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United States Department of the Interior
BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT Prineville District Office
3050 NE Third Street
Prineville, Oregon 97754
In Reply Refer to: 8360 (ORPOOO)
A PR 07 2009
We are pleased to respond to your inquiry regarding Glass Butte, Oregon, administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Prineville District. Glass Butte is a Rhyolitic Dome created approximately 4.9 million years ago. It is located in a very rugged and remote portion of the
Glass Butte is located off Highway 20 (Hwy 20) between
Approximately 36 square miles of BLM administered lands surrounding Glass Butte are designated a rock hound recreation area. As the name implies, this geologic feature is associated with the glass-like rock known as obsidian. The area is best known for the availability of a wide variety of colors. The entire rock hound area has been segregated from mining for obsidian and chalcedony, with the exception of three grandfathered claims in the center. The public is allowed to collect "reasonable amounts" (defined as 2501bs. per person per year) for personal use only, without a permit. Obsidian extraction is by hand tools only - no mechanized equipment (except for claimant on claims). No commercial collecting is allowed (except for the claimant of the three mining claims).
The "Central Oregon Rockhounding Map" includes the Glass Butte area and can be purchased from the BLM Prineville District for a cost of $2.50. Additional Rock Hounding information can be obtained from local rock shops and the Prineville Chamber of Commerce at (541) 447-6304. For further information or assistance from the BLM Prineville District office call John Zancanella at phone (541) 416-6735, email John_Zancanella@blm.gov, or call Berry Phelps at (541) 416-6723, email Berry_Phelps@blm.gov. We hope you have an enjoyable experience!