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Montana State University paleontologist receives major award for protecting fossils on federal land
Date:12/6/2010

or future generations, Leiggi said. They explained that fossils are a proven window to science for children. Even if children don't pursue paleontology as a career, they become interested in science because of their exposure to fossils and dinosaurs.

Leiggi said many people, organizations and agencies were involved in writing the legislation and moving it through Congress. In the end, the legislation was introduced by U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Akaka of Hawaii in the Senate and Congressman Jim McGovern of Massachusetts in the U.S. House. Leiggi said that U.S. Sen. Max Baucus of Montana was involved early on and was always supportive. But after Baucus left the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, his staff recommended that Leiggi and Vlamis work with Akaka.

Now that the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act is official, Leiggi said that he and Vlamis are still working with the U.S. Department of the Interior to establish the regulations that will spell out how the preservation act will be carried out and enforced. He expects the work to be completed by the spring of 2011.

Besides setting up guidelines for collecting and curating fossils from federal land, the legislation outlines prohibited acts and penalties. It establishes a program to increase public awareness about the significance of paleontological resources.


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Contact: Evelyn Boswell
evelynb@montana.edu
406-994-5135
Montana State University
Source:Eurekalert

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