- BLM FOLSOM FIELD OFFICE

63 Natoma Street, Folsom. CA 95630 Phone: (916) 985-4474 Internet Address:


 We are frequently asked about the use of metal detectors on public lands. In many cases, these devices can legally be used for the purpose of collecting minerals, coins and bullets. But their use is governed by some restrictions which are needed to protect natural and cultural resources.


  • Metal detectors may be used for the noncommercial collection of nonrenewable resources such as rocks, mineral specimens, common invertebrates fossils and semiprecious gemstones. (1)


  • The collection of minerals for sale or barter to commercial dealers may be done only after obtaining a contract or permit from an authorized officer of BLM. (2)


  • Metal detectors may not be used to collect any cultural or historic items which are protected by law. (3)


  • Items and structures such as historic old cabin sites or mining areas must not be disturbed, altered or impacted by the use of metal detectors. Digging under, alongside or above historic or archeological sites or resources is considered impacting to these resources and is prohibited by law.


  • The collection of coins and bullets is allowed if these items are not found in a physical or proximity relationship with archaeological or historic resources.


Archaeological resources mean any material remains of human life or activities which are at least 100 years of age, and which are of archaeological or scientific interest.(4) If you discover any archeological resources during your detecting please carefully cover them up and notify the BLM archeologist here in the Folsom Resource Area. If you have any questions concerning what material may be old or which may be historic, and therefore protected by law, our archeologist may also be able to provide you with the answers.


Also before detecting on mining claims it is strongly recommended that you contact the mining claim holder and receive permission to remove minerals from the claim.


Like all recreational activities common sense should be used when metal detecting. Areas should be left clean, all holes filled in and any dug up trash properly disposed of. The old image of bottle hunters and metal detector users digging up the country side and leaving holes and mounds of old refuse needs to be dispelled. Please do your part to keep your public lands clean and in a condition which will continue to provide recreational opportunities for future generations...


CFR 43 0 (1) 8365.1-5 (a-3) (2) 8365.1-5 (c) (3) 8365.1-5 (a) (1,2, 3) (4) 7.3 (a)&(a3) I. .hummel .metal .detect