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Desertsunburn

New Rules for Meteorite Hunters Unveiled

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I've been working on understanding the new BLM rules all day and have

some information to share....

I am ONLY speaking about Arizona and what I gathered today after

several conversations with the BLM.

1. Institutions like ASU, NAU, UofA can apply for permits on a

statewide level in the name of Science to gather fresh falls where the

hunters would be "giving", not trading

meteorites from fresh falls. This would be done in advance and

hunters supporting the instititions, not for profit, would not be

delayed because of the permits.

2. Permits are going to take anywhere from 60 to 185 days to complete

for profit seekers.

3. At this time, ok to hunt meteorites at Franconia in the Warm

Spring Wilderness based on current Land Use Plans.

Now, this is all subject to change. I specifically talked about the

statewide permits and it sounded like this would not be any problem.

It would take the Meteoritic departments to do this if they would be

willing. I sure hope they do look into this and do it.

4. Hunters that sell meteorites (dealers) will have to go through the

permit process.

I am sure, More to come...

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Thanks for that... You better bring copies of all documents with you to show if need be... I for one do not show my best side when confronted by any jerkoff who thinks he has any authority over me...There is only one higher power in my life that I concede to... And we have been married almost 26 years... :wubu:

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Thanks for doing the research and reporting your finds. I Appreciate the effort.

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http://www.blm.gov/or/programs/minerals/noncollectables.php

The BLM is formalizing a policy on collecting meteorites found on public lands because confusion and misinformation has been created by recent media attention. In addition, recreation by the public has steadily increased on public lands. Therefore, the BLM would like to educate the public about meteorite hobby collecting and the scientific values of meteorites.

Contract All | Expand All

  • What is the BLM's policy on meteorites found on public lands?
    Meteorites found on public lands may be collected by recreationists and hobbyists with some limitations. Meteorites can be collected for scientific and educational purposes, and can also be commercially collected.
  • What are the authorities that govern collecting meteorites from public lands?
    The courts have long established that meteorites belong to the owner of the surface estate on which meteorites are found. This premise is based on the common laws of property as amended by the courts. As such, the BLM is responsible for the management of meteorites under the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 as amended, including casual and commercial collection. In addition, the Ninth Circuit Court determined that scientific collecting is authorized by the Antiquities Act of 1906.
  • Can a mining claim be located for meteorites?
    No, a mining claim may not be located for meteorites. Meteorites do not meet the definition of a mineral resource under the general mining and mineral laws. The extraterrestrial origins of meteorites have made them unique and of extreme commercial and scientific value. Therefore, because of their origins they are not subject to the mining and mineral laws.
  • Can meteorites be collected free of charge and without a permit?
    Yes, meteorites may be casually collected, i.e., for free and without a permit, under FLPMA. However, in accordance with the BLM's regulations at 43 CFR 8365.1-5 (1) collection is limited to certain public lands, (2) only specimens up to ten pounds may be collected per person per year, and (3) only surface collection with the use of non-motorized and non-mechanical equipment is allowed; metal detectors are okay. However, specimens that are casually collected are for personal use only, and may not be bartered or sold for commercial purposes.
  • How can meteorites be collected from public lands?
    Meteorites found on public lands may be casually collected by recreationists and hobbyists. The limit on the amount that may be casually collected is meteorite specimens up to ten pounds that can be easily hand-carried and transported, per person per year. Collection is from the surface only. Motorized and mechanized equipment is not allowed; however, use of metal detectors is permitted. Meteorites may be collected without a permit or collection fee. Casual collection is for personal use only, and therefore, cannot be bartered or sold for commercial purposes.
    Meteorites may be collected for scientific and educational purposes under a permit issued under the authority of the Antiquities Act. The applicant must be a qualified researcher, and any property collected under this type of permit remains the BLM property. The meteorite collected under permit must be curated in an approved repository that conforms to curatorial standards provided in 36 CFR 79.
    Meteorites may also be commercially collected under a permit issued under the authority of FLPMA. The applicant must pay an application fee, a purchase price based on a unit price or the percentage of fair market value on the amount of material to be removed, and a reclamation fee, as appropriate. A permittee must also comply with all environmental laws and regulations for surface disturbing activities on public lands.
  • Are there any limits to what amounts of meteorites may be collected from public lands?
    For casual collection, there is a limit of ten pounds of meteorite specimens per person per year. There is no limit for scientific or commercial collection.
  • How does this policy affect collecting of meteorites by rock hounds and other hobbyists?
    The BLM policy clearly outlines how rock hounds and other hobbyists may casually collect meteorites from public lands. No permit is required and no charge is assessed when collecting for personal use. There are limits on how much may be collected – only ten pounds of meteorite specimens per person per year. Collection is only from the surface, and motorized and mechanized equipment is not allowed. However, metal detectors are okay. Meteorites collected for personal use and cannot be bartered or sold.
  • Where can the public casually collect meteorites on public lands?
    Meteorites may be casually collected from open public lands. Public lands that are closed to casual collection of meteorites include: (1) developed recreational sites; (2) certain units of the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) where the units have been designated for their natural and scientific resource values, including national monuments and national conservation areas; (3) areas that may have been withdrawn from casual collecting by a land use plan, such as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC) and some wilderness areas; and (4) closures by supplemental regulations. Those interested should contact the appropriate BLM office to learn details for their area of interest.
  • Can meteorites casually collected from public lands be bartered or sold?
    Casual collection of meteorites from public lands is only for an individual's personal use. Sale or barter is considered commercial use. A permit must be issued for commercial activities and fees will be collected, including a purchase price based on a unit price or the percentage of fair market value, and a reclamation fee, if required.
  • Can meteorites be collected for commercial use and/or sale?
    Yes, meteorites may be collected from public lands under authority of an approved permit unless otherwise prohibited by other laws, regulations, land use plans, or closures. A permit is required for commercial use or sale, and fees will be collected. These fees may include application and permit processing fees, the purchase price, and reclamation fees.
  • Where can I get a permit to collect meteorites for commercial use or sale?
    A permit application for commercial collection of meteorites may be obtained from and filed with the local BLM field office with administrative jurisdiction in the area you wish to collect.
  • Where can I obtain a permit to collect meteorites for scientific research?
    A permit application for the scientific or educational collection of meteorites can be obtained from and must be filed with the BLM State Office with administrative jurisdiction in the State you wish to collect. All Antiquities Act permits are reviewed and approved by the authorized officer in the State Office with administrative jurisdiction over the Cultural Resources Management program.
  • Can meteorites be collected for exhibit in museums or other educational institutions?
    Yes, meteorites can be collected for exhibit in museums or other educational institutions under an Antiquities Act permit. An application must be filed with the BLM State Office with administrative jurisdiction in the state you wish to collect. All Antiquities Act permits are reviewed and approved by the authorized officer in the State Office with administrative jurisdiction over the Cultural Resources Management program. Exhibits or loans of the BLM’s meteorites held by approved repositories are subject to prior approval by the BLM as well as to the terms and conditions of loans of the repository managing the collections for the BLM.
  • Can meteorites be casually collected from other Federal lands, such as the National Forests or the National Parks?
    No. This policy only applies to public lands administered by the BLM under its agency authorities. Casual collecting is not allowed on lands administered and controlled by the National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Can meteorites be scientifically collected from other Federal lands, such as the National Forests or the National Parks?
    You must check with the agency having administrative jurisdiction of the area you wish to collect for scientific purposes to see if this type of activity is allowed.
  • What happens if meteorites are collected illegally from public lands?
    If meteorites are collected illegally from public lands you can be cited under FLPMA and the regulations at 43 CFR 8365.1-5(a) for illegal removal of any personal property or any scientific resource or natural object. You may also be subject to criminal prosecution under title 18, section 641 for the theft of Federal property and related criminal statutes depending on the type of illegal activity, including false labeling under title 18, section 1001.

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Thanks for the info Terry!

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I approached the BLM for clarification on two specific points a couple weeks back: 1) Casual trading of meteorites for other meteorites between individuals and institutions, and 2) Donation/trade of a type specimen for classification purposes. Please allow me to share the results of that inquiry.

On item 1, casual trading, I was informed by Lucy Kuizon, BLM National Paleontologist, "...the BLM uses the definition of “barter” as formally described by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). There are several types of barter, some of which requires the filing of forms to report certain types of exchanges that are considered by the IRS to be reportable income by both parties in the exchange. Usually these parties are small businesses or sole proprietors. Here is an IRS link for reference: http://www.irs.gov/u...bout-Bartering";

Further, she stated [non-commercial trading was a term I used in my initial inquiry], "...'non-commercial trading of meteorites' where (1) it is a one-on-one trade or exchange, and (2) there is no IRS reporting requirement for tax purposes, this is appropriately part of casual or hobby collecting. This is considered personal non-commercial use."

As casual collectors we can all continue to trade meteorites we find on public lands for other meteorites as part of the hobby we all enjoy. These trades can no longer include cash, as may be the case for commercial trades, otherwise a permit from the BLM would be required per 43 CFR 2920 regulations.

With respect to item 2, type specimens, she wrote:

"Your description of “type specimen” is a type of “exchange” that is benefitting the science of meteorites. Let me address that concept in each of the type of collecting scenarios. First, under true casual collecting, that is, for non-commercial personal use and no exchange of cash or income-type services, that type of exchange is allowable, and may be considered a donation to the educational or scientific institution. Under the scientific collecting permit, this type of exchange is a little more complex and is not really acceptable. The institution that recovers the meteorite must certify that the meteorite will be curated in that institution in perpetuity. The meteorite is considered federal property under the federal property and accounting laws and regulations. The concept of removing a piece of the meteorite in payment for the services of the agent who recovers it is not a typical action we would allow for other scientifically important resources we issue permits for on public lands, such ascultural artifacts and paleontological resources. Lastly, under a commercial permit, yes, that type of exchange is acceptable, but probably would need to be factored into the fees and rental that would be calculated for the permit. It may possibly lower the amount of the rental being charged. But, that would be at the discretion of the state appraiser. The meteorite professional must communicate this type of exchange clearly to the BLM when applying for a commercial permit because of the influence on the estimate of the rental fees."

I replied back that a type specimen would not really be applicable under a scientific collecting permit since the institution will be receiving 100% of the recovered meteorites for study and curation.

So good news, we can still trade our meteorites and are still able to donate type specimens for classification purposes.

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Ok, I understand most of us will not need a permit to go back to Franconia and LOOK for meteorites but:

1. Will you need a permit after the fact if you decide to sell or trade any of them to a dealer? A collecting permit was not used when collected.

2. For people who have already collected many or a few meteorites are they 'grandfathered' in and those can be traded and sold on an open market and not a 'black market?'

I traded a couple of my beach finds in Holbrook to get some meteorites and now I have found one on my own. How will BLM know the different ways in which I obtained them which may affect the way I can transfer them? I guess part of my question is, 'does the BLM still consider meteorites found on BLM land to be federal property many years after discovery?'

Mitchel

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Their POLICY is total BS!

Do they own every piece of mineral ever found on the Peoples Land? Do they control the deposition of evry such piece FOREVER?

Either it is mine or it is theirs...

Will they take this to every rock club in the land, those people have been collecting, working and selling stuff for ever and a day...

Meteorites are not any different just because they want them to be...

fred

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Sooooooooo, If I find the dime I Lost while I was 5 years old and take it home I can go to Jail?

Historic and prehistoric remains on federal (public) lands have been protected by law since 1906. The Preservation of American Antiquities Act of 1906 provides for the protection of Indian ruins, stating that a person may not, without permission, "appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object on antiquity" on lands under Federal government control. Regulations implemented under the authority of The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (FLPMA) also prohibit disturbance of these resources (43 Code of Federal Regulations Part 8365.1-4(a)). Historic and archeological resources 50 years old or older are covered by these two laws.

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From current law:

16 USC CHAPTER 1B - ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES PROTECTION

(1) The term "archaeological resource" means any material

remains of past human life or activities which are of

archaeological interest, as determined under uniform regulations

promulgated pursuant to this chapter. Such regulations containing

such determination shall include, but not be limited to: pottery,

basketry, bottles, weapons, weapon projectiles, tools, structures

or portions of structures, pit houses, rock paintings, rock

carvings, intaglios, graves, human skeletal materials, or any

portion or piece of any of the foregoing items. Nonfossilized and

fossilized paleontological specimens, or any portion or piece

thereof, shall not be considered archaeological resources, under

the regulations under this paragraph, unless found in

archaeological context. No item shall be treated as an

archaeological resource under regulations under this paragraph

unless such item is at least 100 years of age.

(g) Removal of arrowheads located on ground surface

Nothing in subsection (d) of this section shall be deemed

applicable to any person with respect to the removal of arrowheads

located on the surface of the ground.

(3) No penalty shall be assessed under this section for the

removal of arrowheads located on the surface of the ground.

Sec. 470kk. Savings provisions

(a) Mining, mineral leasing, reclamation, and other multiple uses

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to repeal, modify, or

impose additional restrictions on the activities permitted under

existing laws and authorities relating to mining, mineral leasing,

reclamation, and other multiple uses of the public lands.

(b) Private collections

Nothing in this chapter applies to, or requires a permit for, the

collection for private purposes of any rock, coin, bullet, or mineral

which is not an archaeological resource, as determined under

uniform regulations promulgated under section 470bb(1) of this title.

© Lands within chapter

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect any land other

than public land or Indian land or to affect the lawful recovery,

collection, or sale of archaeological resources from land other

than public land or Indian land.

__________________________________________________________

Here are the "Uniform regulations"

__________________________________________________________

From 43 CFR

PART 7--PROTECTION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

Subpart A--Uniform Regulations

(4) The following material remains shall not be considered of

archaeological interest, and shall not be considered to be

archaeological resources for purposes of the Act and this part, unless

found in a direct physical relationship with archaeological resources as

defined in this section:

(i) Paleontological remains;

(ii) Coins, bullets, and unworked minerals and rocks.

_____________________________________________

Meteorites are mentioned nowhere in any law or regulation.

Meteorites do not fit any definition of ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE in any law, regulation or science.

Rocks and minerals are specifically exempted from regulation under the Antiquities Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the FLPMA.

____________________________________________

Conclusion...

The BLM is blowing smoke up your A**.

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Ok, I understand most of us will not need a permit to go back to Franconia and LOOK for meteorites but:

1. Will you need a permit after the fact if you decide to sell or trade any of them to a dealer? A collecting permit was not used when collected.

2. For people who have already collected many or a few meteorites are they 'grandfathered' in and those can be traded and sold on an open market and not a 'black market?'

I traded a couple of my beach finds in Holbrook to get some meteorites and now I have found one on my own. How will BLM know the different ways in which I obtained them which may affect the way I can transfer them? I guess part of my question is, 'does the BLM still consider meteorites found on BLM land to be federal property many years after discovery?'

Mitchel

1. I am in the process of discovering this. It is unclear, at the moment, if you need a commercial collection permit if you are merely hunting with intent to sell, of if you need the permit only after you have made a find and want to sell. What does appear clear is that you would need a commercial collection permit if you remove more than 10 pounds of meteorites in one year from public lands managed by the BLM.

2. The policy is not retroactive.

I think the short answer to your last statement, how will they know, is they won't in all reality. Meteorites found by "casual collectors" are yours to keep or trade, you just can't sell them; they are not considered Federal property. As an aside, the Holbrook strewn field is on Arizona state lands and private property, so the BLM regs should not apply there.

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So, basically, BLM is struggling, rather unsuccessfully, to create an entire new class of criminals! ... I'm sure everyone's going to click their heels together and stand in line for hours for "permits!" ... More govt. agency spun out of control! Screw'em ... Cheers, Unc

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So, basically, BLM is struggling, rather unsuccessfully, to create an entire new class of criminals! ... I'm sure everyone's going to click their heels together and stand in line for hours for "permits!" ... More govt. agency spun out of control! Screw'em ... Cheers, Unc

Hours? Ron...it's going to take up to 185 days to process a permit!

Jim

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From current law:

16 USC CHAPTER 1B - ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES PROTECTION

(1) The term "archaeological resource" means any material

remains of past human life or activities which are of

archaeological interest, as determined under uniform regulations

promulgated pursuant to this chapter. Such regulations containing

such determination shall include, but not be limited to: pottery,

basketry, bottles, weapons, weapon projectiles, tools, structures

or portions of structures, pit houses, rock paintings, rock

carvings, intaglios, graves, human skeletal materials, or any

portion or piece of any of the foregoing items. Nonfossilized and

fossilized paleontological specimens, or any portion or piece

thereof, shall not be considered archaeological resources, under

the regulations under this paragraph, unless found in

archaeological context. No item shall be treated as an

archaeological resource under regulations under this paragraph

unless such item is at least 100 years of age.

(g) Removal of arrowheads located on ground surface

Nothing in subsection (d) of this section shall be deemed

applicable to any person with respect to the removal of arrowheads

located on the surface of the ground.

(3) No penalty shall be assessed under this section for the

removal of arrowheads located on the surface of the ground.

Sec. 470kk. Savings provisions

(a) Mining, mineral leasing, reclamation, and other multiple uses

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to repeal, modify, or

impose additional restrictions on the activities permitted under

existing laws and authorities relating to mining, mineral leasing,

reclamation, and other multiple uses of the public lands.

(b) Private collections

Nothing in this chapter applies to, or requires a permit for, the

collection for private purposes of any rock, coin, bullet, or mineral

which is not an archaeological resource, as determined under

uniform regulations promulgated under section 470bb(1) of this title.

© Lands within chapter

Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to affect any land other

than public land or Indian land or to affect the lawful recovery,

collection, or sale of archaeological resources from land other

than public land or Indian land.

__________________________________________________________

Here are the "Uniform regulations"

__________________________________________________________

From 43 CFR

PART 7--PROTECTION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

Subpart A--Uniform Regulations

(4) The following material remains shall not be considered of

archaeological interest, and shall not be considered to be

archaeological resources for purposes of the Act and this part, unless

found in a direct physical relationship with archaeological resources as

defined in this section:

(i) Paleontological remains;

(ii) Coins, bullets, and unworked minerals and rocks.

_____________________________________________

Meteorites are mentioned nowhere in any law or regulation.

Meteorites do not fit any definition of ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCE in any law, regulation or science.

Rocks and minerals are specifically exempted from regulation under the Antiquities Act, the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and the FLPMA.

____________________________________________

Conclusion...

The BLM is blowing smoke up your A**.

Clay, you need to look at a few court cases....

1. Old Woman Meteorite, Ca.

2. Willemette (spelling), Or.

You should probably discuss this with the head person. She is receptive and responsive.

Jim

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Clay, you need to look at a few court cases....

1. Old Woman Meteorite, Ca.

2. Willemette (spelling), Or.

You should probably discuss this with the head person. She is receptive and responsive.

Jim

Read them several times Jim. Neither case addresses federal ownership of meteorites and neither case gives the BLM or DOI ownership or control of meteorites.

The often cited but never quoted Old Woman case never addressed ownership or control. It was about whether the Secretary of DOI could issue a permit without going through the permitting process.

Here was the issue before the 9th Circuit Court.

The State and the museum contend that the court had jurisdiction and that their complaints stated the following claims based on the manner in which the Secretary of the Interior authorized the Smithsonian to remove the meteorite. 1) The Secretary violated the Antiquities Act by failing to notify other museums of the meteorite's existence. 2) The Secretary violated the regulations issued under the Act, 43 C.F.R. § 3.1 et seq., because no valid application was made by the Smithsonian. 3) The Secretary violated the Federal Land Policy and Management Act by failing to consult with state and local officials. 4) The Secretary violated the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551 et seq., and the museum's Fifth Amendment right to due process because no hearing was held. 5) The Secretary violated the museum's Fifth Amendment right to equal protection by contacting only the Smithsonian about the meteorite. The State and the museum also contend that the denial of their motions for a preliminary injunction was based on an error of law.

Ownership was never an issue at any stage of that case.

BLM is just blowing smoke. You might want to consider the source of your information.

Here is a link to the decision. See for yourself that ownership was never the issue. It was all about the permit to study. Not a thing in there about the government owning meteorites.

http://ftp.resource....18.F2d.618.html

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BLM is just blowing smoke. You might want to consider the source of your information.

What you cite makes sense, but unfortunately it is now how the Feds interpret it. Until another case is brought to court and properly presented we are stuck with meteorites being lumped into the Antiquities Act, regardless whether or not they are not mentioned, or interpreted as being excluded. Right now the BLM has the Federal statues on their side that allows them to blow smoke. I've seen a Federal investigation, indictment, and imprisonment first hand and nowhere along the process did anything have to make sense; quite to the contrary, in several instances they outright lied, made up information, and presented ridiculous assumptions as cold, hard facts.

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Screw'm,ifn' ya ain't caught and prostituted jus' screw'm-John :2mo5pow: and no not mispelled

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Mike you are completely correct about fighting the feds...many of them will do anything to make a case...truth and justice has largely been lost from the American Way...sorry Superman...

fred

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I'm just wondering what the BLM could possibly cite anyone for.

There is no law or regulation that they could cite as a violation. There is no penalty. They may as well declare that no one can wear brown colored clothing while walking on public lands - legally it would be just as enforceable as their meteorite collecting permits.

It's obvious to me the reason the American Way has been lost is the constant social pressure to "go along to get along" rather than stand on one's rights. We've become a nation of wimps who will bow to any bully who happens by. You can blame that on the Feds or the BLM or whichever jerk is living in the White House but to find the true cause I think our forefathers would tell us to look in the mirror.

Fill out all the forms you want. Pay the fees and wait in anticipation for possible permission to do what you have always had a right to do. It's many times easier to fit in that way. We wouldn't want to offend our government employees or make them feel unwanted would we?

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There is the way things should be, then there is reality. The vast majority of America did not want "Obamacare," but it is now the law. The man with the guns and gold makes the rules. It is up to each individual to decide whether or not to follow them.

VOTE!

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Thanks, Terry and Clay, for the "facts". The statute and relating regulations are much more compelling in court than any bureaucratic "interpretation" made by agency officials.

I'll go on doing as I please, within the existing statues, and go to court if the bureaucrats object. The US Court of Claims has handed the administrative agencies their hats many times when they exceeded their statutory authority.

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The BLM is there to manage public lands that the public owns,the government does not own the land we do. So the public actually owns the surface estate not the government. So the way I see it the meteorites belong to us and they can go to LL. Bob

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Therefore, meteorites found on public lands are part of the BLM’s surface estate, belong to the federal government, and must be managed as natural resources in accordance with the FLPMA of 1976."

Looks Like We the People No Longer Own Anything?

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