Feb 23, 2009, 03:39 PM
Oregon Gold Hunters
S22 Bill, END OF ROCKHOUNDING
This is just outrageous and needs to be stopped, do they realize how many people they will be making outlaws? They are already trying to take gold prospecting away from us. whats next. please read this
Collect a rock, lose your car
Ominous forfeiture provisions in new bill restricting use of federal land
WASHINGTON – A land management bill that swept through the U.S. Senate last month and is headed for a House vote this week punishes rock collectors and paleontologists with arrest and expropriation of their cars and other equipment for even unknowingly disturbing fossils on public land, say critics.
In the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, a "forfeiture" provision would let the government confiscate "all vehicles and equipment of any person" who digs up or removes a rock or a bone from federal land that meets the bill's broad definition of "paleontological resource," says a report by Jon Berlau of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.
"The seizures could take place even before a person and even if the person didn't know they were taking or digging up a 'paleontological resource," writes Berlau. "And the bill specifically allows the 'transfer of seized resources' to 'federal or non-federal' institutions, giving the government and some private actors great incentive to egg on the takings."
Tracie Bennitt, president of the Association of Applied Paleontological Sciences, is protesting the bill's vague language and severe penalties.
"We can visualize now a group of students unknowingly crossing over an invisible line and ending up handcuffed and prosecuted," she wrote to members of Congress.
Subtitle D of the bill called the "Paleontological Resources Preservation Act" would make it illegal to "excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage, or otherwise alter or deface any paleontological resources located on Federal land" without special permission from the government.
"Paleontological resource" is defined in the bill as "any fossilized remains, traces, or imprints of organisms, preserved in or on the earth's crust, that are of paleontological interest and that provide information about the history of life on earth." Penalties for violations include up to five years in jail.
Berlau believes picking up rocks could be interpreted as a violation of the law since most would fit the broad definition under the law.
The forfeiture provision is effective before a trial and conviction, making the defendant guilty until proven innocent, Berlau suggests.
Berlau believes the House will take up a vote on the bill this week. He is urging Americans to contact representatives before the bill, known both as S. 22 and the "Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009" is approved, as expected, and heads to the White House for President Obama's signature
Now, im not one for violence, but **** this FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.
Feb 23, 2009 03:39 PM
Feb 23, 2009, 08:55 PM
Re: S22 Bill, END OF ROCKHOUNDING
I have looked at the propaganda page for this bill and what I see is once again the forestry service will decide who gets the permits and who won't. Residing in Florida under the crown of Ryan Wheeler we all know who gets the permits ( and it's not the American tax paying citizen !!) The last thing any government land management group needs is more power to exclude citizens, we all need to help each other or we will all be eliminated one niche group at a time, therefore I have just wrote my rep. and expressed my concerns with S.22 Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.