Wednesday, December 29, 2010

We're Losing Access To Public Lands!!

If you happen to be in the southwest during January, please stop by.
ALAA, the American Lands Access Association is having a meeting in beautiful down town Quartzsite:

Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 9am (MountainTime). 
The meeting will be held at the Senior Center on Moon Mountain Road.  
ALL are welcome to attend.
It appears that the desert will be changing and not for the good of the collectors.  No matter what activities you enjoy, it appears that large tracts of land will be taken for solar projects and thus we will loose a number of collecting areas.

This meeting should be of interest to all rockhounds and to anyone who recreates on and uses public lands. The purpose of this meeting is for outreach to rockhounds and the public at Quartzsite;  to let them know about ALAA and what we do.   It is to let Rockhounds and the public know the legislative and regulatory challenges and issues facing all of us and how they can and should be involved. 

Your voice and support are needed as we try to work with the "powers that be" on a solution that will satisfy everyone.

YOU can help. Please attend if you're in the area.

More info on the ALAA website:

Monday, December 27, 2010

Saying Goodbye to 2010 - Looking To The Future!

Outgoing CFMS President passes the gavel to in coming President Jim Brace-Thompson
Photo Credit: John Martin

Excerpt: PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE from the December Issue of the C.F.M. S. Newsletter

Grow the Federation!
By Fred Ott

As this is my last newsletter article as President, I’d like to share some observations that I’ve made during the year.

Past: Our Federation exists today based upon a solid foundation of successes constructed by our predecessors. We owe each of them a debt of gratitude that can best be expressed by building upon past efforts and successes and growing our individual Societies and the Federation. Imagine starting your own business and building it up to be a very successful venture, only to have it fail shortly after ‘turning the reins’ over to someone else; what a disappointment! Conversely, there is no greater satisfaction than to have subsequent owners capitalize on the birth and growth of your business by bringing it to new heights. So, too, is it with our societies and the Federation. Not only should we ‘thank’ those who came before us; we need to show our sincerest appreciation by continuing their legacy.

Present:  I’ve found that members of most (if not all) societies are eager to learn new ideas and tools to make their jobs easier, our passion for rockhounding more fun and the shows more profitable. The challenge has
always been to develop a system of ‘sharing’ this information and I’m proud to say that we are well on our way of using the Internet, modern technology and the Federation meetings and conventions to do just that. The ‘key’ is constant communications. When gathering email addresses for our new database, I was often surprised to find societies for which there was no way to contact them except by US postal mail. The information on the Federation’s website was either inaccurate or incomplete; all the more reason to capitalize on the new technologies!

Future:  Looking ahead, I am  very excited about the future of our Federation! We are indeed fortunate to have incoming officers and directors who are talented, motivated and energized to make their contributions and continue leading us to future successes. Please give them your support at every opportunity.

Thank you for allowing me to be the CFMS President this year.

Remember: rockhounding is MORE than a hobby; it’s a PASSION!
Fred Ott, President 2010

There are several regional Federations - find the one that is nearest to you and get involved - links in the right hand column.
For more info on the AFMS go to:

Thursday, December 9, 2010

America’s Great Outdoors - Join the Conversation

Do you know about the project from the Department of the Interior to get Americans involved in the issues facing us all - environment, land access, land use, regulations, etc

Well - here is your opportunity to become part of the solution - Make your voice heard - but keep it positive please there is already enough ranting on the site. Tell the government what you would like to see and explain the importance of public access:

Americans have a proud tradition of working together - from the ground-up - to conserve farmland and open space for future generations, restore rivers and streams, protect areas for hiking and biking, preserve beaches and coastlines, conserve wildlife habitat for fishing and hunting, and restore the cultural and historic sites that tell America’s story. In fact, community-driven efforts to conserve America’s land, water, and wildlife are a major reason why we are blessed with the parks, refuges, forests, and open spaces that we enjoy today.

Starting with the White House Conference on the Great Outdoors on April 16, President Obama has launched a national dialogue about conservation in America. As part of this dialogue, we are bringing together ranchers, farmers and forest landowners, sportsmen and women, state and local government leaders, tribal leaders, public-lands experts, conservationists, youth leaders, business representatives, and others to learn about some of the smart, creative ways communities are conserving outdoor spaces.

We hope you will join the conversation about America’s Great Outdoors. We want to hear from you about the places you love, your community’s efforts to protect them, and how we can better support modern-day land and water conservation efforts happening in communities across the country.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Omnibus Federal Lands Bill - AGAIN?

There has been talk again about the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill...

One blog reports....

Please, call your US Senators (and others) at least once a day for the next two weeks. Their phones, faxes and e-mail machines must not stop ringing. When you reach their office, ask to speak to the staffer handling the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill being finalized by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

Here’s what you can say:

  • You oppose the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill that will likely include the LWCF Trust Fund (S 3663):please vote against it.
  • You oppose the Corps and EPA Wetlands Land Grab (HR 5088 and S 787): please vote against it.
  • They must filibuster, place a hold on, or otherwise delay the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill for careful bipartisan consideration in the next session of Congress.
  • Respectfully tell them that you will look to see how they voted and if they haven’t already been retired, their vote on the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill will determine how you vote in the next election.

The Omnibus vote could come as early as this week or it may be delayed until next week or even later. Please forward this message to your entire e-mail list.

This one also boasts one of the more complete listings of legislators contact info!

For info on whether your legislator voted in favor of the 2009 Bill see this site! I think you will be surprised to see that while we can't agree on taxes or health care - grabbing land from the public seems to have bi-partisan support!