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Nationalizing the cars and bikes of rock collectors — Pending Omnibus land bill’s forfeiture provision has broad reach


adam1mc

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Has anyone at this site been paying attention to the proposed Omnibus Public Land Management Act that is currently making it's way through the Senate?

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In the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which passed the Senate (S. 22) in January and is up for a vote in the House as early as this Wednesday, a “forfeiture” provision would let the government confiscate “all vehicles and equipment of any person” who disturbs a rock or a bone from federal land that meets the bill’s broad definition of “paleontological resource.” The seizures could take place even before a person and even if the person didn’t know they were taking or digging up a “paleontological resource.” And the bill specifically allows the “transfer of seized resources” to “federal or non-federal” institutions, giving the government and some private actors great incentive to egg on the takings.

(...)

Subtitle D of the bill called the “Paleontological Resources Preservation Act.” The provisions in this subtitle make it illegal to “excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface any paleontological resources located on Federal land” without special permission from the government.

A “paleontological resource” is broadly defined in the bill as “any fossilized remains, traces, or imprints of organisms, preserved in or on the earth’s crust, that are of paleontological interest and that provide information about the history of life on earth.” Penalities for violations include up to five years in jail, and, as previously stated, all vehicles and equipment “used in connection with the violation” are subject even before trial “to civil forfeiture, or upon conviction, to criminal forfeiture.”

Among the problems, critics explain, is that the language is so broad that merely picking up rocks under this bill could be found guilty of “excavating” or “removing” a “paleontological resource.” There are numerous rocks, stones, and other objects of nature that contain fossilized imprints and, in the bill’s language, “are of paleontological interest and that provide information about the history of life on earth.” In fact, it is likely the most rocks that people pick up would meet this definition.

So people from mining companies to amateur geologists known as “rockhounds” to children gathering stones on field trips could be at risk for unintentionally violating this bill should it become law. The law does purport to allow an exception for a “resonable amount” of “casual collecting,” but then practically negates that excepion by saying that the “reasonable amount” shall be enitirely “determined by the Secretary” of Interior or Agriculture.

I'm located in Colorado and it is widely known that dinosaurs roamed these parts many millions of years ago. There are fossils located all over the State. I'm curious how this bill would affect the casual gold prospector like myself. I don't use dredges or anything but every time I got out I take a shovel and pick-ax to dig up a given area.

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Welcome Comrade!

This is Obama's new United Socialist States of Amerika, the USSA.

He's only just getting started.

Our country has traded all its freedoms for bailouts, handouts, freebies and government giveaways.

Many of us will miss the land of the free and the home of the brave, but thats just not our country anymore.

You and all your assests will soon be in the service of "THE PEOPLE"

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Welcome Comrade!

This is Obama's new United Socialist States of Amerika, the USSA.

He's only just getting started.

Our country has traded all its freedoms for bailouts, handouts, freebies and government giveaways.

Many of us will miss the land of the free and the home of the brave, but thats just not our country anymore.

You and all your assests will soon be in the service of "THE PEOPLE"

Agreed. That's why I supported Ron Paul!

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Absolutely agree 1000% You hit the nail on its head. Your gun rights are going to be going soon as well. Which so far hasn't hurt my business as a Class III dealer. But it's coming.
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Well, I think there is a ground swell from the conservatives to not let the omnibus pass. Leftist Goril....I mean Democrats on the left are kind of embarrassed and are trying to put together a short term bill that will keep the Gov running until next week, so they have more time to get the Omni passed. BUT the ground swell that is happening is that there are conservatives from both sides that are looking to pass the same kind of bill as the short term one, but have it run for the remainder of the fiscal year. This would effectively take the legs out from under the omnibus.

All that being said, the Leftists will have to find different strategies for getting some of their earmarks passed. We shall see.

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Reno Chris, USSA...how profoundly true. I just hope that this nation wakes up before its way too late.

Not only the 2nd Amendment, but just about every other one is going to be fair game by the looks of things.

I wouldn't be surprised if they try and merge fossils and other finds, in with minerals etc, and make a combo

killing on anyone detecting, prospecting, hiking, fishing, hunting, cooking, living.....oops...getting ahead of

myself here. But you get the gist.

This is just the start folks.....

Now, if we can convince the Minelab people to drop the prices because we see bad juju on the horizon, that

may work eh?......

HH - Johnny

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Sonny

Hate to rain on your parade,but most of the support of this bill is

by Republicans. For some reason they have it stacked full of special

little projects of their own. :Huh_anim]:

The rock collecting lose your vehicle thing is not new either. A fellow

here in town just got done with his sentence hearing a couple weeks ago.

He got caught by a BLM cop loading five everyday garden variety sand

stone rocks in an unmarked monument area. He got a $1000.00 fine

court costs,has to pay to monitor the area for 5 years,a felony record,

probation, can't be on BLM land,and is fighting to get his pickup back.

They reduced his fine to $1000.00 and may let him buy his pickup back

from impound because he has a family and no previous record. :ph34r2:

I know lots of guys that have been busted by the BLM. They keep it quite

now,and it doesn't make the news like it used to. Now they would rather

keep a low profile and bust lots of people,than to make examples out of

a few.

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.....I know lots of guys that have been busted by the BLM. They keep it quite

now,and it doesn't make the news like it used to. Now they would rather

keep a low profile and bust lots of people,than to make examples out of

a few.

Sawmill, is there any way in your mind that We could make this type of abuse Puplic for all to see?

Gary

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Sawmill is right about them keeping it quite ! Not many people pay attention unless it affects them personaly. And people are embarrased to admit they have been "Perscuted" ( not proscuted).

The National Park Service busts more people than the BLM , the FS runs a close second.

Example: Grand Canyon has resident federal judges and court, they have so many "Incidents" that in the high season they run night court! It is one of the most dangerous places you can visit.

Padre Island in Texas is another high enforcement area, the National park rangers seize metal detectors and autos routinely, of course there are big warning signs too! BUT its the publics land and the chances of the average person finding anything other that modern coins is so small as to be a non-factor, its just CONTROL they want.

And if you have artifacts such as pots, weapons, anything don't post or let anyone know, the BLM, FS and NP service pays rewards to snitchs and will get a warrant to search and seize, its common in NM & AZ for them to catch people with pottery, they call the snitches "Site stewards", all you have do is a Google search to read all this and more right from the goverment: example ,

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2008-01-23-parks_N.htm

Its only going to get worse, the last person to bust a cap on one of these goverment natzi's was Claude Dallas and they are still persucuting him even after he served his senance.

That guy Ram was right! Americans of today are cowards and will not fight for their rights, as soon as they try they are sniched out bt a "Site steward" and FBIed!!

O,WELL, I am on my soap box again, I usually get "Flamed", called a liar and worse but at least I keep informed am willing to do what I can.

Max

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So wait a minute...

So you guys already know people who have been busted on BLM / FS property for collecting rocks? They had their property confiscated and search warrants issued? Under what law? Under whose authority?

I'm fully aware of not being able to go to National Parks to pan for gold, but I've never hesitated to go anywhere in the National Forest.

And define 'artifact'. Would that be old coins or old equipment that may have been left by miners 100 years ago?

I'm still fairly new to gold panning. I've been doing it about a year now. Still yet to find a darn thing, but I'd hate to think that I'm running the risk of having my stuff confiscated, or worse, my privacy intruded upon by invasive search warrants all because I'm hanging out in the woods near some creek digging up the riverbed.

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So as I read more and more on this, who goes to and gets the Civil Liberties Union involved? Are there miners of Color? Of Course! So when do we get the NAACP involved? For years these left wing agencies have been hounding everyone, so why not put some of these left wing agencies to work against the other Left wingers?

I wish I was a lawyer and new more about our Rights.

Sawmill thanks for the correction, yes you are right. Days ago when I posted that, I had heard that the Republicans were banding topgether to stop the Omnibus. But that didnt work out did it. I knew that there were some Republicans that had earmarks, but I also knew that there were some Democrats that thought the bill was a pile of @#$%.

I put (once again) my faith in them doing the right thing. Again I am taken aback by what is happening to not only us, but our Country.

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Sawmill I have to ask, how do you figure most of the support for this bill is from the Republicans when in the Senate 100% of voting Democrates voted for it but only 47% of the voting Republicans voted for it. And by the way it was voted on in the House yesterday and was defeated by 2 votes. In the House 99% of the voting Democrates voted for the bill and only 19% of the voting Republicans voted for it. So you should be thanking the Republicans for saving it this time.

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No not most of the support, but enough of the Republicans to get the bill passed voted yes......shame shame :POsmiley01:

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Guest bedrock bob
So wait a minute...

So you guys already know people who have been busted on BLM / FS property for collecting rocks? They had their property confiscated and search warrants issued? Under what law? Under whose authority?

I'm fully aware of not being able to go to National Parks to pan for gold, but I've never hesitated to go anywhere in the National Forest.

And define 'artifact'. Would that be old coins or old equipment that may have been left by miners 100 years ago?

I'm still fairly new to gold panning. I've been doing it about a year now. Still yet to find a darn thing, but I'd hate to think that I'm running the risk of having my stuff confiscated, or worse, my privacy intruded upon by invasive search warrants all because I'm hanging out in the woods near some creek digging up the riverbed.

YES, I do know some people who have been busted. Anything over 50 years old, any indial artifact (even potshards), any digging for anything will get you a ticket on Public land. I know a fellow who was collecting petrified wood and got busted. He had a truckload, but still it was just pretty rocks. Here in the north building stone is a valuable commodity. Get caught with a pickup of sandstone without a permit and you will loose your truck. There are not too many BLM rangers, and you dont often hear of what they do, but they stay busy writing tickets every day.

Several years ago they opened up a new mall in Las Cruces. During the opening party they broke a pinata and the crowd rushed to get the candy. A lady was trampled and her hip was broken. She sued. When the newspaper went to interview her she said that she was a "hiker, and liked to spend time in the desert collecting the many artifacts". That is what she lived for and she said this because she could not WALK anymore and used the story to ilustrate how her life had been affected by the accident. The paper put a photograph of her on the front page in front of a big framed collection of arrowheads. Within a few days she got a visit from BLM rangers and her whole collection was taken. 40 years of good finds. it broke her heart and she died a few years later. Schmitt was her last name.

On the flip side, a BLM manager recently died, and after his death it came out that he had the largest collection of MIMBRES pottery in the world. I dont know if you all know it, but a Mimbres pot can be worth $30-$40 thousand bucks. This guy had many dozens of pristine pots, dug on a ranch near White Signal. they waited until he died to do anything about it, and now his kids are in court trying to get posession of them. It looks like he was excavating during his entire career as a BLM employee, and allowed a friend to excavate and was brokering the sale of artifacts too. This guy was a blatant pot hunter with a financial interest in very valuable artifacts. Old lady Schmitt was just a desert rat.

Bob

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Guest bedrock bob

And just for the record I have never found an arrowhead in my life. I would not know how to recognize flint work from a rabbbit turd. I never dug that cave in White Signal, I never sold artifacts to the Mormon Church, and I have never collected Folsom and Clovis man points. I never taught my son where the camps were, he never found his first arrowhead at 4 years old, and those fossilized bones are all made of plaster. Really. If you dont believe it then call the BLM to come check it out! Tell them to bring a lot of official documents and some big guys with guns... And an ambulance because someone will need it.

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Adam

It has been illegal to collect over 25 pounds of rocks on BLM or FS

land for years without a permit. The same is true with fossils ,artifacts,

firewood, or most resources.

The guy that got busted here was in the monument,where it is illegal

to remove anything period. This monument is huge and there is only 3

signs from the Arizona line all the way to the headquarters here in Utah.

There is gravel roads all over Southern Utah.Actually I can go from the

line all the way to past the center of the state on gravel roads. The monument

used to be just BLM land. Most of the old BLM signs are still there on the roads.

Unless you have a good map ,gps and know the country ,knowing where the

boundaries are is almost impossible. The guy was new to the area,and was

just getting some rocks for his garden. He thought he was just on BLM land

and wasn't aware of the laws,or boundaries. But as the judge says ignorance

is no excuse.

Gary

I didn't get this old by being stupid. I know dozens of cases,but I still have

to deal with these people. I try to throw out tidbits and warnings,to alert all

you guys,to what is really building up.

Most people that get busted are just everyday people,not career criminals.

But that bust can give them a felony record. I would almost bet they make

a deal to keep things quite for a reduced sentence. Most are too embarrassed

to tell anyway. It happens everyday here,but only the locals hear about it.

kenn

Most of the bills in the package were sponsored by Republicans. Most of the

usual crowd that are first to fight any land bill were all for this package.

This includes most of the Republican Governors and State politicians in the

states covered by the package.

Your math doesn't add up either. First thing is there is not enough Republicans

in the House to out vote the Democrats. I hate to admit it,but you can thank

a couple Democrats that went against their party and squeaked out those two

votes. Lets just hope that there is enough Democrats willing to do the right thing

to defeat this new mining law crap.

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yes but I won't divulge freinds names but these are public records:

http://www.articlearchives.com/crime-law-e...s/679570-1.html

http://thewesterner.blogspot.com/2004_09_0...er_archive.html

http://www.spokesmanreview.com/news/all.asp?date=060304

http://www.geotimes.org/oct00/fossilthieves.html

I think you will get the ideal, the Geotimes article if you read it all the way through has on the last page the simplified regulations.

Be aware that once you get on the BLM, FS, NP,State Park bad guy list they will watch you forever.

you sound like you do not also know that the National Forests have been turned over to private enterprise to manage, just go camping and you will find out what I am saying.

Are you aware that in most NF you can not use a red icechest or a blue tarp??

Enough!

So wait a minute...

So you guys already know people who have been busted on BLM / FS property for collecting rocks? They had their property confiscated and search warrants issued? Under what law? Under whose authority?

I'm fully aware of not being able to go to National Parks to pan for gold, but I've never hesitated to go anywhere in the National Forest.

And define 'artifact'. Would that be old coins or old equipment that may have been left by miners 100 years ago?

I'm still fairly new to gold panning. I've been doing it about a year now. Still yet to find a darn thing, but I'd hate to think that I'm running the risk of having my stuff confiscated, or worse, my privacy intruded upon by invasive search warrants all because I'm hanging out in the woods near some creek digging up the riverbed.

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Guest bedrock bob
you sound like you do not also know that the National Forests have been turned over to private enterprise to manage, just go camping and you will find out what I am saying.

Are you aware that in most NF you can not use a red icechest or a blue tarp??

Enough!

Gilaoro,

Enlighten us my friend! The National Forest, by statute, is administered by the Forest Service. I realize they subcontract projects, and there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle, but all of this land is managed by the FS people. There is no other enforcement or management autority besides them. Certainly no mamagement by "private enterprise". Any "private enterprise" on FS land is either a lessor or a contractor, and they would certainly not be in a management function.

And what about the blue tarp or red ice chest? For a fellow who lives completely surrounded by National Forest, Wilderness, and a sea of BLM land beyond that I have never heard this one. The FS office is my second home nowdays and many friends work for the FS too. I just cant get my mind around that one. As a matter of fact there is a blue tarp and red ice chest in the hotshot truck parked at the end of my road. I am looking at it right now.

Tell us what you mean by this!

Bob

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Hey Sawmill,

My math adds up just fine. In the House the bill needed 2/3 of vote to pass. 2/3 of 426 voting= 284. Final vote 248 Democrats voted for it along with 34 Republicans. 248+34=282, 2 votes short. There were 3 Democrats that voted against, 141 Republicans voted against.

I think the main reason the bill failed was because some hunting groups woke up and realized that with the NPS taking control of some of this ground they would be affected. That is where alot of the last minute push against it came from.

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Kenn

I am not a Democrat,but I call a spade a spade.

The Republicans were outnumbered because 34 of them showed their

true colors and turned traitor. Without three Democrats that had some

common sense we would have lost that vote. Those 3 Democrats

stepped up to the plate ,and those 3 votes are the only reason we won.

I believe in giving credit where credit is due. There was 141 good

Republicans fighting for our rights,but without the help of 3 good

Democrats they didn't stand a chance. :laught16:

I think those 3 guys should get the credit they deserve too. The 3 guys

are,James Marshall, Collin Peterson, and Dan Boren. :woohoo:

Check the voting record from the Senate vote that passed this mess and

sent it to the house. The Republicans sure didn't try to stop it then. The best

thing to do is make a list of the A holes that support this wacky stuff on both

sides and try to see that they don't get re elected.

Makes you wonder how some of those turn coats from the hero squad is

going to vote on the mining law deal too.

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Gilaoro is right about the parks being managed by private firms, but Bob is right that they have no authority over park rules. The private firms are handling the money/concession part of it. I know I have applied for work with one of the major ones to babysit national parks.

But I guess I have to ask about the Blue tarp and red ice chest thing? No doubt you are serious, but is this something to do with signaling? Perhaps an Illegal imigrant thing? You have peaked my interest.

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Guest bedrock bob
I think the main reason the bill failed was because some hunting groups woke up and realized that with the NPS taking control of some of this ground they would be affected. That is where alot of the last minute push against it came from.

And that is exactly why ourdoor recreationalists should band together and prospectors should join them, rather than identify with big mining interest. It is a way to preserve our hobby and way of life. Hunting and fishing are major lobbies in the west. The ATVers are figuring it out. Rockhounding, fossil collecting and prospecting shuld do the same. Organize and present a voice. Give a little take a little. It is the only way to fight the enviros.

Instead of fighting a huge wave of ever tightening regulations, we should fight to preserve existing gold bearing areas as a special land. Like wetlands or National Forests. There for what their purpose is intended. They are special. Just as land is preserved for game and hunting is allowed, so should placers and prospecting. The limits should be set by what is environmentaly sound. It has to be managed. That has nothing to do with MINING any more than hunting has to do with the slaughter of the buffalo.

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wouldn't be surprised if they try and merge fossils and other finds, in with minerals etc, and make a combo

killing on anyone detecting, prospecting,

I know you were only kidding, but they are trying to do just that - you want to go prospecting or metal detecting?

You'll have to keep a written record of every stone you disturb or piece of rock/ mineral / gold you collect and pay taxes on it - even if its a 1 grain nugget worth less than $2.

Its in a separate bill, from the one that started this thread, see this link:

Rep. Rahall proposes Bill to end all mining in the USA.

Welcome to the USSA, and I'm not kidding you, Comrade.

Chris

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Guest bedrock bob
Gilaoro is right about the parks being managed by private firms, but Bob is right that they have no authority over park rules. The private firms are handling the money/concession part of it. I know I have applied for work with one of the major ones to babysit national parks.

But I guess I have to ask about the Blue tarp and red ice chest thing? No doubt you are serious, but is this something to do with signaling? Perhaps an Illegal imigrant thing? You have peaked my interest.

Gilaoro said the National Forests were being managed by private firms. Sure, the "commercial" type parks, some lakes, and big operations are sometimes subcontracted to run the parks. But the management of the national froests? I gotta know what that is about!

Bob

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Well the national forests are in National Parks......so perhaps you are arguing sematics with him?

Reno Chris I agree and the very first paragraph of that I posted yesterday.....its the worst of them all.

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