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Rockhounding in Idaho

Pamphlet from the BLM

From Magic Valley Gem News 03/2012

Land Ownership: It is recommended that you check land ownership when planning a rockhounding trip. A good place to start is your local BLM office where you can obtain maps with land ownership information.

Fossils: Vertebrate fossils such as dinosaurs, mammals, fishes and reptiles, and uncommon invertebrate fossils may be collected only by trained researchers under BLM permit. Common invertebrate fossils such as plants, mollusks, crinoids and trilobites may be collected for personal use in reasonable quantities.

Minerals and Gemstones: While Idaho has no specially designated BLM collecting sites, there are many places on public lands throughout the state where you can find minerals, gemstones, and petrified work. There are over 280 collectible mineral species know to occur within Idaho, including smoky quartz, pyrite, topaz, barite, garnet, epidote, and zeolites. Idaho also has many localities where one can find semi-precious gemstones. The star garnet from Emerald Creek areas in north Idaho is perhaps Idaho's most amous gemstones. Other gemstones found in Idaho include fire opal, together with many varieties of agate, jasper and petrified wood.

"Rockhounding" is a fun and educational outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by everyone. The collecting of rocks, mineral specimens, gemstones, petrified wood and common invertebrate fossils on public lands managed by the BLM is generally considered a casual use activity. These activities require no permit, fee or notification of the BLM, provided that: