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Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: garrettlover
Date: April 25, 2011 08:43AM
The answer is yes! here is the latest laws

MINERAL, ROCK COLLECTING AND METAL DETECTING ON THE
NATIONAL FORESTS
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It is Forest Service policy that the recreational use of metal detectors and the collection of
rocks and mineral samples are allowed on the National Forests. Generally, most of the
National Forests are open to recreational mineral and rock collecting, gold panning and
prospecting using a metal detector. This low impact, casual activity usually does not
require any authorization.
On some eastern Forests gold panning does require a letter of authorization due to the
high clay content of the soils. It is always wise to check with the local District Ranger if
you have questions. Some wilderness areas are closed to gold panning and metal
detecting.
Metal detecting is a legitimate means of locating gold or other mineral specimens and can
be an effective prospecting tool for locating larger mineral deposits. This activity can also
be conducted as a recreational activity locating lost coins, jewelry or other incidental
metallic items of little historical value. Prospecting using a metal detector can be
conducted under the General Mining Laws and is covered under the Forest Service 36
CFR 228A locatable mineral regulations for lands open to mineral entry. Metal detecting
for treasure trove or lost items such as coins and jewelry is managed as a non mineralsrelated
recreation activity.
Metal detecting is a low surface impact activity that involves digging small holes rarely
more than six inches deep. Normally, metal detecting does not require a notice of intent
or written authorization since it only involves searching for and occasionally removing
small rock samples or mineral specimens (36 CFR 228.4(a)).
Metal detectors may be used on public land in areas that do not contain or would not
reasonably be expected to contain archaeological or historical resources. Normally,
developed campgrounds, swimming beaches, and other developed recreation sites are
open to recreational metal detecting unless there are archaeological or historical resources
present. In such cases, forest supervisors are authorized to close the area to metal
detecting and the closure would be posted at the site. Such closure notices are not always
practical in undeveloped areas, and federal agencies have not identified every
archaeological site on public lands. It is possible; therefore, that you may encounter such
archaeological remains that have not yet been documented or an area that is not closed
even though it does indeed contain such remains. Archaeological remains on public land
are protected under law. If you were to discover such remains, you should leave them
undisturbed and notify a FS office.
The purpose of the restrictions to metal detecting on public lands is to protect historical
remains. The Code of Federal Regulations, (36 CFR 261.9) states, "The following are
prohibited: (g) Digging in, excavating, disturbing, injuring, destroying, or in any way
damaging any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure, site, artifact, or
property. (h) Removing any prehistoric, historic, or archaeological resources, structure,
site, artifact, property." The Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA, 16
U.S.C. 470cc:) also prohibits these activities, stating, "No person may excavate, remove,
damage, or otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage or otherwise
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alter or deface any archaeological resources located on public lands or Indian lands
unless such activity is pursuant to a permit... ARPA exempts the collection of coins for
personal use if the coins are not in an archaeological context. In some cases, historically
significant coins and other metallic artifacts may be part of an historical-period
archaeological site, in which case they would be considered archaeological resources and
are protected under law. These laws apply to all National Forest System land and do not
vary from state to state.
Four forms of metal detector use are recognized.
1. Searching for treasure trove: Treasure trove is defined as money, gems, or
precious metals in the form of coin, plate, or bullion that has been deliberately
hidden with the intention of recovering it later. This activity requires a Special
Use Permit under The Act of June 4, 1897 (16 U.S.C. 551). Forest Service
Manual 2724.4 states allow persons to search for buried treasure on National
Forest System lands, but protect the rights of the public regarding ownership of or
claims on any recovered property.
2. Prospecting: Using a metal detector to locate gold or other mineral deposits is an
allowed activity under the General Mining Laws and is subject to the 36 CFR
228A regulations. A Notice of Intent (36 CFR 228.4(a)) is normally not required
for prospecting using a metal detector. A Notice of Intent (NOI) is required for
any prospecting which might cause disturbance of surface resources. A plan of
operation is required for any prospecting that will likely cause significant
disturbance of surface resources. Normal metal detecting does not cause surface
impacts that require either a NOI or a Plan of Operation. People who use metal
detectors for prospecting should bear in mind that many of the mineralized lands
within the National Forests and open to mineral entry have been claimed by
others who have sole right to prospect and develop the mineral resources found on
the mining claim. A search of County and Bureau of Land Management records
should be made prior to prospecting to determine if an area has been claimed.
Normally, any gold found can be removed and kept. If the removal of the gold,
rocks, or minerals might cause disturbance of surface resources, beyond digging a
small shallow hole, a NOI may be required.
3. Searching for historic or prehistoric artifacts: Using a metal detector to locate
archaeological or historical remains is subject to the Antiquities Act of 1906 and
the Archeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA) as amended and
requires a special use permit. Such permits are granted for scientific research
only, however, there are many ways to get involved with organized, scientific
research. See below for ways to use metal detectors for this purpose under
sanctioned public archaeology programs.
4. Recreational pursuits: The most common form of metal detector use is searching
for gold nuggets, lost coins, jewelry, and incidental metal items having no
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historical value. Such use is common in developed campgrounds, swimming
areas, and picnic areas and requires no permit. However, one must assume
personal responsibility to notice if the area may indeed contain archaeological or
historical resources and if it does, cease metal detecting and notify a Forest
Service office. Not doing so may result in prosecution under the Code of Federal
Regulations or ARPA.
Metal detecting on the National Forests is recognized as a legitimate prospecting method
under the General Mining Laws and also as a recreational activity for the casual
collection of rocks and minerals. This policy does not permit the use of metal detectors in
or around known or undiscovered cultural or historic sites in order to protect our
valuable, non-renewable historical resources. However, recognizing the universal
interest in archaeology and history and the vast public knowledge of such resources, the
USDA Forest Service sponsors a public archaeology program through which metal
detector enthusiasts and others can help. Passport In Time (PIT) is a national program
inviting the public to work with agency archaeologists on historic preservation projects.
We have done numerous projects through PIT in cooperation with metal detecting clubs
and individuals. The cooperation has been beneficial for both the detectorists and
agencys archaeologists. Locating archaeological sites becomes a joint endeavor and we
learn a great deal. If you would like more information on this program, call 1-800-281-
9176 or visit www.passportintime.com.
Mike Doran May 27, 2009

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: Johnho
Date: April 25, 2011 09:11AM
This is a more detailed description of my experience with sending an email to the BLM district in south western Colorado. I asked the BLM district office about using a metal detector to look for gold in the Silverton area. The response was that it is permitted to use for this but can not be used to search for "archaeological" items. However, I did print out the Office response for my records just in case the field people questioned me. Thanks for showing this.

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Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: Gopher John
Date: April 25, 2011 12:45PM
Very Interesting information. Thank you for sharing it with us.



'Only one Life, 'twill Soon be Passed, only what's done for Christ will Last'.

Garrett AT-PRO; Garrett Pro Pointer; Bounty Hunter QD-2; RS Discovery 2000;

SW Michigan, USA

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Only if you are prospectingN/T
Posted by: JW
Date: April 25, 2011 03:19PM

(This message does not contain any text.)


Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: kirk01
Date: April 26, 2011 12:32AM
I just found this at another MD site dated Feb. 2011.

Update on Rockhounding/Gold Panning/Metal Detecting Policy
National Forests in North Carolina

"Over the past year, forest managers have been working on a more detailed policy for
recreational rockhounding, gold panning and metal detecting on national forest lands.
Because some aspects of national regulations regarding Forest Service authorities are
being reviewed and may be modified, we will defer revising our forest policy until 2010.

In the interim, the current rockhounding policy will remain in place. This is a summary
of those rules:

- Recreational Rockhounding may take place at areas where minerals are loose
and free on the surface, and the activity is not restricted by permit or in an area
designated as closed for this activity. Mineral collection must be with non-
mechanical equipment and result in no significant ground or stream disturbance.

- Recreational Gold Panning is allowed where minerals are in federal ownership,
using non-mechanized equipment, where no ground disturbance takes place, and
where streams are not designated as closed to this activity.

- Metal detecting is not allowed on national forest lands unless an area is
designated open for this activity or an individual has obtained a formal
authorization from the appropriate District Ranger (or their representative)."

So, is this just for NC?
Or everywhere.

I am in Ga. and I always assumed MD'g was a no in National Forests.
When I saw this post I got all excited, but now I'm confused.
Any more input on this matter would be appreciated.

Thanks

Good Hunting

Denny

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: garrettlover
Date: April 26, 2011 08:16PM
i spoke to a national forest ranger today and he said according to the laws he enforces it's legal to metal detect in national forests. if the area is an archeological site then it you can't . but along the streams and lakes you can in any forest.if you read the post i made it plainly says you can coin detect,however if you find a rare coin that has historical significance it should be turned in to see if the archaeologists are interested in it.if not you get it back.
picnic areas are allowed to be hunted and the shorelines and in the water.and you can't dig indian burial grounds.

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: kirk01
Date: April 27, 2011 12:06AM
garrettlover,

Thanks for the additional info.

Sometimes the local Rangers or caretakers in some of these areas don't know the law or make it up themselves if they are in a bad mood.

A friend of mine was hunting on a Corps of Engineers Lake here in Ga. and was told by the Ranger he was not allowed to do that.

My friend had to go back to his car and show him one of their brochures that said he could.

The Ranger walked away unhappy but let him hunt.

I did read your post and then I read;

-" Metal detecting is not allowed on national forest lands unless an area is
designated open for this activity or an individual has obtained a formal
authorization from the appropriate District Ranger (or their representative)."

I hope your post is correct and the other post is wrong or only applies to NC.

Good Hunting

Denny

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: john in san diego
Date: April 27, 2011 02:05PM
I would like to think that what they mean is that the old coin you find must have historical significance to the area in question, not just historical significance to the numismatic community. Just a thought.

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Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: Canine
Date: April 27, 2011 05:43PM
Forest Rangers have a blank book of bylaws that they fill in whatever they want. If you get a jerk, you are screwed. Fortunately, most of those people are better than average and are true stewards of the land and provide great service to the public. Few are power hungry.

As long as you are respectful of the land and hopefully leave the area better than you found it, you will likely be welcomed.



Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game. -Michael Jordan

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: Jason in TN
Date: April 27, 2011 06:06PM
Most areas you can prospect. I know a fellow that hunts the national forest a good bit. Always carries a gold pan with him so if any one ask he is prospecting

Jason

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No Wheaties for you.......without the permits....:ranting:
Posted by: quarterhorse
Date: April 27, 2011 06:22PM
http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott/recreation/propect.shtml

All National Forest will be under the same guidance found in the Code of Federal Regulations, it will along with the Antiquity Act (ARPA) take precedence over any so called "policy" and coins under 50 years old are fair game :thumbup:, no problem with me :rofl: violating the law.

Now with these deep seeking AT PRO's just extracting one of those Wheaties, you might create another "Grand Canyon" :rofl:



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2011 06:30PM by quarterhorse.




Re: No Wheaties for you.......without the permits....:ranting:
Posted by: Kayaker
Date: April 27, 2011 07:47PM
Quote
quarterhorse
http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott/recreation/propect.shtml

All National Forest will be under the same guidance found in the Code of Federal Regulations, it will along with the Antiquity Act (ARPA) take precedence over any so called "policy" and coins under 50 years old are fair game :thumbup:, no problem with me :rofl: violating the law.

Now with these deep seeking AT PRO's just extracting one of those Wheaties, you might create another "Grand Canyon" :rofl:


From the clip in the initial thread post, it seems that metal detecting is "generally" OK... but that some areas ARE CLOSED. It's certainly your choice whether to ignore it, but it seems clear that region/state offices have the authority to set and enforce local restrictions. I wish you luck arguing your interpretation of Federal Regulations with a NPS ranger. It wouldn't be worth it to me. :shrug:

Here is a link I found to a North Carolina PROPOSAL - Forest Supervisors Orders for Geocaching and Metal Detecting on the National Forests in NC . From that page, wasn't able to figure out if/when it was ever finalized, though.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/27/2011 07:59PM by Kayaker.

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: kirk01
Date: April 28, 2011 02:32AM
I forgot to mention in my above post ( or maybe I just wanted to forget ) that last July at a family reunion at the Chattahoochee National Forest in Ga.,

I asked very politely the Ranger as I stood on a little man made beach at Unicoi Lodge lake that we were paid up guests at if I could do a little MD'g in the sand.

I probably would have gotten a better reaction if I would have asked him for his first born.

His face lit up with anger and hate and said absolutely not, turned and walked quickly away without letting me say another word.

I would gladly pay for a license or something and swear an oath if need be and be done with this confusion.

Good Hunting

Denny

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: Dennis Harbour
Date: April 28, 2011 02:18PM
Is the Natchez Trace` open?

Re: Can you hunt in a national forest
Posted by: kirk01
Date: April 28, 2011 03:11PM
Quote
Dennis Harbour
Is the Natchez Trace` open?

I took these comments from some other sites.

One comes from Tn.gov site.


From Gov. TN.com
The Natchez Trace is off limits, as are the wildlife managment areas and most parks.

Various comments from the web.
However, on places like the Natchez Trace, or Vickburg's war parks, it's a federal crime to even go on the grounds with a detector in your trunk.

From what i have found out Natchez Trace is treated as a stat park in Tennessee and also in Mississippi
therefore no hunting on the Trace. They won't even allow commercial vehicles to use the Trace.

I also am pretty sure that the entire Trace is protected, probably more so on the National level rather than State. That means big time NO-NO.

The above would suggest not.

Good Hunting

Denny

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