Code of Ethics

An Emily Post for paleontologists might include the following:

1. Get permission to enter and to collect on private or public property. Most public property is open, but it may be closed because it is under a mining claim or has been withdrawn from unrestricted use for some other purpose. Finding the owner of private property may require some investigation, because property changes hands frequently in this restless age.

2. Do not drive through or otherwise damage growing crops. In farming country it is a good policy to stay on the roads. Do not cut trees or bushes unless permission to do so has been expressly granted.

3. Do not touch machinery, such as that used in a quarry or in highway construction, and be careful not to drive over power cables or air hoses. Be especially careful not to drop any rocks down freshly drilled blasting holes in quarries.

4. Do no blasting without express permission of the owner of the property. For your own safety and that of others, leave the use of explosives to a skilled person.

5. Do not carry or discharge firearms. There can be exceptions to this statement, but they should be legally and logically justifiable. Mixing hunting and collecting trips is likely to lead to trouble.

6. Take every precaution against starting a grass or forest fire. Extinguish and bury the embers of campfires and be careful about discarding lighted cigarets and matches.

7. Do not foul creeks or wells. Residents and livestock may depend on them for water.

8. Fill in any holes you may have dug lest cattle or other domestic animals fall in and injure themselves.

9. Bury, burn, or carry away your litter. Leave a clean campsite.

10. Open gates should be left open; closed gates should be closed behind you.

11. Collect only sufficient material for your own needs. Don't collect to sell. To do so is to turn a hobby into a business and to take advantage of the owners (public or private) who have allowed you to collect.

12. Don't try to carry a load that is beyond your strength, especially on mountain slopes and rocky flats. Control of the body is lost to some degree under such conditions, and you expose yourself to the danger of falls as well as of heart attacks. Neither makes the trip more enjoyable.

13. Do not carry rocks or tools loose in the car. In a collision or sudden stop, they become lethal projectiles.

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