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Hi everyone, I have a question that I hope someone here can answer. I know that I should already know the answer to this question, but I really can't recall if it's legal or not from all of my past research on mining laws pertaining to prospecting on government property.

 

QUESTION: I have a Uncle who owns 10-acres of propert that's located inside of the Mojave National Preserve in California. He has asked me if I would be willing to come-up and nugget shoot his property to determine if his property contains any "GOLD' nuggets. So here is my QUESTION: Is Metal Detecting "Legal" on National Preserve Property - Can I legally Metail Detect on privately owned property that is within a National Perserve without out fear of having violated any State or Federal laws and risk having my MD confiscated.

 

Thanks Everyone

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Prospecting of any kind is prohibited within the Mojave National Preserve. Even if the land has minerals he cannot stake a claim within the boundaries of the preserve. This was told to me by one of the NPS Rangers this weekend while I was out deer hunting.

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Hey Kid,

 

Just remember a NPS Ranger is just that, which isn’t very high on the food chain, maybe one or two steps above flipping hamburgers at your local McDonalds. They do not make law nor do they have the finial word or understanding of private land rights and neither do most of us. Have your uncle check his deed to see if he holds mineral rights to the land. And if he does hold the mineral rights, then pay the money and ask an attorney for an informed opinion on your special location. Its well worth the couple of hundred bucks to do it right the first time. No one here wants you to get into trouble with the government, but you should always protect your rights. Because if you don’t the Feds will be more then happy to take them away.

That’s my two cents.

Howard

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I agree with Howard. Find a lawyer that knows land/mining law. Private property is a whole different situation then public land. One files a claim to extract minerals from public land. IF, IF, one holds the "mineral rights" to his private land then in theory he can take the minerals from his land. The mineral rights ownership is normally a part of the "deed" to the land. Have someone who knows what he/she is doing check it out. John

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Hi KidGold,

 

The Mojave National Preserve has not produced a management plan yet so any ranger is blowing smoke with a blanket statement that no prospecting is allowed. Prospecting is specifically allowed in the wilderness portion per the Wilderness Act. The portions that are State Park and State public lands may or may not be prospectable, you will have to check individually there.

 

If your Uncle actually owns 10 acres it's private land and not included in the preserve. If your Uncle acquired mineral rights when he bought the property you can prospect and mine to your hearts content.

 

From the Mojave preserve General Management Plan.

 

Specific resource protection goals and criteria have

not yet been established.

 

In addition to federal lands, the

National Park Service will work with private holders

of water rights to restore modified water sources to

natural conditions while still allowing for valid exist-

ing uses.

 

 

In Mojave, recognition of

valid existing mineral rights may affect our ability to

prevent all adverse effects, unless they are deemed

significant or funding is available to purchase the

valid right.

 

Clay

MinerDiggins

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http://www.wwats.org/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=963&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0

 

This article/letter covers more than just the BLM.

 

And regardless of what some here may say....never ignore what a NPS ranger tells you. They can, and will, cite you just as fast as a burger flipper can serve you a Big Mac. Just make sure YOU know the law before you start.

 

That being said, everyone on these forums has their own opinions as to how to "interpret" the law, so your absolute best bet is to just contact the NPS and get the answer. You can waste money on a lawyer if you want to, but we all know how much a lawyer really helps us miners with the extended ban on suction dredging here in Kali.

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And some folks start typing before reading.Never said to ignore, was just saying that we must take the proper steps. Never take the word of any low level government employee doesn’t matter if it is federal, state, county, or city. Too many of them will say things that reflects their personal or politial believes and not the law of our great nation. If we aren’t diligent in protecting our rights, we will lose them. I think we are all aware that if we are given an order or a warning from a government employee. That we should obey. That doesn’t mean that we can not question or gather information from the one giving the order or warning such as their supervisor’s name and contact information and who they are (business card, department or last name) and what code or ordinance they are sighting. I am always respectful when making these requests, and I explain that I will comply with their direction, but I would like to research it further.

Cheers,

Howard

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I agree with Howard and others.

From experience, some of the most misinformed people in a situation like this

are BLM people, forestry people and law enforcement.

 

Many times they pretty much say whatever they want, especially if you will buy into it.

They all think they have slightly more authority than they actually have.

It is important to be clear about what you are saying and be very clear about what they are telling you.

 

This does not mean to flaunt the authority they do have,

exactly the opposite; manners works wonders sometimes.

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Hi everyone, to all of my great prospecting buddies out there, agreat big "THANK YOU" for responding to my question.

 

Your responses were very, very helpful, informative and I will certainly take all of the information that you have provided regarding this matter under serious consideration as to prospect or not to prospect in this area.

 

After all, I really don't want Ranger Rick prying my dead cold hands off of my ML-5000 because he though he was in the right.

 

As the song goes - I fought the law but the law won.

 

Thanks Again Everone & May You Always Have Yellow In Your Pan :):):):)

 

The Kid - PEACE

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