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Like with many prospectors there always comes a time when seeking answers from those who have "been there", helps. While I'm in Arizona,  these two questions may or may not be location specific.

1. In placer mining does the use of a small electric demolition hammer constitute mechanized earth moving when used for the sole purpose of loosening dried placer ground rather than by pick and shovel?

2. I remember reading here within ICMJ, something about digging in  stream/creek channels and "high/low" water marks but cannot seem to locate the article or thread.

As always, input would be appreciated and would not be taken as legal advice. I simply want a starting point when having a discussion with BLM AZ.

Great magazine and wonderful people as well!

DLDOYLE 

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As far as the use of an electric demolition hammer, that is one that is so borderline that it would be something up to the local BLM authority to interpret. One of the difficult things about the rules and regulations is that they are vague and open to considerable interpretation. Some officials will interpret the rules generously and others will interpret them restrictively. If its something you want to fight over, talk to an attorney. If its something where you just want to avoid confrontation, do it quietly. If its something you want to know, as k the local BLM authority, but try to get it in writing, as you may find one official tell you one thing and a second official tell you something completely different.
I'm not certain of the reference in an article you are referring to, but we have a number of issues on line and they can be researched to view more than a decade of back issues if you sign up for on line access.

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