Utah contains large areas of Federal Lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Petrified wood is one kind of fossil that can generally be collected on BLM land, with some exceptions. The activity of collecting petrified wood is categorized as rockhounding.
Certain lands that are withdrawn or reserved for specific purposes other than rockhounding are off limits to rockhounding. These off-limits areas include the following:
If you are unsure of the land status, you should check in advance with the applicable BLM district.
On BLM lands that are open to rockhounding, there are collecting and other restrictions. A BLM permit may be needed depending on the amount of material you collect, how you collect it, where or when you collect, and whether it is used commercially.
Generally speaking, rockhounders may collect rocks, minerals, semiprecious gemstones, petrified wood, and common plant and invertebrate fossils (e.g., shellfish, corals, trilobites, crinoids) on BLM-managed public lands without charge or permit as long as:
Always keep in mind that there is no collecting of any kind allowed in national parks or national monuments. Utah State Lands generally have the same collection rules as BLM land. And of course you cannot collect on private lands without the owner’s permission. It’s always a good idea to consult land ownership maps before collecting.
Rockhounding can be a potentially dangerous hobby. To minimize the risk of injury, please remember: