Thursday, February 11, 2010

New BLM regulations for Arkansas River Drainage in Colorado for 2010

Cache Creek gate sign at the entrance to the area

Information concerning this year's gold prospecting season in Colorado at Cache Creek and Point Bar Recreational area is coming out as the BLM gets a handle on the huge volume of calls concerning the areas for this summer.  Many calls are coming out of California this year as dredging has been discontinued there and their prospectors look for other places to find gold.

Stephanie Carter, from the BLM office in Canyon City, was the speaker at last night's GPOC meeting in Colorado Springs and talked at length about Cache Creek and the Point Bar Recreational Area.  Point Bar had the entire area that was claimable claimed last summer.  The claims involved include almost all of the river frontage and there is a question as to whether prospectors digging in the pit area will have access to the water. 

The pit, as it is known, is not in a claimable area, and is still open to the public.  BLM will research whether those digging in the pit still have a right to wash their dirt in the river located on claimed areas.  The claims have also been overfiled and the new claimants are wanting BLM to police the area.  Once an area is claimed, it is up to the claimants to police the claims and not the BLM.  This area is a large State Recreational area and many people use the area on a regular basis.  Controlling that area is the major reason GPOC did not claim it many years ago.  They had worked with BLM to make the area more usable to prospectors, and effectively do the reclamation needed to keep the area up.  Those responsibilities now lie with the claimants.

Cache Creek was heavily discussed as the number of people expected to be using the area will double this year, if not more.  As such, many limitations are being imposed so that people have access to the area in a more orderly manor than last year, and the abuses of the area that took place will not be repeated this year.  

First on their list is to hire a summer time employee who will be in charge of monitoring both the Arkansas River areas and Cache Creek.  Everyone using Cache Creek will be required to fill out a day use pass each day they are there, placing half of it into a receptacle and keeping the other half on their person.  These will be collected by the BLM personnel and checked for proper documentation of everyone in the area as well as  what type of equipment being used.  The number of days you are using Cache Creek will be counted and enforced.  

Everyone will be limited to 14 days of use PER SEASON.  That means you will be allowed to access Cache Creek for the purpose of prospecting for a total of 14 days this year.  Not 14 days a month, or 14 days in and 14 out, or any other combination you can come up with.  Your days will be counted by the BLM and enforced.  People who came into the area last year and stayed all of last season will have their activities curtailed regardless of what equipment they are using.  Highbankers will have their allowed days increased to 14 with a $30.00 charge but with no additional extension. NO DREDGING WILL BE ALLOWED AT CACHE CREEK.

Much more is going on, but I will save that for another day.  If you have not been on the BLM website lately you should check them out.  Stephanie has been working hard to revise it, integrating the geocommunicator and the LR2000 more effectively.  You can access those sites at , (This link goes to the Royal Gorge Field page. Click on the first link entitled 2010 Placer Maps and Information) and the site that you can click through to the state, then the field office and find most of these links from there.  More this weekend after the Gazette comes out tomorrow.

Good Prospecting to You
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