Southern Nevada Gem & Mineral Society Field Trip Information

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Field trips are held at various times throughout the year to many locations.
Due to insurance requirements, all who attend must sign a liability release form.
Download Liability Release Form
Trips start at 7 AM unless noted below. In the event of rainfall 24 hours prior to a trip, or excessive winds, trips may be cancelled. Watch your e-mail for updates.
For more info: contact President Wayne Muth

Upcoming Trips; see your latest newsletter

(Trips are sometimes cancelled or postponed)

Field Trip Safety
Watch out for snakes, scorpions and spiders, especially when turning over a rock.
Don't wander off alone, out of sight of others. Pair up with a partner when exploring. Drink plenty of water, dehydration is a big danger in the desert. Stay out of abandoned mines. A cave in could ruin your day. Keep an eye on the weather, a sudden rainstorm miles away, can cause a flash flood. Wear safety glasses when using your rock hammer or chisel. Never lick a rock; Some minerals are poisonous, always use a spray bottle, instead. Always wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. Wear protective clothing and boots. Sandals are for the beach; not the desert. If you are leaving the collecting area early, notify the trip leader. Use lots of common sense and have a good time.

What to bring:
food, snacks, sunscreen, lip balm, plenty of water, rock hammer, pick, chisel, favorite digging tool, camera, empty buckets or rock bags, gloves, safety glasses, walking stick, sunglasses, paper towels, newspaper for wrapping rocks, first aid kit with signal whistle and mirror, cellphone (remote areas may or may not have service), two way radios, binoculars and GPS are also helpful.
Some areas may require a hard hat to be worn

BLM Collecting Guidelines
An objective of the BLM is to promote harmony and balance the use of Federal lands.
Respect all natural resources so that they can be enjoyed by others.
Federal regulation 43CFR8365 states that "reasonable quantities" of rock, minerals, gemstones, invertebrate and plant fossils of non-scientific importance can be collected for personnel use. "Reasonable quantity" is considered to be not more than what can be carried in a day pack. The BLM does not charge fees for collecting small, non-commercial quantities of rock taken by collectors. Collecting limited amounts of rocks, minerals, and gemstones is permitted on most federal lands, but there are some exceptions. Some lands are withdrawn or reserved for specific purposes such as outstanding natural areas, recreation sites, or national historic sites. Do not collect on prohibited or posted lands. Motorized vehicles and some other activities are prohibited on BLM lands that are designated as "Wilderness Regions". Signs are posted at roads and other accesses to these areas. There are no BLM rules for collecting in "Wilderness Regions". Collecting in these areas are up to the local district ranger. Check with them before collecting. Collecting in wilderness areas administered by the U.S. Forest Service is prohibited. Collectors are permitted to collect rocks from the surface of the ground and may use hand shovels or picks for digging. Diggings should not be more than four feet deep and should be filled before leaving. The use of explosives or power equipment is prohibited.

Collecting on recorded mining claims is not advised without the mining claimant's consent. The claimant has a legal right to minerals and gemstones on their claim. Collecting on claims can cause legal problems. Most claims are identified by posts or markers. It is illegal for a claimant to charge fees for collecting on their claim. Contact an area BLM office for any information on active and abandoned claim locations. Commonly collected rocks and minerals such as agate, jasper and petrified wood are not considered locatable under 1872 mining law. Common rocks and minerals are not subject to mining claims. Occasionally, some do stake claims for these materials. The fact that some material can be cut and polished does not give them a distinct or special value to make them locatable.
Commercial collection for the purpose of selling rocks is not allowed without special authorization. The Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 (Public Law 94-579) and other statutes provide that the United States government is to receive fair market value for the sale of common varieties of rock as well as for other resources which are sold or leased. Commercial quantities are sold at values established by appraisal and completion.
The collecting of rock for decorative purposes is permitted as long as it is a reasonable quantity. A reasonable quantity is considered to be the amount that can be carried in the trunk of a car.
Petrified wood may be taken for personal, non-commercial purposes and cannot be traded or sold to commercial dealers. In accordance with Federal Regulation 43 CFR 3662, the limit is 25 pounds plus one piece per day, or 250 pounds per year. No single piece greater than 250 pounds is permitted to be taken without a special permit. A material sale contract must be obtained from a BLM district office for collecting more than 250 pounds or for commercial use.
It is illegal to collect vertebrate fossils on public lands without a paleontological permit. Vertebrate and other fossils of recognized scientific interest are protected under the Antiquities Act of 1906. In some cases, removing one of these fossils could create a gap in the scientific record. In accordance with 18 USC, Section 641, the taking of vertebrate fossils is theft of government property. Violators can be fined from $1000 to $10,000 and jailed from 1 to 10 years. Any vertebrate fossil finds or fossil beds should be reported to a BLM district office for evaluation.