[meteorite-list] New BLM Rules

From: Jim Wooddell <jimwooddell_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 21 Sep 2012 10:36:38 -0700
Message-ID: <CAH_zgwFUwdknkJUz3T+LV1pd-QUrSb9ZYxq-jz0bxGm7LaCL4w_at_mail.gmail.com>

To the best of my knowledge and from my point of view, the federal
government has never impeded the recovery of meteorites. People have
always assumed 25 pounds per day based on other rules. No one really
had any issue. There has always been internet chatter about whether
it was legal or not, stories that could not be proved. Everyone knew
at anytime they could be challenged in regards to ownership (and still
can be).
So, to say more, not less, is not really correct.
These new rules did clarify the detector use issue.

So, a question begs..... How many professional meteorite hunters are
in the USA that actively hunt for profit??? I can count the ones I
know on my hands. How many showed up to the recent fall, Battle
Mountain? According the nice report from Larry Atkins, what was
it...about 16 people total? So the BLM is doing this for a few
handfuls of people! At it's best it is silly and an absolute waste of
taxpayer money. I am guessing there are less than 200 "professional"
hunters in the USA and the real number is probably less than 50.

To think this is an issue that derserves national action is nuts.
They can not enforce the rules they have now clearly, and they are
just piling on more oppressive rules they can not enforce! And if
they nail the wrong guy, it would go to the highest court of the land
and likely get thrown out.
The Old Women case was a joke and not handled well at all by the defense.

Kind regards!


On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 8:18 AM, Peter Scherff <peterscherff at rcn.com> wrote:
> Hi,
> My understanding of meteorite ownership law in the USA is that the
> meteorite belongs to the land owner. In the Old Woman case the government
> exercised its right to meteorites found on government land. Meteorite
> hunters have been lucky that the government has not claimed all finds. I
> think that the government would have been within the law to do so. So this
> new rule gives meteorite hunters an clear right to keep the meteorites they
> find (up to 10 pounds). This rule gives meteorite hunters more not less
> rights. It all depends on your point of view.
> Thanks,
> Peter
> -----Original Message-----
> From: meteorite-list-bounces at meteoritecentral.com
> [mailto:meteorite-list-bounces at meteoritecentral.com] On Behalf Of Jeff
> Grossman
> Sent: Thursday, September 20, 2012 7:06 PM
> To: meteorite-list at meteoritecentral.com
> Subject: Re: [meteorite-list] New BLM Rules
> All,
> For those of you who don't know, I contribute to this list as a private
> citizen, but I work at NASA headquarters, with duties that extend to
> oversight of curation and research programs. I will be reading all posts on
> the list pertaining to this issue.
> Jeff
> On 9/20/2012 6:37 PM, Jim Wooddell wrote:
>> I have been in communications with the BLM on and off all day. Art,
>> thank for the HTML reminder as I have been trying to post all day and
>> thought I had this set correctly!
>> Here is the first response:
>> Dear Mr. Wooddell: The application fee is dependent on the time it
>> takes for BLM to process the project proposal in the application. This
>> would be determined by the field office manager after the application
>> is submitted and reviewed. These fees would be estimated for you prior
>> to the processing of the application, and would include monitoring
>> fees as well. The permit application/ permit is 2920-1 attached; fees
>> would be on page 2 when a permit is issued. Some examples of what the
>> fees would be can be found on the following web site and one example
>> is attached. http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/more/lands.html You
>> mentioned a "nation-wide" permit in your email. BLM issues permits on
>> a local level, and at maximum could be on a state-wide level, for
>> lands that we administer in the Western States. Thank you,Lucia Kuizon
>> ---
>> I am not going to post their second response but they are now aware of
>> some issues that may or may not change the wording.
>> I feel it is imperative for NASA to reach out and support hunters on
>> this issue in regards to the need to hunt fresh falls immediately,
>> without delay of some permit process. While they are claiming media
>> sparked this, most of us knew it was coming, just did not know when or
>> how the wording would be.
>> The current fee structure is twofold. 1. The application / permit.
>> 2. The monitoring fee. Currently the fees will range from ~$100 to
>> ~$1100 for commercial hunters....those seeking profit. This is based
>> on their current cost recovery methods. I have both the application
>> and the fee schedule as example based on the above response. If
>> anyone wants them shoot me a private email.
>> The big issue for hunters is that this will be based on a regional
>> level where each district supervisor may or may not have special
>> conditions, etc. Bottom line is that it will be required to have
>> permits in different hunting areas and could greatly increase overhead
>> for professional hunters. If hunters have to wait for a permit
>> process during a meteor event that produces meteorites, I feel science
>> looses.
>> Regards,
>> Jim
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Jim Wooddell
jimwooddell at gmail.com
Received on Fri 21 Sep 2012 01:36:38 PM PDT

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