Can You Legally Collect Rocks In North Dakota State Parks?
I used to collect just about everything when I was a kid.
Stamps, baseball, football, and hockey cards, beer cans, bottle caps, coins, matchbooks, and probably a few others I'm forgetting. I even used to have a small collection of rocks I used to gather from camping, fishing, and hunting trips.
Many of these rocks came from state parks in North Dakota and Minnesota.
Little did I know back when I was 12 years old I was breaking the law. At least in North Dakota, I was. It's considered illegal in the Roughrider State, according to Rockhound Resource.
The statute reads like this, "No person may destroy, deface, or remove, or disturb, in any manner, any real, personal, or public property, including geological formations or features and historical and cultural artifacts. Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a noncriminal offense."
This basically means you will have to pay a fine, but no felony or misdemeanor will end up on your permanent record in North Dakota.
In Minnesota, it's considered "prohibited" with no mention of a penalty, In South Dakota, it's also considered illegal, and in Montana rock collecting in state parks is prohibited.
As we close in on another weekend and the Memorial weekend is right around the corner, I thought it might be a good idea to let you know in case you have camping plans in one of our state parks. It might just save you a little green in your pocketbook.
Seems petty I know. Your kid grabs a few rocks on a riverbed and that is considered breaking the law in North Dakota. I'm guessing most park rangers would look the other way, but you never know.
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