Laws & Policies

Paleontological Resources Preservation Act

The Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) was signed into law on March 30, 2009 (Public Law 111-11, Title VI, Subtitle D; 16 U.S.C. §§ 470aaa - 470aaa-11). PRPA directs the Department of Agriculture (U.S. Forest Service) and the Department of the Interior (National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, and Fish and Wildlife Service) to implement comprehensive paleontological resource management programs. Section 6310 of PRPA specifically states, "As soon as practical after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall issue such regulations as are appropriate to carry out this subtitle, providing opportunities for public notice and comment."

The status of this law, like any law, can change with Congressional Review . The overall idea, that paleontological resources are public resources that should not be removed from public lands is constant. The destruction or disturbing of the resources, intentional or unintentional, and any consequences related to that may change as laws shift and evolve.


Firearms in the Park

As of February 22, 2010, a new federal law allows people who can legally possess firearms under applicable federal, state, and local laws, to legally possess firearms in this park.

It is the responsibility of visitors to understand and comply with all applicable state, local, and federal firearms laws before entering this park. As a starting point, please visit the State of Idaho’s website.

Federal law also prohibits firearms in certain facilities in this park; those places are marked with signs at all public entrances.


Special Mandates- Hunting and Fishing

Permitting of Hunting and Fishing –According to the Administrative Provisions of 104 STAT. 1924 Public Law 101-512, Nov. 5, 1990, "that with respect to lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the Secretary within the Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, established by title III of Public Law 100-696, the Secretary shall hereafter permit hunting and fishing as well as maintenance of structures necessary to undertake such activities, including but not limited to duck and goose blinds on those lands within an area fifty feet in elevation above the high water level of the Snake River in accordance with otherwise applicable laws of the United States and the State of Idaho."

Superintendent's Compendium

A compendium is a written compilation of designations, closures, permit requirements and other restrictions imposed under discretionary authority found in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). For example, 36 CFR Section 2.21 (a) states, "The superintendent may designate a portion of a park area, or all or a portion of a building, structure or facility as closed to smoking when necessary to protect park resources, reduce the risk of fire, or prevent conflicts among visitor use activities." This designation is placed into the park's compendium.

Compendiums have always been a tool to help manage national parks. The compendium, as part of the park-related regulations, helps provide for the enjoyment, use and protection of our national parks. A compendium is updated at least annually. Depending on events and issues, it may be updated more frequently. In some cases, a review may indicate that no changes are needed. The Hagerman Fossil Beds Compendium was reviewed and updated in 2018 and is available as a PDF (1MB).

Among other topics, the compendium covers visiting hours of the park grounds and visitor center, restrictions to accessing paleontological/research zones, temporary park closures to ensure public safety and protection of resources, and a list of activities that require a permit. Items of particular interest to general park visitors might include restrictions on unmanned aircraft (drones), restrictions on smoking (including vaping), a reminder that visitors must clean up pet excrement, a condition for use of horse or pack animals (burros, mules, llamas) requiring that animals must have been fed certified weed free hay within the 24 hours preceding use in the park, and notes about skiing/snow shoeing/tobogganing (permitted in designated areas).

Special Mandates- Power Generation and Irrigation

Existing Facilities –Public Law 100-696 Title III section 305 states: "Nothing in this title shall affect electrical generating and transmission and irrigation pumping and transmission facilities in existence within the boundaries of the monument, or the right to operate, maintain, repair, upgrade, and modify such facilities. Such facilities are hereby expressly determined to be compatible and consistent with the purposes of this title."

Last updated: July 30, 2018

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Mailing Address:

PO Box 570
Hagerman, ID 83332


(208) 933-4105

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