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BUENA VISTA, LITTLE HOME STAKE, MEANDER NO 1, MEANDER NO 2

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JOSEPHINE, OR

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Oregon – Washington

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT:
§ 3809.5 How does BLM define certain terms used in this subpart?

Casual use means activities ordinarily resulting in no or negligible disturbance of the public lands or resources. For example -

(1) Casual use generally includes the collection of geochemical, rock, soil, or mineral specimens using hand tools; hand panning; or non-motorized sluicing. It may include use of small portable suction dredges. (When allowed by state laws) It also generally includes use of metal detectors, gold spears and other battery-operated devices for sensing the presence of minerals, and hand and battery-operated drywashers. Operators may use motorized vehicles for casual use activities provided the use is consistent with the regulations governing such use (part 8340 of this title), off-road vehicle use designations contained in BLM land-use plans, and the terms of temporary closures ordered by BLM.

(2) Casual use does not include use of mechanized earth-moving equipment, truck-mounted drilling equipment, motorized vehicles in areas when designated as closed to “off-road vehicles” as defined in § 8340.0-5 of this title, chemicals, or explosives. It also does not include “occupancy” as defined in § 3715.0-5 of this title or operations in areas where the cumulative effects of the activities result in more than negligible disturbance.

https://www.blm.gov/programs/energy-and-minerals/mining-and-minerals/about/california


BLM Casual Use - Can include equipment motor size regulated to LESS THAN 10 Horsepower. This is regulated and defined by each BLM Divisional office and in accordance with state regulations. You must contact the BLM regional or district office for current information regarding Motorized, Mechanical or compounded equipment.

United State Forest Service Lands:
Gold Prospecting & Sluicing on the Forest 

Most of the National Forests in the western states are open to prospecting and mining, including panning and sluicing for gold. The Forest Service does not issue “permits “for mineral-related activities; however, authorization in a plan of operations is needed for some operations. A plan of operations is required for all mining activities that will create a significant disturbance on National Forest System Lands. Gold panning and work with hand tools usually does not require a plan. This is based on the assumption that in most cases significant resource damage will not occur when only hand-held, non-motorized equipment is used.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd488850.pdf

Check with the District Ranger for specific regulations and guidelines. District office locations may be obtained from the National Forest Supervisor's Offices: 

Please follow this link for specific National Regulations https://www.fs.usda.gov/gsearch/gold%2Bprospecting%2B

Understand that regulations change, and it is your responsibility to contact local National Forest administration for current regs in areas you are prospecting.

State offices
including water regulatory, Fish & Game and other state agencies that oversee lands must be contacted to assure that you are prospecting within additional guidelines for public land use.

State of Oregon:
Non-motorized In-stream Placer Mining:
In rivers, streams, and some other waters of the state, a removal-fill permit from the Department of State Lands (DSL) is required for any activity that will cumulatively fill, remove, or move 50 cubic yards or more of material below the ordinary high-water mark. In Essential Salmonid Habitat (ESH), a removal-fill permit is required to fill, remove, or move any amount of material below the ordinary high-water mark.
To facilitate permitting for placer mining in ESH, DSL adopted a general authorization (GA) for placer mining in 2011.
https://www.oregon.gov/dsl/WW/Pages/Mining.aspx

Restrictions

Some waterways have been closed to recreational mining by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Others are closed or their use is limited by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) because of water quality problems.

Individual Permits

A person that wishes to obtain authorization for in-stream mining that does not meet eligibility criteria or does not comply with the GA conditions may apply for an individual removal-fill permit, except for within state scenic waterways. For example, the following types of activities cannot be authorized under the GA.
  • Activities will disturb 25 cubic yards or more in ESH streams.
    Activities will disturb 50 cubic yards or more in non-ESH streams.
    Operating a large suction dredge with a hose intake greater than four inches in diameter.
    Mining in a SSW. Suction dredging is not allowed in State Scenic Waterways under the GA or an individual permit.

 

STATE OF WASHINGTON 6/11/2020 UPDATE
Please follow this link for the updated regulations for WA state https://wdfw.wa.gov/licenses/environmental/hpa/types/prospecting 

 

BLM OREGON/WASHINGTON

Edith Green -Wendall Wyatt Federal Building
Bureau of Land Management (OR936.2)1220 SW 3rd Ave.  
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 808-6008   Mail@blm.gov   website: www.blm.gov/or/programs/

District Offices for Oregon and Washington

BURNS DISTRICT OFFICE 28910 Hwy 20 West Hines, OR 97738
Phone: (541) 573-4400

COOS BAY DISTRICT OFFICE 1300 Airport Lane North Bend, OR 97459-2000
Phone: (541) 756-0100

EUGENE DISTRICT OFFICE 3106 Pierce Pkwy, Ste. E Springfield, OR 97477
Phone: (541) 683-6600

LAKEVIEW DISTRICT OFFICE 1301 S. “G” St. Lakeview, OR 97630
Phone: (541) 947-2177

KLAMATH FALLS RESOURCE AREA 2795 Anderson Ave., Bldg 25 Klamath Falls, OR 97603-7891 Phone: (541) 883-6916

MEDFORD DISTRICT OFFICE 3040 Biddle Rd. Medford, OR 97504
Phone: (541) 618-2200

PRINEVILLE DISTRICT OFFICE 3050 N E Third St. Prineville, OR 97754
Phone: (541) 416-6700

ROSEBURG DISTRICT OFFICE 777 N. W. Garden Valley Blvd. Roseburg, OR 97470 Phone: (541) 440-4930

SALEM DISTRICT OFFICE 1717 Fabry Rd. SE Salem, OR 97306
Phone: (503) 375-5646

TILLAMOOK RESOURCE AREA 4610 Third St. Tillamook, OR 97141
Phone: (503) 815-1100 SPOKANE DISTRICT OFFICE 1103 N. Fancher Rd. Spokane, WA 99212-1275 Phone: (509) 536-1200

WENATCHEE RESOURCE AREA 915 N. Walla Walla St. Wenatchee, WA 98801
Phone: (509) 665-2100

VALE DISTRICT OFFICE 100 Oregon St. Vale, OR 97918
Phone: (541) 473-3144

BAKER RESOURCE AREA 3285 11th St. PO Box 947 Baker City, OR 97814
Phone: (541) 523-1256

USFS

United States Forest Service:
United Sates Forest Service:
The Forest Service does not issue “permits “for mineral-related activities; however, authorization in a plan of operations is needed for some operations. A plan of operations is required for all mining activities that will create a significant disturbance on National Forest System Lands. Gold panning and work with hand tools usually does not require a plan. This is based on the assumption that in most cases significant resource damage will not occur when only hand-held, non-motorized equipment is used.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd488850.pdf

Check with the District Ranger for specific regulations and guidelines. District office locations may be obtained from the National Forest Supervisor's Offices: 
Region 6: Pacific Northwest Region
333 SW First Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204-3440 or P.O. Box 3623
Portland, OR 97208-3623
503-808-2468