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Original message: While watching your Great Basin show recently, (A show with a dad and mom and daughter exploring caves and lands in the Great Basin area), I noted 3 very harmful practices demonstrated with the general implied message that these are alright to do.. 1. They showed handling artifacts found imbedded in soil in the bottom of a cave with bare hands. This is a super wrong practice. Ask any trained archaeologist or other professional scientist. Disturbing archaeologic history, bacterial contamination and so forth.. 2. They showed thumping a cone stalagmite with bare hands repeatedly to get a sound out of it. Bacteria on hands can seriously contaminate cave formations and can cause changes in the crystals there. Another person, on getting the 'message' "this is OK to do", may eventually break the cone stalagmite off by hitting it with a big stick or rock brought into the cave. This has happened in several other cave locations. 3. At another Great Basin location, they showed picking up and taking the crystals lying on the ground there. That (once legal but often now illegal) practice is what caused loss of most of the "Petrified Forest" material and almost all of the "Devils Golf Course" material prior to 1970. That lost material is gone forever. The population of the US includes hundreds of millions of people and a few million tourists can easily strip all the crystals or other geologic material within a few years of summer tourists picking up one crystal. In many National Parks and State Parks it is a prosecutable offense to pick up and take such materials. Please have professionals not casual persons with no training give these shows, or at least get professional review before broadcasting.
   
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