Wednesday, February 17, 2010

BLM Gold Prospecting Regulation Changes for Gold Prospecting Public areas on the Arkansas River in Colorado 2010

Orange Stripped Tree Downed Due to Undercutting

I know better than to give even an inkling as to when my next post will be, 'cause something almost always comes up.  Anyway, I am back to give you some more updates on the Arkansas River valley in Colorado gold prospecting regulation changes for 2010.

Water was another item that came up at last Wednesday's GPOC meeting with guest speaker Stepanie Carter of the Royal Gorge BLM office in Canyon City, Colorado.  Diversion of the water in the small creek at Cache Creek was discussed, and Ms. Carter said that even with the small creek in question, people will need to be mindful of diverting any water in the creek to even an overflow area that deprives others using any other part of the creek from water flow even for a short distance with rocks, dirt or sand. 

We also discussed the 'diversion' of water by highbankers who pump water up to 300 feet away that never returns to the creek for use by sluicers and panners.  The fee involved to them is in part so that they may pump water for their usage.  The other involves the use of the pump.  This case is not considered 'diverting the stream', but water usage. 

BLM is interested in finding other water to bring to the gold prospecting area at Cache Creek, and will be looking into that possibility with available water in the area.

Another question raised was whether teachers will be required to fill out the forms and be limited to the 14 day rule if they are not in the area for finding gold, but to give assistance to others, or school groups.  Since there will be a part time person this summer, they might be able to make this exception.  That is to be determined, however.

Trees are also another probelm facing the new season.  As in the photo above, you will see that BLM has marked trees that are not to be undercut or disturbed in any way.  This is due to the number of trees in the area that are infested with pine beetle. There are a couple of species that are not suceptible to the beetles that they want preserved.  DO NOT MINE NEAR, UNDER, or within 10 Ft. of these marked trees.

GPOC is wondering what they will be doing for Let's Go Gold Panning Days, now that they are severley restricted in the amount of area they can prospect at Point Bar.  However, it was also brought up that most of the areas they prospect are within the allowed areas.  There are a few riverside pits that others had used, but it is felt that should not necessarily be a problem. 

Well, folks, that's about it.  There will be more to tell you about as we get closer to the season open.  Which, BTW is March 1st for motorized equipment on the Arkansas River or when you can stand the cold and  snow everywhere else in Colorado.  Better get that equipment in working order now.  Spring is coming sooner than you think!

Good Prospecting to You,
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