Presenter: Walt Dabney

Commission Agenda Item No. 8
Recreational Metal Detecting
January 2002

I. Discussion: The purpose of this briefing item is to provide the Commission with an overview of efforts to legalize recreational metal detecting on TPW lands.

- 1998 TPW petitioned to allow recreational metal detecting

- 2001 S.B. 934 introduced by Nelson

- Removal of artifacts

- Ground disturbance

- Plant disturbance

- Federal antiquities protection laws apply to all federal lands

- Corps of Engineers policy states that “…each water resource project will have one or more areas open to the public for the recreational use of metal detectors.” However, metal detecting is restricted to designated areas and detectorists must deposit identifiable objects and artifacts with the park manager

- 37 states allow recreational metal detecting in their state parks

- Most states that allow metal detecting restrict the activity to beach areas (lakes and/or oceans)

- Some states ask that collectors return items of value. These items are held for a period of time (60 to 90 days) before turning over to the collector

- Some states restrict metal detecting to the summer months

- All states that allow metal detecting do not allow detecting in sensitive areas, often defined at the park level

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