The proposed plan may be read at the following web site:
But, to save you time, the following is the important part from the proposal
Rockhound State Park was originally established as a destination for
ock collectors. At the time, in 1966, rock collecting was a popular
astime. Visitors were encouraged to visit the Park in order to collect
ocks, and were allowed to take home up to 15 pounds of rocks.
Today the Division promotes a respect for the natural environment
hrough interpretive and educational programs. Not only does rock
ollecting in a public park contradict the principle of natural resource
There is only one state park in the United States that permits rock
ollecting: Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas, which has a
8-acre plowed field set aside for collecting. Nearly all municipal,
tate, 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
isdemeanor and shall be sentenced in accordance with the provisions of
ection 31-19-1 NMSA 1978:
A. cut, break, injure, destroy, take or remove a tree, shrub, timber,
lant or natural object in any state park and recreation area, except in
areas designated by the secretary and permitted by regulations adopted
y the secretary, such regulations shall only permit the removal of a
ree, shrub, timber, plant or natural object for scientific study or for
non-commercial use by an individual as a souvenir, the quantity of
aterial authorized for removal from any area shall be strictly
egulated 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
nd 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
ince the 1960s. There are local businesses that cater to rock
ollectors and can guide or direct them to similar opportunities outside
of the Park. Safety is also a concern with the public collecting rocks
n the Park, as there are steep and unstable slopes that are becoming
ore hazardous as the collecting alters the stability of the hillside.
here is also a concern that some visitors may go beyond the Park
oundaries in their quest for rocks.
Park staff has already begun the transition away from rock collecting
nd will need to educate the public about the need to respect the
atural resources. One crucial step is to modify all Park information
signage, brochures, website), so that this activity is no longer
ncouraged. All materials need to state that it is a prohibited
ctivity. The namesake theme can continue through educational programs
nd interpretive information about the rocks that occur in the Park and
he geology of the region.
Revise written materials by removing all mention of rock collecting
nd 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
an be dropped off at the park; mailed to P.O. Box 1147, Santa Fe, NM
7505; e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxed to (505) 476-3361.
PLEASE, everyone reading this message, email, snail mail or fax a
ritten comment in opposition to the proposed plan to discontinue
ockhounding in Rockhound State Park. You have until April 18, 2011 to
ake 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
emain true to its namesake. Also, all you club members out there,
lease 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
ave yet another of our fleeting freedoms. This may be in far away New
exico now, but in your backyard tomorrow.
PLEASE HELP NOW BECAUSE THERE IS NO TIME TO WAIT!