Friday, February 10, 2012

ALAA ALERT - Clear Creek

The Clear Creek district of central California has long been a popular rockhound destination for a variety of beautiful and rare minerals, including some found nowhere else on earth, such as our California State Gem, benitoite.  Also found there:  jadeite boulders, green garnets, amethyst, cinnabar, neptunite, natrolite, swirling green plasma agate, and more.  It was also once a major source of asbestos, which was mined there for many years, and that's where problems have arisen.  Although the mines have been shut down, asbestos rock and fibers remain and can be kicked up by vehicles traveling the roads in this remote area.  As a result, the entire area was shut down to vehicular travel and various studies have been conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency.  Some believe, however, that any danger to a casual collector traveling in the area for just a day or two of rockhounding is minimal, and there's a move to have the area reopened--not just for rockhounds, but for hunters, off-road enthusiasts, and others.  Shirley Leeson is an officer of the American Lands Access Association (ALAA), a lobbying branch of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, and OGMS has a society affiliation with ALAA.  Shirley has issued the following alert.....

CORVA has a meeting on February 22nd with the new State Director of the BLM, along with his Associate State Director and Deputy State Director. There are a lot of issues, but I think we can get some traction on Clear Creek, and defend the right of rockhounders to access Clear Creek.

We've started a petition that we will present to them showing them all the people who want Clear Creek reopened.

Please send this to everyone on your email lists  - we need thousands of signature to make a difference.

Send this link out far and wide:

If you’re concerned about Clear Creek, and you and your club and your friends want to help, we have time sensitive  information below….please help.  YOU can make a difference.  Do it now.
Shirley Leeson, ALAA
Rockhound Activist