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CONSERVING 30% OF AMERICA’S LANDS AND OCEAN BY 2030......   Not just BLM and USFS Land, All of American Land!   January 27, 2021  (This action will affect Rockhounding across the country!)


S. 1271: FEND Off Fentanyl Act - A bill to impose sanctions with respect to trafficking of illicit fentanyl and its precursors by transnational criminal organizations, including cartels, and for other purposes.

Yes, these two bill have very little to do regarding Recreational Rockhounding. Please take a look at the proposed bills and make up your own mind.  It may not have any effect on your collecting but it could have an impact on your health and safety while roaming in the deserts of the Southwest at your favorite collecting sites. These bills have to do with stopping the Drug and Human Trafficking across our boarders  So, please read and if you agree please contact your elected officials and encourage them to support this bill and help get it passed into law.

H.R. 3333: FEND Off Fentanyl Act  - To impose sanctions with respect to trafficking of illicit fentanyl and its precursors by transnational criminal organizations, including cartels, and for other purposes.

H.R. 3397: To require the Director of the Bureau of Land Management to withdraw a rule of the Bureau of Land Management relating to conservation and landscape health.

Please contact your elected  Congressional Representative and ask them to support and vote for this bill. Without the passage of this bill the BLM will be able to restrict Recreational Rockhounding on any Public Lands without any congressional approval or oversight.


The legislation below, if enacted, may or may not have an affect on Recreational Rockhounding...

H.R. 95: Increasing Public Access to Recreation Act

Call or Write Congress

H.R. 209: To improve the permitting process for mining on Federal land, and for other purposes.

  • Status of H.R. 209  (Introduced January 9, 2023)
  • Text of H.R. 209 (PDF)   (Text not available as of January 20, 2023)
  • Prognosis:

H.R. 99: LIST Act of 2023   ("Less Imprecision in Species Treatment Act of 2023")


Fossil Collecting could become a Fossil in itself.   Introduced June 17, 2021   Learn More

What Legislation is in your State Legislature? Find your state and check it out.

10 Largest Wilderness Areas In The Lower 48 (Click to Access)

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.

Perdue Statement on House Passage of Resilient Federal Forests Act 1-11-2017

Notice of Intent To Amend Land Use Plans Regarding Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Prepare Associated Environmental Impact Statements or Environmental Assessments  Posted 10-11-2017

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)


Access to Public Lands: The Effects of Forest Service Road Closures - June 26, 2018 -- Watch the House Committee Testimony

U.S. Supreme Court Rules ESA Critical Habitat Must be Actual Listed Species Habitat.......

In a big departure from previous interpretation of the federal Endangered Species Act, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that critical habitat designated for a threatened or endangered species must be actual habitat for that species, not simply adjacent habitat or areas that may be suitable for habitat. Currently, critical habitat may include areas that are not occupied by a listed species, but may be designated if the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determines the areas are “essential for conservation of the species.”  The ruling not only limits the Service’s ability to designate critical habitat in the future, but also opens up challenges to past designations that have economic impacts on the regulated community.  The ruling can be viewed on the Court’s website here.

Interior Releases 2018’s Final List of 35 Minerals Deemed Critical to U.S. National Security and the Economy

The Department of the Interior published a list of 35 mineral commodities considered critical to the economic and national security of the United States. This list will be the initial focus of a multi-agency strategy due in August this year to implement President Donald J. Trump's Executive Order to break America's dependence on foreign minerals. Read the News Release......  (USGS news release)

The Bureau of Land Management handbooks provide detailed instructions for implementing the policy and direction described in the BLM manual sections. Handbooks provide specific detailed instructions, techniques, procedures, practices, and processes. Handbooks do not contain broad objectives, policies or assignment of responsibilities. BLM handbooks are considered part of the manual, with the same authority.

BLM Handbooks Website

The BLM maintains 38 chartered advisory committees located in the West. These include 30 statewide and regional Resource Advisory Councils; 6 advisory committees affiliated with specific sites on the BLM’s National Conservation Lands; and two others, including the National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board and the North Slope Science Initiative Science Technical Advisory Panel.  

Just "CLICK" Here to find a resource advisory council, committee or panel near you.

Travel and Transportation Handbook (PDF) Posted May 5, 2018

BLM Maps (Posted April 1, 2018)

BLM Pending Publication Federal Register Documents on Public Inspection Posted December 2017

BLM Website  -  New Website  Posted 4-14-2017    (Check States for local Websites)

BLM National Contacts  -  New Website  Posted 4-14-2017

BLM Eastern States  -  New Website  Posted 4-14-2017

BLM Eastern States Contacts  New Website  Posted 4-14-2017

Contact the Department of the Interior (DOI)  Added 4-14-2017

A Citizen's Guide to the NEPA- Having Your Voice Heard (PDF) Posted 4-24-2016

Public Lands Legislation in Tennessee and Mississippi, California, Commonwealth of Virginia, Arizona, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, Oregon, and Utah.  It is not just the West anymore.  Posted March 14, 2016

This Land Is No Longer Your Land

Presidential Executive Order on a Federal Strategy to Ensure Secure and Reliable Supplies of Critical Minerals

About Mining and Minerals - BLM

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.


Unauthorized Use

Fossil Issues and Public Lands Posted 1-14-2017

BLM Activities for the Southeastern United States

US Forest Service information New Page - March 2015

NEW 2017: USFS Mining Regulations - A Guide for Recreational Rockhounds

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, Past 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


Learn About Public Land Access Issues   Just click on the State of Inertrest (From ARRA)

S. 47: A bill to provide for the management of the natural resources of the United States, and for other purposes.

NOTE:  This bill will turn WSA into Wilderness Areas and may affect Access for Recreational Rockhounding. It could have an access effect to the Wiley's Well Area in California.


National Monuments

 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.

Take ARRA Quiz to Test Your Knowledge!

Rockhound Soap Box - National Monuments September 1, 2016 

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.


CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress National Monuments and the Antiquities Act    (PDF)   Posted July 13, 2015

Almost Everything You Wanted to Know About National Monuments and Menorials, but didn't know where to go or who to ask!

New California National Monuments 


Wilderness Aeas in California          Posted May 27, 2016


Take Action - Make your voice be heard.

58% of all Federal Public Lands Are Already Under Restrictive Designations. Here are the Shocking Numbers     By J. Spivack, February 28, 2013


On-Line copy of the U.S. Code.  Posted May 28, 2016

TITLE 16 > CHAPTER 23 >§ 1131. National Wilderness Preservation System

 New Link 2013:  The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (PDF),

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to open and view the following Links. Free download the latest version click on the icon at the left.

Did You Know?

The average U.S. household spent $2,912 on gasoline in 2012, or 4 percent of its before-tax income, according to the federal Energy Information Administration. 

NEPA Primer by Joanne Spivack - January 2013

State-by-State Info   Access 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.

The Library of Congress

                                                                             For a larger map Click here

 NEW LINK:  Public Lands Interpretive Association

NEW LINK:  Parks, Recreation Areas, Trails Bills

NEW LINK:  Bills Before The House Committee on Natural Resources

BIG Park Video - See it to believe it.  Windows Media Player must be installed.  For a free Download from Microsoft Just click on Windows Media Player above.

Background Information

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)

For more on  pending legislation see the individual states listings under Active Legislation

For more information on the Wilderness Act:  See United States Code Above   Title 16 Chapter 23 pages 1131 -11136

Presidential Actions - Proclamations and Executive Orders

How to contact the President of the United States of America....

US and World Population Clock