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Hi All

Since the rule change making collecting and possessing meteorites found on all public domain lands illegal. It is just a suggestion that posts with dates or pictures are made with generalizations. Since no one on this forum hunts public lands and only private properties with permission from the owners. I know for a fact that many of these internet forums are infact monitored. If anyone is cited or knows of anyone bieng cited for collecting or possesing meteorites I wish to join the fight. I have more money than common sence and can provide more moral support than anyone could care to stomach. I'm reasonably certain I can generate enough cash to make for an interesting battle. As the summer heats up I intent to spend some time and dollars in an attempt to correct this stupid new ruling.

Warmest Regards to my Meteorite Lovin Pals

John B.

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JohnB, I for one have followed your posts here and on other forums on this and many other subjects. And I am taking this information regarding the hunting and possession of meteorites found on public lands seriously.

Truthfully I was extremely upset, kinda SHOCKED :yikes: AND disappointed when the news of it appeared.

I had and still have a passion for knowledge and experience with meteorites which was sparked in me 3-4 years ago by meeting you and then sharing time with Jim Smaller of Kingman before he passed on.

Your'e one hell of a guy and a special breed and you have my sincere thanks for taking the position on this matter that you have.

I do believe with your'e knowledge, experience and contacts we may see some "light at the end of the tunnel" on this subject, I'm just hoping it doesn't take tooooo long, cause I for one am at the tail end of my time on Mother Earth.

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Hi Guys-

I hate to sound cynical and pessimistic but I think you guys are fighting a losing battle. Simply put- the numbers are against us. 99% of the population could care less about the issue and the gov has seemingly unlimited funds to fight off any challenges. I've seen it happen all over the west where our "rights" are slowly being taken away. Even here in my home state of Missouri, they've managed to close down some good rockhound areas for almost no reason at all. The general public doesn't care about rocks. Why would they care about meteorites? :shrug:

But that's not going to stop me from meteorite hunting. I'm planning on a trip to Arizona and Nevada next year and am going to do some hunting myself. If they want to arrest me for that- so be it... It's not going to stop me.... ;)


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John B, I been thinking along similar lines as you, that the private land meteorite hunting sites we hunt might be named generally, like East of Needles or South of Kingman. Also, if it gets any more serious then no last names or locations of residence on the profile, worst case, perhaps wipe the forum completely and start fresh, or at least go through and remove any last names and perhaps place of residence. Members might want to remove from their profile their last name and perhaps town of residence now. Just an idea, like today. Freaking Communists!----Clifton

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Hi all

First! What law??? I can't find one in Az. Second. Maybe I can use my reporting of the Dumps to mitigate my sentence. Third. Maybe with us thieves in the field this would not happen in the first place. Sometimes is hard to see the desert pavement out there. :twocents:

P.S I found a Welfare appointment sheet in one dump mess and the perp had to clean it up.




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I forget the name of the law, but there is a law that if you allow someone to do something, you have to allow everyone to do it as well....for instance if hunting meteorites on public land is illegal than so would be: metal detecting for coins or relics, gold panning, rock hounding, picking mushrooms, picking flowers, catching fish, hunting etc., etc. Removing any natural resource in general, would have to be illegal. This country sure is ran by some left wing, feel good, bicycle helmet wearing wooseys with too much time on their hands and a general lack of hobbies or tail at home, that's for sure. Makes me sick, why in the hell do I pay taxes anyways, they don't fix the roads anymore, they are not going to have my social security when I get there, they give my taxes to filthy rich corporations, or spend them on "save the frogs" BS, my kids get a lousy education from underpaid teachers, have any of you guys eaten the lunch they feed your kids at school lately, they have better food at a mission...no joke :*&$*(: HERE'S A POINT....IF PRIVATE COLLECTORS DIDN'T FIND METEORITES, HOW MANY LESS WOULD BE IN MUSEUMS AND UNIVERSITIES??????? There are millions of meteorites on the planet right now, probably billions, I very much doubt if each of us collected ten a piece that the cosmos would be any more mysterious, especially since we have to donate a portion of our finds to an institution, just to have it identified. Are they not getting what they need from the portions given to them, that they would never go out and get for themselves? Am I missing something? I see a whole lot of meteorites being found without GPS coordinates, which is unfortunate and severely limits the science that can be learned from such pertinent, soon to be missing, information. "You want it, you got it, Toyota"

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Well guys I have been reading this thread and some of the others on different site, and I must say that I agree with MobileHomes on this one. What Law? I am no lawyer far from it, but if you do your research there is no law, and BLM would have a hard time proving anything in a court of law about the States of Oregon / Washington rules that they put out on their site:


The Preservation of American Antiquities Act of 1906 provides for the protection of Indian ruins, stating that a person may not, without permission; it does not say anything about meteorite!

|They have never had a conviction, on this act, that has held up in court.

I did read about a sting operation in Utah I think it was last year where they busted a bunch of people for Indian Artifacts, I never did find out what happened they might not have taken it to court yet!

The thing to do is ask to see the law that they are talking about in their site in print, which is the actual law or Sec. that pertains to what they are talking about. It sounds like someone took it upon their self to write something that is not a law on their site.

Most people will never read the American Antiquities Act of 1906 or The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 or any other laws that have been passed. It’s your right to see these laws that they are talking about and they have to provide them to you.

This all can be traced back to the Old Woman Meteorite, where it went to the Smithsonian Institution and now resides in the Desert Discovery Center in Barstow, California.


If you do a search on these Acts you will find no mention of meteorites in the documents that would affect anyone of us..

Download the documents and then do a search in Adobe Reader on the tool bar just type in meteorites in the search box, its better then reading 4 or 5 hundred pages.

Don’t take anything for granted that you read anywhere, and it should be if you don’t mind can you please show me the rule you are talking about so when I go to court you will know what you are talking about, because I will ! I already had my lawyer check-out these laws you are trying to tell me about, and he said there is no such law!

Anybody can write anything on the net, but that does not make it true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Hey John, I wish you good luck and keep us updated, as we want our lands back !!!! Do you know if metal detecting on public lands is allowed at all for anything?? I Need a straight :inocent: answer to tell the ranger, or law enforcement who shows up and starts to ask what I am hunting for with the metal detector... Dave

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Hey Dave I aint being a wiseguy but I think I would say " METAL " if somebody asked me. With an answer like that it might make them take a different attitude with whatever comes out of their mouth next. :thumbsupanim

As far as I know there is no law against collecting shot brass shells.

I often collect several pounds a month when I'm in my home area.

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Hello Dave

It would only take one idiot to mess with a web site in OR /WA to start a panic. This fool will mess with your mind and then try it get a permit to hunt on there own and control the hunting and the fields in the name of progress. Be very careful not to fall into the trap. This fool will call all agencies and then try to make sense by using past knowledge to tie up the hunting rights by explaining the finds will go to scientific data. There are no new rules on hunting Meteorites and that’s a fact in AZ. Remember you can hunt gold and other minerals with your detector. If asked let the agency in question explain why they would question you and document the interaction.


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If you are stating that there has not been

any convictions under the Antiquities Act that

have not been overturned it is false. I know

three people here local that were convicted and

paid dearly.

Just because it doesn't make it to the internet

doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Most of these

cases don't make it to the big courts,or draw a

lot of attention,because the accused doesn't have

the money or time to fight.Most people just watch

their possessions disappear,pay big fines and do

their time,or probation with a criminal record to

contend with.

Also 3 of the Utah artifact group has committed

suicide, some have plead guilty,one is in prison,

and the rest are still awaiting trial. There is

30 some individuals indicted in the mess. All have

been put through living hell and their lives will

never be the same.

Once indicted ,even if you win,it can ruin you

financially and in other ways. Personally I don't

care if people haul meteorites home in a dump truck.

I think the regulations if there are any are a load

of crap.

Not one soul has bothered to check with the offices

I mentioned. So no one really knows at this point if

there is even any regulation.Its kind of like no one

actually wants to find out the facts. It would be

funny if someone called and found out there is nothing

to it,and these threads have just been a waste of time.

All I am saying is if there is really a no collecting

rule in place,they plan to enforce it.

The Antiquities Act is only a small part of the law

they will use in doing so.

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Good post.

I have never heard of anything like what is posted on that web site. The BLM here has never heard on it either, so as far as I am concerned it is business as usual.

The info conflicts with what I have been told and what the local BLM office sees as the rules. I find that it is much more likely that some web editor put this in not understanding the rules, or the local ofiice is blowing some smoke.

Despite the fact that it is (presumably) legal to collect meteorites, I do business with the asumption that it ALL is illegal. No FS, BLM, or any other government suit is trusted nor are they given any info. If they ask me what I am doing the answer will be "bird watching" and no more. Let them fish for it. If that fails I will crap my pants and act retarded and fall to the ground and have a grand mal seizure, and then blame the whole affair on the LEO's and the stress they have caused me.

Screw em. Only a fellow that is dumb enough to be honest with the authorities stand to risk anyhting. A rabid carniverous reptilian prospector dissappears over the ridge with the coyotes and leaves the law to study the tracks.

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Not a problem. Regulations do not supercede LAW. If neccessary, I'll make a citizen's arrest, and turn over the cuffed LEO to the Sheriff. We'll see WHO is right in a County Court!


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Wrong in almost every way!

First a county court wouldn't have any

jurisdiction over a federal charge.

Second the county sheriff would in no

way get involved with interfering with

a federal law officer doing his job on

federal land. Check out what the LEO's

have done with every county sheriff to

eliminate interference of any of their

actions. The Catron County sheriff was

not allowed to even cross a FS road block

in the recent episode there. In not one

instance has a county sheriff ever been

allowed to intervene in a BLM or FS bust,

or law enforcement action.

Third the instant you lay hands on a

federal officer,to attempt such an arrest,

that would be a bigger problem than the

meteorite thing.

Fourth it is more than a regulation,there

is more than one law they can use to enforce

this crap if they choose.

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Amen to ya Sawmill---2 fellas up here were detecting a trash dump on a old CCC camp area here in N.Cali and got $5k fine--lost their detectors--lost both their atv's AND the truck and trailer that hauled them. JUDGES DO NOT FOLLOW THE LAW BUT DICTATE PREJEDUCES SAME AS FOREST KINGS. Bud Blackbone parked 75' from the RR tracks and got ticketed-the law I presented in court stipulate a 50' setback--BUT--Judge said too close for him and $460 fine followed--err on the side a caution and I ain't found NOTHING NOWHERE NOHOW and be a much happier detectorist-John

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I think that you have it together, there is no reason why anybody would want to get in to any kind of a problem with anybody in law enforcement, but we all should know our rights, a not go by something that someone put out on the internet.

There is no way that I would ever go on an Indian reservation to hunt for anything, you are a fool if you do the way thing goes for buying any Indian artifacts or hunting them.

Hell if I am driving down the interstate and I see a sign that I just started through an Indian reservation, I hit the brakes I don’t want to even risk getting stopped for a ticket.

Stay away from Indian reservation if you are doing any metal detecting.

I did read about the people that got busted dealing in Indian artifacts, but I have never read anything about meteorites, the guys in Washington state should do some research to find out if what they posted is a law, we all need to protect our rights!

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It is not just on Indian reservations,it is on all

public land for Indian or other artifacts.

Most of the stuff in the big artifact bust was from

BLM land.

I agree 100 percent about knowing whether some flunky

posted the meteorite stuff out of stupidity or personal

ideas. You can not operate by just reading the crap on

the internet sites.

All the FS and BLM sites are managed by volunteers or

low level office employees. So there is a lot of room

for errors in the information.

Just a simple infraction can turn in to a nightmare

if you run into the wrong federal employee. Most tickets

and hassles come from specialist, techs or rangers .

These are the people that usually can turn a simple little

matter into a great big hassle. Most LEO's are pretty cool

and level headed,they have the same training as FBI,DEA,

ATF,and other federal officers. They are not just one of

the staff that got picked to play cop. They do know the

laws,and are professionals. They don't usually bother

anyone unless it is just a warning,or if things are really


The problem with the non LEO bunch is they have lots of

power and some go overboard ,and are not real professional

about how they do it. They may not hang you,but they can

make you wish they had. Some of these guys are just looking

for a fight too. It is when these guys do involve a LEO

that you know you are in big trouble.

Most people are terrified of a hassle with the IRS. I can

tell you for a fact that the FS and BLM can be just as low

down and rotten to fight,and in cases a lot worse.

Most FS and BLM people are pretty decent to work with,but

there is always that one A hole in every bunch. Where you

find one you can bet he has buddies.

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As several posters have pointed out there is no law to back up the BLM Oregon/Washington website statement of meteorite hunting is prohibited. There is a CFR that may be the source of what they are stating. It has a very slight change in wording from what all the laws state, just the addition of two phrases. The phrases are not in any of the laws from the American Antiquities Act of 1906 to the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and all the laws in between. I highlighted them in red.

[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]



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


(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


(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.


The words, "scientific" and "natural", they may be using to include meteorites and paleontological specimens (fossils) in their attempt to control more than existing laws allow. The only one of these existing laws that even mentions fossils is the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and it states fossils are not included in that law. None of the laws mention meteorites at all. Meteorites are both "scientific" and "natural". One of the many definitions of natural, "of or pertaining to nature or the universe: natural beauty".

I see it as just something they are trying to pull off with only their own bogus rule and no law to back it up. The only truth to it is it will probably have to be drug through court to get it thrown out when they cite someone for meteorite or fossil hunting.

I did email the state director of the Oregon BLM a couple weeks ago and asked him about the error on the web page stating the ARPA 1979 states the age for artifacts is 10 years when it actually states 100 years. I never got a reply, but if anyone whats to ask a question or state your opinions you will find state directors name at the top of the page and his email address in the contact directory below on the same page. Oregon BLM Office Directory

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks to you all. this is very informative to me, a newbie here and to meteorite hunting.

It's especially interesting to me that the 43 CFR 8365, under (a)(3) and (B)(2) and (4), cited by FrogMick specifically allows metal detectors for collecting rocks and mineral specimens. Isn't that what meteorites are, rocks and minerals?.

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