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Wyoming State Office
Release Date: 07/21/11
Contacts: Beverly Gorny    

BLM Establishes New Policy for Suction Dredging

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Wyoming State Office recently established policy that suction dredgers who would normally file a letter of authorization with the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (WYDEQ) under guideline 19, must now contact the appropriate BLM Wyoming field office before conducting suction dredging operations. This policy applies when the BLM is the surface management agency of the drainage or stream bottom and the land is open to the location of mining claims or a claim already exists.

The policy was established after WYDEQ determined it will no longer require the filing of the information under appendix A of Guideline No. 19 – Non-commercial Recreational Panning and Gold Dredging. The surface management regulations at 43 CFR Part 3809 require either the State to inform the BLM of suction dredge filings made with the State under a memorandum of understanding or the suction dredger to contact the BLM prior to conducting operations.

The new policy, titled BLM Wyoming Instruction Memorandum WY-2011-036 Suction Dredging Operations is located at:

The BLM Wyoming field offices and their contact information can be found at BLM's internet website: The BLM field office will determine if the operations constitute casual use or if you need to file a notice or plan of operations. For more information, contact Pete Sokolosky at 307-775-6261.

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

Wyoming State Office   5353 Yellowstone Road      Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009  

Last updated: 07-21-2011