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Prospecting, Government definitions
CP
post Oct 17 2009, 11:20 AM
Post #16


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Thank you Denise, you are correct too. Most the information being discussed on all these different sites is actually quoted here, and has been discussed here since the conception of the ColoradoProspector club/website nearly 7 years ago. Wow time sure does fly by! greensmilies-017.gif
Good thing we can find this info here too, especially for those of us who don't have extra greensmilies-007.gif with the economy this year..........! biggrin.gif

So, even though there may be more responses at other sites.......the actual information needed to read for yourself is here, or can be found easily from here. The number of replies being higher on other threads/sites doesn't mean the information there is any better.
Funny, even the researchers posting at other websites see value of posting here too, and seem to be doing at least some, if not alot of their research from here as well. Why not you the people? wink.gif
That is what the ColoradoProspector forums are for......discussions of information that can be read for yourself in truth.

Great to see that so many are now following this train of thought too. The authorities work for us the people and what we need to do is read and understand what pertains to our right to prospect/mine! They aren't going to "tell us" how or what we prospect!

For NM_Jack's question............Russ stated it right, they can not require you to file either. The NOI is not something I would recommend anyone file as a miner. Unless you'd like the rangers to "determine" if you are creating a "significant resource disturbance" or not. stop.gif

When a POO should be filed is above in the CFR's.

All the answers to your questions are in this very thread above your post on page 1. Begining with the first post on Colorado state gov's definition for prospecting, and the CFR's you just asked about too.
Just gotta' read it. happy088.gif
As a claim owner, this is the kind of info you'll want to read up on and know too, for sure!

Basically from what you've said though, using a 2 inch" backpack unit or sluicing a few buckets.....you've got no worries. happy088.gif IMHO biggrin.gif

If you were to ever begin a large scale operation under POO that did create a significant disturbance, then there is also a Colorado aggregate extraction guideline pdf down load in the thread titled "state permits" that you would want to read over.

Hopefully everyone finds this information useful. Good luck out there prospecting everyone!
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bottledigger
post Feb 21 2010, 11:56 AM
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Great info, thumbsupsmileyanim.gif Thanks to ColoradoProspector.com. emoticon-object-018.gif
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bottledigger
post Feb 21 2010, 12:03 PM
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This is old, but I kept it in my computer. CP,If it don't belong here put on the forum elsewhere. Thanks,

PETER W. KARP Forest SupervisorUT

METAL DETECTING ON THE NATIONAL FORESTS

United States Department of Agriculture

Uinta National Forest
88 West l00 North
P.O. mx 1428
Provo, Utah 84603
801-342-5100

File Code: 2360

Date: August l0, 2005


Mr. James Foley
National Land Rights League
P.O. Box 1818
La Pine, OR 97739

Dear Mr. Foley:

This letter is in response to your March 27, 2005 email to the USDA.gov
Feedback inbox regarding information posted on the Uinta National Forest
website about the legality of using metal detectors on National Forest
lands. Your email correctly pointed out that metal detecting is a
legitimate means of prospecting for gold or other mineral specimens under
the 1872 Mining Law. Like other locatable mineral prospecting activities,
use of a metal detector in this manner is covered under the Forest Service
36 CFR 228A regulations. Enclosed for your information is an internal
information paper entitled “Metal Detecting on the National Forests” that
discusses the general requirements for using metal detectors for both
prospecting and recreational purposes.

The statements on the Uinta website reflect requirements for the
recreational use of metal detectors and the concerns for protecting
archaeological resources on the Uinta National Forest, We are aware of the
statutory right to prospect on National Forest System lands under the l872
Mining Law and have updated our webpage to reflect the legitimacy of using
a metal detector for that purpose. We apologize for any confusion caused
by the omission of a reference to the Mining Law.

Thank you for helping us to make our website clearer for persons such as
your self who are interested in the use of metal detectors for prospecting
on National Forest lands.

Sincerely,


PETER W. KARP
Forest Supervisor

Enclosure

cc Jack Troyer, R4 -- . Regional Forester


METAL DETECTING ON THE NATIONAL PORESTS

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 no historical value. Prospecting using a metal detector can be
conducted under the General Mining Laws and is covered under the Forest
Service 36 CFR 22~A 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 minerals-related recreation
activity. It is Forest Service policy that the casual collection of rocks
and mineral samples is allowed on the National Forests.

Prospecting using metal detectors is a low surface impact activity that
involves digging small holes rarely more than six inches deep. Normally,
prospecting with a metal detector 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 he 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 arc archaeological or historical resources present. In such cases,
forest supervisors are authorized to close the area to metal detecting and
the closure would he 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 arc
protected under law. If you were to discover such remains, you should
leave them undisturbed and notify a Forest Service 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:smile: also prohibits
these activities, stating, “No person may excavate, remove, damage, or
otherwise alter or deface or attempt to excavate, remove, damage or
otherwise alter or deface any archaeological resources located on public
lands or Indian lands unless such activity a 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 he considered archaeological
resources and arc 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.

I. 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 (NOl) 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 he made prior to prospecting to
determine if an area has been claimed.

Normally, any gold found can he removed and kept. Lf the removal of the
gold, rocks, or minerals might cause disturbance of surface resources,
beyond digging a small shallow hole, an NOI may be required.

3. Searchjng 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 lost coins, jewelry, and incidental metal items having no
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 in 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 agency’s 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
http://www.oasstjortintime.com
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CP
post Feb 23 2010, 03:23 PM
Post #19


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QUOTE (bottledigger @ Feb 21 2010, 10:56 AM) *
Great info, thumbsupsmileyanim.gif Thanks to ColoradoProspector.com. emoticon-object-018.gif


Thank you bottledigger, we try very hard to keep valid information for folks to reference to when needed. Glad you find the information useful and hopefully many more do too. biggrin.gif Nothing beats having knowledge in the field to help get the job done! happy088.gif

The above post is ok and we'll leave it in this thread. Thanks for posting that up.
I'd like to point out to everyone reading this, even though the author had good intentions and is quite correct about detecting under the mining laws.......as a bona fide prospector in the field. But....... many of todays legal problems or issues stem from the combining of the words prospecting with recreational.
Although one can be a recreationalist prospecting for gold say, but a recreationalist outside of a reacreational area proclaiming to be a "prospector" while on "vacation" or "camping" under the mining law just doesn't cut the mustard in the field. sadno.gif
Matter of fact that is exactly what the government is trying to deliniate and regulate in most situations...... the recreationalists.

Where as, a bona fide prospector in the field has a much different vocabulary, knowledge, and actions used in the field. IE, they are not "vacationing" or "recreating", but are in fact "prospecting" (an actual step of filing claims and mining), as a bona fide prospector in his actions and acceptence of his own responibility in the field.

Recreationalists often do not have, nor care to learn, the laws and behaviors of a bona fide prospector......Thus we have many of today's "problem issues" and quite frankly if the prospector doesn't wish to learn or accept the responibility as they should be, then they are really better off in an actual recreational area with extra guidance/regulations.

This FS website page mentioned above shows exactly what I'm describing (officials attempt to regulate recreationalists). If you look it's not the National Forest Service's main webpage, it's the Uinta forest page. BLM websites are set up much the same in there is a national page, then states or regions that all have their own pages as well. Colorado's BLM Royal Gorge page has many regulations for the "Arkansas headwater recreational area" for example. Those regulations applied to the "Arkansas headwater recreational area" do not apply generally across the board for any other BLM lands, those national laws are already present for the bona fide prospector in the field.

I don't personally know details on the Uinta forest area but many of these webpages (like Colorado BLM RG field office), are geared towards these very high impact use areas and they are regulating multiple "recreational uses" for those high impact areas. I've also found that many of these are withdrawn from mineral entry too, so you can still prospect there but not file new claims. Not to say there are not claims within those areas because there very often are.

Well hope I've not rambled on too much but I wanted to show the point between actual laws and extra regulation due to recreational high use areas.

CP


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Scratch60
post Aug 12 2012, 01:03 PM
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QUOTE (russau @ Oct 16 2009, 08:59 AM) *
they cant require you to file at all! remember the 1866/1872 mining laws!know what it says for your own protection and to keep from help setting a precident!

I just visited the Fairplay FS office. They were pleasant enough, but I got a handout that (at the bottom) says "Anything other than panning; i.e. any activities that might cause significant disturbance of surface resources, falls into another category and requires a notice of intent with the Forest Service." (emphasis there's)
Can I just quote the 1872 Mining Act and keep shoveling gravel in to my highbanker? Somehow don't think that will satisfy the Federales. Has anyone on this forum successfully argued the point with a ranger?
As for the BLM, apparently, all they have to do is declare an area:ie Cache Creek, as 'acquired land' and its magically innured from the Mining Act of 1872 (see the BLM Royal Gorge site).
I think it could be argued as a tenant of law that regulations do not trump laws. Regulations cannot be used to negate or as lawyers say "vacate" a law. It's an end run around laws that were meant to protect the rights of citizens with the intent of restricting those very rights. Laws derive their power from the Constitution, regulations derive their power from bureaucrats.
Sorry about the rant, but until I can get the facts through my thick head, I'll put off buying that highbanker/combo.


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russau
post Aug 12 2012, 06:31 PM
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before you attempt ot throw the 1866/1872 mining laws in their face when stopped, make surewho owns the property your working! public land/state land/county/city land! the 1866/1872 mining laws only pertain to the public lands, not state/county/city. on these grounds the law is different!i keep a folder with the laws that pertain to where im at and in there i have my permits also. this folder is sorta thick cause i travel around to many states and need to have my paperwork in order if/when stoipped. its amazing how when they see how organized my paperwork is, they tend to back off!
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CP
post Aug 13 2012, 07:34 PM
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Hi Scratch,

The FS is not even authorized to regulate mining (see 36cfr scope) and on the Arkansas headwater recreational area those rules are specific only to that area which has been withdrawn from mineral entry. The rest of the states BLM land does not have those special rules like Cache Creek and the Arkansas river do.
Here is a thread about Colorado dredging and highbanking that I've explained a bit more about the Arkansas headwater rec area's special designation.

The FS officials will often say or even put out print or website information that is completely false and many times illegal according to the actual law.
Even though I've heard absurd things from the very same office's volunteer staff like......if you don't see any fences you should be able to prospect. rolleyes.gif stop.gif
But yes I've challenged rangers in that office (including the past head ranger) as well as other district head rangers and backed them off their personal opinions to find the law.
Do they go by the laws I've showed them in the past? .......... Who knows?! confused0082[1].gif

Good job digging in for the right information thumbsupsmileyanim.gif , I think you've got wind of how the FS officials will "help" find the right stuff. stooges.gif


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Crusty
post Feb 1 2015, 09:53 AM
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Today's thread posted to the Facebook page! Good emoticon-object-024.gif reading! :)



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Olog the Ogre
post Mar 16 2017, 12:30 PM
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I'm late to the conversation, but based upon another thread or two out there, I figured I'd better read this one.

I have a couple questions.

" While information gathered by prospecting
concerning mineral resources within National Forest Wilderness
may be utilized in connection with the location of valuable
mineral deposits which may be discovered through such activity
and which may be open to such location, attention is directed
to the fact that no claim may be located after midnight,
December 31, 1983, and no valid discovery may be made after
that time on any location purportedly made before that time.
"

What does that mean?

And then we have this one:

"Casual use means activities ordinarily resulting in no or negligible

disturbance of the public lands or resources. For example--

(1) Casual use generally includes the collection of geochemical,

rock, soil, or mineral specimens using hand tools; hand panning; or non-

motorized sluicing. It may include use of small portable suction

dredges. It also generally includes use of metal detectors, gold spears

and other battery-operated devices for sensing the presence of minerals,

and hand and battery-operated drywashers.
"

The last one would suggest that under the definition of casual, a small dredge does not require a permit. That's confusing because the BLM specifically requires a permit for any dredge work at all.

Also, all of this seems to revolve around the concept of "A significant amount of surface" changes. Well, has anyone been to Cripple Creek and viewed the mine up there? THAT is significant land damage. In one persons entire lifetime, even with an operation like the Hoffman's on "Gold Rush", that much damage could not be caused very easily. That mine took a century to get that big.

So my question would be, who sets these "standards" on what is significant? Some ecologist's would scream over a shovel full, others who are a little more industrial minded wouldn't consider "significant" damage until tree's fall down.

Almost the entire of Southern Colorado is built on prior gold mining efforts. Garfield, Monarch, Breckenridge, Maysville, Granite... all these towns are literally built on tailings. And there are a lot more. The Arkansas River is just one long tailings all the way from North Fork all the way down to Pueblo. How can we damage anything with small dredge's when those giant dredge's already destroyed the natural landscape over a hundred years ago?

Further, there are no "natural wildlife" in the Arkansas. We destroyed the natural ecology at the same time frame and all the trout that are in that river is bred in Salida. They can't even claim that small dredge work will disturb them because they don't belong here either! Plus it doesn't matter - if we accidentally kill a few fish, well a lot more will replace them by next breeding season. The river is too fast now for catfish because when they dredged it, they also straightened it - the damage is done and now they "mitigate" it, and yet they are clamoring over us? OMG.

As an individual, when I leave a site I always back fill, but I dig one heck of a hole. I try to move about ten yards a day by hand. By some people's definition, I am worse than a beaver but I just use a shovel and a pick - I have seem claims with less damage than I do in a day and they have machines. This whole thing is very confusing and there are no specific definitions.


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johnnybravo300
post Mar 16 2017, 02:37 PM
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The fast answers.....
You can't file a claim on protected wilderness lands after Dec31 1983, all that means.
Casual use is a definition used by blm and defined by law having to do with land disturbance I believe. It might be considered casual use to dig at clear creek, cache creek, fairplay public area, point Barr, wilderness areas? or any open space or public access. Special limited rules can apply. Usually these places are withdrawn to new claims.
Heck even on your own claim it may be considered casual use if you aren't making a mess? I don't know why that would need a name? Hehe

The amount and level of surface damage and eco impact you are causing is up to you to consider as a professional and responsible miner. Every mining situation is different. There are documents and applications and legal channels to follow in that case and blm will be more involved with the claim holder.

I am in no way a lawyer haha. Some of this may be my interpretation.


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johnnybravo300
post Mar 16 2017, 05:25 PM
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The casual use term is a strange one.


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MikeS
post Mar 17 2017, 01:57 PM
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I would argue the first clause Olog mentioned about wilderness is not absolute. Some of the individual legislation designating wilderness areas have written into them exemptions such as being able to establish mineral rights (stake a claim) for 20 years after the designation is made.

Although some states and agencies push for permit for dredging, the regulation mentioned is more in line with the law and I would argue the law does not prohibit "motorized sluicing" like it portrays in the regulation either(my personal take).

The larger mining operations mentioned are well beyond "casual use" and they are in most cases following proper plans of operations and other requirements.


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johnnybravo300
post Mar 17 2017, 09:35 PM
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I've only seen written approval needed for some dredging but not motorized sluicing. At least around here they consider dredging more of a disturbance I guess. A motorized sluice is still limited by shoveling ability and how much you can move in a day maybe?

A motorized sluice to me would seem like it could be a realistic testing tool for a possible claim so you couldn't really go get permits everytime you test somewhere.
I wouldn't hesitate to use one of them or a dry washer anywhere either.
Neither one does what a dredge does. They both take shovel work.


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