New law Meteorite Hunting is illegal

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Hi All

After finnaly getting a link to the Forest Service Web site with rockhounding rules for collecting meteorites. I sent it over to the Forest Service fellows that were telling me it's illegal. They just sent me this link and advised me the old link/web page was comming down. Apparently our new administation is putting a kabash on meteorite huntin /collecting. It will be interesting to follow the first challange to this ruling. Here's the new link which will be on all BLM/Forest Service sites.

Happy No Huntin John B.

Hows that change working out for you now??

PS it won't be long before nuggets are protected as well

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Hi John...The link you posted didn't work so I did some searching on the BLM (pronounced "BLAM", as in shooting our rights in the head)...I found this link Meteorites ...This is not a new law ... Meteorites are considered covered under the antiquities act by the bureaucrats and therefore they belong to the government ... This law was used to seize the famous "Old Woman Meteorite" from the prospectors who found it in the mid-1970's ... Also, the BLM has ruled that meteorites are not locatable minerals so a claim owner does not have the right to them (so the jerkoff ebay claim hawker from Wittman needs to amend his Threats portion of his ebay ads.)... This sucks, but it appears it's been sucking for nearly 40 years...That's one big suck ... Cheers, Unc

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Is that a misprint on the ARPA section? It says anything "10 years old or older". 10 years??!! Shouldn't that be 100 years?

Digger Bob

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Hi All

Thanks for correcting my link !! Digger Bob if you lived near our southern borders you would know that the 10 year limit in artifacts is an attempt to make our adjoining forests and BLM lands the new National Trash Heaps. With water bottles, back packs, clothes, cans, skivies and tons and tons of other assorted crap. These dummies like Raul Grahalva want to put a couple of our counties ( Pima and Santa Cruz) off limits to mineral entry and close off all access. Making a corridor for illegals by new wilderness areas along the I19 + I10 for thier unhindered passage all the way to Pheonix. Thank God for sherrif Joe !! Now their trying to cricify him ! Well meteorites for the time bieng are off limits on all public domain lands. It won't be too long before nuggets are protected for some horseshit reason. Happy Huntin John B.

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Here's a good one. Make sure you stay on the freaking paths...


Polished iron-nickel meteorite

In the United States, meteorites are the property of the person upon whose land they are found. If a meteorite is found on federal lands, then government officials consider it to belong to the government and, under an interpretation of the 1906 "Antiquities Act," meteorites found on federal lands belong to the Smithsonian Institution. National parks and public lands generally prohibit removal of rocks from them.

To report illegal collecting or vandalism call, 1-503-808-6596.

Please remember not to leave any modern day artifacts or human remains of your own (haul out your trash from remote areas), take only photographs and leave only footprints on designated paths.

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Is that a misprint on the ARPA section? It says anything "10 years old or older". 10 years??!! Shouldn't that be 100 years?

Digger Bob

Bob you are correct it should be 100 years according to the ARPA.


"Section 3

As used in this Act—

(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 Act. 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 an 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."


It can be found at

Scroll down until you see '16 U.S.C. 470bb, Definitions' in the left margin.

I think I'll email and ask them why the law states 100 years and their notice states 10 years.

I'll post the answer if I get one.

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I have found the section of the ARPA act that specifically states the 100 year rule. Theoretically, that could apply to square nails, having gone out of use around 1900.

But try as I may, I cannot find the law, act, or reference to the 50 year rule that I hear so much about. What act is that from? The 1906 or 1976? Or is it an amendment buried in some obscure add on?

Can someone find and post it so I can print it out and carry it with me in the field? Barring that, I'll write to may congressman and see if he can add a "rider" to one of Omaba's mandates to get it changed.

Digger Bob

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