There are no laws prohibiting the use of metal detectors in the public areas of provincial parks as long as the activity isn’t interfering with the enjoyment of the other park visitors, breaking any of our other regulations, or in any way threatening any of the wildlife in the park.
Metal detectors can be used in the province’s parks, provided that:
- They are only used on beaches and similar disturbed areas (where digging will not affect the natural ecosystem/habitat). In disturbed areas that are being excavated under a research permit, these areas are closed-off from the public to prevent recreational digging
- No historic resources are damaged or removed
- No items are removed from the park
- All items of value (historical or monetary) are turned over to the local park office
- They are used for recreation and not for commercial purposes
- Their use doesn’t violate other laws, such as interfering with a person’s quiet enjoyment in the park. People operating metal detectors are encouraged to use an earpiece/headphones to reduce the likelihood of the noise disturbing others.
As in the case of other park users, a person can expect to encounter officers who will inquire about the activities being conducted and require them to identify themselves and their occupation.
In order to dig for historical resources, a person requires an excavation permit issued by the Parks Division under the Historical Resources Act; this permit is associated with archeological or paleontological research permit. In some locations the excavated items are likely to remain in the park for research and storage; in situations where an excavated item is to be removed from the park, a collection permit is required.