It is our goal to provide as many positive recreational opportunities for park visitors as possible, and
The use of metal detectors, or "treasure hunting," in Sunnyvale's park system is not illegal. City code does not prohibit it; nor are there any park rules or regulations forbidding it, and
It is our obligation to protect the park's resources and to ensure that damage to the park by visitors is minimized, and
It is illegal to dig in any park area with any tool, and violators are subject to citation.
As a result, and with these four concepts in mind, park visitors with metal detectors are welcome in the parks so long as they do not do any digging. Parks staff have been directed to politely ask treasure hunters to leave all digging tools outside of the park and to inform them that sifting through the top few inches of sand or fir bark in play areas is acceptable so long as they do not use any tools or inconvenience playground users. The City is, in fact, grateful for any assistance treasure hunters might render with regard to the removal of any trash or debris they might find during their hunt.
Treasure hunters observed digging in the park or otherwise damaging park resources will be informed that they are breaking the law. If they continue to break the law, Park staff will contact Public Safety.
Use of Metal
Tahoe National Forest
Metal detectors are used by both hobbyists and professionals to look for hidden coins, pipes, and other metallic objects. Due to the need to protect archaeological sites, weve prepared this guide for the use of metal detectors on Tahoe National Forest ands. If you have questions, contact information is listed on the back of this document.
Help Protect History
throughout California provide important insights and knowledge about the past
that can be gained nowhere else. They are the repositories for people and
cultures not represented in history books. Removing artifacts from sites
destroys the context of the site, much like tearing pages from a book.
Professional archaeologists depend on finding artifacts in their original
location and association to other objects, so they can accurately understand and
interpret the story of that site. Ultimately, this helps us learn about
littleknown aspects of our past.
Sites on National
Forest System lands are protected by the Archaeological Resource Protection Act
of 1979 and the Secretary of Agricultures Regulations. You could be charged
with a felony if you disturb, alter, remove, or damage archaeological sites and
objects that are over 100 years old on Federal lands.
How You Can Help
The Forest Services Passport In Time program provides opportunities for citizens of all ages to participate in historical and archaeological projects as
volunteers. Many of
these projects need metal detector volunteers. For more information on
Passport In Time, visit www.PassportInTime.com.
You can help preserve
our history by leaving archaeological sites undisturbed. Report looting,
vandalism, or looters to the closest Forest Service office. When making a
report, ask for the Districts Law Enforcement Officer (LEO) or archaeologist.
Should you discover
an archaeological or historic object or site, enjoy what is there, but please do
not disturb anything. Feel free to call the Tahoe NF Headquarters with a report
of your discovery, so our
Cultural Resources staff can evaluate it.
Metal Detector Use Definitions
Treasure trove includes money, gems, precious metal coins, plate, or bullion
that has been deliberately hidden with the intention of recovering it later. The
search for buried treasure can involve methods that are damaging to natural and cultural resources, thus a special-use permit from the Forest Service is required. Each permit request is evaluated before such permits are granted.
The use of metal detectors to locate objects of historical or archaeological value is permitted subject to the provisions of the Archaeological Resource Protection Act of 1979 and the Secretary of Agricultures Regulations. This activity requires a special-use permit. Permits are only issued for legitimate research conducted by qualified professional archaeologists. Unauthorized use of metal detectors in the search for and collection of historic artifacts is a Federal violation.
The use of a metal detector to locate mineral deposits such as gold and silver on National Forest System lands is considered prospecting and is subject to the General Mining Law of 1872. Permits are not required for prospecting. However, a Plan of Operations is required if the prospecting methods will involve ground disturbing activities, such as digging holes or moving rocks. Before metal detecting, its important to make sure the activity is not on an active mining claim. Prospectors can check mining claim records at Bureau of Land Management offices (where claims are filed), or contact the Minerals Officers at the Yuba River or Foresthill Ranger Stations.
Searching for coins of recent vintage and metal objects having no historical value, as a recreational pursuit, does not require a special-use permit as long as the equipment is confined to areas that do not possess historic or prehistoric resources.
Tahoe National Forest Headquarters/
Yuba River Ranger DistrictSouth
631 Coyote Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
American River Ranger
22830 Foresthill Rd.
Foresthill, CA 95631
317 South Lincoln
P.O. Box 95
Sierraville, CA 96126
530 994-3401 (voice)
Truckee Ranger District
9646 Donner Pass Rd.
Truckee, CA 96161
530 587-3558 (voice)
There is no specific law against use of metal detectors. However, they may not be used for mineralogical or historical / archeological collection.
The prying up or digging out of an object may be against the law as defined in Sections 4306,4307, 4308.
To re-enforce land / soil surface may not be disturbed while Metal detecting. See Sections: 4306, 4307 & 4308
§ 4306. Plants and Driftwood.
No person shall willfully or negligently pick, dig up, cut, mutilate, destroy, injure, disturb, move, molest, burn, or carry away any tree or plant or portion thereof, including but not limited to leaf mold, flowers, foliage, berries, fruit, grass, turf, humas, shrubs, cones, and dead wood, except in specific units when authorization by the District Superintendent or Deputy Director of Off-Highway Motor Vehicles to take berries, or gather mushrooms, or gather pine cones, or collect driftwood is posted at the headquarters of the unit to which the authorization applies.
§ 4307. Geological Features.
(a) No person shall destroy, disturb, mutilate, or remove earth, sand, gravel, oil, minerals, rocks, paleontological features, or features of caves.
(b) Rock hounding may be permitted as defined in Section 4301(v).
§ 4308. Archaeological Features.
No person shall remove, injure,
disfigure, deface, or destroy any object of archaeological, or historical
interest or value.
California State Park Laws were established to protect the park resources, to administer the parks and to maintain a park atmosphere. All the following sections are contained in the California Code of Regulations. All sections are misdemeanors which carry a maximum punishment of 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine. This is only a partial listing of the State Park laws which apply statewide.
§ 4610.10. Panning for Gold.
§ 4610.1. Units Open for
(a) Rock hounding is authorized by Section 5001.65 of the Public Resources Code.
(b) Units and portions thereof (o)pen for Rock hounding will be posted in accordance with Section 4301(i).
(c) Commercial Use.
Rocks or mineral specimens gathered within a unit may not be sold or used commercially for the production of profit.
(d) Maximum Take.
One person may gather, in one day in one unit, not more than 15 pounds of mineralogical material or not more than one specimen plus 15 pounds of mineralogical material.
(e) Use of Tools.
Tools, except gold pans to be used in gold panning, may not be used in rock hounding within a unit.
(f) Areas for Swimming and Boating.
In state recreation areas rock hounding may not be practiced in areas designated for swimming or for boat launching.
(g) Areas Limited for Collecting.
In state recreation areas rock hounding is limited to beaches which lie within the jurisdiction of the Department and within the wave action zone on lakes, bays, reservoirs, or on the ocean, and to the beaches or gravel bars which are subject to annual flooding on streams.
(h) Indian Artifacts.
Rock hounding in a unit specifically does not include the gathering of Indian arrowheads, Indian stone tools, or other archeological specimens, even when such specimens may be found occurring naturally on the surface.
(i) Panning for Gold.
Panning for gold is considered to be "rock hounding" as the term is applied in the Department. The gold pan is the only exception permitted to the exclusion of tools from rock hounding in a unit as provided in Section 4610.5. Muddy water from panning operations must not be visible more than 20 feet from the panning operation.