Prospecting on private (patented) lands requires permission from the land owner prior to any such activities.
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.
Check with the District Ranger for specific regulations and guidelines. District office locations may be obtained from the National Forest Supervisor's Offices:
Region 2: Rocky Mountain Region:
740 Simms Street
Golden, CO 80401
Prospecting on BLM administered lands is generally considered "casual" land use, which does not require a special permit unless expressly prohibited. Gold panning is considered casual use. Casual use is defined as those activities that cause little or no surface disturbance (43 CFR 3809.5(1&2)). There may be special rules that apply to certain areas including, but not limited to, the Arkansas River area.
Local District Offices can furnish specific regulations and guidelines. Information and regulations may be obtained from local BLM District Offices throughout the state.
Colorado State Office
2850 Youngfield St. Lakewood, CO 80215
PINION BRIDGE & NORWOOD BRIDGE
All prospecting must be done in the water channel. No working of the banks.
Pans and Shovels only