The reasoning for the temporary ban in Tennessee is there were no regulations on the books for any type of recreational prospecting. The only thing that was regulated was commercial mining. All they relied on was a very liberal interpretation of "Tennessee Clean Water Act". It was the free for all, lack of common sense approach by recreational prospectors that brought about the temporary ban.
There is no legal recourse, not because of the use of the term "Recreational Prospecting", but by the fact that the Mining Law of 1872 governs mining on Federal Land Claims and Federal land not state land or waterways governed by a state. In Tennessee, all waterways are governed by the state. In Tennessee it makes no difference what you call yourself, Recreational Prospector, Prospector, or Small Miner. In Tennessee and most other states in the east the Mining Law of 1872 holds no precedence in our rights to prospect. There are no Federal lands open to establishing "Claims".
The State of Tennessee decided to shut down all high banking and dredging until they could put regulations in place that would prevent the destruction that was being caused. And yes there was wholesale destruction going on. It had exceeded what one would classify as recreational prospecting.
The TWRA is in the process of issuing recreational prospecting regulations. They have been working on them for over a year now. They have worked with many recreational prospectors to develop these regulations to try and find a happy medium between the concerns of both parties. However not everyone will be happy with the new regulations.
It would be nice to have an environment where you didn't have to be regulated. The majority of us have and use common sense when prospecting. Then there's the 1% that don't and the rest of us suffer for it.The permission form I posted is primarily a release from liability form for the property owner.
That is the primary concern of most land owners. Not being sued if you hurt or kill yourself on thier property.
This is an agreement between you and a private land owner. No more, no less.
Regardless of what you call yourself.
Don't misunderstand me. I'm 110% for the rights of everyone
to prospect using all types of equipment. I just don't believe what you call yourself derives where and what governs your rights. I don't like regulation. But the requirement for regulation has been brought about by the senseless acts of a few. At least in Tennessee. And yes, there are environmentalists that see us as demons because we don't fit into thier "Perfect Little Environmentally Pure World". They'd like to make us disappear. And yes, we need to stand up against them. But I've also met environmentalists that were pro prospecting also.
So regardless of what you want to call yourself, for whatever reason keep in mind the future of prospecting is being determined by what you do...the individual. Know where to stand your ground and fight your battles. Respect nature and above all else use the common sense God gave you when you are out prospecting. At least that's a start.And I'll say it again.......The only reason I posted the permission forms was to help people gain access to private land. Not to start a debate over the legality of what you claim to call yourself.
Here's a copy of the original Mining Law of 1872 without amendments from the Library of Congress if you wish to read it.http://www.jeffersonminingdistrict.com/ ... 2/1872.pdf