The Friendly Federation

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Southeast Federation
of Mineralogical Societies, Inc

Keeping Public Lands Public
10/26/2004 6:36:51 PM 
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. 
If you print this out, you will have the e-mails of at least a couple of them.  They are your peers, so don't hesitate to talk to them.
I am purposefully onitting the name of the BLM officer who sent this to me, so he doesn't have to anser questions of WHY? from superiors.
I had a tip from the NWFMS pople:  They said when they go on a field trip whether to Bureau of Land Managament of to USFS public lands they invite a person from that particular agenies recreational department to go with them.  They then furnsih every participant with a copy of the AFMS Code of Ethics as well as the bureau representative with a copy.  This is to show the bureau people that the collectors are responsible and they get a  lot more cooperation from that particular agancy.  If we are to keep collecting sites open we must do everything possible. 
This message is being sent to every Club in the SEFMS that had an e-mail address published in the Directory.  I am only sending to one individual in each Club, so please share it.
By-the-way, American Lands Access Association is trying to make a come back after a long time of relatively little activity.  I do not know how long I will be able to send messages as I was diagnosed several months ago with 4th stage (the final stage) of lung cancer.  As much as possible I will furnish pertinent information and hope ALAA will get off rock bottom and rise again.

Bob Cranston

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. 

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