Courtland Lee is DCGIA’s resident Geologist and Miner, a geologist with an MS in Economic Geology from the University of Arizona (1967). After early work in western metals exploration, and a tour of duty in the U.S. Navy, Courtland went to work in Washington, D.C. on Federal Mineral programs.
While there he worked on Capitol Hill for the Mines and Mining Committee. Courtland was instrumental in getting petrified dinosaur bone “Patuxent River Stone” designated as the official Maryland State gemstone.
Courtland’s presentation provided insight into his pursuit of the Maryland House Bill 22 State Gem – Patuxent River Stone. The legislative roadmap was laid out as follows:
Have a Good Stone
Find a Legislative Champion
Draft the Bill
Testify at Hearings
PERSIST – PERSIST – PERSIST some more!
The main competition was Williamsite – Emerald Green Serpentine.
A Green stone for a RED & GOLD State? Courtland did not think so!
Additionally, Courtland talked about Blue Ridge Native Copper, Maryland was a major American copper producer prior to the Civil War. Copper was required for both Civil War Bronze Field Artillery, and Copper Primers. As such Maryland was a resource rich state that the confederacy needed for the war.
Courtland provided alot of information on native minerals in the Mid-Atlantic states and offered to lead a field trip in the spring to search out Patuxent River Agate and other native minerals to the DCGIA members.
Summary by Charlie Marts
Photos from Courtland Lee’s Powerpoint presentation.