet the definition of “paleontological resource” as set forth in these regulations, and therefore, whether or not such resources are covered by the Act or this Part.

(c) Determinations as described in paragraph (b) of this section are subject to the following conditions:

(1) A recommendation for determination must be in writing and be prepared by a paleontologist with demonstrated subject matter expertise in the specific group of paleontological resources under consideration.

(2) An Agency paleontologist will review the basis for the determination and make a recommendation to the Authorized Officer concerning the determination.

(3) The Authorized Officer will make the final determination based upon the recommendation of an Agency paleontologist and will ensure that the basis for the determination is documented, and that the determination is made available to the public.

(4) Any determination made pursuant to this section will in no way affect the Authorized Officer's obligations under the Act or other applicable laws or regulations to manage, protect, or preserve all paleontological resources.

(d) On National Forest System lands, the following are not paleontological resources for purposes of the Act or this part:

(1) Mineral resources, including coal, oil, natural gas, and other economic minerals that are subject to the existing mining and mineral laws;

(2) Petrified wood as defined at 30 U.S.C. 611 and managed under 36 CFR 228.62 unless determined under paragraph (b) of this section to be a paleontological resource;

(3) Geological units, including, but not limited to, limestones, diatomites, and chalk beds).