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GPS Coordinates:

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Guest on GPAA Claims and Leases

Your active GPAA Membership benefits include spouse or significant other and all children under the age of 18 residing within the household.
As a GPAA Member and to preserve your GPAA Membership benefits, you may invite up to 4 guests while you are prospecting on a GPAA claim or lease. Your family members and guest must be accompanied by you as the primary GPAA Member and understand that as a family member or nonmember they cannot return to the site without you.
Your guests are limited to gold panning, or they may assist you in limited prospecting and must help in the federally required reclamation. Guests are not allowed to operate their own equipment or any members additional equipment.

GPAA Code of Ethics.
GPAA Code of Ethics must be adhered to by all GPAA Member and their guest.
These Code of Ethics have been in place since 1970. Please follow this link to GPAA Code of Ethics.

Prospecting and Mining on Private Lands outside of your GPAA - LDMA Membership must only be done with the express written consent of the landowner. Failure to have permission constitutes trespassing. 



Federal and State Regulations

The Federal agencies BLM and USFS have federal regulations and policies in place for all federally managed public lands.
States are required to meet federal regulations and in cases of proven environmental impact and water quality concerns they may with federal approval exceed federal regulations.  

The GPAA Claims Department is on all federal and state regulations mailings and when we have updated information, the information is included in this section.

It is however essential that members contact the regions federal and state offices prior to prospecting in areas where they are unaware of current regulations. Regulations can change with federal and state delays in informing claim owners.


Important Information Regarding Motorizied prospecting and Dredging In California

A number of legislative actions coupled with numerous active lawsuits since 2009 has continued to keep suction dredging from being allowed in the state of California.

California Water Resources and Department of Fish & Game
Dredging Permits and other information regarding water use in California.

California Department of Fish & Wildlife
License & Revenue Branch
3211 "S" Street Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 928-5805


Region 1 - 601 Locust Street - Redding, CA 96001 - (530) 225-2300

Region 2 - 1701 Nimbus Road - Rancho Cordova, CA 95670 - (916) 358-2900

Region 3 - 7329 Silverado Trail - Napa, CA 94558 - (707) 944-5500

Region 4 - 1234 East Shaw Street - Fresno, CA 93710 - (559) 243-4005

Marine Region - 4665 Lampson Ave. Suite C - Los Alamitos, CA 90720 - (562) 342-7100

Eureka - 619 2nd St. - Eureka, CA 95501 - (707) 445-6493

Monterey - 20 Lower Ragsdale Dr. #100 - Monterey, CA 93490 - (831) 649-2870

San Diego - 3883 Ruffin Rd. - San Diego, CA 92123 - (858) 467-4201


§ 3809.5 How does BLM define certain terms used in this subpart?

As used in this subpart, the term:

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.

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.

Please follow this link for specific National Regulations

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.

California State Office 
2800 Cottage Way, Suite W-1623
Sacramento, CA 95825
Phone: (916) 978-4400 Fax: (916) 978-4416

Northern CA District

355 Hemsted Drive

Redding, CA 96002

Phone: (530) 224-2100

Fax: (530) 224-2172

District Manager: Nancy Haug

Assoc. District Manager: 

Dereck Wilson


Alturas Field Office

708 W. 12th St.

Alturas, CA 96101

Phone: (530) 233-4666

Fax: (530) 233-5696

Field Manager: Timothy Burke



Arcata Field Office

1695 Heindon Road

Arcata, CA 95521-4573

Phone: (707) 825-2300

Fax: (707) 825-2301

Field Manager: Lynda Roush



Eagle Lake Field Office

2950 Riverside Drive

Susanville, CA 96130

Phone: (530) 257-0456

Fax: (530) 257-4831

Field Manager: Ken Collum


Redding Field Office

355 Hemsted Drive

Redding, CA 96002

Phone: (530) 224-2100

Fax: (530) 224-2172

Field Manager: Jennifer Mata

Surprise Field Office

602 Cressler Street, P.O. Box 460

Cedarville, CA 96104

Phone: (530) 279-6101

Fax: (530) 279-2171

Field Manager: Tim Burke, Acting


Central CA District

2800 Cottage Way W-1623

Sacramento, CA  95825

Phone: (916) 978-4400

Fax: (916) 978-4416

District Manager: Este Stifel

Assoc. District Manager:  

Ruben Leal


Bakersfield Field Office

3801 Pegasus Drive

Bakersfield, CA 93308

Phone: (661) 391-6000

Fax: (661) 391-6041

Field Manager: Gabe Garcia



Bishop Field Office

351 Pacu Lane, Suite 100

Bishop, CA 93514

Phone: (760) 872-5000

Fax: (760) 872-5050

Field Manager: Steve Nelson


Motherlode Field Office

5152 Hillsdale Circle

El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

Phone: (916) 941-3101

Fax: (916) 941-3199

Field Manager: William Haigh

Hollister Field Office

20 Hamilton Court

Hollister, CA 95023

Phone: (831) 630-5000

Fax: (831) 630-5055

Field Manager: Rick Cooper




Ukiah Field Office

2550 North State Street

Ukiah, CA 95482

Phone: (707) 468-4000

Fax:  (707) 468-4027

Field Manager: Rich Burns


CA Desert District

22835 Calle San Juan De Los Lagos

Moreno Valley, CA 92553

Phone: (951) 697-5200

Fax: (951) 697-5299

District Manager: Teri Raml

Assoc. District Manager: 

Tim Wakefield


Barstow Field Office

2601 Barstow Road

Barstow, CA 92311

Phone: (760) 252-6000

Fax: (760) 252-6098

Field Manager: Katrina Symons


El Centro Field Office

1661 S. 4th Street

El Centro CA 92243

Phone: (760) 337-4400

Fax: (760) 337-4490

Field Manager: Tom Zale

Needles Field Office

1303 S. Highway 95

Needles, CA 92363

Phone: (760) 326-7000

Fax: (760) 326-7099

Field Manager: Rusty Lee 

Ridgecrest Field Office

300 S. Richmond Rd.

Ridgecrest, CA 93555

Phone: (760) 384-5400

Fax: (760) 384-5499

Field Manager: Carl Symons


Palm Springs South Field Office

1201 Bird Center Drive

Palm Springs, CA 92262

Phone: (760) 833-7100

Fax: (760) 833-7199

Field Manager: John Kalish