The Collectors Rules and Code of Ethics
- Always utilize the safety equipment at all times. This includes the wearing of hard hats, eye protection, hard toe or steel toe shoes, and gloves.
- Respect both private and public property, and do no collecting on privately owned land without the owner’s permission. If the area is posted No Standing, No Parking, No Stopping, No Trespassing, No Anything…then don’t.
- Keep informed of all laws, rules, and regulations governing collecting on public lands, and observe them.
- Research, locate, and observe the boundary lines of property on which you plan to collect.
- Stay out of old mines.
- Use no firearms or blasting materials in collecting areas.
- Cause no willful damage to property of any kind – fences, buildings, signs, etc.
- Leave all gates as found. If open, leave open. If closed, then close them.
- Find out if there are any fire restrictions in effect. Build fires only in designated or safe places, and make sure that they are completely extinguished before leaving the area.
- Discard no burning material – matches, cigarettes, etc.
- Fill in any holes that you have dug or otherwise created by removal of rock material.
- Do non contaminate wells, creeks, or other water supplies.
- Cause no willful damage to collecting material, and take home only what you can reasonably use.
- Leave all collecting areas free of litter, regardless of how you found them.
- Cooperate with field trip leaders and those designated in authority in all collecting areas.
- Report to proper authorities any deposit of material on public lands which should be protected for the enjoyment of future generations.
- Appreciate and protect our heritage of natural resources.
- Do not dig under rock overhangs or ditches.
- Keep a first aid kit with you or in your vehicle.
- NO digging alone. Always have someone with you and let others know where you are and what time you expect to return.
- Keep plenty of water on hand and snacks, especially if you are diabetic or prone to sugar drops. Keep any and all medications you may need on hand.
- Do not stray from the collecting area as you may stray from the legal collection site.
- Always respect those who are around you.
- Do not enter caves, caverns or mines without proper guidance, safety equipment and permissions.
Collecting on BLM Managed Lands
A wide variety of rocks, minerals, and semi-precious gemstones are available for collecting on the million acres of lands managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Most BLM lands are open to rock collecting, and some areas have been specifically set aside for this purpose. There are collecting restrictions, and a BLM permit may be needed depending on the amount of material you collect, how you collect it, where or when you collect, and whether or not it is used commercially.
Historic Artifacts and Fossils
The Antiquities Act of 1906 and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 prohibits the excavation, collection, or destruction of any archaeological materials located on lands under federal jurisdiction. Vertebrate and other fossils of “recognized scientific interest” also are protected under the Antiquities Act. The indiscriminate removal of certain fossils could affect scientific and educational uses of public lands creating unfortunate gaps in scientific inquiry. Petroglyphs, human remains, dwellings, and artifacts of Native American cultures are protected by law because they are integral to the preservation of the cultural heritage of these ongoing traditions and also may provide important information concerning populations who lived here long ago. Uncontrolled removal could impact the cultural, scientific, and educational uses of these resources.