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  #1  
Old 03-28-2021, 01:14 PM
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Default Vacation detecting in V.A. and WVa.

Hello, all!

My wife wants to check out Thomas Jefferson's Monticello estate on our vacation so I was like sure, why not. I've planned my route. We're in southwest P.A. and I'll head down through West Virginia and we'll spend a day or two there bumming around and checking out some parks and waterfalls. Then we'll hop over to Charlottesville, VA where Monticello is. Obviously I'm not going to be swinging anywhere near the grounds of Monticello, but I hope to hop out and do some detecting here and there along the way.

I'd like to hear from folks either living in those places or who have travelled to those places before. I know I'll be in a very historic region, and many spots will be protected and patrolled. I'm not planning on doing any MD'ing in places like that, but I was wondering otherwise what I should expect. How are the authorities when meeting detectorists, as long as youre not doing anything obviously wrong or destructive? We are planning on visiting a waterfall or two. I'm interested in detecting in the areas around the basins which are also swimming holes, and many of the cliffy areas where people stop to see the views. Also areas around any old foundations or ruins I see which are not marked "POSTED" or "NO TRESPASSING" may get a few swings. Depends on the vibes I get from each individual site. When in the state parks I won't be able to hide my detector but I will have a very small digging tool stored out of sight. If asked I will generally tell people that I am mostly surface-hunting or water-hunting and not tearing up the park. And that will "generally" be the truth!

I'm just wondering what the overall culture and attitude (not to mention the LAWS) will be regarding what I am planning on doing. Any feedback, experience or knowledge is welcome.

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  #2  
Old 03-29-2021, 01:53 PM
rmcnelly rmcnelly is offline
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I'm new at this and cannot offer any advice. I do know if you are caught detecting historical sites it's very serious. Every city has their own rules. I'd suggest joining the Metal Detecting Virginia Facebook Group, and asking there:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/159768637419307

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  #3  
Old 03-29-2021, 02:54 PM
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Naturally, avoid obvious historical sensitive monuments. But for routine benign muni parks, I do not hesitate to stop and hunt parks, wherever/whenever I'm traveling around.

If you're still skittish, you can look up muni park rules for whatever city you're going to be going through. Rules/laws are always available, on the net, in this digital day and age that we live in. Eg.: Dogs on leash, no fireworks, etc.... If you see nothing there that says : "No md'ing ", then presto: Not disallowed.

Oh sure, use common sense and don't be in the middle of deep retrievals in nicely manicured turf, if busy-bodies are staring. I mean, sure, we're in an odd-ball hobby. So go at low traffic times.
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Old 03-30-2021, 12:41 AM
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I know Roanoke Va city parks have a strange rule that you can't detect or dig under trees. Something about preserving root structures.
The dreaded permit is required.

https://www.playroanoke.com/forms/

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  #5  
Old 03-30-2021, 02:36 PM
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Originally Posted by HistoryHippy View post
I know Roanoke Va city parks have a strange rule that you can't detect or dig under trees. Something about preserving root structures.
The dreaded permit is required.

https://www.playroanoke.com/forms/
And yet, for some strange reason, mdr's eyes seem to "wax romantic" at the thought of "permits" . Sounds so inviting, eh ? I got a good laugh on reading the fine print of that one :

Like: Not near bathrooms. But not to worry, the permit explains why: "So as not to damage plumbing or wires " Since when has a detector ever "damaged wires or plumbing" near ANY bathroom ?

And sure, not near tree roots. Because heaven's knows that our lesche diggers are SURE to make a tree fall down, right ?

And I have a sneaking suspicion of why Roanoke ever dreamed up the idea of a "permit", in the first place. Care to take a guess as to the probable genesis ?
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Old 03-31-2021, 03:03 PM
kweis kweis is offline
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Virginia has a lot of independent cities with they're own laws and court system. If your in one of these (ie: Winchester) they're laws govern not so much county or state. Check the specific parks web sites for what goes or not there.
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Old 03-31-2021, 11:07 PM
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So far I just hit up a trail at the edge of Blackwater Falls State Park (V.A.). Just found some old heavy plate steel pieces on top of a moss covered rock I knew Id find something on that rock! I've been very careful to stay away from the visitors centers, etc, and certainly not battlefields and historic areas. If I wasn't playing so close to the vest I'd probably have found somegood stuff. Six hour ride home tomorrow. Its not over till its over. There are some pretty out of the way spots all the way home from here and through southern P.A.. I might have done more today crossing from WVa to VA but it was raining buckets all the way.

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Old 04-06-2021, 12:53 PM
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Metal Detecting in West Virginia State Parks is strictly forbidden by law. So avoid them. I have detected numerous municipal parks in the state. Have detected school grounds when school is not in session. Some folks in Wv are Leary of strangers so you might have some tell you no when you ask permission to detect. But some of those older home sites are wonderful places to find silver coins. Good Luck..

Most of my permissions up in Wv came from folks who know my wifes family.
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  #9  
Old 04-06-2021, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by georgeinsc View post
Metal Detecting in West Virginia State Parks is strictly forbidden by law. ...

Curious where you're getting this information from ? Because not-even the FMDAC state-by-state compendium could find any such prohibition :


http://www.fmdac.org/west-virginia-state-regulat.html


As you can see, the best they could come up with, is "don't disturb graves". And following that (since they could find no *specific* prohibition) they suggest to "check in at each park ranger" blah blah. I would disagree with that conclusion. If there's nothing there that says "no md'ing", then , presto... not disallowed. Thus no reason to need to "grovel in front of rangers". (but , sure, avoid *obvious historic sensitive monuments*)

But anyhow, aside from that, they apparently could find nothing that specifically says "no md'ing". So where are you getting your information ? If you have a link, please link it to us.

If it's true that something's come up since that compendium was assembled, (or they were simply numb-nuts and couldn't find it back when they compiled that), let us see it.

thanx !
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:28 PM
FliesOnly FliesOnly is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
Curious where you're getting this information from ? Because not-even the FMDAC state-by-state compendium could find any such prohibition :


http://www.fmdac.org/west-virginia-state-regulat.html


As you can see, the best they could come up with, is "don't disturb graves". And following that (since they could find no *specific* prohibition) they suggest to "check in at each park ranger" blah blah. I would disagree with that conclusion. If there's nothing there that says "no md'ing", then , presto... not disallowed. Thus no reason to need to "grovel in front of rangers". (but , sure, avoid *obvious historic sensitive monuments*)

But anyhow, aside from that, they apparently could find nothing that specifically says "no md'ing". So where are you getting your information ? If you have a link, please link it to us.

If it's true that something's come up since that compendium was assembled, (or they were simply numb-nuts and couldn't find it back when they compiled that), let us see it.

thanx !
Found this after a quick Google search.

"State Park Links and State Park Metal Detecting Laws & Regulations
The Archaeology website for a state maybe an official state site or a site that represents the archaeology law of the state.

State Archaeology: http://www.wvculture.org/shpo/shpoindex.aspx

On line State Park Regulations.

State Park Regulations: http://www.wvstateparks.com/regulations.htm

State Park Metal Detecting Rule and Regulation Detail:

Metal detecting is not allowed in West Virginia State Parks and Forests. It is not illegal in and of itself but our regulations prohibit the disturbance or removal of any item found.



Thanks, WV State Parks"
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  #11  
Old 04-06-2021, 02:50 PM
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Originally Posted by FliesOnly View post
.....
State Park Metal Detecting Rule and Regulation Detail:

Metal detecting is not allowed in West Virginia State Parks and Forests. It is not illegal in and of itself but our regulations prohibit the disturbance or removal of any item found. ....
F-O : I have gone through both links. And I can not find the above text sentences, that you've apparently copied and pasted here. Where .... within your links .... do those sentences appear ?

thanx.
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Old 04-06-2021, 02:56 PM
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Also, assuming that this really exists in codified WV state-park-rules (still waiting for the link), then :

a) Someone needs to alert the FMDAC to update their compendium page.

b) I find it ... uh ... *interesting* ... that these sentences acknowledge that it's not specifically disallowed. Yet it's still wrong because it falls afoul of "disturb" and "remove". Because ....

c) Well , gee .... show me a single park in the entire USA that doesn't have some form of prohibition about "disturbing". Because every single park , at any level (city, county, state, etc...) will invariably have some verbiage to that effect. Eg.: Disturb, alter, harm, molest, destroy, etc... So if that "disturb" word automatically equates to "no md'ing", then presto: How is it that we USA md'rs are having no problems detecting parks till the cows come home ?

d) Same for "remove". That language will ALSO exist in EVERY SINGLE PARK in the USA. In some form or fashion. Eg.: Harvest, collect, take, remove, steal, etc.... Ok, fine. And since when did that make every single park off-limits to md'ing ?

e) If some genius in WV decided to "connect those dots" and decide that it meant md'ing isn't allowed, then I know why and how he/she came-to-that 'pressing conclusion'. Care to take a guess ? I'll bet you dollars to donuts that someone went in years ago asking "Can I metal detect".


Therefore : Can I please get the link to exactly where those sentences are. Thanx !
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  #13  
Old 04-06-2021, 04:24 PM
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Ah ! I think I found it ! It was not in EITHER of the 2 links you provided. Instead, you culled it from here, right ? :

http://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=WV


If so, I want you to pay CLOSE attention to the context of why/how that appears. Notice that directly following that it says : "Thanks, WV State parks"

What does that tell you ? It tells you that this was an answer, that someone must've netted, when they asked some desk-jockey there "Hi, can I metal detect". Right ?

As such, this is not codified law or rule. It is merely commentary. Let me give you an example of this concept F-O, in a true happening: So too did someone (bless their little heart) go asking a question on the "contact us" tab of the CA state park's dept. website. They asked if they could detect on Marina state beach (which is 20 minutes from me). Someone there answered back "no". And cited "harvest & remove" verbiage. (Not unlike your WV example)

Ok, then : What's to have stopped your wonderful MDHTALK people from pasting that on their website for their CA page ? And announcing that : Therefore state of CA beaches are a no-no ?

Don't you see that that's EXACTLY what's happened on that MDHTALK WV page ? They merely take a singular pencil jockey answer, and presto, it's now "law" ?

No, I'm sorry, that's commentary . Not law or rule. If someone fetches a random "no" or "scram", I do not consider that to constitute law or rule (as in, codified), from then on out. This is a classic example of the "no one cared TILL you asked" routine. And once such "pressing answers" get in print, you can NEVER put it to rest. Everyone just assumes it's law now. Meanwhile, the old-timers , who never had a problem (and still detect un-bothered) are left scratching their heads saying "since when ?" Sheesk, it's as if we md'rs can be our own worst enemy !
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Old 04-06-2021, 04:29 PM
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And now what happens next is PREDICTABLE : In any such case like this, guess what the skittish folk in WV will do to "get to the bottom of this " ? Drum-roll : Ask a bored bureaucrat. Who conjurs up images of geeks with shovels. And passes back down yet-more-no's. And decides "gee, we better codify this and put this in actual rules/laws".

Is anyone seeing the vicious self-fulfilling circle yet ?

Last edited by Tom_in_CA; 04-06-2021 at 05:23 PM.
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2021, 11:12 AM
FliesOnly FliesOnly is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View post
Ah ! I think I found it ! It was not in EITHER of the 2 links you provided. Instead, you culled it from here, right ? :

http://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=WV


If so, I want you to pay CLOSE attention to the context of why/how that appears. Notice that directly following that it says : "Thanks, WV State parks"

What does that tell you ? It tells you that this was an answer, that someone must've netted, when they asked some desk-jockey there "Hi, can I metal detect". Right ?

As such, this is not codified law or rule. It is merely commentary. Let me give you an example of this concept F-O, in a true happening: So too did someone (bless their little heart) go asking a question on the "contact us" tab of the CA state park's dept. website. They asked if they could detect on Marina state beach (which is 20 minutes from me). Someone there answered back "no". And cited "harvest & remove" verbiage. (Not unlike your WV example)

Ok, then : What's to have stopped your wonderful MDHTALK people from pasting that on their website for their CA page ? And announcing that : Therefore state of CA beaches are a no-no ?

Don't you see that that's EXACTLY what's happened on that MDHTALK WV page ? They merely take a singular pencil jockey answer, and presto, it's now "law" ?

No, I'm sorry, that's commentary . Not law or rule. If someone fetches a random "no" or "scram", I do not consider that to constitute law or rule (as in, codified), from then on out. This is a classic example of the "no one cared TILL you asked" routine. And once such "pressing answers" get in print, you can NEVER put it to rest. Everyone just assumes it's law now. Meanwhile, the old-timers , who never had a problem (and still detect un-bothered) are left scratching their heads saying "since when ?" Sheesk, it's as if we md'rs can be our own worst enemy !
I was not posting it to show the legality, or lack there of, for metal detecting in the State Parks of WV. I was simply posting it to show what I found on a quick Google search. I don't live in WV. I don't detect in WV. Someone said it was illegal, and all I did was see if I could find something relating to that statement. I did, and I posted it. I do agree with you that there does not appear to be any direct law against detecting in the State Parks of WV, but based on what I found, if I were to visit the State, I'd probably just avoid detecting in State Parks.
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  #16  
Old 04-07-2021, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by FliesOnly View post
I was not posting it to show the legality, or lack there of, ....
Which is odd, because you posted the "dire sounding stuff". What then, was the purpose or intended outcome, of that then ?

And I hope you can agree that when/if someone posts only what you posted (with "scary dire sounding stuff" like that), then .... it just becomes a new "link" . That the next person likewise finds, and forwards on. And the notion of "links lead to links". And pretty soon, years from now, someone steps up to the plate and says: "Says who ?" and "Since when ?"

In other words, all that anyone has to do is say "That's illegal". And it just becomes gospel truth. No one ever seems to question it. And you can NEVER put it to rest . And the moment anyone TRIES to "put it to rest", guess how they go about trying to do that ?

I posted years ago as to "commentary" vs "law", but now I want to resurrect it. As this particular locale is a classic example of this .
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