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looking for someone with a metal locator to look for benchmarks


snap shot
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I live just north of San Francisco, and I’m looking for someone with a metal locator to look for benchmarks. There are some forgotten benchmarks out in Point Reyes and I think it would be fun to try to find them. They are probably overgrown in grass, so a metal detector would help. Would anyone locally around here be interested in joining me?

 

George

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'Fraid I can't help, since I've never gotten around to buying a metal detector, but I just wanted to make sure you know that you won't be able to use it in the part of the Point Reyes area managed by the National Park Service. Don't want to see any of my fellow benchmark hunters accidentally getting in trouble!

 

Patty

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The metal detectors used by surveyors and the type used by the people who dig stuff up looking for treasure are different.

Perhaps so, but I see no distinction drawn between them in the Code of Federal Regulations. Nor on the NPS website. Do you know of some authoritative source where it says that the general public can use some types of metal detectors in national parks?

 

Patty

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The metal detectors used by surveyors and the type used by the people who dig stuff up looking for treasure are different.

Perhaps so, but I see no distinction drawn between them in the Code of Federal Regulations. Nor on the NPS website. Do you know of some authoritative source where it says that the general public can use some types of metal detectors in national parks?

 

Patty

I just looked it up. You are right. The ban on metal detectors is not specific. Alas I know dadgum Well the NPS hires and uses surveyors and surveyors can and do use metal detectors. The only exception I saw in that small section was for 'administrative uses'. The NPS can authorise the use.

 

It's late and I didn't spend more time looking up other CFR's that cover the use of survey equipment in NPS and other federal lands. Those would exist and may pre-empt the rule in 36 CFR 2.1(a)(7)

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Well the NPS hires and uses surveyors and surveyors can and do use metal detectors. The only exception I saw in that small section was for 'administrative uses'. The NPS can authorise the use.

Oh, of course they can! But given that "snap shot" is posting in an amateur benchmark hunting forum (which it is, despite the presence of some professionals), and is looking for someone with a metal detector, I think it's highly unlikely that he/she is a professional surveyor doing contract work for NPS!

 

Anyway, the Point Reyes area is large, so I hope that he/she can find someone with a metal detector and go look for some of those old benchmarks in the areas where metal detectors are allowed.

 

Patty

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And if you decide to search without a metal detector and start poking around and pulling up grass-like vegetation in search of the benchmark, note that vegetation is also protected by the National Park Service. They will pull up in their patrol car and ask you what you are are doing. About that time you'll remember Point Reyes is a National Park and messing with anything is a no no.

 

Fortunately, it was only one clump of vegetation by the side of a road and fence. I had all my benchmarking data in my PDA, the two officers looked at it, looked at me (a forty-something woman - little or no threat :o ) and let me off with a warning.

 

I still can't believe I was pulling up vegetation in a national park! What was I thinking? Ah yes.....my brain cells were consumed by the thrill of the hunt.......I wasn't thinking. :rolleyes:

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I asked one of my coworkers, who used to work for the NPS at Delaware Water Gap NRA. She said "NO! You are not allowed to dig in NPS areas." (Okay, I did look for three on Saturday. The problem is that they rebuilt the road (Rte 209), and the benchmarks are buried.) So, I've officially given up hunting for LY2092, at least until someone does dig it up and expose it.)

(Pain-in-the-neck pedantic dolphin points out that Point Reyes is a National Seashore, and Delaware Water Gap is a National Recreation Area. Neither are National Parks though both are administered by the National Park Service (NPS).)

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Glen Canyon National Recreation Area is managed by the NPS and their policy here is to conficate the metal detector if they catch you using it.

In fact, the CFR says that you can't even have an operable metal detector in your possession on NPS lands; it has to be "broken down and stored or packed to prevent its use while in park areas."

 

Patty

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I wonder if the NPS sells confiscated metal detectors. :laughing:

 

Just a guess but I would think anything like that would go to government surplus for sale.

 

The non profit I volunteer for has access to state surplus and we picked up a large box of scissors for a few bucks that was confiscated at the airport.

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whats so diffrent about servaor metal detectors and privat detectors? they all pick up metal dont they?

I think the issue is what is done with the information and whether it suits the "public interest" .The assumptions are something like:

 

> Surveyors have an appoved purpose to working in the park, i.e. working on a project to build a new bath house, etc. and the detector allows them to do the job.

 

> The general public is looking for gold coins or civil war artifacts, which would result in 1) digging the place up, 2) absconding with potentially valuable artifacts which belong to the public.

 

You might check the statutes and regulations to see if these assumptions are stated or if any other rationale is given.

 

In NYC it's interesting: you can use a metal detector and dig things up in public parks, but you must 1) get a license to do so, 2) follow approved procedures for digging and restoring the area when you are done. You can keep the gold coins.

Edited by Papa-Bear-NYC
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PB explained the difference in purpose. The technical difference between the metal detectors is also worth knowing for future reference.

 

The "treasure hunter" type of detector uses one of several electronic schemes to sense the conductivity of the metal object's surface. The surveyor usually uses a detector that senses the static magnetic field and thus only finds iron objects. It is most sensitive to long rods that warp the earth's magnetic field in the neighborhood, which is what they are usually looking for.

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