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Metal detecting

two visitor metal detecting along the beach

Metal detecting

The Parks and Recreation Division prohibits metal detector use in public areas known to have artifacts and designated historic or archaeological sites; however, metal detecting is permitted within areas designated as open to metal detecting.

Land Use Order of the Director Amendment No. 6 of 2023 is in place to safeguard irreplaceable archaeological and historical resources within areas known to contain artifacts or designated as historic or archaeological sites.

The following regulations help prevent potential damage to the land and inadvertent removal of valuable cultural artifacts.

  • All recovered items must be checked by a unit employee.
  • Any artifacts found shall be left in their original position. Relic or aboriginal antiquities and abandoned property of historical or recreational value will be retained by the state.
  • DNR policies on personal property lost or abandoned on state property are in effect and recovered items that have been recorded lost will be returned to the rightful owner by park staff if ownership can be established and the rightful owner contacted.
  • The use of probes or small hand trowels to retrieve objects discovered beneath the surface shall be allowed if the land is not unduly disturbed. Disturbed material must be replaced.
  • Large-scale digging to retrieve objects shall not be allowed unless being done as part of a DNR-authorized and properly permitted archaeological exploration project.

Parks with designated areas open to metal detecting