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American Land Access Assoc


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    In 1991, the President of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS) appointed a select committee to recommend ways to make the Federation more effectively responsive to the political challenges of increasing regulation and decreasing access to public lands that State and Federal Land Management agencies were imposing on amateur fossil and mineral collectors. The committee recommended that the AFMS form a separate 501(c)(4) organization whose primary purpose would be to promote the amateur collectors' interests in present and proposed policies, rules, regulations and legislation with State and Federal land managers, elected officials and legislators. In compliance with that recommendation, the AFMS directors voted to establish the American Lands Access Association (ALAA) in July 1992 at their convention in Brunswick, Ohio. The Association is a 501 (c)(4) (non-profit) organization which means that all moneys raised by the association can go toward lobbying activity. Donations and memberships to ALAA are not tax deductible.
    The purpose of the Association is to promote and ensure the rights of amateur fossil and mineral collecting, recreational prospecting and mining, and the use of public and private lands for educational and recreational purposes ; and to carry the voice of all amateur collectors and hobbyists to our elected officials, government regulators and public land managers. Their work began immediately! Within days of the July meeting, Senator Max Baucus (D-MT) introduced the Vertebrate Paleontological Resources Protection Act of 1992 into the U.S. Senate. If enacted, the legislation would have ended amateur fossil collecting on all public lands managed by the Federal government exceptunder supervision of certain degreed paleontologists in "acceptable institutions."
    ALAA has become an organization that is present wherever there are hobbyist and recreational users of our public lands whose interests and concerns are not being heard or are being jeopardized by proposed policy, regulation or legislation at the local, state and federal level. From defeating the Baucus Bill in 1992 to coordinating massive public protest to the proposed US Forest Service rules (withdrawn) and the Bureau of Land Management's RS (Revised Statutes) 2477 Rights-of-Way (rewritten), the ALAA has earned the respect of public officials from Washington, DC to state capitols across the country as the voice of the amateur and recreational users of public lands. The Association has also formed working relationships with many other organizations fighting for private property rights and multiple use of public lands including the Blue Ribbon Coalition, the Alliance for America as well as treasure hunters, metal detectorists, fishing and hunting enthusiasts, and mining and timber interests. With this network of contacts, the Association reaches into every State and into every Congressional District in the country on a national level. That network provides a swift and effective response to issues brought to our attention.
    On another level, many officers, directors and members of the Association have developed ongoing working relationships with local, state and federal officials and legislators. This other network provides us with immediate access to and an impact on many proposals for changing regulations, policy or legislation before they become set in the concrete of implementation.
    ALAA is also there when there are confrontations in the field and when proposals are made for expanding federal ownership of land such as publicizing and fighting the Heritage Corridor Act, and other attempts to establish additional wilderness areas under federal control.


    I am a 80 year old rockhound who has been collecting rocks and minerals for the past 25 years. My concern is not about my future collecting, but rather that of the future hobbyists. I was unable to enjoy a hobby when fully employed and making a living for my family. Since my retirement I have become fully involved in earth science hobbies. I belong to several clubs, have been President of Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies (EFMLS), the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies (AFMS), and
the American Lands Access Association (ALAA). I have thoroughly enjoyed the association with others of like interests and wish to do whatever I can to preserve the future of rockhounding. Many folks who retire in future years will need an outlet for their own well being. I want that to be related to the earth sciences. Children who are introduced to the hobby often become our future geologists, mineralogists and museum specialists. They also have a right to love the hobby, and it is our responsibility to protect it for them.
    The American Lands Access Association (ALAA) was organized as a lobbying organization to protect the rights of American citizens to collect materials relating to the earth sciences for preservation, education, and hobby purposes from Federally Managed Public Lands.
    If you are a rockhound, fossil, or mineral collector, or in any way connected to this growing group of hobbyists, the ALAA is an organization you must support. The entire future of this hobby depends upon your ability to be able to collect materials. Federally Managed Lands are our only salvation. As you know private holdings are becoming more restrictive with each passing day.
    Thus far the ALAA has achieved significant success. Never before has a grass roots organization such as ours gotten a bill introduced in Congress. While HR 2943, the Fossil Preservation Act of 1996 did not pass before the close of the 104th Congress, folks on Capitol Hill have now heard of ALAA and know about our fossil bill. We have promises that "our bill" will again be introduced in both houses soon after the 106th Congress convenes. We are making progress.
    We need help from the general public, those people who have an interest in learning about, preserving, and protecting earth science materials. WE NEED HELP FROM YOU.


Your membership will do two things.

  1. Add needed funds to our treasury. (Membership is $25.00 per year per member).

  2. More importantly, we will have the name and address of another person sympathetic to our cause, when vital news breaks.

If we lose our rights to collect on Federally Managed Public Lands, and continue to have private lands closed off, we will only be able to collect in our own back yards. Won't that be fun?

Attached is an application form to join ALAA. Fill it out, and send it in with your $25.00 membership fee. It may be the best investment of your life.

Fred C. Schaefermeyer, (ALAA Vice President, retired in 1998)

Related Links:


ALAA Website


ALAA Membership Application

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