How To Stake A Mining Claim
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*HOW TO STAKE A MINING CLAIM

Federal Lands Open to Mining

There are federally administered lands in 19 States where you may locate a mining claim or site.
These States are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. In these States, the BLM manages the surface of public lands and the Forest Service manages the surface of National Forest System lands. The BLM is responsible for the subsurface on both public lands and National Forest System lands.

gold dredgingYou may prospect and locate claims and sites on lands open to mineral entry. Claims may not be staked in areas closed to mineral entry by a special act of Congress, regulation, or public land order. These areas are withdrawn from the operation of the mining laws.

Areas withdrawn from location of mining claims include National Parks, National Monuments, Indian reservations, most reclamation projects, military reservations, scientific testing areas, most wildlife protection areas (such as Federal wildlife refuges), and lands withdrawn from mineral entry for other reasons.
Lands withdrawn for power development may be subject to mining location and entry only under certain conditions.

Mining claims may not be located on lands that have been
(1) designated by Congress as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System
(2) designated as a wild portion of a Wild and Scenic River, or
(3) withdrawn by Congress for study as a Wild and Scenic River

There is usually a 1/4-mile buffer zone withdrawn from location of mining claims on either side of a river while the river is being studied for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System. Additions to the National Wilderness Preservation System are withdrawn to mining claim location at the time of designation by Congress. Mining activities are permitted only on those mining claims that can show proof of a discovery either
(1) by December 31, 1983, or
(2) on the date of designation as wilderness by Congress.

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*This article was taken from a public online brochure found on the BLM website

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