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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes

Chapter 1004
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F.S. 1004.57
1004.57 Vertebrate paleontological sites and remains; legislative intent and state policy.
(1) It is the declared intention of the Legislature that vertebrate paleontological sites be protected and preserved and that, pursuant thereto, vertebrate paleontological field investigation activities, including, but not limited to, collection, excavation, salvage, restoration, and cataloging of fossils, be discouraged except when such activities are carried on in accordance with both the provisions and the spirit of this act. However, it is not the intention of the Legislature that the provisions of this act impede mining or quarrying for rock, gravel, fill, phosphate, and other minerals, or the construction of canals or similar excavations, when such activities are permitted by law. Rather, it is the intent of the Legislature that mine and heavy equipment operators be encouraged to cooperate with the state in preserving its vertebrate paleontological heritage and vertebrate fossils by notifying the Florida Museum of Natural History whenever vertebrate fossils are discovered during mining or digging operations and by allowing such fossils to be properly salvaged and that persons having knowledge of vertebrate paleontological sites be encouraged to communicate such information to the museum.
(2) It is hereby declared to be the public policy of this state to protect and preserve vertebrate paleontological sites containing vertebrate fossils, including bones, teeth, natural casts, molds, impressions, and other remains of prehistoric fauna, and to provide for the collection, acquisition, and study of the vertebrate fossils of the state which offer documentation of the diversity of life on this planet.
(3) It is further declared to be the public policy of the state that all vertebrate fossils found on state-owned lands, including submerged lands and uplands, belong to the state with title to the fossils vested in the Florida Museum of Natural History for the purpose of administration of this section and ss. 1004.575-1004.577.
History.s. 204, ch. 2002-387.