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Oregon – Washington

Prospecting on private (patented) lands requires permission from the land owner prior to any such activities.

United States Forest Service:
Prospecting (other than panning) on National Forest lands may require a Notice of Intent or a formal Plan of Operation. 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
PHONE 503-808-2468

Prospecting on BLM administered lands is generally considered "casual" land use, which does not require a permit. Local District Offices can furnish specific regulations and guidelines. The Bureau of Land Management has jurisdiction over dredging in Arizona. Information and regulations may be obtained from local BLM District Offices throughout the state.

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.


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.


Edith Green -Wendall Wyatt Federal Building
Bureau of Land Management (OR936.2)1220 SW 3rd Ave.  
Portland, OR 97204
(503) 808-6008   website:

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


Region 6: Pacific Northwest Region
333 SW First Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97204-3440 or P.O. Box 3623
Portland, OR 97208-3623