The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

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Plays In The Dirt
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Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by Plays In The Dirt » Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:47 pm

Margie wrote: I look forward to learning all I can. The history of mining and the miners' that lived here in Arizona is fascinating.
Well I'm familiar with the GPAA but have never belonged to them. I was a member of a gold prospecting club in California but I'll be darned if I can remember the name and don't know it they're still a club.

I don't know anything about mining history in Arizona but I live and work in a very Historic mining district in central Nevada. I have quite a number of Photos of old mines if you're interested. I also did a quick search on US Mining History and came-up with this: http://www.mininghistoryassociation.org/I didn't look through the site but what I saw looks interesting.

Greg (aka PITD)

Jim Hatt

Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by Jim Hatt » Fri Aug 21, 2009 2:14 pm

Hey Greg,

I'd like to see the photos you have of the old mines! I have a few myself I can add if you start the topic.

You can start a new topic for them in the Gold Prospecting & Treasure Hunting forum. I bet there are a lot of other members that have photos of old mines also. It would be an interesting topic for almost everyone.

Jim

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Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by MMM » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:51 pm

There are major problems for those who attempt to prospect inside any wilderness area.


Mike

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Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by Jim Hatt » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:42 am

Mike,

Prospecting and Mining in Wilderness Areas are two separate Topics in this Forum.

Your post starts out right on topic "The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas" But everything after the first line applies to "Mining" in a Wilderness Area, and is being discussed in the topic titled "MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area" and can be found at:

http://www.desertusa.com/mb3/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=442

I have removed everything from your post concerning Mining in a Wilderness Area. Please continue (Edit) your opening statement explaining the major problems you started to explain about Prospecting in a Wilderness Area.


If you would like to discuss Mining in a Wilderness area, please join the discussion at the link above.

Thanks,

Jim

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Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by Rascus » Tue Dec 15, 2009 12:19 pm

Hello all Im new here and just sort of been browsing...so in regards to this piece Ive highlighted...exactly what is legal and what is not?


"Over the years, some Forest Rangers have gone so far as to tell people that swinging a metal detector within the Boundaries of the Superstition Wilderness Area IS NOT compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment. Others have said that it is OK to swing a detector, but if you get a "Hit" with it, you cannot dig it up to see what it is."

Can I legally use a dectector in The Superstitions and dig up something if I get a hit? Thanks for any replies....Frank

Jim Hatt

Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by Jim Hatt » Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:11 pm

Frank,

If you cannot find the answer to your question in the preceeding posts, I don't know what to tell you.

Except... If you are out in the mountains and all of a sudden you have to take a "dump", you are supposed to dig a hole to do it in, and bury it when you are done. (There is no specified depth)

If a Ranger happens to come along while you are digging a hole and asks you what you are doing... I, in the same circumstance - would just tell him I was digging a hole to take a "Dump" in.

He might call you a liar, but that would be pretty hard for him to prove wouldn't it?

Jim

P.S. If he asks you about the metal detector laying beside the hole, you can "kindly" explain to him that you couldn't dig with it in your hands.

P.P.S Be sure to fill in the hole when you are done with it, so nobody steps in it and sprains an ankle. ;)

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Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by JoeyW » Thu Dec 17, 2009 4:43 pm

Jim,

Although your reply to Frank was amusing, I sill find myself wondering the same thing Frank was inquiring about. Can someone that gets a "hit" on a metal detector out there legally dig it up?

Joey

Jim Hatt

Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by Jim Hatt » Thu Dec 17, 2009 6:06 pm

Sorry Joey, I cannot give that specific of an answer to your question.

You guys are really trying to put me on the “Spot” aren’t you?

I told Frank what I would do under the circumstances. I personally do not believe that digging on a BEEP is illegal. I have uncovered untold numbers of Pull tabs, bottle caps, nails and horse shoes, by just scratching the ground with my foot where I got a beep out there. I cannot remember a single instance where I had to actually do any digging to see the cause of the beep. I have known several Forest Rangers personally over the years, and contrary to popular belief they do not sit around all day salivating, over the thought of catching someone digging on a beep in the Wilderness Area. The actual Law “Wilderness Act” is so vague and ambiguous about “Prospecting” that it would be very difficult for them to get a conviction for someone being in violation of it, without going to the U.S. Congress for a specific definition of “Prospecting” and what is ”compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment".


Now… If you do plan on swinging a metal detector out there, there is something that you should keep in mind!

There are areas out there that are known to be ancient burial grounds. You get caught digging in one of those areas, and you could end up defending yourself from some very serious charges. But… This is a whole different Ballgame than Prospecting in the Wilderness Area, and it is covered by an entirely different set of Laws. Laws that have some very big and sharp teeth in them.

Unfortunately, you could innocently wander into one of these areas and get a “Beep” on your detector. That being the case, and you dig on it, and if you are seen by a Ranger. I am afraid you are not going to be able to find any refuge in the “Dump Hole” story, or any ambiguity in the “Wilderness Act”.

Although the penalties could be severe. I am of the opinion that any Ranger that saw you digging there would just give you a warning, and you would be able to walk away from it. THE FIRST TIME! But if you were ever caught there again (doing the same thing) you would not be so lucky the second time!

That is just my opinion based on stories I have been told. I have no personal experiences with digging those areas, so take it for what it’s worth.

Jim


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Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by JoeyW » Fri Dec 18, 2009 7:34 am

Jim,

You make the Rangers sound like people, just like us. It will take some time for me to get used to that!
:lol:

Joey

Jim Hatt

Re: The Wilderness Act vs Prospecting in Wilderness Areas

Post by Jim Hatt » Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:15 pm

JoeyW wrote:Jim,

You make the Rangers sound like people, just like us. It will take some time for me to get used to that!
:lol:
Joey
How did a newcomer like you happen to conclude anything else Joey?

If you have been judging them, by things you have been reading on the Internet, (Greensuits) concerning the laws they are charged with enforcing. That is like holding the Cashier at Circle-K responsible for the price of a loaf of bread, or a gallon of gas.

It was our elected representatives in Congress that wrote the ambiguous statements like ”compatible with the preservation of the wilderness environment" without defining what it means. I have a lot of complaints with what is written in the "Wilderness Act", but I have never held that against the Rangers in the field.

If anyone in the Forest Service is responsible for making our lives miserable. It is the ones in Washington D.C. that make the decisions about the meaning of the ambiguous statements, and pass them down to the ones in the field.

If you will go back to the first page of this article, and read the post I made on Fri Jul 17, 2009 at 6:32 am, you will see that even one of our elected representatives (specifically - Sen. John McCain) did not agree with some of the ways, that the Wilderness Act was being interpreted and enforced. Make sure you also read the article at: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=355.

I know, I know... There is the occasional individual, like the one in the story, that gets himself all pumped up with his "Authority" and carries things a little too far, but they are the exception to the rule in my experiences.

Jim

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