Regulations

Below is a link to an ArcGIS map of ND, showing what State Agencies are responsible for different sections of North Dakota.  Click on “Legend” at the top left of the site, to see what each color stands for.

ArcGIS ND Map

Collecting rocks and fossils can be a large part of what a rockhound does.  A responsible collector needs to know (and follow!) the rules.  Below is a listing of activities, and what different State and Federal agency you should be following in North Dakota:

Paleontological Resources Protection Act

BLM Rockhounding

USFS Collecting

ND Parks and Recreation Park Use Rules

National Park Service Recreational Collecting

Corps of Engineers Public Property

Bureau of Reclamation Subtitle B

Fossils:

  • The Paleontological Resource Protection Act:  fossils found on private land are the property of the landowner.  Fossils found on public land are property of the state, and may not be removed.
  • Bureau of Land Management – Montana Dakota
    • No removal or destruction of vertebrate or other fossils of interest.
    • Surface or hand tools only
  • US Forest Service – Northern Region
    • No permit required for plant and invertebrate fossils
    • Surface or hand tools only
  • National Park Service
  • Corps of Engineers
    • No
  • Bureau of Reclamation

Petrified Wood:

  • Bureau of Land Management – Montana Dakota
    • 25 pounds plus 1 additional piece per day.  No more than 250 pounds per year.
    • Non commercial use
  • US Forest Service – Northern Region
    • No permit required for plant fossils
  • National Park Service
  • Corps of Engineers
    • No
  • Bureau of Reclamation
    • No

Rocks & Minerals:

  • Bureau of Land Management – Montana Dakota
    • Surface rocks & minerals in reasonable quantities
    • Non commercial use
  • US Forest Service – Northern Region
    • No permit required for collection for private purposes of any rock, coin, bullet, or mineral which is not an archaeological resource.
  • National Park Service
  • Corps of Engineers
    • No
  • Bureau of Reclamation
    • No

Metal Detecting / Gold Panning:

  • Bureau of Land Management – Montana Dakota
    • Yes
  • US Forest Service – Northern Region
    • Yes – this is a low surface impact activity.  Shallow digging only.
  • ND Parks & Rec
    • No – (58-02-08-16)
  • National Park Service
  • Corps of Engineers
    • No
  • Bureau of Reclamation
    • No (Subtitle B, 423.28)

Archaeological  / Cultural Resources:

  • Bureau of Land Management – Montana Dakota
    • No!  Leave it be, do not disturb or remove.  Report any find.
  • US Forest Service – Northern Region
    • No!  Leave it be, do not disturb or remove.  Report any find.
  • National Park Service
  • Corps of Engineers
    • No
  • Bureau of Reclamation
    • No (Subtitle B, 423.28)
Advertisements