Friday, August 31, 2012

Be Careful Where You Collect Your Unpainted Rocks

A man was sentenced to 6 months in prison and $2,200 in restitution for collecting rocks on government lands.

I'm always careful where I collect my rocks and if necessary, I'll purchase them from a landscaping company or home improvement store. The person mentioned here was taking truckloads of moss rocks.  I feel stealing is stealing whether it's one rock or tons of rocks.

Land located in BLM Royal Gorge Field Office area

Release Date: 08/31/12    


DENVER – Robert “Larry” Caskey, age 28, of Colorado Springs, was sentenced this week by U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer to serve six months in federal prison and pay $2,200 in restitution to the federal government for illegally collecting and selling moss rock taken from public lands within the Royal Gorge Field Office area, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Bureau of Land Management announced.  Caskey was ordered to report to prison on or before September 5, 2012.

Caskey was charged on December 19, 2011 in U.S. District Court in Colorado Springs.  He pled guilty to illegal theft of government property and damaging and removing government property without authorization on June 6, 2012.  He was sentenced on August 22, 2012.

In 2010, a member of the public spotted an individual illegally removing moss rock from public lands.  The individual took photos and reported the incident to the BLM.  The BLM initiated an investigation, which later discovered that Caskey was responsible for the theft of the moss rock.  It was also determined that the defendant was selling the rock commercially.  Moss rock is worth as much as $200-$300 a ton commercially....
...For more information about permitting, please contact your local BLM office. Additionally, the BLM would like to remind the public that firewood cut using a personal use firewood permit cannot be sold commercially.

The full Bureau of Land Management release can be found here.

As enticing as it looks, always be aware of the consequences of taking rocks from private and government land. When in doubt, check it out or ask permission.

Land located in BLM Royal Gorge Recreation area

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, recreational and other activities on BLM-managed land contributed more than $130 billion to the U.S. economy and supported more than 600,000 American jobs. The Bureau is also one of a handful of agencies that collects more revenue than it spends. In FY 2012, nearly $5.7 billion will be generated on lands managed by the BLM, which operates on a $1.1 billion budget. The BLM's multiple-use mission is to sustain the health and productivity of the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. The Bureau accomplishes this by managing such activities as outdoor recreation, livestock grazing, mineral development, and energy production, and by conserving natural, historical, cultural, and other resources on public lands.

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