intent of CEQA (the
California Environmental Quality Act) and NEPA (National
Environmental Policy Act) concerning paleontological resources
is to address and mitigate negative impacts to these priceless
records of past life. Since most efforts to mitigate negative
impacts result in the discovery of unearthed fossil remains,
it is crucial that a scientific sampling of these remains be
salvaged and kept for posterity.
The PaleoServices staff is well
trained in the standard methods and techniques of fossil
preparation and conservation. Whether it be paleontological
resources salvaged by our own field paleontologists or resources
recovered by other paleontologists, our laboratory staff
is able to professionally process salvaged fossil remains.
This work typically involves removal of enclosing sedimentary
rock matrix to expose individual fossil specimens and reduce
the bulk of the surrounding rock, stabilization of incomplete
or fragile specimens, and repair of broken specimens.
fossils are prepared, their long-term care needs to be considered.
After all, fossils stored in unlabeled boxes in a garage
or warehouse are of little value to society and do not represent
a viable sample of the paleontological resources lost during
development of a project site. That is why the final step
of professional conservation of recovered fossil collections
is so important. PaleoServices staff has
the experience and training to ensure that salvaged and prepared
fossil specimens are catalogued, labeled, and stored in conditions
that will ensure their availabily to students, professional
scientists, and members of the public in perpetuity. In the
end, the San
Diego Natural History Museum assumes the considerable
responsibility for the permanent care of the important regional