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Folsom tailing piles and another question


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This is a continuation of the other tailing pile post so it doesn't clutter it up with my questions...

I called up Folsom lake and they cover the area above Hazel so I asked the lady ranger on the phone (I guess she was a ranger) if detecting was allowed on the piles. She said no, that it's against Folsom lake rules and also against federal law to use any man made tools on any federal land. No shovels, picks, scoops anything. When she said that I asked if she was sure because I thought hands and pans rules were only for state areas, protected areas, etc. But federal land was different. Specifically, I said, Say on the American river from the Iowa Hill bridge down to the Pondarosa Way bridge, there are restrictions for motorized equipment, but there are people there all day with picks, shovels, sluices... I even stopped and talked to a ranger for 20 minutes one tile while walking out with my sluice, buckets, shovel and crowbar and he didn't even look at my stuff.

So can anyone verify that you are indeed allowed to use a shovel and tools on federal lands? Is there a specific law anyone can link?

She also said the only way you have the right to collect minerals on federal land is to take out an active mining claim, otherwise it's legal to take any mineral with you. :yuk-yuk: I think she's full of hooey myself...

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she is more than full of it!

Thanks El Dorado, It kind of seemed like she didn't know what she was talking about. No man-made tools at all? B.S.

The scary, or disheartening, part of this story is that I called the American River Parkway foundation, Auburn SRA and the Forestry in Foresthill to get information on the what I can and can't do. Granted, I'm talking to the "receptionists" that are telling me the "rules and regs". But all of their answers were about the same; You can't, you can't, you can't... and you have to check with the mineral specialist or what ever-the-hell... Very sad indeed when a guy can't hike into the woods and try to find gold without clearance or a permit of some sort or another. Wow.

Luckily, in all the time I've been hunting tailing piles with my super-destructive metal detector and tearing up acres of wild river with my 3-foot shovel and 5 gal bucket, I haven't seen a single ranger come down where I was working. I have a feeling if they did they'd just say hi or ask me if I was having good luck for the day.

California... Jeez...

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Often rangers and or desk clerks will try anything to dissuade you from using your land and quote "rules" to fit their agenda. Get a copy of what ever federal park or National Forest laws off line or elsewhere and carry them with you.

I had a ranger run me off near Lynx Creek many years ago and I followed up by calling his boss. He was clearly out of line...

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Thanks Bill. I'll try to get info for the area before I go out. I have a good feeling though that usually the rangers are pretty unconcerned about minor prospecting.

For the most part, I haven't even seen anyone, let alone a ranger at these tailing piles in the dozen times I've been. I don't think they normally go out and climb up piles of rocks to check things out...I have a feeling I'll be visiting them in the future... without my detector of course. :inocent:

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Please do not think that I am making excuses for these people(rangers or otherwise), but I feel that these individuals are just not trained in these areas. Lets face it, If a park hires a federal "non law" enforcement ranger they will probably be trained on the interpretive side of the park. What I mean is, they will be trained on wildlife, activities, tours, cash tending,common questions,people skills,cleaning ect. I really believe that most of, if not all of thier classes will NOT be on the Federal Law. Chances are that you will not be talking to a Law Enforcement Ranger if you call the interpretive center.

Many of these individuals have "enviro" type attidudes already which is fine, but when they do not have an answer to something or do not know what what you are even talking about, I`ll bet thier first reaction is to say "NO You Can Not" rather than risk letting someone go mining wherever ,and pay the consequences later when they find out it was not allowed in the first place. Kind of a safety net answer as they would get into far more trouble saying Yes to you then saying No ,and just being wrong about the issue.

If Law enforcement Rangers however, are working in areas subject to historical and present mining activities then they really should be properly trained on the subject. If training is not provided then they should take up learning the Federal law themselves, even though that in itself would lend them to thier own interpretations at times ,and that would not be lawful, and could lead to more issues in and of itself..

With all that said, I do think these Rangers that could be subject to such questions regarding recreational mining , should be at the very least taught the basics, and answers to the most common questions like "can I detect on tailing piles?"

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I have run into the same problem. We have federal land being managed by the state \ auburn rec \ nature conservancy \ All with there own set of rules. You would think that federal law would rule. I have BLM land that buts up to my property but with these new conservancy easements that seem to only benefit a select group of people.I'm not sure what I can legally do anymore.

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