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Recreational Placer Mining
 

Changes to the 2014 Placer Mining Rules

Due to the passage of Senate Bill 838, the Department has updated the Administrative Rules for Recreational Placer Mining within Essential Salmonid Habitat (ESH).    Highlights of the new rules include limiting the number of permits or authorizations the Department may issue for Recreational Placer mining within ESH to 850 and changes in operation conditions.

The on-line application process will be available beginning January 1, 2014.   To be eligible to apply for 2014, monitoring reports from those who had an authorization in 2013 must submit the report by December 31, 2013.

For more information on the new rules and the process for selecting the 850 permits or authorizations, please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions​

small-scale placer miningImplementation of SB 838 Rulemaking​

The Department of State Lands regulates recreational placer mining through two types of removal-fill permits: General Authorizations (GAs) and Individual Permits (IPs).

Non-Motorized Prospecting is exempt. Prospecting means to explore for samples of gold, silver and other precious minerals using non-motorized methods. Prospectors are limited to removing less than one cubic yard of material from within the bed or wet perimeter of any single State Scenic Waterway or Essential Salmon Habitat stream annually, and less than 50 cubic yards on other waters. Prospecting does not require a permit from DSL. Prospecting is not allowed at any site where fish eggs are present.

General Authorizations

A General Authorization (GA) is required for activities involving less than 25 cubic yards of removal and fill annually in Essential Salmon Habitat (ESH) streams. Activities under this general authorization are not allowed in Oregon Scenic Waterways. 

DSL has revised and simplified the GA application process for disturbing less than 25 cubic yards per year within ESH streams. You may apply for and receive a placer mining authorization online: www.statelandsonline.com (2014 Applications not availble until January 1, 2014).

A simplified paper authorization also is available online. The form serves as both the application and approval document. Fill out the top half, send it to DSL to review and we will return it with an approval signature. Keep this authorization with you when you are conducting mining activities.

You must submit an annual report by Dec. 31 to be eligible to apply for a recreational placer mining GA the following year.

Individual Permits

An Individual Permit (IP) is required for placer mining activities when:


  • Activities will disturb 25 cubic yards or more in ESH streams.
  • Activities will disturb 50 cubic yards or more in non-ESH streams.
  • Applicants plan to operate a large suction dredge with a hose intake greater than four inches in diameter.
  • Applicants plan to recreationally placer mine in a SSW. Be aware that suction dredging is not allowed in scenic waterways, even under an individual permit.

IP applications are available online - use the Joint Permit Application form.

Restrictions

Some waterways have been closed to recreational mining by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Others are closed or their use is limited by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) because of water quality problems.

GAs for recreational placer mining cannot be used on State Scenic Waterways. An Individual Removal-Fill Permit is required, and a written form must be submitted.

Landowner Permission

When conducting recreational placer mining, be sure you can legally pan, dredge or sluice on the waterway. Check with the owner to be sure you can be there, even on publicly owned land. Remember that it is illegal to cross privately owned land without first obtaining the owner’s permission.

Information about which Oregon waterways are state-owned and available for prospecting and recreational placer mining is on the DSL website. Publications also are available.

You may also want to contact federal landowning agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management for information concerning streams on federal land.

Additional Information

Placer Mining Adminastrative Rules​ (OAR 141-089-0820)
Placer Mining Fact Sheet


 
 
 
 

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