Paleonet: Bad stuff

David Kopaska-Merkel davidkm at
Tue Aug 28 16:27:33 GMT 2007

I don't know what can be done quickly, but this is something that could
be done in conjunction with a quick response.  Is it possible to develop
a local volunteer organization to help protect the site?  We have only
one protected fossil site in the state of Alabama so far as I know, and
in the beginning it was protected by amateur fossil collectors who of
course volunteered their time.  The site is now owned by the state, but
I think its only real protection comes from monthly visits by the same
group of volunteers.  (They have always turned over any unusual
specimens to museums.)

David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Geological Survey of Alabama
P.O. Box 869999
Tuscaloosa AL 35486-6999
(205) 247-3695 (direct line/voice mail)
(205) 349-2852 (switchboard)
fax 349-2861

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From: at
[ at] On Behalf Of
Jere H. Lipps
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2007 9:04 AM
To: PaleoNet
Subject: Re: Paleonet: Bad stuff

It is too bad that the perps can't be hanged, but I think this is an
opportunity to make a big issue out of fossil protection.   The
International Paleontological Association has a project on protection of
field sites (which I have been assigned to oversee), and I'd love to use
this as a way to call attention to the general public world-wide..
Certainly, it would help in America where this sort of thing would not
be so surprising to me.   I wonder if the Belgians would drive through a
World Heritage Site like that if  it was in Belgium?   I'd guess not, so
the importance of fossil deposits needs more public attention.  

If anyone has an opportunity to get this issue into your local or
national press, please do it.  Let me know, please.   If anyone has any
ideas on how to do that, please let me know too, so that the IPA can
jump into this with a letter or comment.    IPA corresponded with World
Heritage to get that whale site recognized, so IPA already has a
legitimate reason to get involved.   Anything you can do to help us on
this would be greatly appreciated--ideas, comments, contacts, etc.

We have to act fast however.



At 12:28 AM 8/28/2007, you wrote:

	Too bad. Since Belgium doesn't even have a government at the
moment nobody is going to be interested in an issue like this.  Perhaps
our Belgian colleagues know whom to address? An article in a Belgian
newspaper perhaps?
	Shirley E. van Heck
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	-----Original Message-----
	From: at
	[ at
< at> ]On Behalf
	Of Noel Heim
	Sent: Monday, August 27, 2007 5:53 PM
	To: PaleoNet
	Subject: Re: Paleonet: Bad stuff
	There is a somewhat more detailed article in the Washington
	Apparently the suspects are Belgian and they admit being at the
	with ATVs, but deny destroying the fossils.
	On 8/27/07, David Campbell <pleuronaia at> wrote:
	> > It seems to me that this is the kind of thing that we, as a
	> > should kick up a storm about.   Any ideas on how to do that?
	> [For those who haven't checked the link, apparently some
	> in diplomatic vehicles decided to drive all over the World
	> fossil locality, ignoring guards and signs.]
	> Unfortunately, it won't be easy to get justice-I believe
there's a
	> long list of complaints around the world where diplomatic
immunity is
	> being used to evade responsibility for criminal behavior.
However, if
	> more details can be obtained about exactly who is responsible,
	> than unnamed European bureaucrats, it certainly would be
possible to
	> direct complaints to the country/countries in question.
	> --
	> Dr. David Campbell
	> 425 Scientific Collections
	> University of Alabama
	> "I think of my happy condition, surrounded by acres of clams"
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	> Paleonet at
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