It never ceases to amaze me that people will throw just about anything just about anywhere they darned well please. I, for the life of me, can not figure out why people have become so dead minded that they think we all go out into the wilderness just to get a good view of their refuse. If someone will throw their trash onto a beautiful landscape – what the heck do their living rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms look like? I ask that rhetorically, because frankly, I’d be afraid to see such filth if their littering and garbage dumping habits reflect their housekeeping skills.
There are many reasons that people forward for litter. I’m sorry, ignorance doesn’t fly with me.
How high does a person’s IQ have to be to realize that they are trashing up a place? The only
reasons I see for littering in the wilderness are selfishness and laziness. It is the classic
psychotic attitude. “Let someone else take care of me and pick up after me, why should I have to
be responsible? It’s too much work, so I’ll make someone else do it”
Well, here’s a heads up folks. We do not want to look at your food cans, baby diapers, empty oil
jugs, candy wrappers, or anything else that you seem to feel that it is your privilege to ruin the
beauty of the landscape with. If you can’t act better than that, I feel we really need new laws to
keep you in check with — like community service to the tune of making you pick up five bags of
trash for every article you are caught dumping off on the rest of us. And here’s a great one for
second time offenders – ankle bracelets that will alert officials if you attempt to go anywhere that
your pigery will tarnish spectacular landscapes. That’s right, if you can’t act like responsible boys
and girls, lets just keep you at home where you can pig out to your heart’s content and you will be
the only one affected by it.
Now if all that seems harsh, consider this. The AFMS and other clubs are working very hard to
preserve our rights to collect rocks and gems in many areas that the Government is trying to shut
down to public access because of the environmental damage that a small number of you are
creating without a second thought. Regional clubs often volunteer to steward some areas to keep
them open for us.
So you are not just throwing a piece of trash and ruining the beauty of the area for everyone else,
you are actually acting to have our freedoms and our favorite recreations taken from us. This is
not sitting well with those of us who pick your trash up after you, or work to reverse any other
damages you might inflict. When I cart a full garbage bag of trash from a rock or camp site that I
did not bring in with me, it is not the Government who I have a conflict with. It is the lazy, selfish
little litterbugs who think because they have already been somewhere to enjoy it, that nobody
else’s right to do so matters.
Unfortunately, the trash problem is increasing rapidly. I am carrying more and more garbage out
of areas every time I go out. I am very serious when I say it is time for severe actions against
those who insist on a right to litter.
Here is the fact. If you call yourself a rockhound, fossil hunter, artifact hunter, gold prospector, or
treasure hunter, you are binding yourself to an oath to the rockhound community — millions of
rockhounds worldwide — to be responsible when you are in the wilderness. That includes
cleaning up after yourself, and if you can’t manage that concept, you are not a rockhound, fossil
hunter, artifact hunter, gold prospector, or treasure hunter. You are merely a rights threatening
nuisance who is only wasting oxygen. STAY HOME.
To help us protect the honor of those who enjoy our recreation and work to protect our lands and
enjoyment of them, the AFMS (website: http://www.amfed.org/) has written a code of rockhound
ethics. If you sincerely want to be thought of as a member of the community, you will read these
codes and follow them religiously.
I am publishing their code here for all to see and adopt as their own code of action for the benefit
of themselves and all others who share this planet. And I am also extending my sincerest thank you
to the AFMS for their diligence in working with the Government to find ways to protect our
rights to enjoy the land while at the same time working to keep our environment healthy. My hat is
off to you folks. Know you are appreciated!!
THE CODE OF ETHICS
o I will respect both private and public property and will do no collecting on privately owned land
without permission from the owner.
o I will keep informed on all laws, regulations or rules governing collecting on public lands and will
o I will, to the best of my ability, ascertain the boundary lines of property on which I plan to collect.
o I will use no firearms or blasting material in collecting areas.
o I will cause no willful damage to property of any kind such as fences, signs, buildings, etc.
o I will leave all gates as found.
o I will build fires only in designated or safe places and will be certain they are completely
extinguished before leaving the area.
o I will discard no burning material – matches, cigarettes, etc.
o I will fill all excavation holes which may be dangerous to livestock.
o I will not contaminate wells, creeks, or other water supplies.
o I will cause no willful damage to collecting material and will take home only what I can
o I will practice conservation and undertake to utilize fully and well the materials I have collected
and will recycle my surplus for the pleasure and benefit of others.
o I will 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.
o I will cooperate with field-trip leaders and those in designated authority in all collecting areas.
o I will report to my club or federation officers, Bureau of Land Management or other authorities,
any deposit of petrified wood or other materials on public lands which should be protected for the
enjoyment of future generations for public educational and scientific purposes.
o I will appreciate and protect our heritage of natural resources.
o I will observe the “Golden Rule”, will use Good Outdoor Manners and will at all times conduct
myself in a manner which will add to the stature and Public Image of Rockhounds everywhere.
That’s the code folks. Respect it or stay home.