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John B.

Meteorite Law Update

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Hi All

I have spent several evenings reading crap on the Federal Registry and so far no luck. I'm told that any change of forest service or BLM policy must have public hearings and will be recorded in the federal registry. If any geeks out there wish to help in this research I could really use the help?? I also emailed the President of the PLP ( Public Lands for the People) requesting some help assistance or insight on how to find this info or a paper trail. These guys apparently can't just dictate a policy ??? On my last visit to the Forest Service in Tucson I chatted with Richard Ahern who is in charge of minerals in the Coronado National Forest Nogalas district. I believe he and the rest are misguided on this ruleing but he seems to be for it. He said the only reason this change came about was because of the commercializing of meteorites found on public lands. These guys obviously don't know didly. Well he told me of a fellow that was ticketed and a thought to be meteorite was confiscated. The piece was sent up to ASU he thought and it came back a leaverite. But a $260.00 fine stuck because of intent and the defendent said he was meteorite huntin. So my suggestion to anyone out hunting and questioned is that your looking for leaverites, iron ore or ????? anything but meteorites or artifacts. Keep in mind most on this list are far more knowledgeable about meteorites and detectors than these pinheads. Well as I get free time I'm still working on this crap and intent to chat with the universities meteoritics staffs to see thier feelings on this as well. Since it will eventually shrink their material at hand for study !! Or possibly make for lots of falsified collection data. If any on this forum has any thoughts or angles to pursue on this I'm very open for help or suggestions. Or if anyone has any knowledge of any hunter bieng ticketed please let me know I will pay and or assist in the defense. I just hope they like jail time :rolleyes: ?? This crap is getting out of hand and pretty soon grass will be antiquites and against the law to step on !!

Happy Huntin John B.

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:*&$*(: death of the american dream of self enjoyment and employment going---going---gone :grr01: John

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John B. and John O. You've both hit it on the nail head. We are losing our freedom or should I say, we've lost it.... I think the only way to get it back is to fight for it. Which means a war against the US Government.

All the US Government cares about is themselves and what's in it for them. Going and talking to these folks is a waste of time, they don't know how to listen and are to afraid and gutless to stand up against their boss....

I've come to my end with this Socialist Government. Maybe a couple of more years to see where it goes. If it doesn't change or if meathead Obama is re-elected then I'll leave this country and live elsewhere.

I'd like to help but I would explode on these dumb sh-t meatheads and make a bad situation worse .....

My tact in these situations has gone by the way-side. For an example; I was called to the board about how I sign my name on my reports. I told them they have no right to tell me how to sign my name. They said, don't you know we can take away your licence? I told them to take my licence and shove it up they lazy good for nothing fat asses.... needless to say, I don't practice anymore... but I was going to retire anyway... :hahaha:

best wishes, jim "bones" :angry-smiley-010[1]:

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Hi John, here's all I can find. Nada.

I searched the entire federal register for 2009 and 2010 and only came up with one document mentioning meteorites, and that was limited to Antactica.

Here's the latest forest management proposed plan for Coronado, again, nothing about meteorites or relics.

CNF 2010 plan

If someone issued a memo within the CNF manegment, you can request a copy using the Freedom of Information act.

I'll keep looking. Later...Jim P.

Searching /wais/indexes/2010_register...

Your query was:

(METEORITE)

The database contains 26,696,335 words in 15,002 documents.

The database contains the following fields:

body - All non-fielded text

section - Section of the Federal Register

date - Issue Date of the Federal Register

rules - Rules and Regulations

proposed - Proposed Rules

notices - Notices

presidential - Presidential Documents

contents - Table of Contents

reader - Reader Aids

meteorite does not occur in the database.

The search found 0 documents. It took less than a second.

Your query was:

METEORITE

The database contains 51,115,638 words in 33,079 documents.

The database contains the following fields:

body - All non-fielded text

section - Section of the Federal Register

date - Issue Date of the Federal Register

rules - Rules and Regulations

proposed - Proposed Rules

notices - Notices

presidential - Presidential Documents

contents - Table of Contents

reader - Reader Aids

meteorite occurs 2 times in 1 document.

The search found 1 document. It took less than a second

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Hi Guys

Come on Bones we need your tenasity !! What country are we moving to ?? Jim P, You found what I already found squat !! Are you versed with FS or BLM protocal or proceedure ?? Is what I was told correct about public hearing on policy changes ?? George V told me that and he's put them to task a few times making them change or abandon bad policy moves !! He trying to look up anything on it as well. Tommarow I will call the report number off the FS Web Page and ask them where their change of policy came from. The antiquities act and covering it !! Then shut up and listen !! Happy Huntin John B.

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Panama is looking good.... Or, I may buy the boat I've been dreaming about. But, I promissed my children I'd move closer to them up in Carson/ Virginia City area of Nevada... Time will tell. :thumbsupanim

I have a real bad case of the "Whoop Ass" when it comes to the US government but I'll do what I can at this end. :arrowheadsmiley:

jim "bones" :angry-smiley-010[1]:

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Mr B....a policy is not a law...this battle has been fought from the wrong end...the real battle is in legislation to stop the FS and BLM and other 'crats" from enforcing their ideology.

If I were trained in legal research I would challenge the entire idea that the Government has ownership of any thing...the government holds land in trust for the people.

As to meteorites the earth is just one big aggregation of meteoroids...does the government own the world, solar system and universe? Does it own the very dust we walk on?

Bones; no sale yet? Hope we can get together again in the fall...do be careful about promoting civil distrubances...at least in writing...

fred

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Jim Bones, if you get up my way, Franconia/Gold Basin e-mail me we'll get together. Virginia City, Carson.....does'nt sound bad for ya you might enjoy it.

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Don't make waves? I believe people shouldn't stick their heads in the sand... Sorry Wayne, I have to disagree with your approach.

Here's the black and white of it. There is NO meteorite law.

This goes all the way back to the Old Woman meteorite and even further more than 100 years. There is only a misinterpretation and misuse of the current 1906 Antiquities Act http://www.nps.gov/history/local-law/anti1906.htm and The General Mining law of 1872 http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/mining_claims.html with regard to meteorite hunting on federal land. I'll try to address both issues.

The BLM is trying mistakenly to support the whole weight of the argument on the 1906 Antiquities Act. In addition they claim, incorrectly, that meteorites are not locatable minerals. I would argue otherwise.

Supposedly and incorrectly applied, and relative to, this the "MINING CLAIM PROCEDURES" pamphlet published by the BLM regarding mining claim procedures.

Whereby it states:

"...Meteorites: not locatable and the collection of large or otherwise scientifically

interesting specimens comes under the Antiquities Act (16 USC 432; People

of the State of California ex rel. Younger v. Mead, 618 F.2d 618 [1980])."

This statement is NOT law, and it is too broad and vague in scope. "Meteorites: not locatable"?

But then the BLM separate that into another issue altogether with the statement that large or scientifically interesting specimens are governed by the Act.

Not true. The Act was not created for meteorites, it was created for the preservation of artifacts or archeological items. Not meteorites.

Regarding Younger v. Mead; Reading of this case shows that it's seemingly a case of mistaken ownership in that the museums and the State were all fighting over the meteorite. But they forgot something... None of them actually owned the meteorite.

This is a quote from the case State of California ex rel. Younger v. Mead, 618 F.2d 618

-------------------------------------------

"...In 1976 a 6,070 pound meteorite was found on federal land in the Old Woman Mountain Range in Southern California. Thereafter, the Department of Interior and the Bureau of Land Management consulted with the Smithsonian Institution to determine the procedures to be followed to transfer the Old Woman Meteorite to the Smithsonian. This correspondence culminated in a letter dated December 21, 1976 from the Secretary of the Interior authorizing the Smithsonian Institution to remove and study the meteorite.

4

The meteorite was removed from its site on June 17, 1977 and placed on public exhibition in the San Bernardino County Museum for one week and in the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History for six days in mid-July. The museum applied for a permit under the Antiquities Act, 16 U.S.C. § 432, to retain the meteorite and brought suit in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California to enjoin the removal of the meteorite from California and to void the permit issued to the Smithsonian Institution. The State of California brought a similar suit in state court which was removed to the federal district court. These actions were consolidated. The district court refused to issue an injunction and granted the Secretary's motion to dismiss the actions. The county museum and the State appealed both decisions..."

-------------------------------------------

This reads as a fight between the State of California and the Secretary if the Dept. of Interior issuing a permit to remove the meteorite to grant the Smithsonian the meteorite. The state nor the museums, nor the BLM owned the meteorite. The Miners did.

What is not mentioned is that the Miners who actually found the Old Woman meteorite on BLM land (federally managed land), had filed a mining claim which had been denied. (unfairly) Most familiar with this case know of this and dismiss it. But I say look closer at the details.

"...Since the meteorite was on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the prospectors filed a mining claim on the site. To their disappointment they learned that meteorites were not a locatable mineral as defined by the mining law..." - http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow/meteorite.html

Also related, The statement in the pamphlet "MINING CLAIM PROCEDURES" that meteorites are not locatable is INCOMPLETE, VAGUE, and UNFAIRLY ALL ENCOMPASSING of type and class. This information and assumes ALL meteorites fall under a certain 'type' as implied by the language used. "...Meteorites: not locatable..." This 3 word opinion is just that, an opinion, and wrong because there's already a precedence set.

First - "WHICH" meteorites are not locatable? Stone meteorites? Stony iron meteorites? Iron meteorites? BIG meteorites?

I might argue that ALL meteorites are locatable under the definitions of "locatable" put forth by the BLM themselves under the "Uncommon Variety" stipulations whereby the BLM "...determine uncommon variety on a case-by-case basis..."

Locatable Minerals Definition: http://www.blm.gov/or/programs/minerals/locatable-definition.php

Why is this important?

Because in 1903 Daniel Moreau Barringer filed 4 placer mining claims on the meteorite iron within and around the world famous Meteor Crater thereby setting a precedence for meteorite iron to be "locatable minerals" by definition.

The Old Woman meteorite is an humongous iron meteorite. The BLM believes (incorrectly) that such meteorites fall under the protection of the Act, according to the "Mining Claim Procedures" pamphlet it states "...large or otherwise scientifically interesting specimens..." Again, this is NOT law, it's a brocure!

They further believe; "...under the provisions of the Antiquities Act, meteorites found on public land were considered objects of scientific interest and therefore should go to the Smithsonian Institution...." - http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/barstow/meteorite.html

Where is the actual LAW that says it's the property of the Smithsonian? Not even the 1906 Antiquities Act mentions the Smithsonian in any way whatsoever. So if the BLM are using this to support their interpretation of the Act, then they must also go by the rest of the act.

They state this like it's law. It's NOT!

It's not a law, it's an misinterpretation of the Act by the BLM on a website and in a brochure... They even admit within the pages of the Mining Claims Procedures "...This publication is intended only as a general guide and not as a legal guide...."

This statement: "...Meteorites: not locatable and the collection of large or otherwise scientifically

interesting specimens comes under the Antiquities Act..." therefore should hold NO weight whatsoever since it is NOT law.

The BLM are trying to use the Act as a blanket law to regulate meteorites unfairly and inappropriately when they do not in fact even have the authority to do so. The BLM have no jurisdiction or authority to use the 1906 Antiquities Act with regard to meteorites at all.

Here's another quote directly from the Act.

"...That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest..."

(It's important to note that the whole weight of the BLM's argument rests on these words "...and other objects of historic or scientific interest...")

The Act also says the "President of the United States" has the authority. It doesn't mention the BLM at all with regard to authority to use or enforce the Act.

The BLM is misinterpreting the Act and posting their opinion on their website and in publications which are not law. The President has not signed a law regarding meteorites, and never has ANY President ever made a single meteorite a monument or archeological site. A meteorite is NOT an artifact, and the 1906 Antiquities Act was created for the protection of such.

With regard to meteorites being a locatable mineral. The Barringer/Holsinger placer claims already set that precedence in 1903. All mining claims filed today still fall under The General Mining Law of 1872. Meteorite iron IS locatable as evidenced by the Barringer/Holsinger claims and therefore the Miners which found and filed their claim on the Old Woman meteorite should have been granted that mining claim and the rightful ownership of the Old Woman meteorite.

With regard to the 1906 Antiquities Act being interpreted by the BLM to include meteorites, it does not include meteorites, the language is vague, could include almost ANY object or rock that ANY human being touches and it will not stand the test of public scrutiny.

In closing, I'd like to say that there should be a law which protects meteorites AND ALSO MUST make an allowance for the private sector meteorite hunting, recovery, study, collection of meteorites by private citizens, hunters, scientists, and researchers. Without which the science suffers due to fears of hunters/researchers losing their meteorites to the government.

Even more importantly, if there are restrictions such as the misinterpretation of the Act above, there will be lost scientific data because of both lack of motivation to hunt/recover scientifically viable and valuable specimens, and because such restrictive laws will create motivation for falsification of coordinate data when meteorites are found on federal land. Worse yet, if someone legally hunting another mineral type or recreating on federal land happens to find a scientifically and monetarily valuable meteorite specimen in the field, they may be more apt to NOT report it at all because there would be NO motivation to do so if they believe the government will do nothing but confiscate it. They might even leave it there never to be seen again by human eyes.

Meteorites are too important to be "protected" by a misused blanket law. Either stop enforcing stupid and idiotic misinterpretations of current laws which have nothing to do with meteorites at all, or create one which actually will advance the science while at the same time still allowing for the for the private sector to hunt, recover, study and collect meteorites responsibly.

Look at "Spaceship One". The first private sector spacecraft to be launched into space!

Without the allowance for private sector advancement, the science we're trying to protect is stifled and slowed!

Regards,

Eric

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Hi Eric

I have read all of these determinations and court cases years ago and as near as I can tell you are spot on. Jim Kreigh and I had a couple of sit downs with the legal minds at the U of A years ago and they were of similar agreement. But then again I ain't an attorney !! I have not recieved a reply from the PLP ( Public Lands for the People) which usually like to fight this kind of stuff. Maybe if we could pool some donations of consiquence we could entice them to take on this fight. Getting it in front of a judge. I'm not a member of the IMCA primarilly because I don't deal in meteorites and never considered selling any and my collection is mostly self found. But I should think many of these members and other interested parties would pony up some bucks for a legal determination. Remember our strength is in numbers. Happy Huntin John B.

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Hello, I do not wish to jack any part of this thread but recent shows airing on tv leave me wonderings something. If the statement on tv is correct, and present views on meteorites are continued how long till the government tries to claim all gold belongs to them ?

The statement in question is one that all gold was created in a supernova before the earth was formed. So does that not imply gold had to get her in the form of meteor,comet or such.

It just makes me wonder where these claims are trying to go?

Does science do it like the guilds did to try and insure they have something with which to have posession of to give their following power? After all if there were no rocks what would a geologist study? No meteors what does one study. No pyramids what would those guys study. If all the information is in books and on the net. Whom needs to go to a college and listen to some schmuck when all is in a readily accessible form. Not to mention what does anybody really need a degree for a? wall decoration?

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Hi Eric

I have read all of these determinations and court cases years ago and as near as I can tell you are spot on. Jim Kreigh and I had a couple of sit downs with the legal minds at the U of A years ago and they were of similar agreement. But then again I ain't an attorney !! I have not recieved a reply from the PLP ( Public Lands for the People) which usually like to fight this kind of stuff. Maybe if we could pool some donations of consiquence we could entice them to take on this fight. Getting it in front of a judge. I'm not a member of the IMCA primarilly because I don't deal in meteorites and never considered selling any and my collection is mostly self found. But I should think many of these members and other interested parties would pony up some bucks for a legal determination. Remember our strength is in numbers. Happy Huntin John B.

Hi John, Thanks for the reply. I agree 100% that strength is in numbers, and that perhaps there should be some support shown in the area of legislative change. I've been researching this issue for quite a while now. Right now it's little more than a conglomeration of laws and quotes but it's a question about an issue I had a while back that no one seemed able to answer.

The IMCA is a good organization for meteorite collectors. It's primarily an association which promotes authenticity and trust among collectors and dealers. I believe the IMCA can help meteorite hunters as well, which is why I proposed on the met-list that the IMCA join forces with the MHA. Although the Meteorite Hunting Association's primary purpose is not to lobby the government, the point is to show a unified group of like minded individuals. Right now in my opinion it all disorganized... no offense meant to anyone.

I would like you to join the MHA as well as every meteorite hunter here on NuggetShooter and ALL meteorite hunters who have an interest in this issue as well as meteorite hunting in general and the education of the public about meteorites.

Consider this an invitation to join the MHA once we're formed. Yes, it's about strength in numbers. With those numbers we can create a solid and much needed organization! It's not just about lobbying the government against unfair restrictions, but it's about protecting our rights as hunters, educating the public and advancing the science.

I've spoken with many other meteorite hunters and collectors about this. They feel it's needed and a good idea! Your help as well as the help of other hunters wishing to help is much needed. It takes people working together to get anything done and effect a change.

We can talk about it, or we can do it. Together!

So what do you say...?

Regards,

Eric

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Hi Eric

I have read all of these determinations and court cases years ago and as near as I can tell you are spot on. Jim Kreigh and I had a couple of sit downs with the legal minds at the U of A years ago and they were of similar agreement. But then again I ain't an attorney !! I have not recieved a reply from the PLP ( Public Lands for the People) which usually like to fight this kind of stuff. Maybe if we could pool some donations of consiquence we could entice them to take on this fight. Getting it in front of a judge. I'm not a member of the IMCA primarilly because I don't deal in meteorites and never considered selling any and my collection is mostly self found. But I should think many of these members and other interested parties would pony up some bucks for a legal determination. Remember our strength is in numbers. Happy Huntin John B.

John, please contact me off-list...

Please call me when you get this message. I'm usually up late. 760-522-2152

Eric

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Oh Mr B...you know it hurts when you ignore me....

Eric, thank you for taking the time to write a fine summary of issues I have thought but am too lazy to write...I whole heartily agree with your statements and opinions...

I think that if the finders of the Old Woman had had a lawyer worth his salt he would have used the barringer claims as his "defence" and moved to have the case dismissed and the finders awarded the meteorite...

I will join your cause if it is a legal nonprofit with no paid administrators...

Fred

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Hi Fred

I haven't ignored you ?? You actually brought an interesting perspective to this whole arguement. Everything on this earth, plants (including government mental giants), all animals ,metal, water, gold nuggets and even the dreaded carbon dioxide all originated by meteorites or acreted objects in early space. Just where do these guys draw the line ????? Eric I will call you but I refuse to join your group as with the IMCA there are illegal activities within that group as well. That's were this whole greif started because of commercialization.

Happy Huntin John B.

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Hi Fred

I haven't ignored you ?? You actually brought an interesting perspective to this whole arguement. Everything on this earth, plants (including government mental giants), all animals ,metal, water, gold nuggets and even the dreaded carbon dioxide all originated by meteorites or acreted objects in early space. Just where do these guys draw the line ????? Eric I will call you but I refuse to join your group as with the IMCA there are illegal activities within that group as well. That's were this whole greif started because of commercialization.

Happy Huntin John B.

John, Refusing to join my group or the IMCA because of illegal activity? That's a very BIG and completely irresponsible statement to make, and probably libel.

Your statement: "...I refuse to join your group as with the IMCA there are illegal activities within that group..." and when you ad the "...as well..." that implies to the uninformed that there's something illegal within our group which hasn't even completely formed yet. I very much hope I'm misunderstanding what you're saying! Please do not add confusion on this issue. I understand your opposition to commercialization, and I respect that wholeheartedly... It's your opinion, and you're entitled to it.

However your statement more than suggests some sort of illegal activity with the organization I'm forming. Unless I'm misreading the meaning of your statement. ???

Please explain, and correct this VERY public statement.

Regards,

Eric

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Back to the subject :nono: ... not only did Mr. Barringer file four valid mining claims on the crater his group, the Standard Iron Company, received a patent for 640 acres. The patent is valid and the crater is still owned by the Barringer family... So this sorta opens the door to the question of legality at least to owns an iron meteorite?

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Hi Eric

Have you ever sold, bought or linked to those who sell, trade or barter gold basin or franconia meteorites ?? Do you know thier heritage with certainty ?? Those are just a couple of examples ?? I could go on with Canyon Diablo, Odessa, some glorietta and oddles of drylake and affiliated strewnfield USA finds, do you know thier heritage ??

John B.

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Hi Jim

Yes you are correct on the Barringer claims and Patent. I think the claims were filed before there was even knowledge or human comprehention that monster rocks fell from space. The Patent was probably for dollars expended even thought the motherload was never found. Happy Huntin John B.

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Barringer was one smart mining engineer... maybe

the first to suggest the crater was formed by a large iron meteorite. He located the crater to mine what he thought was a large deposit of iron ore... He never realized the bulk was mostly vaporized and little was left in the pit...

Getting back to the subject... he located the iron

meteorite to mine the ore... Then was even able to

get a patent on it. After all it was orignally known as a meteor crater... and he drilled an exploitory hole nearly 1400 ft trying to locate the main mass. Terrestrial native iron occuring in nature is known as a rarety (except at Disko Greenland) where it was found in basalt.

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Barringer was one smart mining engineer... maybe

the first to suggest the crater was formed by a large iron meteorite. He located the crater to mine what he thought was a large deposit of iron ore... He never realized the bulk was mostly vaporized and little was left in the pit...

Getting back to the subject... he located the iron

meteorite to mine the ore... Then was even able to

get a patent on it. After all it was orignally known as a meteor crater... and he drilled an exploitory hole nearly 1400 ft trying to locate the main mass. Terrestrial native iron occuring in nature is known as a rarety (except at Disko Greenland) where it was found in basalt.

The prospectors who found the Old Women meteorite in 1975 also tried to file a claim where it was found but it was denied. In all honesty, I don't believe iron meteorites were intended to be "mined" and the idea of someone filing a claim on a potential strewnfield is somewhat far fetched. :twocents: :twocents:

Steve

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Hi, Mr.B....Thanks, are you ready for some chili verde?

Steve;

they most likely thought there could be more in the area...

What , in reality, is so different between a gold placer deposit and a meteorite strewn field...one is formed from the scattering of lode gold through earthly means and the other is scattered through celestial means...

Nonetheless, the issue is who owns meteorites found on federal (the peoples) land...

Fred

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Hi Eric

Have you ever sold, bought or linked to those who sell, trade or barter gold basin or franconia meteorites ?? Do you know thier heritage with certainty ?? Those are just a couple of examples ?? I could go on with Canyon Diablo, Odessa, some glorietta and oddles of drylake and affiliated strewnfield USA finds, do you know thier heritage ??

John B.

Your questions lead one to believe that you do not support hunting meteorites on federal land. The very reason we're having this discussion. I think what the real issue is this.

I think you believe wholeheartedly in our rights as US citizens to hunt meteorites on federal land and you feel that meteorites hunters should have every right to hunt for and recover meteorites on federal land without fear of confiscation. Where you dissent is with the actual selling of such meteorites. You don't like the commercialization of these meteorites.

I would argue that without the "ownership" of such meteorites (notice I didn't say sell) being with the meteorite hunters who find them, otherwise it's pointless to hunt for, locate, and recover them. No one wins when you restrict recovery... You get nothing, the BLM (gov.) gets nothing, and the Smithsonian gets nothing. Meteorites will be left in the field, and science will be stifled.

If there is to be any positive forward movement with this issue, the meteorite hunter/researcher/scientist hunting on federal land should own a majority percentage of the meteorite he/she finds, with an allowance for a portion of the meteorite found be required by law to be donated for study to the Smithsonian. Not the whole meteorite! Only a portion adequate for study, classification and display. There is NO reason whatsoever for the whole meteorite to be "confiscated" by the government, or donated to the Smithsonian. They don't own it, nor do they need the whole meteorite for classification nor for display.

If you truly want to do something about the misinterpretation of the Act, want to truly advance this science, and you believe that meteorite hunters should "own" the meteorites they find on federal land, you must except that the lesser of the two evils in your mind that is the selling of something that they own. You may not like people selling meteorites, but where do you draw the line. At your whole collection?, at certain specimens? Specimens found on federal land, state land, private land etc.?

I believe there is a happy medium here that will make this a WIN/WIN situation all around for everyone involved that will provide some motivation for all parties.

SHARE!!!

A split of the meteorite with regard to who finds it. With a small portion of the meteorite required to be donated to the Smithsonian for study and display. The meteorite MUST be cut for classification anyway, and the Smithsonian will get their sample.

Here's an "example" of what could be in place. Just like any type of hunting, perhaps we should license meteorite hunting. The government, BLM could issue permits to hunt for meteorites. A Meteorite Hunting License so to speak. This way the government gets funds directly from those who wish to hunt. This coupled with the meteorite hunters being able to own the meteorites which they find is what will make this work.

Example

License meteorite hunting on federal and state land - A modest annual license/permit fee OR a reasonable per location license/permit fee?

Call it the "Share Act"

Hunter/Researcher - 80% - They own any meteorite they find on federal land! Therefore they can do anything they want with their share.

Government - 1%-5% Meteorite Tax and/or Meteorite Sale Permit Fee similar to a mineral sale permit issued by the BLM. If the meteorite is sold on the collectors market the government of course gets their share.

Smithonian - 20% For study, collection and display.

Create a "Meteorite Science Grant Fund"

If meteorites are sold by the private sector finder, the government gets their share %1-5% in the form of a low and fair Meteorite Tax on the total sale price, plus a Meteorite Sale Permit Fee.

All, these funds could be placed in trust, or a scientific research foundation or grant fund. This will allow for continued study, and provide motivation for study and education. I personally believe a grant fund is better, because then institutions could apply for grants for study of meteoritics, field expeditions, etc.

This model will allow for EVERYONE to win.

Use the commercialization to your advantage instead of fighting it. Allow the ownership and sale of meteorites, but tax it, and create a fund which provides for the advancement of the science based on those gov. fees and private/institutional collection sales.

Rules of the "Meteorite Hunting License" could be.

-----------------------------------

Record all coordinates of all finds.

Insitu photos of all finds.

Name, Time, Date, of find.

File all this information with the BLM and add to the USGS (Meteoritical Society) Meteorite Database

This is already done by responsible meteorite hunters/researchers anyway!

This model actually creates a built in scientific protection for meteorites, keeps the motivation and right to private sector meteorite hunting intact, provides meteorite material for scientific study/classification/collection, provides funds for the continued institutional grants for meteorite expeditions and study, allows the private sector to hunt for meteorites on federal land, while at the same time it advances the science of meteoritics!

A WIN/WIN all around.

Regards,

Eric

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Hi All

I have spent several evenings reading crap on the Federal Registry and so far no luck. I'm told that any change of forest service or BLM policy must have public hearings and will be recorded in the federal registry. If any geeks out there wish to help in this research I could really use the help?? I also emailed the President of the PLP ( Public Lands for the People) requesting some help assistance or insight on how to find this info or a paper trail. These guys apparently can't just dictate a policy ??? On my last visit to the Forest Service in Tucson I chatted with Richard Ahern who is in charge of minerals in the Coronado National Forest Nogalas district. I believe he and the rest are misguided on this ruleing but he seems to be for it. He said the only reason this change came about was because of the commercializing of meteorites found on public lands. These guys obviously don't know didly. Well he told me of a fellow that was ticketed and a thought to be meteorite was confiscated. The piece was sent up to ASU he thought and it came back a leaverite. But a $260.00 fine stuck because of intent and the defendent said he was meteorite huntin. So my suggestion to anyone out hunting and questioned is that your looking for leaverites, iron ore or ????? anything but meteorites or artifacts. Keep in mind most on this list are far more knowledgeable about meteorites and detectors than these pinheads. Well as I get free time I'm still working on this crap and intent to chat with the universities meteoritics staffs to see thier feelings on this as well. Since it will eventually shrink their material at hand for study !! Or possibly make for lots of falsified collection data. If any on this forum has any thoughts or angles to pursue on this I'm very open for help or suggestions. Or if anyone has any knowledge of any hunter bieng ticketed please let me know I will pay and or assist in the defense. I just hope they like jail time :rolleyes: ?? This crap is getting out of hand and pretty soon grass will be antiquites and against the law to step on !!

Happy Huntin John B.

As a retired Fed, with criminal enforcement, but not in FS or BLM law, experience may I suggest:

The guy who got ticketed should go to court, request a jury trial and simultaneously file a claim in the US Court of Claims for return of his wrongfully confiscated property. He'll need to do some serious research to find a competent attorney who is knowledgeable in Court of Claims cases, which is vastly different from the US District Courts.

His case in District Court, or maybe Magistrate court depending on severity of the charge, should be that he violated no law, that the policy is wrong, that the clear plain wording of the statute does not support the charge, and that his property, located minerals, was wrongfully seized. The US Supreme Court has repeatedly held that the statute enacted by Congress is controlling whenever there is a conflict between law and regulation, even more so with mere policy. The Court of Claims is the court people should go to when their government has wrongfully taken their stuff, and has resulted in some very favorable (to the private person, not the government) rulings regarding water rights in the West.

The sad truth is there's really only two ways to get this dreadful misinterpretation of law changed. Through the Courts, or by act of Congress. In this administration, it's a crap shoot either way. That's why a formal organization to represent meteorite prospectors is so vital. They can do the ground work, find competent attornies, and also filter for the best cases that come up, and even combine them into a class action suit for maximum bang for the buck. They can also lobby Congress for legislation which would forestall the need for Court cases. All of which costs a lot of money, which would be provided by dues paying members and donations and investments.

If Metorite prospectors are not willing to band together and put up the money in their own defense, then tough luck for them all. There are many organizations which have successfully used this method for many years. Why not us, too?

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