ALAA Newsletters
News / Press Release
Public Service/Info
Active Access Issues
State Reps
ALAA Guestbook
ALAA Archives
ALAA Forum/Blog
Lapidary Info
Show Dates

To encourage people to join in and visit their public lands, NPLD is a fee-free day for all federal public lands and many state parks. Whether you volunteer on NPLD, enjoy some boating, hiking, fishing, or camping, or simply learn more about your public lands and the plants and wildlife that live there, we invite you to take this day to enjoy the great outdoors and celebrate the lands that give us so much.  September 30 and November 11-12: Fee-Free Days on BLM-managed Public Lands (National Parks and USFS September 30, 2017)

Please Note: BLM Links may not currently work.  The BLM is re-building their websites and there are some minor problems to be worked out.  When the websites are working the ALAA Links will also be updated to the new website information.

17 National Public Parks would charge a premium entry fee during their peak season, more than doubling the current cost of a single-visit entry to $70!

  • You Have A Voice - Are you willing to use it?  See how to use your voice here! (Western Slope No Fee Coalition)
  • The parks involved, along with their peak season when the increase would be in effect are:
  • May 1-September 30 for Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Denali National Park, Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon National Park, Grand Teton National Park, Olympic National Park, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Zion National Park 
  • June 1-October 31 for Acadia National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Shenandoah National Park 
  • January 1-May 31 for Joshua Tree National Park

We wanted to give you a reminder about the 2018 fee free days offered for recreation sites under the management of the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. While many parks, facilities and services associated with these agencies are free, some require a fee. Recreation fees, authorized by the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, enable federal land management agencies to reinvest in the management of various recreation sites.

  • January 15  - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    National Park Service/U.S. Forest Service
  • February 19 - Presidents Day
    U.S. Forest Service
  • April 21 - First Day of National Park Week
    National Park Service
  • June 9 - National Get Outdoors Day
    U.S. Forest Service
  • September 22 - National Public Lands Day
    National Park Service/U.S. Forest Service
  • November 11 - Veterans Day
    National Park Service
    U.S. Forest Service (11th and 12th)

Additional Info

 Current Desert Temperatures in the Southwest

Recreational Rockhounding on Public Lands - What is legal? Here is the Definition 

Contact the Department of the Interior (DOI) Added 4-14-2017

NEW: The Greater Sage-grouse NOT Listed as endangered Read the announcement - September 21, 2015

Urgent News:  Final Rule released for collecting Fossils in National Forrests Effective date is May 18, 2015

NEWAnalysis of DRECP on Rockhounding in California Deserts

NEW: Latest Information on Importing, Possession, Sale of African Elephant Ivory.  See Public Service/Info page.  August 1, 2015

                              Contact ALAA        

Support Club/Society Shows that Support ALAA

Every February, mobs of rockhounders, gem dealers, paleontologists, Native Americans, geologists and the just plain curious converge on Tucson, Arizona for the annual Gem & Mineral Show. More...

"Congress on Strike - Government Shutdown
Litter Runs Rampant on Public Lands 
'Rockhounds to the Rescue' and Saves the Landscape!"

Rockhounds from California, Washington, Oregon and Idaho gather in Quartzsite for winter activities and support the annual ALAA-BLM Public Land Litter Removal ProjectOnce again Rockhounds gather in Quartzsite, Arizona on January 21, 2018 to remove litter and trash from our public lands.  Though we were unable to have the on site support of the BLM due to the temporary Government Shutdown, the sixth annual Quartzsite ALAA- Rockhound Clean-Up took place on Gold Nugget Road just east of Quartzsite.  Though three tons of trash was not collected there was more trash than would fit in the only trailer that was available.  So, the trash was secured and stacked by the side of the road for later collection and transport by our BLM Partners to the appropriate disposal site.

It is a curious accumulation of trash we had to clean up.  I tried to stay away from the used diapers and "mystery liquid" plastic water bottles.  The piece of trash that confused me the most was the Lean Cuisine box (did someone have a microwave in their car?)  When I related what we did for the cleanup to someone that lived locally in Quartzsite they were very disturbed that all this dumping was going on just off the freeways. 
Susy Martin - ALAA Secretary

Shirley Leeson - ALAA Director, Past President ALAA, AFMS, CFMS and Rockhound AmbassadorIt's been a number of years since the ALAA group began picking up trash during the Quartzsite extravaganza each year in January.  We had a large group the first year and unfortunately it's dwindled to just a few this past year.  But when you think of the lack of publicity on our clean-up event I guess it's inevitable. In the past few years we had a group come down from the Northwest and they have been most welcome.  The BLM was closed due to a screw-up as usual in Washington DC, but we got the job done as best we could and once the offices were open again they promised to come out and haul away the trash we had gathered. 
 We'll be back next year, and hope we can get a larger contingent to help and Washington DC won't go and shut everything down again. You know, there's a special bond between the folks who come out and clean-up, it makes us all proud to do our small bit for the local BLM.  Bill Alexander, ranger and coordinator and John McDonald, Field Manager, Yuma BLM Office.                                Shirley Leeson - Past President ALAA, AFMS. CFMS

We need to have more people show up at the clean up. As you can tell from the pictures all that is there is most of the Executive board and a few of the Committee people and their spouses. You are in Quartzsite anyway waiting for the show to close so that you can move on to the Tucson show. So why not come out and help with the clean up while you are waiting to move on. – Lauren Williams – ALAA VP (Past President AFMS)

Hidemi Kira ALAA Director - NFSM Past PresidentMy wife, Tomoko, and I have been participating in this event from the second year and have always had a good time being with the people who came from other areas.  We feel that we are trying to make a good relationship with the BLM and to see that the public lands being cleaned.  It is a little sad the number of people showing up for the clean-up has been declining for these few years, so we need to advertise this event more heavily and far in advance. This event is always on the last day (Sun) of the QIA Show, so for the people who come to Quartzsite, please keep this in mind.  Hope to see more people coming next year!

I am hoping many of the rock clubs will make arrangements with the BLM in the area they go rockhounding and do the same thing.  You can designate maybe 1 or 2 hours of your time for cleaning before you start rockhounding.
Please check out:

ARE YOU WILLING TO DO A BLM/FORESTRY CLEAN-UP by Shirley Leeson ALAA Ambassador and  Past President  This is an article regarding the instructions for those who are willing to do the clean up and is written by Shirley Leeson.                                       Hidemi Kira ALAA Director, NFMS Past President

It is puzzling why some people think it’s ok to dump trash out on the desert. You name it, it’s out there. I guess they don’t “get it” or value that these are our Public Lands we all share. Fortunately Rockhounds do, who will always support the rockhound project H.E.L.P. (Help Eliminate Litter Please) and will leave all collecting areas devoid of litter, regardless of how found. This was one of the first things that really impressed me when I joined my first rock & gem club years ago. We had a good time together picking up trash.                             Jennifer Haley - President CFMS 2018

Lenora Smith - ALAA Director - NFMSYes, it's amazing to see all the TRASH that is dumped out where ever people decide to DUMP!  All the mountains and rocks are so beautiful all around Quartzsite and it is very sad to see that some people are so careless and unthinking.  Troy and I helped with the trash pickup last year and this year. It is good exercise and does get us out early.  We enjoy being with the group of people from ALAA and making that area clean of trash!
We do need to advertise the event more!  Make sure it is advertised in all the Club Rock and Gem Bulletin's in November before people leave for Arizona and of course advertise the meeting and the clean up in the ALAA Bulletin and Web Site in November.

Maybe some signs would help as you come off the interstate by the BLM, such as "NO DUMPING OF TRASH ALLOWED and the violation if it is done. Also I noticed that the pictures of the clean up were taken by John Martin and he isn't in any of the pictures.  Next year we will have to get him in the picture also! Thanks. Lenora Smith, ALAA Director, NFMS

Thank you to all of the Rockhounds who made this year’s Quartzsite area Public Land Clean up a success. We look forward to seeing more Rockhounds and concerned Citizens in 2019.   American Lands Access Association

ARE YOU WILLING TO DO A BLM/FORESTRY CLEAN-UP by Shirley Leeson ALAA Ambassador and  Past President


IVORY and ROCKHOUNDS (See H.R.226 1-12-2017)


"Congress has never given us the tools to fight"

I testified at the U.S. House Legislative field hearings in Billings about a year ago. Doc Hastings was the chair. (House Natural Resource Committee). About the last question that was asked of the panel I sat on was from Rep. Hastings. He asked 'it seems you and your organizations are always on the defensive, who don't you go on the offense?'

I raised my hand and he called on me. "Rep Hastings, the problem is you have never given us the tools. "You gave the environmental groups the CLEAN AIR ACT, THE CLEAN WATER ACT, THE EQUAL ACCESS TO JUSTICE ACT, THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT, THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT, THE FOREST AND LAND MANAGEMENT ACT, THE WILDERNESS ACT, but you have failed in giving us any tools to fight these wrongs."  He (Doc Hastings) didn't have an answer..  Kerry White, Citizens for Balanced Use,               Gallatin Gateway, Montana

Interactive Map of Public Lands Use Fees

 "NEW PAGE" - Rockhound Safety in the Field and Lapidary Shop

New Page - Rock Pictures - Closed Collecting Sites

Links to Rockhounding and Lapidary Sites

  • "New rules for meteorite hunters unveiled" (Space.com, 10/11/12)
    BLM Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-182. "provides guidance to the BLM’s field office managers for administering the collection of meteorites on public lands in three 'use categories,' said Derrick Henry, a public affairs specialist for BLM in Washington, D.C. ... 'The policy recognizes that there is interest in collecting meteorites by hobbyists … but it also is recognition that there are science and commercial interests as well' ... It is the first time the BLM has formally addressed rules regarding collection of meteorites on public lands".
  • Rear More................
  • BLM Instruction Memorandum No. 2012-182
  • FAQ ~ Meteorite Collecting on Public Land  (PDF)

This Website is an informational website for Rockhounds containing information on current and proposed legislation and regulations.  It contains information of interest pertaining to the hobby of  collecting of rocks, minerals and fossils. It is continually in a state of being revised and tries to maintain the latest information on subjects of interest to the Rockhounding Community. If you, the user, know of any legislation, regulation or points of interest to Rockhounding. Please contact us with the information you feel is of interest and it will be investigated for posting.  Contact can be made though the following email addresses. webmaster@amlands or Contact ALAA Enjoy the Website and Thank You for your support.

As a non-profit, grassroots organization funded primarily by membership dues and donations, we greatly appreciate your support. Visit the Membership Page to fund our efforts to help preserve your collecting areas!

Like ALAA on FaceBook


Greater Sage-grouse Issues in Western US & Rockhounding..... Up-Date June 22, 2017


"ALAA advocates accessible and sustainable consumption of natural resources that comply with current laws and regulations on Federal and State Managed Public Lands by Amateur Rock, Mineral and Fossil collectors."

BLM ADVISORY COUNCILS - No Scheded meetings have been brought to our attention at this time.  Future meetings will be posted when available.                            Thank you for attending and keeping informed.

Government Websites of Interest to Rockhounding  ** NEW **

Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view most documents on this website.  Use the Adobe image at the left to download the free current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader from the Adobe website.

This Corporation is organized and shall be operated as a nonprofit corporation exclusively for the promotion of social welfare as that term is used in section 501(c) (4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or the corresponding provisions of any future federal income tax laws, with the specific purpose to promote and ensure the right of amateur collecting and recreational mining, and the use of public and private lands for educational and recreational purposes.

ALAA’s goal is to provide current information to the Rockhound Community on issues affecting access to existing and potential collecting sites. To provide advice and means to contact Public Land Managers and Legislators on actions affecting Recreational Collecting Activities of interest to the Rockhound Community.       ALAA has become an organization that is present wherever there are hobbyists and recreational users of our public lands whose interests and concerns are not being heard or are being jeopardized by proposed policy, regulation or legislation at the local, state and federal level.

The American Lands Access Association is dedicated to the protection of the rights of the casual collector of rocks, minerals and fossils.

 ALAA, the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and the 7 Regional Federations do not condone the collecting  of any type of specimens where collecting is against Federal, State or local laws, regulations, statues or ordnances.   Federation Members adhere to the AFMS Land Use Polices and the AFMS Code of Ethics while engaged in collecting of rocks, minerals or fossils.  The collecting of any vertebrae fossils on any federal lands is against federal law. The following is an account of one such incident. Read the Story

Like ALAA on FaceBook