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Clay Diggins

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Clay Diggins last won the day on October 24 2017

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  1. Thanks for restating your opinions Tom. The original poster was asking for ideas about how other countries handled metal detecting laws so he could see if reason might prevail over the current proposed ban on metal detecting. I gave him an overview of how it works in the United States. I hope that helped him in his current situation.
  2. I never wrote that written permission was required Tom. I wrote that it was legal to detect private property with the written permission of the owner. In most states verbal is just fine right up to the point the owner denies giving permission or passes away without informing his heirs. Standing in court with a verbal agreement on one hand and titled land owner denying your right to a find on the other is much like floating on air - the result is always a quick descent to reality. In some states written permission is required if the land owner is not present. In any state explaining to a cop or angry relative how you weren't trespassing because someone told you it's OK could easily leave you floating on air again. Inquire definition = to put a question : seek for information by questioning It may or may not be true that "If there's nothing there that says "No md'ing", then presto : Not prohibited" but that doesn't address the separate questions of digging and recovery - both of which may be prohibited by law or regulation even though the use of a metal detector is permitted. And your point is .... ? Treasure trove is legally defined as money, uncounted gems, or precious metals in the form of coin, plate, or bullion that has been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovering it later. If that trove is over 100 years old you can bet the government will successfully argue it's subject to ARPA. If it's less than 100 years old it's considered abandoned property and automatically belongs to the United States (the property owner). That would be a pretty exhaustive list of laws and regulations Tom here's a few to get you started: 43 CFR § 423.23 43 CFR § 3715.6 Section J 32 CFR 643.37 50 CFR § 27.63 16 U.S.C. 551 There are many more. Each federal land management entity has their own treasure trove regulations and penalties. As I wrote, one will have to inquire about any particular land's status. Assuming you didn't know so you should get a free pass doesn't really fly when it comes to government laws and regulations. On
  3. Interesting how an object from Byzantium gets translated as being Egyptian. Since Byzantium was in the northern and eastern Mediterranean 1,000 years ago and Egypt is in Africa that's kind of like saying stuff found in New York is from Canada. A study of the history of gold granulation techniques might put the date in question as well as the origination. The fact that the faience is still well consolidated after being buried in damp acidic soil is beyond remarkable for it's stated age. Particularly since it has green colored faience glass. If this were found with a hoard, burial or dated dwelling it might have some associated provenance. Since it was found without period context it could have been dropped at any time in the recent past. Add in the fact that the piece is incomplete it sure appears to have been dropped in a much more recent period than the Viking age. The condition and manufacture certainly don't justify speculation about Viking bodyguards and ancient kings. It's a beautiful piece and if it really is from the Romanesque period it is very rare. I hope better research will help pin this find's origin down to something more than speculation.
  4. It's legal to detect on any private property with written permission from the owner of the property in the United States. The arrangement for division of finds is a private matter between the landowner and the detectorist. There are no public or government ownership rights of discoveries on private land in the U.S. as is common in Europe and elsewhere. It is never legal to detect on private land without the permission of the owner. The privately owned lands encompass about 2/3 of the lower 48 states. These private lands are also the most likely to still hold undiscovered valuable items. There are few places where it's legal to detect on municipal or State owned lands if you want to dig what you detect. Some public parks allow detecting as do some school grounds. You will need to inquire about each situation. The federal public lands are, for the most part, open to detecting. Notable exceptions are National Parks, National Recreation Areas, National Seashores, Wildlife refuges and historical sites. Even with our limited history objects of historical significance older than 100 years can not be searched for or kept on any of those federal public lands. Found coins are an exception as long as they are not part of a trove. Treasure hunting is illegal on federal public lands without a special use permit issued by the managing agency. Those are never easy to obtain. That's a general overview as there always seems to be an exception when you are discussing the rights of others.
  5. Land Matters is not up to date on it's mining claim mapping. There have been no updates since April 1, 2021. Those maps are being updated now and will be brought up to date a little later this month. The Diggings is not up to date. There have been no updates since January 22, 2021. Mine Cache is not up to date. They state their last update was July 2020. The MLRS is not accurate currently. Many mining claims have been closed inadvertently(?) this year and the BLM has a ways to go before those errors are corrected. Be very cautious with BLM claims information now. Check the serial register page for each recently closed claim (since January of this year) many of them will be changed back to ACTIVE status in the next few months. None of these mapping systems show the claim's actual boundaries. Most claimants are only required to locate their claims to the nearest 1/4 section with the BLM. Follow afreakofnature's advice to ALWAYS check the claim locations and claim amendments at the County Recorder. Also it's imperative that you discover the land ownership/management and any closures or restrictions before you put boots on the ground. Just because someone located a claim somewhere does not mean the land is open to location. When I am researching an area my first step is always to check the land status first. There is no sense in pulling location documents if the area can't be prospected or claimed. Good luck on your adventure!
  6. Looks like a membership drive. Gotta be a member to get the secret instructions. I've followed PLP since they were founded and contributed for many years. They have several dedicated members who I'm sure have recreational miners interest at heart. I've just got to ask though - does anyone know of a single court case they have won? I support Mountain States Legal Foundation now. They have pursued and won several major mining cases for small miners.
  7. The biscuit tin model ...nice! Does the rotor spin when it detects gold or diamonds? In the US we use a spam can. No biscuits here only cookies. 😢 Sadly with the smaller and smellier tin we use in the US our detecting is very limited to only 44 meters in depth.
  8. The public can travel over, camp on, hunt and recreate on most mining claims where they are not obstructing, or in danger from, mining activities. There is an exception to the public access rule where the mining claim was located prior to 1955 and has retained their right to the surface as well as the minerals. A pre 1955 mining claim owner can exclude the public, occupy, fence their claim, and use the surface resources (timber, stone, water etc.) for their mining purposes without a permit.
  9. I don't provide staking services but if you are staking outside of California P.M. me and I can provide you with contacts at reliable staking services. Inside California I haven't had good experiences with any of the staking services. There are a lot of knowledgeable and experienced people on this forum perhaps another member here knows of a reliable staking service willing to work in California?
  10. You are welcome. I'm glad it helped your understanding GotAU. The possessory interest value is established when you locate a mining claim. The act of claiming the minerals is based solely on your claim of a "discovery of valuable minerals" on lands open to location. Without a discovery of valuable minerals no mining claim is valid or possible under the law. The claimant is the one asserting their right to the mineral possession is valuable - not the taxing authority.
  11. The simplest answer to the principle behind mining claim taxes in California is that your possessory interest in the minerals on your mining claim is private real property. Private real property in California is taxable. Not surprisingly California is relying on the same court decisions Jim is pointing out. Once you have perfected your claim on the minerals on public lands open to location your claim on the minerals become private property as long as you maintain your possession of the claim. Where all this gets interesting is the simple fact that in 1976 the federal government adopted a policy of no longer granting public lands to the citizens. This was the Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA). No longer could a person establish themselves, according to law, on a claimed portion of the public lands and earn the right to purchase the land. Patents for land were no longer a possibility for ordinary U.S. citizens with one exception - mining claims. Once these claims and patents on public land were abolished the states were no longer gaining new (taxable) private property as citizens were granted patents. Virtually all the private property in the western states was at one time public land until it was claimed and patented. Without the ability to expand their property tax base the states were faced with the burden of providing services to the federal lands but were prohibited by law to tax those lands. The federal lands which were once the prime source of growth and wealth became a net burden on the states. The FLPMA that changed this policy from the people being able to claim federal lands to no new conversions of public lands to private ownership would never have passed Congress if the state and local governments weren't compensated for their ongoing loss of revenue. So at the same time in 1976 when the FLPMA was passed Congress also passed the Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act of 1976. The Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act pays money to the counties every year since 1976 for every acre of federal lands located within the county. Every year. Billions of dollars given to the counties in place of taxes they would have collected if the lands had been claimed and converted to private (taxable) property. Some of the smaller more rural counties with large tracts of public lands could not survive without these annual federal payments. The Payments in Lieu of Taxes Act of 1976 is the reason most states abolished the taxing of mining claims. Their counties were already receiving federal payments every year as a replacement for taxes. California stopped taxing too - for a while. Now they don't just tax your possessory interest in the minerals but also tax the transfer of a possessory interest in a mining claim. This is on top of the income taxes on the minerals you mine and sell from your possessory interest.
  12. The extremely detailed 1961 Deb Chandra Special Report 67 is also a great resource for the American River tertiary gravels. http://www.mylandmatters.org/Library/Item=172 In 2012 we managed to borrow one of the three remaining copies of the very large hand colored tertiary gravels map in the original 1890 Colfax Folio from the Federal Repository. We did digitize that map as well as the Lindgren, Clark, Olaf Jenkins and Deb Chandra reports to create the interactive geology mapping on the North and Middle Fork FootPrints.
  13. On Land Matters I create the claims mapping with a proprietary system I've built into my spatial database. Even though that sounds "automatic" it still takes about 12 hours to process the 30 plus Gigabytes of claim data provided by the BLM twice a month. For individual claims mapping in my business jasong pretty much outlined the system. It's very involved work with huge amounts of research required to compensate for the often poorly located claims. Here's an example from my claims mapping this week. I'm researching a group of claims from the 1900 period in a well developed mining district. This group of claims has no metes and bounds description and the tie to a known permanent monument refers to "the white bridge on the paved road". This mining district is now composed of large mine pits that have completely obliterated any past roads or bridges from that period. The only other location reference is to another group of claims that were never recorded at the County and were abandoned in 1914. I have now managed to map the claims after researching the highway department records (no results), mining district records (missing), old maps (no results) and a long conversation with a regional historical society member (success!).
  14. That's pretty much the same system I use in Nevada jasong. The only difference being my clients want all the claims mapped no matter what the age. The availability of information varies a lot by state and county. In Arizona location notices and amendments are available online for free. Every County Recorder is required to record mining claim records by TRS as well as Grantor/Grantee, date and type of document. That's true of the entire state except Maricopa County who have refused to record their documents to the standards defined by the legislature despite many requests over many years. In California it appears the only recording standard is send more money and hope they eventually respond in some way. Different counties there have different fees and policies. Little tiny Mono County is responsive and will often email you the requested docs for free if you are polite, patient and respectful. Another county (to remain unnamed) wants thousands of dollars before they will respond. The largest county has refused to search their records for the last year cuz covid. In California you pays yer money and take your chances. Idaho is a mixed bag but I've found the recorders there to be helpful and responsive. Not all counties have online access but even some of the smallest counties do have online free downloads of records. Obviously I deal with Recorder's in all the western mining states as well as beyond, It would take more time than I have to outline my experiences with all of them but the one thing that becomes obvious rather quickly is that there is no standard method of acquiring public records, mining or otherwise. You've just got to learn the local systems and jump through whatever hoops are presented.
  15. That's a good tip Jim. County Assessors can, and often will, help you locate property information. It works well in the dozen or so counties that do tax mining claims. Most states and counties do not tax mining claims. The BLM Serial Register page for each mining claim also has the names and addresses of the owners of each mining claim. Using the Land Matters mining claims maps you are provided a link to each claim's Serial Register Page at the BLM. You can get the contact information for any claim right from your own computer. If you have a mobile internet connection you can look up claims and claim owners while in the field.
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