which is also in the State Agency list for Illinois on the Gold and Gem Gazette, it states that panning is not permitted on state property. So I searched high and low to find the actual place in any DNR rules or state statutes mentioning panning and I could only find one. It states “it’s prohibited for any person to remove, take, alter, construct, mutilate, deface or destroy any natural or man-made property, equipment, improvement, sign, trail or building, except as otherwise provided by permit, law, regulation, or by Department program activity under the direct supervision of an authorized employee”. So the catch all of “remove natural property” could be what gets you…even if it’s 10 specks of flour gold and you need a magnifying glass to see them.
I wasn’t stopping at that rule so my first call was to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Mines and Minerals. They did not have an answer and seemed a bit confused about the question. They sent me to the Illinois State Geological Survey. They tossed the question around the office and none of them had knowledge of regulations for PANNING gold on private land, but they did believe that using machinery would fall under Mines and Minerals. They suggest I contact Mines and Minerals and referenced the website that I mentioned earlier. Seeing that I was going in circles I asked a DNR Officer what, if any action he would take if he ran across someone panning for gold and he too was unsure.
So at the end of the day I’m still not sure what is really allowed or prohibited and I confused a bunch of state employees. Illinois is money hungry and I wonder if they would consider panning permits on state property if they could make a few bucks. I think my next call will be to my local legislature.
If anyone has information on Illinois do’s and don’ts for panning please let me know.
I would be worried about giving our crazy Illinois state legislators any ideas about controlling how and where we collect gold. There are thousands of privately owned sections of creek in the state where it is not hard to get permission to prospect.
I agree, and I have land that I can prospect on, but I see a bunch of prospectors going to Indiana. I’m not sure if that’s where they want to go or no choices for them in Illinois. Where are you? I’m around the Champaign area.
I’m just north of Peoria. The creeks around here are not too bad. I did a two bucket sluice run the other day and only found a couple decent flakes but using a loupe to look through the black sands, I saw at least 40 to 50 micro pieces of gold that were not visible to my naked eyes. Check out some different creeks and I think you will find that several will be as good or better than most in Indiana. Join the discussion
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