While Federal mining laws are in place and are covered under that General Mining act of 1872 (courtesy of Wikipedia) it is important to note that each state also regulates mineral prospecting within its borders. While we will do our best to keep all information as current as possible ultimately it is your responsibility to know and follow all the laws in the area that you are prospecting.
It is important to note that you may only prospect on claims to which you have permission. There are areas that are unclaimed and thus you may prospect given you follow the laws of the state and area you are prospecting. NAMA gives its members access to club claims in both Oregon and Washington. You can find out more under the About Us Tab.
Mineral prospecting in the state of Washington is regulated by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/mining/. You will need to read and follow the rules in the Gold and Fish pamphlet, "Mineral Prospecting and Placer Mining Rules." We've supplied a link that will lead you to the downloadable version that you can print or you can call the WDFW and request one be sent to you. Keep in mind that you will need to have one copy on the work site with you. Also contained within that link you will find additional information regarding beach placer mining. and other links.
Mineral prospecting in the state of Oregon is regulated by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality www.oregon.gov/DEQ/ Information on prospecting can be found under the Water Quality Permit Program - Metal Mining Activities. Please make sure you read and understand all laws pertaining to prospecting within the state of Oregon.