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Old 02-01-2007, 11:22 PM
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Default Is it illegal to have a metal detector on National Forest land?

Ive read several places that it is illegal to have a Metal detector on National Park land, is that also true for national forests?


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Old 02-02-2007, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: Is it illegal to have a metal detector on National Forest land?

A couple years back I had a site to detect on Natl Forest land here in Az. I saw 3 Forest workers in a burger joint so I asked them about it. They told me it was ok - just dont break & enter any buildings. For what it's worth, check with your area's office. Steve in so az

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Old 02-02-2007, 04:38 AM
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Default Re: Is it illegal to have a metal detector on National Forest land?

The rules are different for each state. Check online with the Parks and Forestry sites for whichever state you are considering.

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Old 02-02-2007, 09:12 AM
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Default Re: Is it illegal to have a metal detector on National Forest land?

I don't see how it could be. There are large areas of National Forest that you have to drive thru to get from one place to the next. I don;t think they could very well tell you that you have to circumnavigate a huge National Forest because you have a MD in your vehicle.

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Old 02-02-2007, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Is it illegal to have a metal detector on National Forest land?

Metal detecting on national forest land is legal with certain restrictions. It is governed at the federal level. State and local authorities have no jurisdiction in national forest lands concerning metal detecting. Here is a link to the to the Dept. of Agriculture/Forest Service web site. National Parks are a big No No. Do not take your detector through these areas.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/cnnf/rec/her...detectors.html

Here is a great site for legal info...

http://www.protecthehobbynow.com/

Jack

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Old 02-02-2007, 11:32 AM
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Default Re: Is it illegal to have a metal detector on National Forest land?

Speaking from the sad experience of some friends of mine, if you get permission from someone to do it, make sure it is from someone with authority to give it and GET IT IN WRITING! Otherwise you may find yourself arrested, your house searched, and anything that even LOOKS old confiscated as 'evidence'. I know whereof I speak.


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Old 11-28-2014, 04:45 PM
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I like your user name.


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Old 11-28-2014, 05:12 PM
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Usually a good idea to stop in, and chat with the rangers for a few minutes. Just check in, let them know you are out there, where you plan to be, and you intend to be doing. They've always been friendly and helpful. They have all the most current information about the conditions of roads and paths, hazardous areas to avoid, areas where they'll be working, weather, wildlife. They may also give direction potentially productive areas, or let you know where most everyone else has been hitting heavily.

I haven't gone to detect, but use to hike, photography in my younger years. They always seemed glad to share any information the had, and saved us a lot of wasted time and hassles.


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Old 11-28-2014, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by CyberSage View Post
Metal detecting on national forest land is legal with certain restrictions. It is governed at the federal level. State and local authorities have no jurisdiction in national forest lands concerning metal detecting. Here is a link to the to the Dept. of Agriculture/Forest Service web site. National Parks are a big No No. Do not take your detector through these areas.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/cnnf/rec/her...detectors.html

Here is a great site for legal info...

http://www.protecthehobbynow.com/

Jack
Baja,
Cyber's advice is spot on. No MDing on and No Metal detectors in National Parks. It's OK to metal detect on National Forest and BLM lands with certain conditions. This link will take you to a document issued by Mike Doran of the USFS:
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/96946687...tional-Forests

Here's a copy:

MINERAL, ROCK COLLECTING AND METAL DETECTING ON THE
NATIONAL FORESTS
1
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
2
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
3
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
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 www.passportintime.com.
Mike Doran May 27, 2009

Hope this helps.
Just info from an old mountain goat that spends a lot of time on Colorado US Forest Service and BLM lands when they're not covered in snow.


  #10  
Old 11-28-2014, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarveyH48 View Post
Usually a good idea to stop in, and chat with the rangers for a few minutes. Just check in, let them know you are out there, where you plan to be, and you intend to be doing. ....
Harvey, then what do you do with real-life situations, where that well-intentioned ranger decides "you can't do that" ? I suppose you'd say "set him straight by showing him the chapter and verse citation that contradicts him". Right ? Or "go above him and appeal to higher levels seeking clarification". Right ? And while that seems logical (if there is, afterall, an express allowance), yet .... Can you see how all this can back-fire ? It could lead to rules, scrutiny, attention, etc... ?? I mean, if that got "passed up the chain" high enough in their bureaucracy, it would only be a matter of time before it lands on some purist archie's desk, blah blah blah. So I'd be very careful about going in an announcing yourself, and making yourself a bullseye in need of their attention.


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Old 11-28-2014, 06:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by early_americana View Post
I don't see how it could be. There are large areas of National Forest that you have to drive thru to get from one place to the next. I don;t think they could very well tell you that you have to circumnavigate a huge National Forest because you have a MD in your vehicle.
The one to the West of me. If you get caught with a detector in your vehicle you are in deep Chit! You best drive all the way around

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Old 11-28-2014, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
Harvey, then what do you do with real-life situations, where that well-intentioned ranger decides "you can't do that" ?
Well if he was simply passing on an actual, existing law to me (ie. it really wasn't allowed) then I would be thankful for him telling me that before I went ahead and broke the law. I would then detect elsewhere.

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Old 11-28-2014, 06:46 PM
mountain digger mountain digger is offline
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Originally Posted by itsaring! View Post
The one to the West of me. If you get caught with a detector in your vehicle you are in deep Chit! You best drive all the way around
itsaring,
Are you referring to a National Park or to National Forest lands just to West of you? Can you give me the name of the lands you are referring to?
Thanks


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Old 11-28-2014, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by stewart73 View Post
Well if he was simply passing on an actual, existing law to me (ie. it really wasn't allowed) then I would be thankful for him telling me that before I went ahead and broke the law. I would then detect elsewhere.
stewart : Read again . This was in context of NFS . That has express allowance .


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Old 11-28-2014, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain digger View Post
...Can you give me the name of the lands you are referring to? ...
Also , I'd be curious to know if anyone has any examples of someone who got into "deep chit" just for having a detector in their trunk (un-used ). And just driving through a national park.

I hear of this supposed imminent doom, yet have never heard of anyone really in trouble for that . Anyone got any examples ?


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Old 11-28-2014, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
stewart : Read again . This was in context of NFS . That has express allowance .
Then I would even be less hesitant about having a friendly chat with the ranger. What do I have to worry about if it's expressly allowed? Tom you are always jumping on people for giving examples of what *could* happen (even when they are actually quite likely scenarios) yet most of your rhetoric is based on pretty far-fetched scenarios, indeed chains of events, occurring. Are you saying that 1) the ranger is going to tell you "no" even when the laws clearly allow detecting (okay, could happen), and 2) that by simply showing him the rules in the face of that "no" is going to lead to some sort of scrutiny of the hobby and the ranger is then going to take his case higher, perhaps even to the mythical purist archie that resides in every one of your stories (very unlikely to happen), and 3) that all this is going to lead to a ban on detecting in a place where laws have already been deliberated and it's been decided detecting is okay (incredibly unlikely)? I don't base my beliefs and actions on incredibly unlikely scenarios.

And yes mountain-digger, there are park rangers in Japan and Canada.

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Old 11-28-2014, 07:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Texaspast View Post
Speaking from the sad experience of some friends of mine, if you get permission from someone to do it, make sure it is from someone with authority to give it and GET IT IN WRITING! Otherwise you may find yourself arrested, your house searched, and anything that even LOOKS old confiscated as 'evidence'. I know whereof I speak.
Great Advice! The best place to get it in writing is to just print the applicable ordinance, regulation, or law when you do your research. You could get a YES from someone who doesn't know the law just as easily as you can get a NO from someone who doesn't know the law.


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Old 11-28-2014, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by mountain digger View Post
Great Advice! The best place to get it in writing is to just print the applicable ordinance, regulation, or law when you do your research. You could get a YES from someone who doesn't know the law just as easily as you can get a NO from someone who doesn't know the law.
I agree that this is a good idea. Tom however will tell us that even this is not enough. The person you show the printed law/permission to will inevitably either not believe you or will take the case up the chain of the command resulting in an eventual ban. I see about a 0.0001% chance of that ever actually happening. I think I've been questioned once or maybe twice in over 20 years of detecting and have never had written (or even verbal) permission questioned by the asker. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I definitely agree that having the permission or law in writing is a very good idea.

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Old 11-28-2014, 07:24 PM
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national forest is ok. no need to ask for permission. national parks no-no. do your own research though i got at atp to specifically hunt a county park near were i live. its where all the young adults go to swim. after i got the at pro i read the rules of the particular park it states NO METAL DETECTING! ooops.

as for asking, why if it already says in the regulation that its ok. for me its a point of principal. I would never ask a cop if i have the right to remain silent. the constitution gives me that right and im not going to "ask" for what i already have the right to do.

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Old 11-28-2014, 07:30 PM
mountain digger mountain digger is offline
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Originally Posted by stewart73 View Post

And yes mountain-digger, there are park rangers in Japan and Canada.
Really? Guess I should have said it was a rhetorical question. I've heard of Mounties in Canada...but you really have Park Rangers in Japan and Canada? [Since you brought it back up] What are their 'official titles'? Really?

My apologies to Baja for being off topic...but I felt a need to respond to stew's off topic remark.


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