Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Washing Rocks and Cleaning the Creeks

Many times when we are out prospecting and running our sluice, people will walk by and stop for a minute and then ask... "so, what are you doing"?

Sometimes I just reply "washing rocks", which is basically true when we are in a bad location for gold. But one thing we do every time out is to remove all of the trash we find and we find a lot.

Broken glass is by far the most common, sometimes running down as deep as a few feet in the gravel, then there are the tin cans, sharp pieces of metal objects, chunks of rubber, plastic, even parts of sinks and toilets.

The important thing here is that whenever I speak with a city official regarding gold prospecting in a creek running through their town, they immidiately try to imply that gold panning, sluicing etc. is somehow damaging their pristine clear rocky mountain spring water (lol).

Are you kidding me?

Sections of Ralston creek for example are a trash pit, a garbage pile, a sewer lateral system, a depository for junk and crap... but it does have gold in it.

So, when you go out gold panning and mining and prospecting, please do your part to clean up our greatest natural resources and always leave every area you work cleaner than you found it.

I want people generations from now to say we did a good job.

Keep on "washing rocks".


  1. Ha I recently ran into a DNR officer in the NC mountains. He said "you know we really dont like people panning in these trout streams"

    I said really? Why not? As far as I know I am in the National Forrest and I am allowed to do this here as far as I know.

    He said "yes your are, for the time being, but it increases the turbidity in the stream."

    It had just downpoured a for a half hour just awhile before and the stream was the color of yoohoo.

    I let out a laugh and said. Not to be disrespectfull but (pointing into the stream) it would take 50,000 people simultaneously panning in this stream to produce the turbiditiy you see there right now produced by mother nature in just 1 hour. I think your fears are unfounded.

    He just frowned and said "just make sure you fill your holes before you leave and your not allowed more than 5 lbs of material samples so dont let me catch you with an ounce more." Then abruptly walked off.

    I am a responsible prospector, but these young liberal kids out of college have been brainwashed in my opinion.

  2. I think you may have meant to put this comment in my post about my signs for responsible prospecting here in Colorado, where unfortunately there are plenty of less than responsible diggers.

    I suspect the reason that Forest ranger was less than friendly was because some of those very people my post is targeting had been there prior to you.