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South Carolina


Metal Detection Policy for South Carolina State Parks


State Historic Sites and Other Known Archaeological Sites


State Historic Sites and Other Known Archaeological Sites Metal detection is prohibited at State Historic Site properties. The primary emphasis of management at State Historic Sites is to preserve cultural resources. Additionally, other State Parks encompass historical areas that are significant known archeological sites, including sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The State Park Service afford such sites the same protections as are allocated for State Historic Sites.


Cultural artifacts provide the foundation for public interpretation and education at State Historic Sites. These artifacts, whether recovered from the surface or below ground, are almost always fragile and are certainly irreplaceable. From an interpretive and educational perspective, removal or movement of these artifacts can deplete their value. When the original location and context go undocumented, they are essentially destroyed.

Accordingly, use of metal detectors is prohibited at the following locations:

        Blackstock Battlefield Site

        Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

        Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site

        Edisto Beach Spanish Mount Shell Mound

        Francis Marion Burial Site

        Hampton Plantation State Historic Site

        Hanging Rock

        Hunting Island State Park Lighthouse Complex

        Isaac Hayne Burial Site

        Landsford Canal State Park

        Long Bluff

        Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

        Oconee Station State Historic Site

        Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site

        Rivers Bridge State Historic Site

        Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site

        Thomas Sumter Burial Site



Other State Park Properties


Other state park properties whose primary resources are not historic or where archaeological sites have not yet been identified nonetheless have the potential for the presence of archaeological and historic sites. Consideration must be given to the protection of these properties as potential archaeological sites, as well as natural resources, infrastructure, general aesthetics, quality of the visitors' experience and safety.


While metal detecting may be allowed in certain areas at some parks, it is to be assumed that State Parks have an absolute prohibition against metal detecting. Any metal detecting should be guided by the respective park's mission and core resources, while giving consideration to this activity's potential impacts. All metal detecting activities on State Parks require prior approval of the Park Manager or the Park Manager's designee. In general, all metal detecting activities will be dictated by these general guidelines:


A.      A. Metal detecting should be conducted only in non-sensitive areas where responsible recreational metal detecting is to be allowed. Areas such as those containing delicate or exemplary structures (such as historic buildings), land formations (such as sand dunes), and other sensitive resources (such as rare endangered or fragile vegetations or habitats) will be absolutely restricted from metal detecting.


B.        B.Digging is restricted to areas where damage will not occur. Areas susceptible to damage such as forested areas, erosion prone areas (such as slopes), lawns and landscaped areas will not be disturbed. Metal detector use will be prohibited in areas where power lines, water lines, sewer lines, phone lines/cables. etc. are known to be buried.


C.     C. Prior to each use of a metal detector, visitors must secure the approval of the Park Manager. A signed permit shall be issued and must be in the possession of the permittee when on the park. Such permit shall specify the area(s), date(s) and times approved for metal detecting, as well as other special conditions.


    D. Historic or prehistoric artifacts will not be removed from the park. If a visitor discovers historic or prehistoric artifacts while using a metal detector, he / she is to leave the artifacts in place and notify a member of the park staff.


E.       E. Modem, personal items such as jewelry, class rings, etc. will be turned over to the park manager.


Regulatory and Legal Authority


Section 51-3-70 (Rules and Regulations for State Parks) of the 1976 Code of Laws of South Carolina authorizes the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism to make such rules and regulations as it deems advisable for the protection, preservation, operation, use, and maintenance and for the most beneficial service to the general public of the State Parks in this state. In addition. removal of cultural artifacts from state parks may be considered a violation of Title 16 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Code.