I just got a call from a geologist friend of mine informing me that his small group was stopped and run off by a state trooper at a road cut in West Texas. these folks were looking for fossils and sharks teeth in an exposed embankment cut. They were't fined, but just warned that it's now illegal, and were told to leave. As of Sept. 07, the Texas Legislature passed more new laws making it illegal to remove anything but trash from Texas Highway Right of Ways. This includes any kind of wild life as well, thus herpatologists can no longer collect snake specimens from along state owned roads legally either. Any State Parks or lands owned by Texas Parks and Wildlife are subject to the same. Just thouht I'd pass this along as notice/update to any not aware, as more of our rights and privilages as Texans disappear. Most of Texas lands are privately owned, so be sure to get permission/consent where you go.
Good hunting to all.
Michelle, Prior to 1970, numerous State roads cut through old indian sites. Most were wiped out, but with some, only the surface was disturbed between the pavement edges and Right of Way fencings. It is now illegal to stop and surface hunt or dig at such locations.
What triggered these new laws was the incident at Sonora Caverns last year where a college student apparently broke and stole part of the butterfly helectite (regarded as a national treasure).
Private property is fare game ONLY if you have permission/consent of the land OWNER. If not, tresspassers can be prosecuted not only by criminal trespass charge, but now a seperate count of illegal digging as well. I just wanted to clarify this as Texas is unlike many other states when it comes to land accessability by the public.
TXDOT now has to have environmental studies done to evaluate arc sites in proposed roadway paths. If the site does'nt meet "State Landmark" Status qualifications, then it can be destroyed. 3 sites I use to dig at in Austin were destroyed by Loop 1 (Mopac), and more recently 2 sites on the new Toll Road Project. I worked with the Archeologists on those sites.