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GeneralHelp Save Rockhound State Park, New Mexico

19th Mar 2011 23:55 GMTMichael Streeter

Attention all rockhounds:


The New Mexico State Parks Division (NMSPD) has proposed to disallow rockhounding in Rockhound State Park near Deming, New Mexico. Rockhound State Park is best known for its fantastic thundereggs, some with multicolored agate in addition to well-formed quartz crystals. Also scattered about the park are rocks and minerals of volcanic and hydrothermal origin; including quartz, chalcedony, agate, common opal and banded and brecciated rhyolite. The 1,100 acre park was established in 1966 as the first in the United States that allowed collecting of rocks and minerals for personal use. Pictures of the park and some rocks collected there may be seen on the following web page: http://www.mcrocks.com/ftr09-1/StreeterApril09Page2.html


The NMSPD’s proposed plan may be read at the following web site: http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/PRD/documents/RockhoundPMPPublicReviewDraftMarch2011.pdf But, to save you time, the following is the pertinent part of the plan about rockhounding:

Rockhound State Park was originally established as a destination for rock collectors. At the time, in 1966, rock collecting was a popular pastime. Visitors were encouraged to visit the Park in order to collect rocks, and were allowed to take home up to 15 pounds of rocks.


Today the Division promotes a respect for the natural environment through interpretive and educational programs. Not only does rock collecting in a public park contradict the principle of natural resource protection.


There is only one state park in the United States that permits rock collecting: Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, which has a 38-acre plowed field set aside for collecting. Nearly all municipal, state, and national parks prohibit the removal of natural artifacts from parks. The practice of rock collecting at the Park would need to comply with NMSA 1978, Section 16-2-32:


“A person who commits any of the following acts is guilty of a petty misdemeanor and shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of Section 31-19-1 NMSA 1978:


A. cut, break, injure, destroy, take or remove a tree, shrub, timber, plant or natural object in any state park and recreation area, except in areas designated by the secretary and permitted by regulations adopted by the secretary, such regulations shall only permit the removal of a tree, shrub, timber, plant or natural object for scientific study or for non-commercial use by an individual as a souvenir, the quantity of material authorized for removal from any area shall be strictly regulated by park personnel in order to minimize resource damage.”


If the Division were to continue to allow the public to collect rocks at the Park, the EMNRD Cabinet Secretary would designate a specific area and adopt rules pertaining to the collecting of rocks on Park property (such as the amount and location).


The once popular hobby of rock collecting has declined significantly since the 1960s. There are local businesses that cater to rock collectors and can guide or direct them to similar opportunities outside of the Park. Safety is also a concern with the public collecting rocks in the Park, as there are steep and unstable slopes that are becoming more hazardous as the collecting alters the stability of the hillside. There is also a concern that some visitors may go beyond the Park boundaries in their quest for rocks.


Park staff has already begun the transition away from rock collecting and will need to educate the public about the need to respect the natural resources. One crucial step is to modify all Park information (signage, brochures, website), so that this activity is no longer encouraged. All materials need to state that it is a prohibited activity. The namesake theme can continue through educational programs and interpretive information about the rocks that occur in the Park and the geology of the region.

Revise written materials by removing all mention of rock collecting and add a reference to the state statute which prohibits rock collecting on Park property.



Written and oral comments on the plan will be accepted. Comment letters can be dropped off at the park; mailed to P.O. Box 1147, Santa Fe, NM 87505; e-mailed to nmparks@state.nm.us or faxed to (505) 476-3361.

PLEASE, everyone reading this message, email, snail mail or fax a written comment in opposition to the proposed plan to discontinue rockhounding in Rockhound State Park. You have until April 18, 2011 to make comment, so please get on it today. Let's show the NMSPD personnel that rockhounding has not declined since the 1960s and the park should remain true to its namesake. Also, all you club members and officers out there, please let everyone in your club know about this by mass email so we can get all rockhounds throughout this country engaged in the battle to save yet another of our fleeting freedoms. This may be in far away New Mexico now, but in your backyard tomorrow. PLEASE HELP NOW BECAUSE THERE IS NO TIME TO WAIT!


Mike Streeter

Southeast Federation of Mineralogical Societies' North Carolina Director

www.McRocks.com

20th Mar 2011 01:52 GMTJeremy Zolan

Will The name change from Rockhound State Park if rockhounding is no longer allowed?

20th Mar 2011 10:47 GMTMichael Streeter

Jeremy - You'd think, but this is a long way from being a done deal. They have already "sanitized" the official park web site.


Everyone:


I have put together a list of New Mexico government officials for all of us to contact to let them know of our opposition to the proposed plan.


New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez:

http://www.governor.state.nm.us/Contact_the_Governor.aspx


US Congressman Steve Pearce:

https://pearce.house.gov/contact-me/email-me


Deming Mayor: Andres Z. Silva

Phone: 575-546-8848

Email: asilva@cityofdeming.org


Deming City Council Member David Sanchez

Phone: 575-546-3155

Email: dsanchez505@msn.com


Deming City Council Member Linda Enis

Phone: 575-546-0333

Email: relex3@gmail.com


Deming City Council Member Joe Milo

Phone: 575-546-7385

Email: deming@cityofdeming.org


Deming City Council Member Bill Shattuck

Phone: 575-544-0455

Email: billshattuck@1stvalley.com


Luna County Commissioner Javier Diaz

Phone: 575-936-6446

Email: rjavier_diaz@lunacountynm.us


Luna County Commissioner Joe "Oleo" Milo

Phone: 575-546-0494

Email: joe_milo@lunacountynm.us


Luna County Commissioner Jay Spivey

Phone: 575-546-0494

Email: jay_spivey@lunacountynm.us


You have to go to the web site addresses to contact the Governor and US Congressman, but to make it easy for you to email all Deming City Government officials and Luna County Commissioners in one fell swoop, all you need to do is cut and paste the following list of email addresses into the address line of your message:

asilva@cityofdeming.org; dsanchez505@msn.com; relex3@gmail.com; deming@cityofdeming.org; billshattuck@1stvalley.com; rjavier_diaz@lunacountynm.us; joe_milo@lunacountynm.us; jay_spivey@lunacountynm.us


Thank you for your help.


Mike Streeter

20th Mar 2011 12:18 GMTHarold Moritz Expert

Wow, this is the ultimate in irony and stupidity! So we need to educate the public that the natural resources we depend upon for everything that cannot be grown is never to be touched?? Their justification is also contradictory - all other state parks do not allow collecting so therefore we should disallow collecting at the one park created for the purpose? Who came up with that logic, Sir Bedivere from Monty Python and The Holy Grail? Do they realize that because there are so few parks to collect in that makes this park and New Mexico all the more of a destination? I was pleasantly surprised to find this park the last time I was in the state and it is one of the reasons I may move there someday. We actually have 3 places in Connecticut State Forests and one municipal park (Old Mine Park in Trumbull) where collecting is permitted for educational, recreational purposes, so their research is also flawed! I'll be emailing them all later today.

Harold Moritz

20th Mar 2011 14:51 GMTHarold Moritz Expert

Also send your email to the state district 32 representative Dona G. Irwin donagale@zianet.com

and state district 35 senator John Arthur Smith john.smith@nmlegis.gov

20th Mar 2011 15:50 GMTReiner Mielke Expert

Seems to me the problem has to do with the original choice of words. They should have called it a Rockhounding Concession not a Park.

20th Mar 2011 23:00 GMTSteve Cantiello

Ah seems like it is a problem to contact congressman Steve Pearce?Did email the rest without a problem.

Steve

21st Mar 2011 02:34 GMTDave Owen

I wonder if there is a hidden agenda here. As I recall from my visit there is nothing outstanding about the site to make it worthy of state park status other than the rockhounding. Perhaps the state is planning to sell the land or swap it.Do away with the only reason to visit and no one will care what becomes of it. Dave Owen

21st Mar 2011 08:31 GMTTimothy Greenland

In paragraph 3, the term "natural artifacts" is going into my collection of memorable oxymorons... Is that a sign that this is a hoax - or is it par for the course???


Tim

21st Mar 2011 14:53 GMTElizabeth Apgar Triano

If this is for NM, does it make any sense for those of us from out of state to protest? Would we be better off looking up this issue as it shows up on a national or local level? Or did I not read carefully enough and this is more than just NM? thanks

21st Mar 2011 15:02 GMTHarold Moritz Expert

Reading the very self-serving Division plan, this does appear to be legitimate. They want to rename it "Florida Mountains State Park". The plan barely acknowledges that the property was donated to the state and that the name "is derived from the fact that the Park's original intent was to cater to rock collectors. Today the practice of collecting rocks at the Park is discouraged." In two carefully crafted sentences it gives the impression that barely anyone did it, that was long ago, and it now has been banned, clearing the way for the rest of the plan, which is to turn it into yet another look but dont touch park of actually very limited value in this regard from what I gather reading it. Wasn't this park featured in an episode of The Travel Channel's "Cash and Treasures" just a few years ago?


Even if you aren't in New Mexico, you can point out the tourist value of such a place as I did in my email. Local governments and chambers of commerce are always very sensitive to this and can put political pressure on the state government. Other states may also look at what NM did and decide they can get away with it also.

21st Mar 2011 15:49 GMTIan Merkel

Thank you so much for the helpful links, Mike. I have contacted everyone on your list, please everyone else help out with this.


Regards,

Ian Merkel

21st Mar 2011 16:10 GMTDarren Court

Guess I have some letters to write today! This whole thing is just assinine, and thanks for bringing it to our attention.


Darren

21st Mar 2011 16:43 GMTElliott Hitchcock

One of the top choices on our list was the rockhounding at Rockhound State Park in Deming, New Mexico when we ventured on our trip across country from Connecticut. Since it is one of the few in the US that is completely open to rockhounders we found it very interesting and enjoyed our stay there as it was very nice. We plan on returning there later this year for another round of travel and rockhounding. We like the area and have been actually looking at the possibilbilty of relocating in the area and one of the features was the Rockhounding Park.


Bud

21st Mar 2011 18:03 GMTMichael Streeter

Fellow rockhounds:


I was able to work on this issue some more very early this morning and created the following document in pdf format: http://mcrocks.com/images-5/RockhoundStateParkPlanOpposition.pdf


Thanks everyone for your help! Please don't let up!


Mike Streeter

www.McRocks.com

21st Mar 2011 20:03 GMTDennis Tryon

"Ah seems like it is a problem to contact congressman Steve Pearce?Did email the rest without a problem.

Steve "


The listing for Steve Pearce is not an email address, it's a link to his Congressional website, where you can contact him.

22nd Mar 2011 01:00 GMTSteve Cantiello

OK Dennis

I also was told to contact the New Mexico State Parks Office

I emailed them here> nmparks@state.nm.us

22nd Mar 2011 01:22 GMTDoug Daniels

Perhaps Deming gets so much business during the Rockhound Roundup that they don't want tourists (especially rockhound types) the rest of the year?

22nd Mar 2011 16:12 GMTJ. R. Hodel Expert

Here's what I wrote and sent:



I have read the Draft Management Plan for Rockhound State Park and have several points I would like to make regarding the Draft Plan.


First, I note that no Geologist contributed to the development of this Draft Plan; which seems odd given that the original purpose of the Park is geological in nature.


Second, these changes will diminish attendence at this well-known park, eliminate a powerful tourist attraction drawing over 60 thousand visitors a year, and cost businesses in the state a great deal of income from those rock hounds and minerals collectors who travel great distances to visit New Mexico for mineral collecting actvities.


Thirdly, there are many unsupported assertions and errors of fact in the Draft, which I will address in detail. On page 18 it states that "The activities that most park visitors participate in are camping, hiking, birdwatching and picnicking." With over 60,000 visitors attending the park each year, I imagine that many hikers are looking at the ground for Thunder Eggs, or perhaps Jasper, depending on the trail they hike on. With only 3 FTEs it is impossible to know who was bird-watching or hiking and who was looking at the rocks.


On page 24 the Draft Plan concedes that "Rockhound State Park was originally established as a destination for rock collectors. At the time rock collecting was a popular pastime." Yes it was. It still is! In Tucson, Arizona, tens of thousands of rock collectors gather annually for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show, an event which results in hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for Tuscon businesses and for the City itself.


Rock Collectors from nearly every country in the world attend the event, which has grown from relatively modest beginnings in an elementary school in the mid-1950s to a 3-week convention with more than 55,000 attendees, who reserve hotel rooms for next year's show as they attend this year's show.


The Draft Plan asserts on the next page that the "once popular hobby... has declined since the 1960s" but then concedes that local businesses make a profit catering to the non-existent rock hounds. In fact many mines (including the famous Blanchard mine in New Mexico) once operated for ores are now quite profitable allowing rock hounds to dig in dumps and in the mines themselves.


Many mines are operated solely to provide mineral specimens for collectors. Major industrial mines have contracts with specimen miners who professionally remove mineral specimens from active gold and copper mines in Nevada and Arizona.


The Draft Plan asserts that there is only one state park in the US that permits rock collecting, Crater of Diamonds in Arkansas. Actually there's one in New Mexico, too, so far. There's one in Pennsylvania too, Swatera State Parkwhere fossil-bearing rock is spread for rock hounds to search for rare fossils.


There's another one in Indiana, Falls of the Ohio State Park, where there's even a Park Geologist, who arranges to have dump trucks deliver material with a wide variety of interesting rocks for rock collectors to search through. The park prohibits collecting of the amazing marine fossils present in the rocks of the Falls, except when material is delivered expressly for collectors.


Aditionally, the Mazonia-Braidwood State Fish & Wildlife Area just south of Chicago absolutely permits fossil collection, as these fragile relics quickly degrade into dirt as they weather. In Michigan, Leelanau State Park in Michigan allows collecting of Petoskey Stones along its shoreline.


Also, fossil collecting is allowed at Hueston Woods State Park in Ohio and mineral

collecting is permitted in the White Mountains National Forest in Maine and

NH. In most National Forests there are areas of interest to mineral collectors, where rules are set to control the activity but to allow careful removal of valuable or interesting stones, crystals and fossils.


Lastly, rocks are also allowed to be collected at Black Butte Reservoir State Park in California and Monte Cristo State Park in Nevada. Crystal Park in Montana is a Forest Service facility that caters to rockhounds. Let's count now, that's nine parks just that I could find in a few minutes that contradicts the incorrect assertion that there aren't any parks for rock collectors.


There are also many for-profit collecting sites, claims staked on BLM land in rich mineralized areas in Colorado, Wyoming, miners and field collectors who still strike it rich by developing sources of rare and beautiful minerals and fossils worth whatever the market will bear. Usually it will bear quite a bit. I've seen single calcite crystal specimens going for tens of thousands of dollars, not even gemstones!


In the next-to-last paragraph on page 24 the Draft Plan states "Not only does rock collecting in a public park contradict the principle of natural resource protection." This is an incomplete sentence, which I suppose is OK in a Draft, but it's pretty sloppy. I would have hated to see such a construction in a professional product in my position as manager of software development for the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection!


The Draft Plan goes on to quote from NMSA 1978, Section 16-2-32, which specifically allows for the "removal of a ... natural object for scientific study or for non-commercial use by an individual as a souvenir ." Obviously this law allows for legitimate hobby collecting at this park, under the rules already successfully used for 50 years! The Draft Plan claims this law prohibits collecting, while quoting the very clause of the act that allows collecting, amazing!


The facts are clearly not being considered by the drafters of this plan. The very existence of this State Park is owed to Rock Hounding. The donation of the land was intended to further the hobby of Rock Hounding.


I have little doubt that New Mexico's ownership of the land, intended to further the enjoyment of the public by facilitating rock hounding as a hobby, could be challenged legally if the public was no longer allowed to pursue Rockhounding at Rockhound State Park! My understanding is that the conveyance of the property specifically requires that the land be used to support the activity of mineral collecting. If this turns out to be the case, any non-profit could take the property over - freeing the government-paid FTEs to seek other employment, while volunteers manage the park for collectors, as the original owner required.


The brief mention of rock hounding safety concerns in a modern world where people routinely climb Half-Dome at Yosemite National Park is absurd and self-serving.


"Park staff has already begun the transition away from rock collecting." Really? By what authority have they done this while the "Draft Management Plan" is still open for public comment? It appears that no public comment will be considered, this is a done deal. Public employees are just going to do what they want, with no regard for the feelings of the public they are supposed to be serving!


I worked in the public sector most of my career, and I saw this attitude often. Once I entered management, I made sure my staff provided information, which was our business, to the public, when and as needed. Eventually, all that information was available on web pages for the down loading.


Obviously there is a lesson here for the folks who worked on the so-called Draft Management Plan. They didn't know to hide the fact that the decisions are already made, without regard to the required request for public comment. They didn't care to research the facts, having decided what to do with their "private" park in the absence of facts, and probably in violation of the New Mexico regulations pertaining to making changes to existing management plans.


There is room for a wide variety of parks in the world. Bird watching is lovely, I do it every day, even the days when I rock hound. They aren't mutually exclusive. New Mexico has been famous in the rock hounding community for hosting a park dedicated to rock hounding. Now it will be famous for killing the Rock Hounding at their famous park!


What a way to be remembered!


Thanks for your time,

J. R. Hodel,

Systems Analyst, retired

Rock Hound

23rd Mar 2011 11:14 GMTPaul Turner

JR,


I noticed that contradiction between the decline and the many rock shops that have sprung up to cater to a declining hobby and mentioned that in the letter I sent. The tax revenue is the way to go on this issue which is all they ever seem to care about.

23rd Mar 2011 12:19 GMTHarold Moritz Expert

The responses to NMSPD's plan posted on this forum have been eloquent and on the mark. I neglected to post my message emailed on Sunday, so here it is:


We've just learned of the plan by the New Mexico State Parks Division (NMSPD) to disallow rockhounding at, of all places, Rockhound State Park! This is the ultimate in irony and illogic. NMSPD's justification is contradictory - all other state parks do not allow rockhounding so therefore NMSPD should disallow it at the one park created and intended for the purpose? Did NMSPD read the name of the park? Just what does NMSPD plan on calling the park, Former Rockhound State Park?



NMSPD's research into other state rockhounding opportunities is flawed. While mineral collecting is not allowed in Connecticut State Parks, we actually have 3 places in Connecticut State Forests and one municipal park (Old Mine Park in Trumbull) where collecting is permitted for educational and recreational purposes. But perhaps we should not mention this as NMSPD will then reverse their bizarre logic and say that because there are other places to rockhound, New Mexico does not need this one! Well, there are plenty of other parks that perserve the "natural environment", too. We grasp and appreciate that purpose where it is specifically that park's intent, as we surmise it is for every other New Mexico state park. But obviously Rockhound State Park was created and intended for a different purpose, so of course it contradicts the preservation of the "natural environment". Why is this suddenly a revelation?



Some parks are for recreation, not preservation of the "natural environment". So NMSPD now proposes to "educate" the public with "programs and interpretive information" that shows what we once, as taxpayers, could enjoy doing at this park, created for just that purpose, but is now prohibited? What a wonderful form of "education" that is. As geologists, we believe there is no better way to learn about "the rocks...and the geology of the region" than to, as one of our college professors said, "get intimate with the rocks" as rockhounds do. NMSPD's self-serving plan destroys that unique opportunity and the reason to visit this particular park.



To invoke the supposed decline in rockhounding as a justification ignores the potential for it to increase again (as it has here) and the part this park (and New Mexico) could play in that role. We've heard that all outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, etc., have "declined significantly", so by NMSPD's logic any of their parks that involve these activities should also be "transitioned away" to pure "education and information". We surmise that it will have to be outside the park so that no tire, hoof, or foot could possibly mar the "natural environment" that is sealed up within the park. That exclusionary approach will obviously not attract us to those places.



We have visited New Mexico several times and as rockhounds (geologists, hikers, campers and birders, too) we were pleasantly surprised to find this park the last time we were in the state. We cannot think of a reason why we would have visited the specific area otherwise. We hope that NMSPD recognizes the fallacy of its proposal and the destination that this unique park is for people from across the country. But NMSPD's proposal encourages us to seek, as they appear to intend, "similar opportunities outside of" the state entirely. We pray that they reconsider.



Thank you

Harold Moritz

Sheila Gleason

East Haddam, Connecticut

23rd Mar 2011 17:10 GMTDean Allum Expert

There is a local group of people in Lunas County NM who have been supporting Rockhound State Park financially with fundraisers this past decade. They appear to be against the proposed park management rule changes. I notified their president of this thread and received this email reply:


"Thank you so much for your response. The Friends of Rockhound State Park, Inc., group stands to keep this ban on rock collecting from happening. We are asking the public to attend the meeting called by the state for Tuesday, March 29th at 6:00 pm at the park's visitor center. If you cannot attend, please send e mails, letters and faxes as shown in your communication. We appreciate all help.



Rockhounding IS still a valuable interest to many.



Thank you.

MaryKay


PS Visit our website at www.FriendsofRockhound.org ."


New Mexican Mindat members should take note of this meeting next week.

31st Mar 2011 16:49 BSTHarold Moritz Expert

So what happened at the meeting Tuesday night?

31st Mar 2011 21:09 BSTHershel Friedman

I, too, just sent them an email. The more they get the better:


To Whom It May Concern:

I am the owner and founder of www.minerals.net, a free, educational reference website to rocks, minerals, and gemstones.


In the NMSPD's proposed plan, the following statement is mentioned:

"The once popular hobby of rock collecting has declined significantly since the 1960s."


I beg to strongly differ. I am curious where this preposterous statement came from. The hobby and industry of rocks and minerals is stronger today then it ever was before. My website, which is not the biggest and most popular in this field, has a strong following of over 150,000 visitors per month. These are all hobbyists and students interested in rocks and minerals and this number only represents a small percentage of the population that are interested in "rockhounding".


The very foundation of Rockhound State Park is served to promote the interests and study of those interested in this hobby which includes collecting. To take this away would be the ultimate irony of the park's name and would be a disgrace.


I, on the behalf of all followers of my website, urge you to reconsider any decision of such nature.


Sincerely,

Hershel Friedman

www.minerals.net

31st Mar 2011 22:06 BSTWarren Cummings Expert

I wish I could be hopeful about this but I'm not. The folks who make decisions about things like this tend to be driven by ideology not reason or common sense. In addition your dealing with politicians, people who only understand two things, votes and money. Mineral collectors probably don't have enough of either to get attention.

1st Apr 2011 00:18 BSTMichael J. Bainbridge Expert

J.R., please tell me that you sent that - word for word - to every State authority you could find!

2nd Apr 2011 18:20 BSTMichael Streeter

Letter to the Editor

Deming Headlight


On the evening of March 29, 2011, in response to a notice from the New Mexico State Parks, about 80 people turned out to listen to a Draft Management Plan for Rockhound State Park here in Deming. This management plan is done every 5 years for every state park. In reading the proposed draft plan, there were several statements that thoroughly aroused the concern of Deming’s citizens. There were representatives from the State Park Service discussing the various issues and to answer questions. Cabinet Secretary John Bemis attended and spoke, advising that he “knew nothing about State Parks”; Christy Tafoya, a staff archeologist, Cynthia Lovely who wrote the draft, Dave Gatterman who is in charge of construction at the various state parks; and Tommy Mutz, probably the most experienced and knowledgeable ranger, who has now been appointed the new Director of State Parks. All of these people are from Santa Fe. When asked who would be making the final decision about Rockhound State Park, Mr. Bemis advised that he would, after reviewing all the public input and editing and revisions the staff may make. After the meeting, he was very impressed with our comments and stated he would certainly review the comments before making a decision.


Many people in attendance spoke with knowledge and working experience in state park systems, and historical information. It was well presented, many suggestions were recorded by the staff for further review, and at no time did it get emotional or out of hand. The land was given to the state by the Select Western Lands who were part of the Ranchette division. The original land was donated by the May family as a place to rockhound and it was the intent of that donation that rockhounding be done on the land. The law should pay attention to the INTENT of the gift. Years later, the government wants to come along and make their own rules and interpretations. There may be some changes as to how much can be collected and where, but we are hopeful that the suggestions will be thoroughly reviewed and the people’s wishes be taken into consideration.


The draft erroneously states that rockhounding has declined significantly since the 1960’s. That statement was rousingly denied and many people attested to the fact that they come and still come to Deming for the express purpose of rockhounding, as do many people from all over the U.S. and Canada. The Rockhound Roundup just past, attests to the many people that come here for that purpose.


The draft states that the park staff has already begun the transition away from rock collecting. We don’t believe that to be a fact, when so many volunteers support and supply material to encourage rock hounding.


They want to change the name of the park “because the name ‘Rockhound’ implies and encourages visitors to come to the park to collect rocks”, which contradicts state rule 16.2.32 NMAC. That rule ALSO states that the removal of a “natural object” (translate rock), can be removed for scientific study or non-commercial use by an individual as a souvenir in areas designated by the secretary (Mr. Bemis) and permitted by regulations. (Save us from more regulations!)


The consensus of all attending was that Rockhound State Park should retain it’s name, and that rockhounding be allowed to continue. State Representative Dona Irwin was in attendance but did not speak. Mary Gallagher, the head of the Chamber of Commerce spoke and informed us of all the revenue generated by the Rockhound Roundup, and by the RV community that come to Deming for extended periods mainly for the pleasure of rockhounding, whether it be in the State Park or private areas or BLM land, and many people who have permanently moved to Deming because of that interest. You hurt Rockhound State Park, you really hurt the people and town of Deming who depend on the influx of rockhounders who support our businesses, restaurants and spend a lot of money in this town.


If you wish to review the proposed Draft Management Plan in it’s entirety, log onto nmparks@state.nm.us under plans. Pay special attention to pages 24, 25 and 30. If you want to make your voice heard, then please email to the following:


nmparks@state.nm.us; Susana.Martinez@state.nm.us; John.Bemis@state.nm.us; Tommy.Mutz@state.nm.us. You can also write to NM State Parks, P.O. Box 1147, Santa Fe, NM 87505. You can fax your letter to: 505)476-3361. Also, send your letter and comments via fax to:


Senator Tom Udall, Washington DC fax: (202)228-3261

Senator Jeff Bingaman, Washington DC fax: (202)224-2852

U.S. Representative Steve Pearce, local fax: (575)522-0855;Washington DC fax: 202)225-9599

State Representative: Dona Irwin: Office number: (575)546-6016

State Senator: John Arthur Smith: Fax: (575)544-2715


We only have until April 18, 2011 to make our voices heard. Get your comments in now!


Maurice & Judy Crawford

Deming Rockhounders

3rd Apr 2011 13:38 BSTMichael Streeter

Based on what I understand about State government, the best target at this point for more comments is brand new New Mexico Cabinet Secretary John Bemis. As has been stated by others, a letter works best followed by a phone call. The contact information for Secretary Bemis is as follows.


Phone: 505-476-3200 Fax: 505-476-3220

Please everyone, fax a letter and make a phone call to Secretary Bemis because this is far from over. Let's do everything we can to persuade him to make the right decision.


Mike Streeter

10th Apr 2011 03:32 BSTStephen Pegler

The "Rockhound State Park Draft Management Plan" contains no data or references to support the statement:


"The once popular hobby of rock collecting has declined significantly since the 1960s."


Does anyone here know how the current membership in various rock, gem, and mineral clubs now compares to that of the 60's? Also, what about the number magazine subscriptions to the various mineral and gem magazines then and now? What about the number of people logging onto mindat? If someone can refute this key claim with hard data of the "significant decline in the hobby" in the Management Plan, we can refute the whole premiss of the plan.


This kind of unscientific, undocumented BS in this report is so typical of the so called environment sciences types that inhabit state and federal parks and forest service agencies. These environmental science types are mostly biologists who can get a job in private industry. We in the environmental engineering community call them "bugs and bunny counters".

Steve

17th Apr 2011 23:20 BSTWainwright M. Ewing

The way I understood it, the park was set up tfor rockhounders! So whats the reason behind the change? Or are the tree huggers running N. M. now?

16th Jun 2011 04:48 BSTAnonymous User

You should go to rockhound round it! Its way better going on the club trips to big diggings and baker ranch! I will write my letters as it would be a loss.

22nd Jun 2011 15:41 BSTMaryKay Brady

The final management plan is out--the park name will remain the same and rockhounding will continue.


Thank you all for your support and latters. Friends of Rockhound State Park appreciate every one of you.

22nd Jun 2011 15:43 BSTMaryKay Brady

Rockhound State Park's name will not change and rockhounding will continue.


Thank you for all your support and letters.

27th Jun 2011 21:15 BSTMark J. Sigouin

I hope they change the name of this park to something else. Kind of like calling a large fenced area a Dog Park, but not allowing dogs on the premises because when they did allow the dogs, they ran, barked, urinated, and deficated.

28th Jun 2011 04:57 BSTJames Christopher

AWESOME!!!. Not that I've ever been there, but now I can go some day. And yes, I did write to them.

5th Jul 2011 15:34 BSTHarold Moritz Expert

Great news! It seems that reason and facts can win over dogma and bureaucracy. Looking forward to the next trip there.
 
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