Metal Detectors and Detecting


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Hi All

I was woke this morning by a freind and fellow forum member. Who told me he was in Greaterville detecting on one of the GPAA claims the other day. When he got back to his truck he was greated by a forest ranger who had been waiting on him for some time. The ranger promptly wrote him a citation for metal detecting without a metal detecting permit in the National Forest. Advised him he could confiscate his vehicle, GP4500 detector and everything involved. The ticket fine was $250.00 but being the genorous ranger that he is he only cited him and additional $500.00 at the price of $50.00 per piece of trash he had in his possesion. He actually had a couple dozen pieces of trash so he got out cheap. On my last couple of visits to the forest service they advised me rules and laws were changing but were vague as to any references. I thought I smelled a rat in the hen house. I'm willing to bet the permits are for archeologists, PHD and universities only and that these new rules apply on all public domain lands. I'm curious if mining NOI (Notice of Intent) or PoO (Plan of Operations) will suffice as a use permit if such use is listed ? I don't recommend metal detector stocks as investments right now !! Happy Huntin John B.

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Hi John, try these on for size. Taken directly from Title 36: Parks, Forests, and Public Property

Subpart 228.4 section 1 Current as of 25 Feb 2010. Here's a link to the full text: Title 36

(1) A notice of intent to operate is not required for:

(i) Operations which will be limited to the use of vehicles on existing public roads or roads used and maintained for National Forest System purposes;

(ii) Prospecting and sampling which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance and will not involve removal of more than a reasonable amount of mineral deposit for analysis and study which generally might include searching for and occasionally removing small mineral samples or specimens, gold panning, metal detecting, non-motorized hand sluicing, using battery operated dry washers, and collecting of mineral specimens using hand tools;

(iii) Marking and monumenting a mining claim;

(iv) Underground operations which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance;

(v) Operations, which in their totality, will not cause surface resource disturbance which is substantially different than that caused by other users of the National Forest System who are not required to obtain a Forest Service special use authorization, contract, or other written authorization;

(vi) Operations which will not involve the use of mechanized earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers or backhoes, or the cutting of trees, unless those operations otherwise might cause a significant disturbance of surface resources; or

(vii) Operations for which a proposed plan of operations is submitted for approval;

Here's a link to a planning meeting yo might want to attend. I sent this to your email a while back, did you get it?

http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/plan-revision/index.shtml

Go Get em' Later...Jim P.

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Hello John,

Thanks for the update. I've been hearing this from a few friends of mine that spend time prospecting in and around the Greaterville area. One friend said a Forest Ranger told him he would be cited if he parked more than 10 foot off the road, regardless if there was a road leading to a small camping area.

Not sure I want to even go back down there and deal with that Forest Service crap!

Rob Allison

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From my understanding, metal detecting in a national forest, especially for mineral prospecting purposes, is a legal activity except in "known" area's of historical interest. If you happen upon protected historical artifacts you are supposed to leave them where you found them. I don't believe they can legally prevent you from metal detecting for gold unless the area is closed to mineral entry. If I were the person cited I would challenge the citation in court just like a traffic ticket.

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Hi Jim P., excellent web-link to current 36 CFR 288 Subpart A, many thanks.

These are the rules I try to operate by and FS management can not be more restrictive than the CFR reguires or allows.

Thanks again...

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From my understanding, metal detecting in a national forest, especially for mineral prospecting purposes, is a legal activity except in "known" area's of historical interest. If you happen upon protected historical artifacts you are supposed to leave them where you found them. I don't believe they can legally prevent you from metal detecting for gold unless the area is closed to mineral entry. If I were the person cited I would challenge the citation in court just like a traffic ticket.

i was told by BLM that its ok to detect in a area closed to mineral entry but i cant use any mechanical means such as a dry washer or a dredge. Of coarse if i find something good i cant file a claim. All the wild life refuges are this way.

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i was told by BLM that its ok to detect in a area closed to mineral entry but i cant use any mechanical means such as a dry washer or a dredge. Of coarse if i find something good i cant file a claim. All the wild life refuges are this way.

Hello Offroaddriver,

I would be really careful on what the BLM tells you where you can/can't detect. Do you think they are going to go to court with you if you get arrested?

If the minerals were lifted from somewhere, there are reason behind this. Also, Wildlife Refuges are off limits to prospecting and metal detecting. Keep in mind, some of these agencies have more juridiction when it comes to the law over local law enforcement officers.

Just don't want to see you get in a bind somewhere.

Rob Allison

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Hello Offroaddriver,

I would be really careful on what the BLM tells you where you can/can't detect. Do you think they are going to go to court with you if you get arrested?

If the minerals were lifted from somewhere, there are reason behind this. Also, Wildlife Refuges are off limits to prospecting and metal detecting. Keep in mind, some of these agencies have more juridiction when it comes to the law over local law enforcement officers.

Just don't want to see you get in a bind somewhere.

Rob Allison

Sorry make that wilderness area is where they said it was ok to metal detect. Such as Hassayampa river canyon wilderness which is close to you.

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Did anyone attend any of the Coronado NF planning meetings???? Wednesday the 3rd was the important one for Greaterville, but there are few left if you missed the first ones. Coronado NF planning meetings

Here's a link to the plan draft; http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coronado/plan-revision/documents/DraftForestPlan/Coronado_WorkingDraftForestPlan_March2010-Black&WhiteMaps.pdf

Notice how far down the contents list you have to go to get to anything related to multi Use, probably not a mistake. Later...Jim P.

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