Apr 09, 2012, 01:41 PM
Hailing from California, questions on legalities
Hey all I live in Santa Barbara California and I am interested in prospecting for gold. I believe I am correct in assuming I am within my rights panning for gold in US Forest Service Land specifically the Los Padres National Forest. What about setting up a sluice box? Do I need to deal with all that claim stuff for some simple weekend gold hunting? Also I noticed some prime looking riverbed outside of the national park but not obviously under private ownership. Is it okay to prospect say under a freeway bridge or along the river nearby?
How about public beaches? I'm sure panning is acceptable but what about setting up a sluice box on a public beach? Is this legal?
Finally I was wondering if you guys had any advice for a noob. Me and my friend have gold pans and a metal detecter and are eager to find some paydirt.
Apr 09, 2012, 11:10 PM
welcome to the forum! There's a lot of BAD legislation taking place in CA right now. Your best bet is to call or go in to the FS service office in the area you want to prospect in and ask them. Panning should be ok, slucing should be ok but anything with a motor hooked to it is likely not ok. Also, miners sites have been stripped of their gear so do not leave yours there overnight unless you are sleeping next to it. Another thing to ask of the BLM where they keep lists of legal miners claims, where are there open places to prospect as you do not want to be on someones claim as miners are getting touchy about claim jumpers.
Good success with your attempts,.............63bkpkr
Out searching w/GMT & friend under my arm
Apr 09, 2012, 11:40 PM
Gold Dredger 2nd Generation
Well said, 63, and good advice.
Apr 10, 2012, 12:45 AM
wow thanks, here I am getting all befuddled searching the internet while the los padres forest headquarters is less than a mile from where I live. I shall pay them a visit tomorrow.
Does anybody have any information on beach sluicing? I imagine it may be rather difficult without a constant flow and a lack of motorized assistance. Is it at all possible? I'm reading up on the gold rush that hit the beaches of lompoc at the mouth of the Santa Ynez river, has anybody on this board tried that area? I realize I should probably go find some color before i get all gung ho to move earth, i'm just pretty exited yaknow
btw the emoticons on this board could use some work
Apr 10, 2012, 01:42 PM
Kev, welcome. I'm bumping this thread in hopes someone has answers to your questions. I wouldn't mind taking a camping trip up that way and would also like to know the answers to your questions.
Apr 16, 2012, 12:17 PM
Hey...my husband and I were kicked off the beach above Morro Bay because we were using more than a gold pan while prospecting. As near as I can figure, gold panning is classified in with "rock hounding", so the same rules apply. No holes, no disturbing the surface, no use of tools. We were making holes, and filling them when we left, and we were below the high tide line, but that wasn't good enough. Wish I could find
Originally Posted by kevtegr8
the hard and fast laws on this...we had to kinda go with what the lawman told us.
Apr 17, 2012, 09:28 AM
#1 rule of modern mining is-get the rules in WRITING and never oral as what comes outta their mouths(any state)is 99% BS-John
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