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John B.

Hunting/collecting meteorites on public domain lands

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Yo Eric...I checked out your website on the assn. and it looks like it could add a depth of interest and value to our meteorite hobby...At least it could provide an organized way of benefiting science plus increasing a means of valuing meteorite hunting and finding...Seems like the germ of a good idea...Cheers, Unc

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Here you go John, My link This is based on the "Equal Justice Act" referenced in the opening paragraph, and this link lays out the ins and outs of getting your Attorney fees paid for. You might not qualify under the net worth section, but I know a non profit corp. that does :inocent:

Later...Jim P.

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Hi All

Thanks Jim for that link !! Now if I could get Sawmill Greg's Attorneys name in Tucson maybe I'll spend a few hundred bucks for a consultation. Greg if you could pm me that info I'll set an appointment with him.

Happy Maybe Future Huntin John B.

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Yo Eric...I checked out your website on the assn. and it looks like it could add a depth of interest and value to our meteorite hobby...At least it could provide an organized way of benefiting science plus increasing a means of valuing meteorite hunting and finding...Seems like the germ of a good idea...Cheers, Unc

Hi, Thanks for the kudos on the site!!! ;) I hope people feel the same way about the MHA. We'll see...

Perhaps the MHA topic could be moved to it's own thread titled "Meteorite Hunting Association" so as not to step on John B's thread?

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How do Meteorites fall within the scope of the law?

It only covers Artifacts in the original.

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Homefire

That is why I said read carefully.

The Government considers anything on the surface

or under the surface of federal land to be property

of the United States . Locatable minerals is the only

exception,because after location and claimed they are

the property of the claimant. There is no law in place

that allows the government to sell or give title to

meteorites. There is laws that say they are Federal

property and belong to the country as a whole,not to be

sold or bartered .

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I will try and post a link to a court case that

shows how the FS and BLM has the authority to regulate

artifacts,meteorites and other stuff. Read very carefully

because this covers arrowheads too.

http://laws.findlaw.com/5th/9540748cr0.html

The case of the USA v Billy Ray Shivers basically backs up what Uncle Ron said. It states:

"See 16 U.S.C. 470ff(a)(3) ("[n]o penalty shall be assessed . . . for the removal of arrowheads located on the surface of the ground.")."

I looked it up in the US Code and that is what it states. They can't really write a citation if there is no penalty, what's the point?

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The omnibus bill is where John's friends down at the FS is

getting their new found powers. :ph34r2:

sawmill do you have a link for that Omnibus Bill you mention. I would like to see what's up there, thanks.

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FrogMick

Read the rest of what the judge says on the

arrowhead thing. He says they don't need that

law,because there is others that make it illegal

to take anything including arrow heads from public

land.

Just go to a BLM web site and look under laws and

regulations. The omnibus page is with all the other

cultural and artifact laws.

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The main "law" that the government interprets as supporting their claim on meteorites being off limits to the public to recover from federal land. But they are using an interpretation of that legislation that was not the original intent when the law was written.

If a human being has NEVER touched a meteorite or used it in their culture, how then can it be considered and "artifact"? I'm not sure this has much bearing on the issue.

The 1906 Antiquities Act is what the BLM are using to support their view and the interpretation thereof, is just that, an interpretation and an inaccurate one at that. Is there a judicial precedence that supports this interpretation?

The 1906 Antiquities Act was created to allow the setting aside of national monuments/parks and is what started the National Parks system, it allowed Teddy Roosevelt to start preserving lands under this Act that needed to be preserved.

Now though this is being twisted into something other than it's intended use, and does not specifically mention meteorites at all. The only language that can be interpreted to include meteorites is a "non-specific" phrase that states:

"...and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government..."

But it also goes on to say:

"...of the United States to be national monuments,..."

This seems an inappropriate way to describe meteorites, as "national monuments". Devils Tower is a national monument, and the first such, not meteorites.

More specifically, what they are interpreting as "other objects of historic or scientific interest..." and most probably they are holding onto the phrase "scientific interest". There are a lot of "natural" things that can be considered of scientific interest. Insects and plants and not just rocks that can be valuable to science.

The problem therein lies that meteorites are of scientific interest, and one possible way to undo that confusion caused by this interpretation is to suggest other items that also fall under the same interpretation.

How do you come forward and argue with something that's unreasonable at best? The Act itself was and is a great help to the United States and if it weren't for it we would not have the world's leading National Parks system. However, this law cannot be interpreted to exclude certain groups of individuals (the public) and show favoritism to others which is exactly what this interpretation does by excluding the general public who is perfectly capable of collecting valuable scientific data and sharing that data and material with the scientific community.

Keep in mind also, most people do not know what meteorites look like, therefore would most likely walk right past them without ever knowing.

In addition, some would have you believe that uneducated meteorite hunters would destroy valuable meteorite data and sell off for a profit meteorites that are of "scientific interest". Yeah... This happens, but MOST meteorite hunters do NOT do this!

Most meteorite hunters respect the land, respect the science, and do everything in their power to preserve all scientific data. Many also work very closely with the scientific community to provide type specimens and valuable data and meteorite material for study. How then can the government argue against meteorite hunters who are educated in the proper recovery of meteorites and who have been supplying meteorites to the scientific community for decades and say they can no longer do this? What is their reasoning? I see no valid reason why any member of the public and citizen of the United States cannot recover meteorites from the field if they are knowledgeable with proper recovery techniques.

What is the real reason. It's not about preserving the scientific data as they claim. Is it about the money? No because most of the meteorites are placed in storage or put on display and never sold. Is it because some meteorite hunters sell meteorites. Maybe, but these same people also donate and sell to the scientific institutions as well. So is it because these institutions have to pay for the meteorites when meteorite hunters find them? Do they want them for themselves without cost? Who knows...

Ok then go ahead and make the law where the public cannot hunt meteorites and I'd be willing to bet that more meteorites will be found on private property, actual strewnfield data will be lost, all motivation for collection of meteorites will be made null, and the science of meteoritics will be brought to a practical stand still. Old meteorites will not be found, new meteorite falls will be lost to weathering, and institutional collections will suffer because it will lessen the material being donated and sold to them. Oh yeah, and there will be hard feelings all around.

I suggest a 50/50 deal. The government gets 50% and the meteorite hunter gets 50% to do with what he or she pleases. But not in an adhoc way. Maybe issue permits to collect meteorites in the field like was suggested by a Meteorite-List member.

Instead of saying NO! educate the public on proper collection techniques, and provide information about meteorites to the public so that if they do happen across a meteorite in the field they can preserve the data that is vital to science, rather than saying "Awww look at that meteorite on the ground, oh well..." and they move on without recording the location, thereby losing that valuable data because no one asked them to record it, no one provided them with any education or motivation to do anything, and worst of all because they are not allowed to touch it.

Regards,

Eric

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The main "law" that the government interprets as supporting their claim on meteorites being off limits to the public to recover from federal land. But they are using an interpretation of that legislation that was not the original intent when the law was written.

If a human being has NEVER touched a meteorite or used it in their culture, how then can it be considered and "artifact"? I'm not sure this has much bearing on the issue.

The 1906 Antiquities Act is what the BLM are using to support their view and the interpretation thereof, is just that, an interpretation and an inaccurate one at that. Is there a judicial precedence that supports this interpretation?

The 1906 Antiquities Act was created to allow the setting aside of national monuments/parks and is what started the National Parks system, it allowed Teddy Roosevelt to start preserving lands under this Act that needed to be preserved.

Now though this is being twisted into something other than it's intended use, and does not specifically mention meteorites at all. The only language that can be interpreted to include meteorites is a "non-specific" phrase that states:

"...and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government..."

But it also goes on to say:

"...of the United States to be national monuments,..."

This seems an inappropriate way to describe meteorites, as "national monuments". Devils Tower is a national monument, and the first such, not meteorites.

More specifically, what they are interpreting as "other objects of historic or scientific interest..." and most probably they are holding onto the phrase "scientific interest". There are a lot of "natural" things that can be considered of scientific interest. Insects and plants and not just rocks that can be valuable to science.

The problem therein lies that meteorites are of scientific interest, and one possible way to undo that confusion caused by this interpretation is to suggest other items that also fall under the same interpretation.

How do you come forward and argue with something that's unreasonable at best? The Act itself was and is a great help to the United States and if it weren't for it we would not have the world's leading National Parks system. However, this law cannot be interpreted to exclude certain groups of individuals (the public) and show favoritism to others which is exactly what this interpretation does by excluding the general public who is perfectly capable of collecting valuable scientific data and sharing that data and material with the scientific community.

Keep in mind also, most people do not know what meteorites look like, therefore would most likely walk right past them without ever knowing.

In addition, some would have you believe that uneducated meteorite hunters would destroy valuable meteorite data and sell off for a profit meteorites that are of "scientific interest". Yeah... This happens, but MOST meteorite hunters do NOT do this!

Most meteorite hunters respect the land, respect the science, and do everything in their power to preserve all scientific data. Many also work very closely with the scientific community to provide type specimens and valuable data and meteorite material for study. How then can the government argue against meteorite hunters who are educated in the proper recovery of meteorites and who have been supplying meteorites to the scientific community for decades and say they can no longer do this? What is their reasoning? I see no valid reason why any member of the public and citizen of the United States cannot recover meteorites from the field if they are knowledgeable with proper recovery techniques.

What is the real reason. It's not about preserving the scientific data as they claim. Is it about the money? No because most of the meteorites are placed in storage or put on display and never sold. Is it because some meteorite hunters sell meteorites. Maybe, but these same people also donate and sell to the scientific institutions as well. So is it because these institutions have to pay for the meteorites when meteorite hunters find them? Do they want them for themselves without cost? Who knows...

Ok then go ahead and make the law where the public cannot hunt meteorites and I'd be willing to bet that more meteorites will be found on private property, actual strewnfield data will be lost, all motivation for collection of meteorites will be made null, and the science of meteoritics will be brought to a practical stand still. Old meteorites will not be found, new meteorite falls will be lost to weathering, and institutional collections will suffer because it will lessen the material being donated and sold to them. Oh yeah, and there will be hard feelings all around.

I suggest a 50/50 deal. The government gets 50% and the meteorite hunter gets 50% to do with what he or she pleases. But not in an adhoc way. Maybe issue permits to collect meteorites in the field like was suggested by a Meteorite-List member.

Instead of saying NO! educate the public on proper collection techniques, and provide information about meteorites to the public so that if they do happen across a meteorite in the field they can preserve the data that is vital to science, rather than saying "Awww look at that meteorite on the ground, oh well..." and they move on without recording the location, thereby losing that valuable data because no one asked them to record it, no one provided them with any education or motivation to do anything, and worst of all because they are not allowed to touch it.

Regards,

Eric

That was my take on the thing.

In the original law, I could not find reference to anything but Antiquities and missed the OTHER!

There just shooting themselves in the foot on this one.

If I found one and it was cool, I would report location and GPS coords if asked. Hell they could have 1/4 sample if they asked.

If I find one Nugget shooting, I doubt very much that I'm going to leave it there or provide them and Information of any form!

As a Member of the Public I feel I would just be recovering My Public Properties Off of the Public Property and That would be That!

The statement, It Belongs to the Smithsonian Confirms they are Robbing Public Properties for Government Gains.

Are they going to Place Locatable Minerals under the Guise of Scientific Value?

They all have Scientific Value!!!!

Like the Constitution, There Reading things into it that are not there.

There "INTERPITATION" Needs to be CORRECTED.

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The Antiquities Act is not the only thing the BLM

and FS rely on for their rules.

Read what the government and courts say. They say

that meteorites belong to the owner of the land. In

the case of BLM and FS land the owner is The United

States of America.

For some obscure reason the people of these United

States gave the Government the power to manage these

lands,and everything on the surface or below the surface.

A few years later the government made a grant of locatable

minerals to the citizens. Other than the rights to those

minerals they retained the right to manage everything

else. They retained the ownership of meteorites ,treasure

troves, dinosaur fossils,and pretty much everything else.

Next time you are on FS land stop and cut a big green pine

tree down without a permit. When the ranger drives up tell

him you own part of the forest and that was your tree. You

will be shocked by how many laws they can cite as they haul

you away. The first one will be theft of federal property.

I hate this land and rights grabbing crap with a passion.

The Forest Service has gutted the timber ,ranching,and

mining industries with their authority and rules. Now they

are after the other land users ,and won't be happy until it

is all locked up to burn and rot.

Making studies,digging bones,and artifacts is a multi billion

dollar cash cow to universities,colleges ,and other Indiana

Jones wannabees,and assorted high minded lunatics.

The environmental crowd supports those groups all the way

because they got their ideas from the same left leaning

colleges and universities,and leach their funding in the

same manner. Grants ,law suits,and donations,fuel the whole

mess. Who do you think the judges and politicians used to

hang out with that back them?

If Bill Clinton got away with breaking every rule in the

Antiquities Act to make the Grand Staircase monument,what

makes you think they can't use it on meteorites?

I am not saying that the laws and rules the feds use are

right. All I am trying to point out is what they will use

if they do want to ruin your day in federal court.

Obama meant chains,when he said change. :ph34r2:

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sawmill thanks, I did miss the part about other laws/regs still make it illegal to remove any arrowhead.

Man you can get cross eyed and dizzy reading these overlapping redundant laws and regs. They have about 3 different laws they say cover what they are doing to close the public out of public lands.

I found the omnibus page on the BLM site, thanks again.

Here is a link to the BLM Laws, Regulations, Policies, Court Decisions Page. For anyone else who wants to check this crap out.

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Federal government land trusts are being applied more frequent today as a useful means in controlling private land ownerships also. Interesting that the private land owner, or his descendants may, or may not be able to take part of land resources without consent since there are land trusts tied up, and involved. That could set up for later generations to be handicapped during hard times. It just keeps on getting better.

Billygoat

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I just want to know if any of you have found a copy of the 1906 "Antiquities Act,I can't find it on-line and would like to read it, like most things that were ever writing there is more than one interpretation of it! So if any of you know where to get a copy please post it.

Thanks Rick

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Forgive a newbie resurrecting an old thread.

On another thread, "Questionable Ruling", I just saw a citation of 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) part 8360 that relates to BLM. I've copied it below.

At 43 CFR 8360 (a)(3) and (B)(2) and (4) the regulation specifically excepts metal detectors from the prohibition in (a) and allows collection of rocks and minerals. Isn't that what meteorites are, rocks and minerals?? Granted, this regulation only applies to BLM, not FS and others, but surely there are similar regulations for the other agencies. And these are just Regulations, not statute. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that whenever there is a conflict between regulation and statute, statute must rule or prevail.

BTW, I'm a retired Fed LEO.

[Code of Federal Regulations]

[Title 43, Volume 2]

[Revised as of October 1, 2004]

From the U.S. Government Printing Office via GPO Access

[CITE: 43CFR8365.1-5]

[Page 917]

TITLE 43--PUBLIC LANDS: INTERIOR

CHAPTER II--BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

PART 8360_VISITOR SERVICES--Table of Contents

Subpart 8365_Rules of Conduct

Sec. 8365.1-5 Property and resources.

a. On all public lands, unless otherwise authorized, no person

shall;

(1) Willfully deface, disturb, remove or destroy any personal

property, or structures, or any scientific, cultural, archaeological or

historic resource, natural object or area;

(2) Willfully deface, remove or destroy plants or their parts, soil, rocks

or minerals, or cave resources, except as permitted under

paragraph b or c of this paragraph; or

(3) Use on the public lands explosive, motorized or mechanical

devices, except metal detectors, to aid in the collection of specimens

permitted under paragraph b or c of this paragraph.

b. Except on developed recreation sites and areas, or where

otherwise prohibited and posted, it is permissible to collect from the

public lands reasonable amounts of the following for noncommercial

purposes:

(1) Commonly available renewable resources such as flowers, berries, nuts,

seeds, cones and leaves;

(2) Nonrenewable resources such as rocks, mineral specimens, common

invertebrate fossils and semiprecious gemstones;

(3) Petrified wood as provided under subpart 3622 of this title;

(4) Mineral materials as provided under subpart 3604; and

(5) Forest products for use in campfires on the public lands. Other

collection of forest products shall be in accordance with the provisions of

Group 5500 of this title.

c. The collection of renewable or nonrenewable resources from the

public lands for sale or barter to commercial dealers may be done only

after obtaining a contract or permit from an authorized officer in

accordance with part 3600 or 5400 of this chapter.

_______________________________________________________________________

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Thanks for this important post John. The 1906 antiquities law was updated, I believe in the 1980's, so you need to research the current statute. This is an interestng dilema for prosecutors. In order to fall under the antiquities law, the government would have to prove that any particular stone had fallen on the public lands after a certain date, (think antique). It would be impossible for the government to prove that a stone in someones possession came from govenrment land unless they witnessed the retrieval or were able to obtain soil/pollen residue that matched a geographic region. Just matching another meteorite would not work for them because of the potential for different parts of any given meteor to fall during flight and ending up in a different place along the flight path. Unlike "real" antiquities which can be dated by material composition, construction technique, art motifs, shape and style, a stone is unique even if it has twins due to the nature of arrival. If there is an attempt to enforce this interpretation of statue, I think the government will spend a lot of money without success. Perhaps the Forest Service is consulting the JD attorneys that provide the "torture" interpretation for the last administration. Clearly they have been motivated by something.

Just remember,"a clean stone is a happy stone"

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WOW!!! Welcome to the list. Well stated! The last was the best. Cleaned. I was hopeing someone would come up with that. Take this bull by the horns and end this topic. :twocents:

Best Regards

Wayne

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