Saturday, October 17, 2009
Two pieces of equipment used at Cache Creek to muck out the beaver pond.
Mucking out the beaver pond. This is about the size the pond ended up being. It goes a ways to the left of this shot, but I couldn't get it all in.
HOOKED ON GOLD GAZETTE
· Gold Spot Closing Price for Friday, last Gazette: $1052.80
· Spot price last Gazette May 2nd: $885.80
Calendar of Events
· 31st Halloween
· 26th Thanksgiving
· 24th Christmas Eve
· 25th Christmas Day
If you haven’t checked out the Prospecting Community Network you might want to. We have a great group started with several already blogging and getting involved. You will be able to view the main page when you pull the site up to decide if it is a place you would like to hang out at.
As it ended, the first Gazette of the Fall is a day late. I considered waiting until next week, but I have enough info to share now and an hour this early morning to get the Gazette to you even if it is a little late. Why is it late, you might ask? Well, I am painting one room upstairs while we have a few nice days and I can open the house to dry it, AND I was playing a new game. Yes, I know it is hard to believe that a new game could deter me from writing to you, but it is true. So, I am up early to atone for my wasted time yesterday that should have been devoted to you. :>D
So, what have all of you been up to this summer? Have you found gold? Won gold at a meeting? Had hail break all the windows in your house? What? Leave some comments to this blog so I don’t think I’m out there all alone. Some of you are wondering why I twitter and Facebook so much, and I have decided that it is because those places are where I have interaction with other prospectors and those interested in gold. It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing this blog, but there is very little input from you. It is hard to know what you want to read when there are no comments left for me to comment on. A blog can be almost as interactive as any social networking site, in fact they are an extension of blogs and the interactivity that was first born in blogs. So, take a minute and make a comment when you find something you like or don’t like. YOU hate it when I’m not blogging, but a blog is supposed to be two way. Give me something more to write about, and I’ll write. I’m a writing fool, as you can tell from all the sites I have, and anyone who has emailed me will tell you that I LOVE trying to answer questions.
We found gold this summer. Not a lot, but we did find gold. Helped a lot of other people find gold, too. We spent a great deal of time hosting at Cache Creek, and the BLM tells us that most people appreciated someone being in the area to help them set up equipment, teach panning and tell them where in area to find gold. The area was absolutely SLAMMED this summer, and so new regulations are being drawn up by the BLM to get some control over the area. Larry and I have been allowed to put our two cents in, and they are looking at our recommendations as guidelines. If you don’t like the new ones, you can blame us for being in there so much and people who were in there all summer moving over 100 yards of material with sluice boxes. Limits will be imposed next year, and a fee structure that will be more fair to everyone. This area is meant for RECREATIONAL PROSPECTING, which means it is not governed by the mining laws. BLM is free to impose regulations on the area as they deem necessary as with any campground, parking area that has a fee, etc.
The pond was mucked out in late September, and a couple of additional settling ponds were dug in, too. The two smaller ponds will not stop the silt from going into the beaver pond if the present amount of silt continues to run down the creek. Most people will say the highbankers are at fault for this, but from personal experience, I can say that the majority of it comes from the sluices that are run directly in the creek. Highbankers are required to settle their material before it returns to the creek, which also means the water must be diverted away from the main creek. There can be as many as 6 highbankers in the area, but on most days the sluice boxes outnumber them by about 5 to one, and I have watched sluicers move as much material through one sluice box as a ‘banker. Our average count of vehicles in the parking lot was around 28. That means on most days there were between 40 and 75 people in the area a day; every day. We ended up with two port a jons to handle the wastes, and had we not been there to get that done, the place would have been an even bigger mess than it has been in past years.
As a result of this year’s use and our record taking for the BLM, they are considering hiring a summer time employee to help regulate the Arkansas River and Cache Creek. That means that all of you who have bragged about being able to get away with anything because there is not anyone in the area to make sure you comply, have created a situation where we now have to pay a salary to keep you in line because you can’t be relied on to be personally responsible for yourself on public lands without law enforcement there to make sure you do. This means that everyone who uses the area will probably be required to pay a daily fee, and most probably have restrictions on the number of days you can use the area per season. Thanks a bunch. The ounces of gold I saw taken out of there by single or two man teams of men who worked the area all summer was substantial, and they all should have had their own claims and not using public lands in this way. All were using sluice boxes which have no fees, so they took it out for free. One team switched to a highbanker, but also stayed in the area with it for over 6 weeks. Almost all were very protective of their area and kept others out by placing equipment near and around their work areas. If you even looked like you might want to work near them they became irate and combative. Some situations were volatile enough to call in law enforcement, and there are charges still pending on at least one case. Oh, and then there was the fire, which apparently was started by a small campfire that had been left unattended above the last hydraulicing wall, most probably by prospectors. There were also reports of dredging going on and spies who watched everyone from the rock burms. Yes, we need to be able to keep people in line at Cache Creek. Some people are reporting that they feel the area is dangerous and being taken over by lawlessness. And there we were. With a sign and a green cap and a note book. There were days I carried my hand pick for defense. Yes, we need more regulation at Cache Creek. No, we aren’t happy about it, but yes, we (the public) need this regulation and support.
Another thing that came to our attention was that the GPAA put the area in their claims guide as an open area. This brought in many more people than the area was ever meant to support, and while the area was originally expected to last 20 years, the number of years left for the area could be less than 10. Long range plans for the area had included a campground, but with so few years left for use, those plans have been put on hold. Right now, everyone is scrambling to get the area under control and limit the environmental and use impact. Remember this area is a conservation area, and we are confident that had we not been there to document what was going on and help BLM understand what needs to be done, Cache Creek would have been closed this year due to extreme damage to the area and the amount of material moved and silt sent down the creek. The area was originally closed down, you will remember, due to silting of the Arkansas River, and so silting is a major concern to keeping the area open. While we are not sending silt into the Arkansas, it is sent to a beaver pond and over the dam into the conservation area below. We are confident the new regulations will give us many more years of safe use, but we NEED the cooperation of everyone to keep the area open.
I have a few links for you to follow. The first is to an animated film on youtube about an Alaskan prospector and is appropriate for our Halloween holiday coming up soon. It is about 8 minutes long http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TYqtDqE69no
Another is an article about bacteria that could be an explanation for some gold deposits. It also could allow gold to be grown in a lab and lead to new technology for finding gold http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-10/esrf-bhf100709.php
And now Oregon wants to be like California. They are now looking to ban recreational prospecting there, too. Read: http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/ap/kulongoski-wants-to-head-off-calif-gold-miners-64391782.html
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Until next week…….
Good Prospecting to You,
World Open Panning website has this year’s world wide panning competitions listed and they add more all the time. A great site to visit: http://www.worldopenpanning.homestead.com/ . If the links do not work, copy and paste them into your browser.
If you find a broken link, please let us know
THE ARKANSAS RIVER is now CLOSED TO MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT until MARCH 1st.
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