Glad You Asked—What should you do if you find a fossil? Can you keep it? Should you report it?

Carole McCalla and Sandy Eldredge

Fossils – remains, traces, or imprints of past plant and animal life – are widely found throughout Utah. Depending on land ownership, some fossils can be collected for personal non-commercial use.

However, vertebrate fossils (see description below) may not be collected on any federal or state lands.

Whether you can keep a fossil or not depends on
1. the type of fossil, and
2. who owns or manages the land where the fossil was found.