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Thread: Metal Detecting on Federal Land

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  1. #1
    us
    Mar 2019
    KY
    Fisher Research Labs F2
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    31 times
    Metal Detecting

    Metal Detecting on Federal Land

    I know of a great location spot for relic hunting. The only problem is that it's on federal land. I think it's also part of a federal national park or recreation area. However, the location used to belong to my spouse's grandmother and was the place of her birth and childhood. About 50 years ago, the land was taken through imminent domain.

    Due to this family connection, is there a legal process or procedure that would allow me to metal detect there? And if so, would there be special rules concerning any finds?

    Any advice would be appreciated.
    XLV likes this.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
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    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    One did say we could hunt there, but they would keep all finds...

    Most Fed parks are off limits and you're in danger of Federal charges.

    We don't need the trouble...
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  3. #3
    us
    Only boaring people get board

    Nov 2018
    The Thumb
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    check this out
    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...rdb5261774.pdf

    USDA Forest Service Manual Direction (draft): "Metal Detector Use. Metal detectors may
    be used on public lands in areas that do not contain or would not reasonably be expected to
    contain archaeological or historical resources. They must be used, however, for lawful
    purposes. Any act with a metal detector that violates the proscriptions of the Archaeological
    Resources Protection Act (ARPA) or any other law is prosecutable.Normally, developed
    campgrounds, swimming beaches, and other developed recreation sites are open to metal
    detecting unless there are heritage resources present. In such cases, Forest Supervisors
    are authorized to close these sites by posting notices in such sites."

  4. #4
    us
    Mar 2019
    KY
    Fisher Research Labs F2
    63
    31 times
    Metal Detecting
    Thanks for the replies. I guess I'm curious as to whether the fact that any of the archaeological or historical resources belongs to my spouse' family makes any difference.

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2013
    SW, VA - Bull Mountain
    CTX, Excal II, EQ800, Fisher 1260X, Tesoro Royal Sabre, Tejon, Garrett ADSIII, Carrot, Stealth 920iX, Keene A52
    12,767
    16724 times
    Digging in the dirt & scooping in the water!
    Another option is to ask if they'll give you a "detecting permit". Roanoke, VA and Danville, VA and I'm sure others do offer permits for their historical parks. Talk to several, don't just give up and walk away. You might produce evidence of your spouse's ancestors...... "Your gggggrandmother lost her wedding ring there and her family wants it back" An emotional appeal!

    Might take you a while, you might talk to the rangers, others, until you find sympathetic ears. Good Luck...
    RustyGold and RVRoamer66 like this.
    Republic of Vietnam 10/69 - 3/71, Cambodia April 27, 1970 on a mountain top with HUGE scorpions

    "'He jests at scars who never felt a wound'" c.s.lewis - 1940

    The Ten Commandments: http://www.godstenlaws.com/ten-comma.../#.UdAz65yynZg

    The Bill of Rights: http://billofrightsinstitute.org/fou...ill-of-rights/

    The Constitution: http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/cha...ranscript.html

  6. #6
    us
    Mar 2019
    KY
    Fisher Research Labs F2
    63
    31 times
    Metal Detecting
    I think what I'll do is gather the evidence to prove my spouse's family connection before I do any asking.

    If and when I get to hunt this area, I'll let you guys know how it goes for future reference.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    us
    Dec 2006
    Left Coast
    XLT & Bigfoot
    4,369
    1935 times
    Every now and then I am the backup light keeper at our local historical lighthouse. (Battery Point in CA) last weekend I got to stay there for two days. It sits on a piece of land that at high tide becomes an island. I would have had eight hours piece and quiet to MD a place that has never been hunted. I asked the board of directors who run the lighthouse permission and got turned down only because it is a “Historically “ listed place. Everyone was interested to see what might be buried but couldn’t give permission. The best place is in full view of the mainland and I didn’t want to get caught.
    T.C. and RustyGold like this.
    at yard sales I am dollardan

  8. #8

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
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    NPS is a form of federal land with a specific "no md'ing" rule. But if it's other forms of federal land (like NFS or BLM), there is not a prohibition . Like as in how Toe-cutter pointed out. The only thing that might kick in, is ARPA. Ok, fine, just don't find coins over 50 yrs. old (how good is your math ?)

    I'll tell ya what : If it were MY spouse's grandmother who "lost her family heirloom ring when she was a kid " (according to the diary I just found), I would not hesitate for a moment to go look for it. It's YOURS after all.

    Is this stretch of land in some sort of high-visibility sensitive spot ? Or just a "middle of nowhere" type spot ?
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2010
    The Great Southwest
    3,458
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    Prospecting
    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA View Post
    The only thing that might kick in, is ARPA. Ok, fine, just don't find coins over 50 yrs. old (how good is your math ?)
    How many times do you have to do this stupid dance Tom? ARPA is 100 years and coins, rocks, bullets, fossils and meteorites are exempt.

    You are correct that all but two National Parks, all National Recreation Areas and all National Seashores prohibit the possession of a working metal detector.

  10. #10
    us
    Apr 2004
    Southern Appalachia
    BH Pioneer 202, Whites CM2 BFO, Harbor Freight 9 function
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    Slayer of clad
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    How many times do you have to do this stupid dance Tom? ARPA is 100 years and coins, rocks, bullets, fossils and meteorites are exempt.

    You are correct that all but two National Parks, all National Recreation Areas and all National Seashores prohibit the possession of a working metal detector.
    Grabbing bag of popcorn...
    Tom_in_CA likes this.

  11. #11

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
    Explorer II, Compass 77b, Tesoro shadow X2
    13,531
    9862 times
    Banner Finds (4)
    Quote Originally Posted by Clay Diggins View Post
    How many times do you have to do this stupid dance Tom? ARPA is 100 years and coins, rocks, bullets, fossils and meteorites are exempt....
    "Stupid" dance c-diggin's ? In a bad mood today ? Take a chill-pill. Yes, I'm aware of the 50 vs 100 debate. 50 gets tossed out there a LOT as the interpretation. It's all a moot point. Let's go with 100 fine. The point still remains: How good is your math ?

    And as far as "coins and bullets exempt" : If you read that part closely, in context, it's only those "coins and bullets" that are not archaeologically significant, or in context of an archaeological site. But not "all" coins and bullets.
    XLV likes this.
    Metal detecting is my one worldy vice!

  12. #12
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2012
    Maryland
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    National park? Last time I looked $10k fine, confiscation of your vehicle, metal detecting equipment and jail time. Yeah, just go for it!
    goldenwonderbear likes this.

  13. #13

    May 2012
    Kalamity Falls, Orygun
    Whites M6
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    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Quote Originally Posted by cyberdan View Post
    Every now and then I am the backup light keeper at our local historical lighthouse. (Battery Point in CA) last weekend I got to stay there for two days. It sits on a piece of land that at high tide becomes an island. I would have had eight hours piece and quiet to MD a place that has never been hunted. I asked the board of directors who run the lighthouse permission and got turned down only because it is a “Historically “ listed place. Everyone was interested to see what might be buried but couldn’t give permission. The best place is in full view of the mainland and I didn’t want to get caught.
    My wife and I have been there on the tour...it's pretty cool.
    RustyGold and Clay Diggins like this.

  14. #14
    us
    Nov 2017
    Arkansas
    Fisher 1260-X, Whites Treasuremaster, Whites XLT, Whites Classic ID, Whites 6000 DI.
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokeythecat View Post
    National park? Last time I looked $10k fine, confiscation of your vehicle, metal detecting equipment and jail time. Yeah, just go for it!
    This^

    Know a guy many years ago that got caught sneaking around on the Vicksburg battlefield. He paid quite dearly for it. Confiscation of vehicle which had recovered artifacts in it, some very expensive detecting equipment, felony conviction with no jail time but slapped with thousands of dollars in fines.

  15. #15
    Charter Member
    us
    Nov 2012
    Maryland
    XP Deus, Tesoro Cibola, Tesoro Tejon
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    Banner Finds (7)
    I've heard if they really don't like you, they'll get a search warrant and grab anything you have which could have come off their property. ANYTHING. You have to prove otherwise.

    Hell will freeze before I trespass where I'm not supposed to be. I like to RELAX while detecting. Happiness is having the homeowner's cell phone loaded into my cell!
    DeepseekerADS likes this.

 

 
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