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.

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