U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIORBUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT
Rockhounding and recreational mining are permitted activities on public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management. The usual rockhound materials, including agates and stones, may be collected in reasonable quantities for hobby use. Petrified wood collection on BLM lands is limited to 25 pounds plus one piece per day to a maximum of 250 pounds per year. Panning and sluicing for gold may be arranged through permit at certain areas.
For detailed information on specific sites, visit the websites below.
Casual use prospecting includes those activities which cause very little or no surface disturbance. For example: collection of geochemical, rock, soil, or mineral specimens using hand tools; hand panning; or non-motorized sluicing. 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 dry washers. Operators may use motorized vehicles for casual use activities only if the use is consistent with the regulations governing such use (43 CFR 8340) including following off-road vehicle use designations and temporary closures ordered by BLM. Casual use operations do not require notification of the BLM; except where specific land use or recreation area plans call for a recreational mining permit. You must reclaim any casual-use disturbance that you create.
Additional information about fossil collecting and the use of metal detectors may be found below: