Hello!I haven't been scrutinizing the board very closely the past few months due to my circumstances.Have there been any new developments on the Indiana road cut collecting situation? Earl
This Indiana collecting thread from 2010 had no responses so I am now updating it.
I have answered this question before on at least 1 other thread, but again here goes. About 9 or 10 years ago some county or state police posts began cracking down on road side geode and fossil collectors. I am not sure what precipitated that, but I think it was in response to a couple of incidents of back talk to police who had stopped to discuss collecting with some collector folks. What ever that reason was, it lasted a few years and was gradually relaxed. At least part of the relaxation had to do with several high school science departments and Indiana University geology (or the Indiana Geological Survey) asking the police to relax their "enthusiasm" as high school and college geology classes on geology are give at the road cuts where students might (at the same time) find a geode or fossils. Anyway I have not heard of anyone recently being harassed or shooed away by the police. I have been out recently without any incidents and both the sheriff and state police have gone by at least several times. I look like I know what I am doing. I wear a hard hat, post orange cones behind my vehicle, and always park well off the roadway. I never have children with me. I am always pleasant and never talk back. Also, some of the police know of me as I have donated several hi end examples to the state museum and they have appeared in several publications, but that is another story. If you wish to collect, just observe the commonsense rules and you should have no troubles. BOB
I have a further update to this thread, starting today, February 15, 2017.
In case any McRocks users are planning a collecting trip down to the Harrodsburg road-cuts in southern Monroe County, all the fallen rock has been cleaned up just within this past week. There was quite a bit on the ground from the past 2 or 3 years. The county highway department used heavy equipment to scoop it up and dump truck after dump truck hauled all the rock away. While I collected the other day on the East side, the highway workers hauled off all the fallen rock on the West side. That is until a state trooper stopped and asked me to leave as the workers didn't want any extra work from me. Today all 4 road-cuts are clean of fallen rock. That was my first encounter with police in several years, but he said it was just to satisfy the road crews so within a couple of months or so after they are gone it should be ok to again collect if done safely. What this means is that all the fallen rock will now be new stuff. But, for casual collectors, it will take time to again accumulate so nothing will be found short of heavy work using pry bars, ladders, heavy hammers and chisels etc. Just walking along will be a waste of time as nothing is on the ground. Also, don't be surprised if you are shooed away by the police for the next several months. As an aside, there is no more freeze/thaw activity as it has turned unusually warm and dry. Maybe a bit again in March or wait until next season??? BOB
Hi Bob. Thanks for the update. I appreciate it.
Here in Oregon,you can get ticketed for roadside collecting....The flow of traffic is pretty thick!
I think in ND and Montana is was fine.....
And a further update. Yesterday, Feb 26 2017, I walked back and forth on all 4 road cuts.
Since the rock rubble cleanup, it has continued unusually warm except for 1 day and it continues very dry with only a few light sprinkle type showers (here in Bloomington there has been less than 3/4" of rain (and no snow) in the past month!). Only a few small pieces of new rock were found on the otherwise cleaned up roadside. The rock wall face is also unusually dry for this time of the year. There is a lot of loose stuff hi up on the rock wall from the early winter freeze/thaw cycles. A rainy spell or a couple of heavy rains might help this loose stuff fall, but until then not much to be found. While I was there looking (not collecting) one state policeman went by without even slowing down (who knows, it might have even been the same officer that shooed me away!!??). Another officer had a car pulled over for something, but didn't pay any attention to me so I think that aspect of this adventure may have now passed. Safe collecting using a lot of manpower and tools might again become rewarding, but casual collecting won't be rewarding until rock rubble re-accumulates. BOB
Twice within the past week I have been out to the Harrodsburg road cuts. Today I spent over 4 hrs there. No one including the state patrol bothered me while I was there. It is a bit dry at the cuts and freeze/thaw episodes are probably done for this collecting season.
A bit of fallen rock is beginning to again accumulate. Mostly small chips and pieces. If you just walk along there will be some low end material left at the road side, but with equipment including a prybar and a long poker pole you might be rewarded with higher quality fresh specimens. Remember that you should be wearing a hard hat as you will now be up close to the high wall! BTW I had a pretty good day finding several nice fresh examples with perfect calcites on very fresh quartz. My 2 really large finds, about 10" and 11" in diameter and from about 12 feet up are light in weight and definitely hollow so I will clean their outsides up and then carefully open them tomorrow. BOB