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Metal Detecting on Arizona State land


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The brief answer is no.

You can get a prospecting permit for those state lands that have mineral rights but that's a lengthy and expensive process.

Best to keep your prospecting equipment stored when on state trust lands.

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You can metal detect on state land since it's not destructive (i wouldn't). The law just says you can't remove any minerals, rocks, plants, animals etc. which of course defeats the whole purpose.

Edited by garikfox
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1 hour ago, garikfox said:

You can metal detect on state land since it's not destructive (i wouldn't). The law just says you can't remove any minerals, rocks, plants, animals etc. which of course defeats the whole purpose.

Copied from post: BY FISHING8046

Posted October 8, 2018

Quick Story:

I'm a southern Arizona guy. I first started metal detecting with my children in an effort to get them interested in the outdoors...6 hours on the boat didn't work. I had recently got my 1st detector and I thought we would try an area near Mamouth Arizona. History said it had one on the largest and best-producing gold mines of the late 1800's with a cable trolley pulling water from more than 3 miles from the San Pedro river up and down the hill.

There is a road to the west called Willow Springs road. Anyway, the detectors is new the kids are loving the new adventures, we drive in on the road and I notice a few white quartz stringers of disseminating white quartz on the surface a few 100 yards off the dirt roadway. So we park the truck off to the side of the road and hike the short distance with the detector in hand. Back then I always carried a 5-gallon bucket. We messed around there and detected the surface quartz exposure a bit. We were there less than a 1/2 hour. There was a bit of traffic on the dirt road. I have never been to Willow Springs but it is a destination for the off-roaders.

The kids at my side (7-year-old girl and the 9-year-old boy) detecting looking at rocks,  I look up at the truck and there is Fish and Game truck and a Forest Service truck. The officers are out of their vehicles looking at my truck and me and the kids about 100 yards away. I feel the pressure of their presence and start to walk up to the truck. As I get close to the truck I hit the button to unlock the truck and let the kids get in. The officers yell for us to stop ( freeze ) freaking my kids and myself out.

The officers ask yelling do you realize you are on state trust land? I can arrest you! Metal detecting is against the law, illegal!  He then moves up close and takes my detector from my hands. I didn't know what to say. My kids were so scared. I told them to get in the truck. I was a bit confused.

They asked to search me and my vehicle. They told me they were looking for antiquities that I may have dug up.  I consented knowing that we had done no wrong and they continued to terrorize my children for about another 20 minutes at which time they gave me back my new detector and a pamphlet about Arizona State trust land where it clearly states you can not use a metal detector. 

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Is this land posted with signs ?  Where can you find out where these State Lands are ?

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1 hour ago, OferAZ said:

Is this land posted with signs ?  Where can you find out where these State Lands are ?

Generally the State Trust Lands are fenced. Often there are signs but the lack of fences or signs doesn't indicate it isn't trust land.

You can see the State Trust Lands boundaries along with other land managers as well as wilderness areas, forest ownership, mineral ownership, private lands, ACECs, plans and notices, grazing districts and virtually every other land classification on the Land Matters Arizona Land Status Map.

The information on State Trust Land surface and mineral ownership on that map is provided by arrangement with AZLD, it's the most current information available. The State Trust Lands are not public land. Recreation permits are available but prospecting or using a metal detector is limited to those who have a mineral exploration permit - those cost $500 a square mile if you are interested.

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Thanks clay, I will look that up.  Don’t want to unknowingly Tresspass.

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