[meteorite-list] BLM and Meteorite Recovery Policy

From: Nicholas Gessler, Ph.D. <nick.gessler_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Dec 2012 00:21:34 +0000
Message-ID: <2BF7290C1307A04AAE019182A4FA6D9603ED5B4B_at_ex-mbg-06.win.duke.edu>

I think if we work together we can make some changes:

I just wrote to the editor of MAPS suggesting that it was time for a rejoinder to Schmitt's article.
I also suggested that I will put my 18 students on the task of data-mining the Meteoritical Data
Base for information on who found what, who analyzed what, what institutions received what,
etc., to get some quantitative information on the contribution of all of us to advancing the science
of meteoritics. Having a background in Anthropology, I think I can prepare a more realistic view
of what is going on than Schmitt. Also, having practiced archaeology professionally, I think I
may be in a good position to argue that meteorites have no relation to "Antiquities" or even

I think we need to pull together as much validly collected information on the recovery and trade
in meteorites, not only by "hunters," but by institutions, both historically and at present. I think
the drafters of the BLM legislation do not see the realities of the public's interest in meteorites
and their contribution to the community at large.

A well-written questionnaire sent out to all interested parties might also serve us well. But let's
spend the time to design one well before we circulate it.

We also need not just to express our opposition to their legislation, but to propose something
to replace it with.

I am willing to pull together as much information as I can, in collaboration and with the help of
others on this list, and also begin to consult (in a less biased manner than Schmitt) with professionals,
amateurs and dealers.

I have to teach and deal with other matters, so I cannot digest all your postings at one sitting. I will,
with some encouragement, try to pull much of this together and post it on the Web.

I will start to do some work on this beginning in January and perhaps by the time many of us get
together in Tucson, we can sit together and do some planning. Later we can take our work to
the MAPS to see if they concur.

Received on Sun 02 Dec 2012 07:21:34 PM PST

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