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Prospecting laws


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Here in Utah recreational prospecting is defined as using non-mechanized equipment such as a pan, sluice box, or pick and shovel that does not disturb the earth above the water line or outside a dry stream bed.

Now I also understand the USFS controls the surface and vegetation on national forest land. But does not have any say on stream beds or the earth below the surface. The blm conrols all land under the suface and the department of water rights controls the water ways. Please corect me if I'm wrong.

I called the Forest Service last year and asked them if there was any closed areas to gold panning east of where I live and they said no. The man I talked to also said that digging of any kind is prohibited and I could only gently disturb the the surface material with my pan. :grr01: What are the chances of finding gold on the surface.

The dept. of water rights says its ok to dig as long as you stay below the waterline and don't dig up any vegetation. Does that mean under the current water level or the floodlines of previous run offs?

Well I have been digging but I feel like I'm always looking over my shoulder to see if the forest service is coming up the trail. Any info on this would be appreciated.

One more thing, on a land ownership map there is some areas that are marked with diagonal lines, all mineral or partial mineral rights. Are these areas closed to prospecting?

Thanks.

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If you can, get these resrictions in writing. Never take anyones word for it when it comes to prospecting regulations- government employees or prospectors. There are some folks on here that can help you find land status info on BLM's LR 2000 web site.

Best of luck and HAVE FUN OUT THERE.

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I will be meeting with the USFS in my area for an upcomming sampling project, back filling and site grading as I go. The area is totaly burned off after last summer and I'll be using my smallest excavtor. My oppinion is a NOI is adequate. We'll see. I'll let you know what happens.

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Here's the real problem. Each and every forestry unit has a manager who interperts the laws in accordance to their own perverse beliefs. They are the forest kings and no matter what the law says you gotta play their game. Sure you can lawyer up,spend many $1,000s to get into a spot that does/doesn"t have gold but the base ungodly restrictive laws are there already so you can NEVER do any mining of any economic value--just I got my way or I did it braggn' rights??? My life is tooo short as past ^) so I just NEVER file nuttn'-keep it clean,small,lean and mean and do what I gotta do to get what I want and always- Ain't seen nuttn'--ain't found nuttn'--don't know nuttn' and mosey on my merry way nice and respectful like with a big smile and a pocket fulla gold ----it works for me-John

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I will be meeting with the USFS in my area for an upcomming sampling project, back filling and site grading as I go. The area is totaly burned off after last summer and I'll be using my smallest excavtor. My oppinion is a NOI is adequate. We'll see. I'll let you know what happens.

Backhoe - excavator = earth moving equipment = P-of-O

P-of-O often require a year, sometimes 2 for approval

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If you can, get these resrictions in writing. Never take anyones word for it when it comes to prospecting regulations- government employees or prospectors. There are some folks on here that can help you find land status info on BLM's LR 2000 web site.

Best of luck and HAVE FUN OUT THERE.

Thanks klunker, I have tried that LR 2000 but just can't figure it out. Any help from anyone would be much appreciated.

Thanks for the pdf, very helpful.

Ditto, Hoser John.

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Hey Elderminer-

I just had my last POO out to double check the expiration date. It was submitted 1-14-11 and approved 8-9-11. Possably a worlds record. However there was no water involved and that cut the hassel factor by 75%. But I'm sure things have only gotten easier since 2011. Also all of the POOs here must be renewd after 1 year so they can throw in any new regulations. Why do we bother with mining?

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By law must be approved or not within 90 days or ipso facto approved and you lost 5 months a mining time you could have legally mined. Forest Circus CFRs MOST emphatic on time constraints in plan approvals/rejections-John

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