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NO. 106. AN ACT RELATING TO REQUIRING A PERMIT BEFORE MINING FOR GOLD IN A WATERCOURSE, AND ALLOWING ONLY THE PANNING FOR GOLD PURSUANT TO SUCH A PERMIT.

(H.101)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 10 V.S.A. § 1002(11) is amended to read:

(11) "Secretary" means the secretary of the agency of natural resources, or the secretary's duly authorized representative.

Sec. 2. 10 V.S.A. § 1021(h) is added to read:

(h)(1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, recreational mineral prospectors:

(A) shall not operate suction dredges in any watercourse;

(B) may operate sluice boxes in any watercourse, provided:

(i) a request for approval to conduct mineral prospecting shall be filed with and approved by the secretary; and

(ii) mineral prospecting shall not be conducted on private land without landowner permission, or on state land without permission from the secretary.

(2) Hand panning prospecting techniques shall be exempt from this subchapter.

Sec. 3. 3 V.S.A. § 2822(h)(23) is added to read:

(23) Approvals of the operation of mineral prospecting equipment issued under

10 V.S.A. chapter 41.

Sec. 4. 3 V.S.A. § 2822(j)(24) is added to read:

(24) For approvals of the operation of mineral prospecting equipment issued under 10 V.S.A. chapter 41:

(A) annual approval for a resident: $ 30.00

(B) annual approval for a nonresident: $100.00

Sec.5. REPORT AND SUNSET

The agency of natural resources shall report to the general assembly by no later than January 15, 2000, with findings and recommendations on the level of permitting activity under this act, costs incurred by the agency, and proposed fees to cover those costs.

3 V.S.A. § 2282(j)(24) is repealed on June 30, 2003.

Sec. 6. EFFECTIVE DATE

This act shall take effect upon passage.

Approved: April 27, 1998