Thursday, April 26, 2012

Denver RISO master plan ignoring Recreational Gold Panning?

I noticed some chatter on one of the local prospecting forums about concerns regarding plans for Grant Frontier Park/Montana City which is on the S Platte River near Evans and Santa Fe, and so I decided to check it out.

Be very concerned if you are a recreational gold prospector who likes to pan for gold on the S Platte River.

The RISO Master Plan developed in 2009 by the City of Denver, describes in great detail the plans to create boat ramps, swimming areas, fishing areas, wetland areas, wildlife habitat and walkways along the S Platte River including the Grant Frontier Park site... with no mention of gold panning or prospecting in any way except in their proud description about the ancient history of the S Platte River and Montana City.

There are also plans to change the river channel and streambed itself to benefit recreational boating and fishing without any apparent regard or mention of the consequences for recreational gold panning. "In-channel recreational improvements" as they call it, involves drop structures, manmade eddies and gradient changes to alter the natural deposition of material in the streambed.
Plans also include changing the natural bank, planting vegetation and creating riparian areas along the shoreline as well as adding additional bike paths, all of which would preclude putting your shovel in the ground.

We will be contacting the city of Denver in the next few days to discuss this obvious unintentional oversite and hopefully help them include the most historic recreational activity of all in their plans for future recreational activities on the S Platte River.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Snowstorm Dredge and South Park

While researching information on the possible whereabouts of the Eleanor 2 dredge that originated at the ghost town of Arapahoe City in order to possibly return her to her birthplace, I came across another historic dredge that needs saving too.

The famed Snowstorm dredge near Fairplay Colorado is the largest dredge ever used in Colorado and was in operation until the mid 1960's. It now rests in it's final pond in the middle of a sand and gravel operation.
(photo from colorado preservation inc)
The Park County Heritage Resources Center and Colorado Preservation inc are working to preserve or even move the dredge in order to avoid it being dismantled or lost, but efforts so far are sketchy at best.

According to Linda Balough of the Park County Heritage Resources Center, the status and future of the Snowstorm Dredge is unkown at this time.

After discussions with Linda I believe that the site surrounding the Snowstorm Dredge be acquired and preserved for future generations.

Linda dreams of a large park with the Snowstorm right in the middle, where people from all over the world can learn about the history of mining and even pan or sluice for gold themselves while there. Tours of the dredge and a visitor center could draw thousands each year to Park County.
The city of Fairplay already embraces and celebrates the recreational gold prospector by being the first city in the state to open a public owned gold panning area. "The Beach" as it is called has been a very successful example of what such a park can be.
However the town of Fairplay, Park County and a host of other groups and individuals have not been able to raise the funds to obtain and move the dredge... so she sits and rots away, waiting.
Gold Unlimited will be offering assistance to Park County and those involved in saving the Snowstorm Dredge as we work to have up to 5 historic sites in our state designated state gold panning parks open to the public for generations to come.

UPDATE: 5/1/2012 We are in ongoing discussions with the owners of the site and the snowstorm dredge to make a serious attempt to acquire this historic relic.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Adams County Gold District?

photo of "The Big Bend" in Adams County by Ryan Finley- All rights reserved

Adams County Open Space is currently developing it's long range plan for how they utilize their vast open space resources. Dennis D and myself attended meetings this week where ACOS is taking input from the public on what people would like to see and what activities people are most interested in participating in.

We were able to draw on large maps exactly where we would like to see future gold panning parks established in Adams county. I placed 5 locations on the map that we have researched and would make ideal recreational gold panning parks. A place we named Big Bend (pictured above) is one of those places that would be ideal for a future gold panning park.

The staff at Adams County Open Space were very receptive to our ideas and we have been invited to attend a Forum on April 30th to promote these very ideas and Gold Unlimited in general.

Adams County Open Space includes Clear Creek from about 70th and Broadway all the way east to the confluence with the S Platte River AND includes the S Platte River from about 2 miles south of the confluence with Clear Creek to about 88th ave. This forms a giant "T" shaped area that we have designated the Adams County Gold District.

The future of recreational gold prospecting depends on our ability to access local streams, creeks and rivers that are not blm or national forest, but are open space and city parks.
The mission of Gold Unlimited is to maintain and increase your ability to access these public lands, no other organization is focused on this critical aspect of recreational gold prospecting.
don finley
Gold Unlimited

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Authorized Denver Gold Cube Dealer

We are proud to announce that Goldstrike Adventures is now the official authorized Denver dealer for the amazing GOLD CUBE !
Now you can order your Gold Cube from Goldstrike online at and arrange for same day or next day local pickup and delivery right here in Colorado, plus local service after the sale!

Why order your Gold Cube from Goldstrike if you don't live in Colorado?
We are the ONLY Gold Cube dealer that provides a FREE 3lb bag of Goldstrike paydirt with your Gold Cube... so your Gold Cube comes with everything INCLUDING the gold!

Deluxe 3 stack GOLD CUBE kit is only $389.00- (12v battery not included) Includes a FREE 3lb bag of Goldstrike Paydirt
Deluxe 4 stack GOLD CUBE kit is only $479.00  (12v battery not included) Includes FREE 3lb bag of Goldstrike Paydirt!

Used and praised by "Dakota Fred" on the discovery channel hit show "Goldrush Alaska" the Gold Cube is a super concentrator highbanking sluice system for creekside use that can be used as a recirculating gold recovery system in your garage or home!

While the average gold panner can pan around 8-10 pans per hour totalling 25-30lbs, the Gold Cube can process over 1,000 lbs per hour and the name of the game in gold prospecting is moving material. The Gold Cube catches all of the gold including the finest flour gold like we see here in Colorado!

If you would like to TRY a Gold Cube before considering purchasing one for yourself, just call us and book one of our half-day guided gold adventures using the Gold Cube for a fraction of the cost!

The Gold Cube is simply the most versatile, portable, compact, economical and efficient gold recovery system on the market today!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Making Headway on Gold Panning Park?

                            (Photo of Arapahoe City historical marker courtesy of Denver Public Library)

We have arranged for a meeting with Colorado House Representative Sue Schafer on April 21st to discuss GU's proposal for setting aside certain historic sites as state gold panning parks.

Assisting us will be GU Board member Dave Winters and his team of Aquatic and Riparian biologists who will discussing the advantages and benefits and even the concerns of such a park to the host river or creek. Dave is also the State of Colorado National Forest Service Aquatic and Riparian biologist.

Colorado historian and GPAA Denver chapter club president Johnny Walker will provide additional support and background from a historical perspective.

We will demonstrate for Rep Schafer's chief of staff Mekyle Lockwood how to pan for gold and teach them everything there is to know about how and where.

Our goal is to not put the gold prospector in any kind of box, on the contrary, we desire to set prospectors free from only relying on the blm or someone else's claim to prospect.

As it currently stands, there is virtually no unified voice for the recreational prospector fighting for his right to pan in the local park or open space. Organizations like the GPAA and PLP are great and do great work, we are not in competition with them but support all their efforts as hopefully they will ours. However we recognize also that a great majority of prospectors will never file a claim and deserve to be able to continue going down to that local little creek that has been good to them for any number of years and dip their gold pan in that water.

With ever shrinking blm land available to file claims on and considering most recreational panners never file a claim, there is also a need to protect public lands not available for claiming commercially, (small scale or otherwise) but are ideal for recreational prospectors.

Cities like Boulder, Breckenridge and even Wheat Ridge have been able to legislate the gold prospector out of places as historic as "Prospect Park" without even hardly a whimper from the gold community and Wheat Ridge is looking to expand it's ban on panning further upstream on Clear Creek to the Coors private property boundary.

It is time that Colorado recognize the significance and contributions gold prospecting has brought to this state and celebrate the rich heritage and history gold mining instead of pretending this state was founded by accident.

Hopefully in the next few months and years we will work together to make that happen.

Don Finley

Did you know?
Colorado is one of the few Rocky Mountain states that does NOT have a gold panning park or preserve?

UPDATE: 4/19- Joining us at the meeting and down at the creek to learn about gold panning and the plans for the Arapahoe City gold panning park will be author and Colorado historian Rick Gardner of the Gardner Historical and Preservation Society.