Rockhounding in California State Parks – CA Code of Regulations

California Code of Regulations

Title 14. Natural Resources Division 3. Department Of Parks And Recreation Chapter 1. General

4301. Definitions

Posting of Notices

The term “posted” as used herein, unless otherwise indicated, shall mean and require that the Department shall set aside at the district headquarters and at the unit affected and in a location convenient to the general public, a bulletin board or similar device upon which shall be posted all special instructions, orders, pertaining to units of the district including but not limited to special hours of operation, swimming and boating restrictions, hunting and camping restrictions, and special instructions pertaining to areas where activities are curtailed or restricted. Proof of posting shall be filed in the offices of the division chiefs or the Sacramento California Office of the Division of Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation.

Unit

Unit means any named and classified unit under control of the Department of Parks and Recreation, as well as any Department projects which have not yet been named or classified.

Rockhounding

is defined as being the recreational gathering of stones and minerals found occurring naturally on the undisturbed surface of the land, including panning for gold in the natural water-washed gravel of streams.

Float Material

is defined as materials only occurring naturally on the surface of the land.

4307. Geological Features

  •  No person shall destroy, disturb, mutilate, or remove earth, sand, gravel, oil, minerals, rocks,
    paleontological features, or features of caves.
  • Rockhounding may be permitted as defined in Section 4301(v)

4308. Archaeological Features

No person shall remove, injure, disfigure, deface, or destroy any object of archaeological, or historical
interest or value.

4309. Special Permits

The Department may grant a permit to remove, treat, disturb, or destroy plants or animals or geological, historical, archaeological or paleontological materials; and any person who has been properly granted such a permit shall to that extent not be liable for prosecution for violation of the foregoing.

Division 3. Department Of Parks And Recreation Chapter 6. Provisions Limited To Specific Units

4611. Rockhounding

  • Rockhounding is authorized by Section 5001.65 of the Public Resources Code.
  • Units and portions thereof open for Rockhounding will be posted in accordance with Section 4301.
  • Commercial Use.
    Rocks or mineral specimens gathered within a unit may not be sold or used commercially for the
    production of profit.
  • Maximum Take.
    One person may gather, in one day in one unit, not more than 15 pounds of mineralogical material or not
    more than one specimen plus 15 pounds of mineralogical material.
  • Use of Tools.
    Tools, except gold pans to be used in gold panning, may not be used in rockhounding within a unit.
  • Areas for Swimming and Boating.
    In state recreation areas rockhounding may not be practiced in areas designated for swimming or for boat
    launching.
  • Areas Limited for Collecting.
    In state recreation areas rockhounding is limited to beaches which lie within the jurisdiction of the
    Department and within the wave action zone on lakes, bays, reservoirs, or on the ocean, and to the
    beaches or gravel bars which are subject to annual flooding on streams.
  • Indian Artifacts.
    Rockhounding in a unit specifically does not include the gathering of Indian arrowheads, Indian stone
    tools, or other archeological specimens, even when such specimens may be found occurring naturally on
    the surface.
  • Panning for Gold.
    Panning for gold is considered to be “rockhounding” as the term is applied in the Department. The goldpan is the only exception permitted to the exclusion of tools from rockhounding in a unit as provided in Section
    4610.5. Muddy water from panning operations must not be visible more than 20 feet from the panning operation.

California State Beach Regulations

Geological Features

No person shall destroy, disturb, mutilate, or remove earth, sand, gravel, oil, minerals, rocks, paleontological features, or features of caves except rockhounding may be permitted as defined and delineated in Sections 4611 (a) through (i) (14 Cal. Code of Regs. 4307).

Archaeological Features

No person shall remove, injure, disfigure, deface, or destroy any object of
archaeological or historical interest or value (14 Cal. Code of Regs. 4308).