Please Note: BLM Links may not currently work. The BLM is re-building their websites and there are some minor problems to be worked out. When the websites are working the ALAA Links will also be updated to the new website information.
Secretary Zinke has requested public comments on any and all DOI regulations. This is a fantastic opportunity for the public to speak up about any regulation in any DOI division. Just follow the link, click on the comment now button next to the department that oversees the regulation you are commenting on and and make your comments. Link to Department of the Interior (DOI)
Review of National Monument Designations.. The Secretary of the Interior (Secretary) shall conduct a review of all Presidential designations or expansions of designations under the Antiquities Act made since January 1, 1996, where the designation covers more than 100,000 acres, where the designation after expansion covers more than 100,000 acres, or where the Secretary determines that the designation or expansion was made without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders, to determine whether each designation or expansion conforms to the policy set forth in section 1 of this order. Read the Executive Order - Hyperlink below.
If you would like to submit comments on the Bears Ears National Monument or one of the other National Monuments under review, please go to https://www.regulations.gov/ and enter “doi-2017-0002-0001 ” in the Search bar.
July 26, 2017 ~ Seventeen members of Congress unite and sign a letter to Secretary Zinke on the required review of National Monuments. Included are recomendations from these Congressional Members. This letter may have an affect on all Rockhounds in all 50 states. Read the letter by clicking here. (PDF)
Regulatory Reform - BLM2.0 may be going down in flame! - March 3, 2017
2.0 = 0 President Trump took the final step in nullifying the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) updated planning rule (2.0) when he signed H.J.Res.44. This planning rule was finalized in the closing days of the Obama Administration and caused quite a stir among many western states. So much so that six western states filed suit against the rule because they felt it would “severely impair their ability to work with BLM on future planning and management issues.”
2.0 was criticized as a Washington top down planning rule that would diminish the role of state and local governments in the land management process. Passage of H.J Res.44 by both the House and the Senate reflected this concern.
Secretary Zinke was present for the signing ceremony as were several state governors. For BLM it is now back to square one. No one knows exactly what the agency will do next in terms of rewriting a planning rule especially since they are still waiting for a new Director to be named. Meantime, Mike Nedd, a BLM career employee, has been named as Acting Director.
The Mining Law allows for the enactment of state laws governing location and recording to mining claims and sites that are consistent with Federal law. The Federal regulations implementing the Mining Law, including fee schedules, are found at Title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) in Groups 3700 and 3800.
For those of you who live east of the Rockies and don't think you have concerns about using Forests to either collect in or go through to get to your collecting sites....think again. These forests are writing or have already written Travel Plans for each of them and the closure of roads throughout is stunning. And this only covers U.S. Forests, we are NOT talking about state forests which is a whole different problem. And don't forget all the states that have seashores....this is becoming another problem on what you can pick up on the beaches of each state.
Stay informed and let us know if there are problems....we can't police all areas, you as ALAA members need to get involved.
Shirley Leeson, President ALAA
The following PDF files contain the Forests by State which are creating or revising their Forest Travel Management Plans (TMP). Click on the Forest to read the TMP
S.33 - Improved National Monument Designation Process Act - A bill to provide for congressional approval of national monuments and restrictions on the use of national monuments, to establish requirements for the declaration of marine national monuments, and for other purposes.
H.R. 1489: - MAST Act - To amend title 54, United States Code, to provide for congressional approval of national monuments and restrictions on the use of national monuments, to establish requirements for declaration of marine national monuments, and for other purposes.
There is a proposal that redefines federal authority over the water--and thus the lands--of the United States. Essentially, a takeover of all land in the United States. This proposal has been in the works since at least October, 2006.
This includes private land - Even Your Back Yard! If you have a puddle in your back yard, the EPA can come in and "manage' it and most likely will try! It may be to late!
ALRA - EPA Corps of Engineers Wetlands Jurisdiction Urgent Action Required Click here for our latest email: June 18, 2014
," It amounts to the federal abolition of private property and property rights. Land is being overlaid with multiple layers of federal control. Water is just one. Others include endangered species listings, air quality, water quality, so-called "national" parks/monuments/grasslands, regional plans, etc. The cumulative effect is that any land use or development will have to comply with the laws, rules, and regulations promulgated by multiple federal agencies in addition to the local codes already in place. Feudalism will have been restored, worldwide.", Kirk F. MacKenzie - Defend Rural America
Don't let Land Managers close the access to your favorite collecting sites without hearing from you, the users of Public Lands. Get involved, join ALAA and make the voice of the Rockhound stronger and louder. Take responsibility for use of your land.
Our Friends at Americans for Responsible Recreational Access (ARRA) have put together another quiz. While their first quiz was intended to be a quick fun diversion that could be shared with friends, the quiz below is designed to allow you to test your knowledge of the National Monument designation process.
The Antiquities Act of 1906 grants the President unilateral authority to designate areas of public lands as National Monuments. While it seems clear that the original intent of the law was to provide Presidents with the ability to designate specific landmarks or objects, plus as small a portion of surrounding land as practicable, several Presidents have used the authority to designate large areas. It is almost certain that OHV use will be restricted in any area designated as a National Monument as anti-access proponents view monument designations as a way to functionally manage an area as wilderness without going through the formal wilderness designation process. Last session a leaked Department of Interior memo outlined the Obama Administration’s consideration of designating up to 13 million acres of public lands in 11 western states as National Monuments. As a result numerous bills have been introduced to restrict National Monument designations. Wyoming was previously exempted from the Antiquities Act by statute.
"On March 30, 2009, the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act (PRPA) became law when President Barack Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act (OPLMA) of 2009, Public Law 111-011. P.L. 111-011, Title VI, Subtitle D on Paleontological Resources Preservation (known by its popular name, the PRPA) (123 Stat. 1172; 16 U.S.C. 470aaa) requires the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to manage and protect paleontological resources on Federal land using scientific principles and expertise. The PRPA includes specific provisions addressing management of these resources by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the National Park Service (NPS), the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR), the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) of the Department of Agriculture. " Recently, the USDA Forest Service published their proposed Rule which serves to implement the already existing PRPA of 2009. The official Federal Government USDA Forest Service comment period on this proposed Implementation Rule ends July 22, 2013 (unless extended) ANYONE (yes you) can provide comments to this proposed implementation as the PRPA applies to only Forest Service Lands. It appears that the companion proposed Implementation Rule from the Bureau of Land Management has yet to be published. Thanks to Alan Goldstein and Sandra Carlson (Paleo Society President) for bringing this to our attention via the Paleolist serve.
To read the latest on Fee Free Public Lands Just click on the logo to the right. This issue for March 2015 is Moving Forward With Sensible Recreation Fee Legislation.......................................
HR 4089 has passed the House and is now waiting for a vote in the Senate
An Observation... There is no mention of Rockhounding as a Recreational Activity in either of the two above Bills. If Rockhounds do not speak up and get involved in the Legislation and Land Management Processes, they to will certainly go the way of the dinosauer, the California Grissley Bear and Open Public Lands.
State-by-State InfoAccess Issues, Public Meetings, Contact Information. all this and details about the National Forests in your state on ARRA's comprehensive state pages.
An agreement proposed by attorneys on both sides of a federal lawsuit involving mineral rights on the Allegheny National Forest would throw out a settlement agreement between the U.S. Forest Service and a group of environmentalists, and resolve most of the suit in favor of the oil interests. Read More: Mineral Rights also affect Rockhounds.
LACK OF SUITABILITY AS WILDERNESS The agencies (BLM & USFS) have identified many reasons why these lands are unsuitable for Wilderness including but not limited to:
Lack of Wilderness Qualities
Military Over flights
Existing Mining Claims within the area
Adjacent to existing communities
Difficulty in signing and patrolling
Difficulty in fencing
Existing historical motorized use
"Hardrock mining reform a tough sell despite activist outcry" (Greenwire at The New York Times, 3/16/11) "Efforts ... to overhaul federal oversight of the hardrock mining industry may fall short despite bipartisan agreement that some reforms are overdue. The president's budget blueprint would enact a new fee on hardrock mineral production to help pay for reclamation of abandoned hardrock mines" and set royalties for companies mining materials such as gold, copper, lead and uranium." The 1872 General Mining Act "allows hardrock mining companies to take minerals without paying royalties to the government." Read More
The federal law governing locatable minerals is the General Mining Act of 1872 and was approved on May 10, 1872. This law declared all valuable mineral deposits in land belonging to the United States to be free and open to exploration and purchase. This law provides citizens of the United States the opportunity to explore for, discover, and purchase certain valuable mineral deposits on federal lands that are open for mining location and patent (open to mineral entry). (My Public Lands Tumblr)
Click here to read more about BLM’s mineral program.