_Rock Collecting Laws_

... the latest news regarding your collecting rights.

Your Rock Collecting is in Jeopardy: PLEASE HELP

posted Jan 27, 2012, 6:09 PM by Maplewood Admin   [ updated Feb 1, 2012, 3:21 PM ]

_Collection Legislation_

  • The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is proposing to prohibit rock collecting and surface artifact collecting on State Land under their supervision. The only person that could authorize any collection would be the Director of the WDFW.

The Proposed Amendment:

Revised Code of Washington
Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 232-12-251
Removal of minerals, wood and artifacts from department lands.

     "It is unlawful to remove petrified wood, minerals, fossils, wood products or artifacts from department lands unless such removal is authorized by the director."

This would effectively prohibit rock collecting on Washington State lands as well as collecting arrowheads found on the surface.  It also changes state law on collecting arrowheads exposed on the surface. The law, as it currently exists has a specific exception for artifact collecting:

     "RCW 27.53.060 Specific Exception - (5) The provisions of this section shall not apply to the removal of artifacts found exposed on the surface of the ground which are not historic archaeological resources or sites."

The WDFW Commission is set to review this proposed amendment between now and early January. While the ‘official’ period of public comment is over (no one new about it), it is not too late to influence the commission’s decision.

All members of the Maplewood Rock & Gem Club are requested to mail letters to their state legislators requesting that state lands administered by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) be opened for reasonable rock, fossil and mineral collecting.  The example letter below is for your use in preparing letters to your legislators.  You can also obtain this letter electronically from the MR&G web site.  PLEASE PERSONALIZE EACH LETTER THAT YOU SEND WITH ANY RESPECTFUL COMMENTS OR OBSERVATIONS THAT YOU WISH TO ADD.  Sign each letter that you send and mail them directly to your legislators.

All citizens of Washington are represented by two legislators in the House of Representatives and one legislator in the Senate.  To make your opinions count, send your email or letter stating your objection to this proposed amendment as soon as possible): You can find out the names and addresses of your elected representatives at the following web site:

All you have to do is access the web site and enter your home address, then click on “Find My District.”  Your Legislative District will appear along with the names of your representatives.



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