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Thread: Prospecting in South Dakota Black Hills NF

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  1. #1
    us
    Jun 2017
    Madison, WI
    Garret Super Sluice/pans, Proline pans, Keene A-51 Sluice, Keene A-52 Sluice, Pyramid Pro Pan, Blue Bowl, Gold Cube, GoldHog Multi Sluice, GoldHog Stream Sluice, Grizzly Gold Trap - Explorer
    24
    12 times
    Prospecting

    Prospecting in South Dakota Black Hills NF

    My Fiance and I are possibly planning a trip to SD this year and I was thinking about trying to do some panning/sluicing (nothing elaborate) in the Black Hills NF. I was previously a GPAA member and visited a claim that did not turn out. So I was hoping to try some creeks on NF land (unclaimed and not private property obviously). I have been looking on the Land Matters website and it "appears" that there is quite a lot of unclaimed open land. I have never used this website before (it seems awesome though), and being from Wisconsin, I am COMPLETELY unfamiliar with this process. The LAST thing I want to do is be sitting in a creek with my pan and sluice and find out I am doing something illegal! I would hate to trespass or claim jump! Would anyone be willing to point me in the right direction here? There is a lot of "green" area on the Land Matters site that does not show claims, does that possibly include private property? From what I read, it would also be required to check with the BLM to make sure that I have the most up to date info. Sorry if I am asking a bunch of dumb questions, like I said this would be my first time prospecting like this on federal land. Thanks in advance for any help/tips!

  2. #2
    us
    Jan 2016
    South of Gunnison, Gold Basin
    F2
    1,745
    1938 times
    Prospecting
    You're on the right path. Theres no other good shortcut other than landmatters for that research, just have to dedicate some time to it.
    There may be public digging areas you could visit and not have to do the prospecting part. Or check online for local SD clubs and mine owners that would let you dig. That's about your only options.

  3. #3
    us
    Jun 2017
    Madison, WI
    Garret Super Sluice/pans, Proline pans, Keene A-51 Sluice, Keene A-52 Sluice, Pyramid Pro Pan, Blue Bowl, Gold Cube, GoldHog Multi Sluice, GoldHog Stream Sluice, Grizzly Gold Trap - Explorer
    24
    12 times
    Prospecting
    Thanks for the info. I believe I am getting the hang of Land Matters map, and I can call the BLM to ensure I'm not infringing on claims, I guess my biggest concern in accidentally trespassing on privately owned property within the Black Hills NF. Apparently that does NOT show up on the LM map.

  4. #4
    us
    Mar 2012
    Idaho
    Gold Hog Stream Sluice
    410
    938 times
    Prospecting
    Don't put much stock in BLM as your help desk.
    Just because you CAN do something, doesn't mean you SHOULD.
    Visit my Idaho Gold Prospecting Blog at Bedrock or Bust
    US Army Pacific 1969-1971
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  5. #5
    us
    Jun 2017
    Madison, WI
    Garret Super Sluice/pans, Proline pans, Keene A-51 Sluice, Keene A-52 Sluice, Pyramid Pro Pan, Blue Bowl, Gold Cube, GoldHog Multi Sluice, GoldHog Stream Sluice, Grizzly Gold Trap - Explorer
    24
    12 times
    Prospecting
    Is there any way when you're in the national forest to know what is private property? Are there usually posted signs?

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,461
    10053 times
    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by BenArmstrong View Post
    Thanks for the info. I believe I am getting the hang of Land Matters map, and I can call the BLM to ensure I'm not infringing on claims, I guess my biggest concern in accidentally trespassing on privately owned property within the Black Hills NF. Apparently that does NOT show up on the LM map.
    On the Land Matters maps you will get more detail as you zoom in. Try getting closer to the area you are interested in to see the private (no color) lands.

    Land Matters also has the Forest Ownership map. This is a very detailed map of the private, split estate, and mineral ownership on the Forests. This is the best map that shows Forest lands ownership. Eventually this Forest ownership map will be incorporated with the standard Land Management mapping found on most Land Matters maps.

    You need to look deeper than the Mining Claims maps on Land Matters to complete your research. The Mining Claims maps give you a good look at the general claims situation according to the BLM files but those maps don't show the other issues you will run into when doing your research. Just because an area is managed by the BLM or Forest Service does not mean the area is open to prospecting. There may be a local closure to protect the endangered Minnesota Moon Bat Owl or a tiny moth no one has seen in 200 years. There could be a large oil and gas field or a sand and gravel operation right where you want to pan. At present Land Matters maps don't cover all the possibilities but they do show a lot more than mining claims.

    The places to look for current claim location information is at the County Recorder and on the ground. Land Matters maps have direct links to each County Recorder from the Mining Claim maps to help your research but it's up to you to put boots on the ground and check for new claims when you arrive.

    Land Matters is working on a system to provide every land status issue with a single click on a map. Those detailed maps will include stuff like leases, mining plans and notices, Right Of Ways, Patents, permits, withdrawals and etc. In the meantime it's very important that you download and understand the Master Title Plat (MTP) for any area you intend to explore. That's the land status map the government uses to keep track of what's happening on federally managed lands. You can download MTPs directly from any Land Matters state Land Status map.

    The BLM can't help you with the Forest Service or Mining Claims. It's not their job to determine what claims are where or which claims are valid. Being a bureau of the Interior Department they have nothing to do with the Forest Service which is a agency of the Agriculture Department (not Interior). The BLM has a clear disclaimer on all their information, just like other government agencies, they are not responsible for the accuracy of any information they give you. Not surprisingly you are responsible - not the BLM.

    This stuff may seem complex but keep at it and you will succeed. If the old timers could research claims and land status 150 years ago with no resources but the local recorder you can do it with tools like modern GPS and Land Matters.

    Heavy Pans

  7. #7
    us
    Jun 2017
    Madison, WI
    Garret Super Sluice/pans, Proline pans, Keene A-51 Sluice, Keene A-52 Sluice, Pyramid Pro Pan, Blue Bowl, Gold Cube, GoldHog Multi Sluice, GoldHog Stream Sluice, Grizzly Gold Trap - Explorer
    24
    12 times
    Prospecting
    Thank you SO much! Super helpful and I sincerely appreciate it! I will keep at the Land Matters site.
    Clay Diggins likes this.

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2010
    Black Hills, South Dakota
    851
    821 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello Mr. Armstrong,
    You being from Wisconsin and probably a Packers fan it goes against my nature being a Vikings fan but I will offer to make your search easy. I have a claim in the heart of the Black Hills near the ghost town of Mystic. If you don't mind about a 1/4 mile hike I would be willing to let you spend a couple of days on the claim sluicing and panning free of charge. No guess work or tiring research. If you are interested let me know and I will pm you with paticulars.

  9. #9
    us
    Jun 2017
    Madison, WI
    Garret Super Sluice/pans, Proline pans, Keene A-51 Sluice, Keene A-52 Sluice, Pyramid Pro Pan, Blue Bowl, Gold Cube, GoldHog Multi Sluice, GoldHog Stream Sluice, Grizzly Gold Trap - Explorer
    24
    12 times
    Prospecting
    I feel like Packers and Vikings fans at least have a chance I sincerely appreciate your offer!!! I am absolutely interested, not 100% sure just yet on dates though. Thank you so much!

 

 

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