Founded to Serve
of Mineralogical Societies, Inc
Subject: Keeping Public Lands Public
This was sent to me by an officer
in the BLM. I think his advice is good and if anyone wants to protect
their rock collecting privileges, this would be one good way to start.
The other and best way is to get off our duff's and do something.
First download and print out and digest the 7.3 megabytes of material listed
below. If you can't digest it and make a decision, get some
help. There are at least a couple oflawyers in our group and although
they are up to their ears in work, they wil talk to you.
Keeping Public Lands Public
Dear fellow rock hunter recreationists:
Today I stumbled upon a valuable document that can help all of us fight for the use of public lands to continue our hobby.
We can take a page out of the other side's book to assist our efforts to participate in the resource management decisions of the BLM and the US Forest Service that may unjustly restrict our rights and abilities to collect rocks, fossils and minerals.
Actually, this is 7.3 megabytes of pages from the Wilderness Society "book" titled "A Conservationist's Guide to BLM Planning and Decision-Making Using FLPMA and NEPA to Protect Public Lands."
Just as the wilderness advocates can use knowledge about federal agency decision-making and processes to lock us out of public lands, rockhounds can take the same knowledge to present opposing information and perspectives. Each of us can become informed about what's being planned in areas of collecting that are our favorites. Personal visits to ranger stations, field trips with the geologists or recreation planners are valuable to make ourselves know and our interests heard. Participating in the planning processes also gives us "standing" to protest or appeal decisions that are made against our hobby in spite of our previous inputs.
Rockhounds don't have the multi-million dollar budgets of the eco-scare
organizations but we can use our existing club and federation contacts to lobby agency managers and legislators. If we could team with like! -minded groups that would amplify our voices.
A personal pitch of mine is for us to keep other political agendas separate from our interest in either promoting responsible collecting opportunities or opposing unreasonable restrictions. Some of the other groups that support access to public lands have tended to attach unrelated philosophies and themes, such as right to bear arms, and property rights, for examples, to their messages. These themes may be important in themselves but they distract from our main interest and shift discussion from facts to opinions and emotional responses.
Last item: A plug for the Barstow BLM office website pages on rockhunting in the Barstow, CA area.
The Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc.
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