Calling All Prospectors, Tennessee Bans Gold Dredging

Posted: August 27, 2012 in Gold Prospecting, Prospecting Etiquette, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

I have recently learned that there is a state-wide ban on any and all mechanized gold prospecting in the state of Tennessee with a few exceptions. Which means no dredging or highbankers. This ban has come about because of the simple fact that prospectors have been leaving a mess behind. Here is a press release from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency: . These complaints have led to the ban. Here are some photos of some of the damage that has taken place at the Doc Rogers area of Coker Creek.

Lets keep this from happening in any more states, we don’t need to lose any more areas where dredging is permitted and here is how we can prevent it. Whether you are brand new to gold prospecting or you are an old sourdough. Make sure you know the rules and regulations of the state and location before you go to prospect. Some states allow dredging in some regions and not others. It is very important to know the rules and just as important to follow them. I have found that many states require that you return the river bed to its original grade that means  fill your hole in when you are done, whether you are dredging, sluicing or panning . Most states I know do not allow digging in the river bank, this is an environmental mortal sin. If you pack it in,pack it back out with you. Trash is a big issue, when I am out there prospecting and I see trash that other people have left behind I pick it up and take it out with me. There are other people out there that are using the same water ways that we prospect in for recreational purposes who will complain about our activity. You know as well as I do that there are environmentalist out there that would like to ban prospecting activities nation wide. We need to ban together as prospectors and we need to follow the rules, clean up after our selves and sometimes clean up after others.

There are laws in place so that when they are broken the perpetrator is prosecuted in a court of law with a fair trial and if one is found guilty then that person pays the penalty with a fine or incarceration and not make all pay for the actions of  one. If a convenience store is robbed or a few convenience stores were robbed would a state shut down all convenience stores state-wide. No, the authorities would go after the person or people responsible. I find the ban on all mechanized prospecting in the state of Tennessee to be unreasonable and unfair to those who have and do follow the rules.If you are a prospector you should feel the same way. If it happens in this state yours could be next. Lets join together as prospectors and prevent this ban from becoming a law.  One way you can help Tennessee is by joining or making a donation to Public Lands For The People (PLP) . All prospectors should not have to pay for the actions of a few.

  1. Prospectorjack, I’m inviting you to join my home club. We are trying to get access to state forests in Queensland, Australia. Just forest areas, set aside for recreational use, but off limits to prospectors. You can ride a trail bike, but not prospect.

    • Thanks for the invite. I like your club, keep up the good work. We have the same issue here in the US.The laws vary from state to state so you need to know what is allowed before you go prospecting or you could end up with a fine.

  2. sandsifter says:

    Good write-up Jack! Gold makes people do funny things, but thats still no excuse for the damage caused by them. And it’s not just prospectors, the trash left behind from campers, hunters and fishermen is ridiculous! If I had a dollar for every plastic worm container or beer/soda bottle I’ve found, I’d be loaded! But look at how much money camping, hunting and fishing brings the states each year. Now look at how much the states make off prospectors. Huge difference. No wonder the enviro-greenies are attacking prospectors….the states wont let them attack their cash cow! This way the enviro-nuts get to be heard and the state looks like it’s trying to protect the environment while raking in millions from the polluters.
    I try to leave an area better than I found it, as most prospectors do, but we got the short end of the stick when it comes to fighting “The Man”. And as Jack previously said, we need to join together as prospectors and not let the one bad apple spoil the bunch and protect our rights.

    • Thank you and well said sandsifter and you are right that the trash is left behind by all of the above. I know many of prospectors that do clean up after all of them. The last time I was up on the river I pulled ounces of lead out of the water, mostly sinkers and bullets. If we do join together we can and will be heard.

  3. R. Galyan says:

    Interesting. That area was dredged by a huge giant dredge back in the day so the whole area is rubble moved from one place to another. Hardly a big issue. No one except miners goes back into those areas along the creek. A few fishermen but they love the holes cause the bigger fish congregate there and get fat and spawn there as the rocks have been cleaned of silt.

    Sounds like more land grab to me. Typical actions of an agency operating way beyond there charter, with too much time on there hands and way too many staff, cars etc… looking for justification of there jobs and of growth so they can become managers. ugh.

    Reread the mining laws in place, the federal statutes, no one is to impede exploration, and no govt has the right to supercede these rules.

    ” The Mining Law is an Act of Congress that disposed of the minerals and the lands in which they are found to the people under the sole condition that they take the initiative to locate and extract the minerals under the provisions outlined in the 1866, 1870 and 1872 Acts. Under its Admissions Act, the States, counties and its agents are expressly forbidden to interfere with any rules set down by Congress pertaining to the disposal of this mineral estate, as well as other lands.”

    So this statewide ban is possibly a felony under 18 USC 242, Deprivation of Rights Under Color of Law, and whoever made this mandate should be stripped of his position and benefits and sent to federal prison.

    Call and write your congressman and state elected officials. If they wont help fix this issue then work on getting them replaced with someone that will.

    • From what I understand the mining laws of 1866,1870 and 1872 do not apply east of the Mississippi but that is the answer about calling and writing your congressmen and state elected officials, if they can’y fix it replace them.

  4. […] to look for gold near Bannack1st gold strike in territory that became Montana was 150 years agoCalling All Prospectors, Tennessee Bans Gold Dredging Posted by JC Allen on Where To Find Gold • Tags: Bannack Montana, gold, Gold mining, […]

  5. Reblogged this on Living and Lovin and commented:
    I too see idiots in New England doing exactly the same kind of thing

  6. supernova says:

    Hi there Jack, the same principal applies here in the UK. I totally agree with leaving the place better than it was and I make a special effort to maintain and preach this philosophy. I spend a lot of time on the river here and the junk people leave is disgraceful, I see so much wanton littering of the environment it breaks my heart. There is everything and anything left to endanger wildlife and ruin the beauty of the river and surrounding countryside. It’s the same story – the few ruin it for the many. Human beings eh? There is a proportion of people in every activity or pastime who are totally selfish and don’t care about anything except their own agenda, when they have done what they want they just get up and go and leave any rubbish laying there, shame on them! Trouble is these folk usually act righteous when it comes to other peoples faults. Great post, Jack. Kind Regards.

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