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Colorado county considers banning panning for gold after 'uptick' in prospecting

Prospectors during widespread Gold Rushes in the 1800s are credited with settling land and developing commerce in several Western states, including Colorado.

However 200 years later, officials in one Colorado county say amateur prospectors panning for gold on county land have become such a nuisance they are considering banning the practice.

9News reports officials in Larimer county say they will vote vote on banning widespread prospecting next month after a significant increase in panning.

"There's certainly an uptick," Dan Rieves, visitor services manager for Larimer County, told 9News. "There's rangers that we've had out in the field who have been working here for 10, 15 years that have contacted more people out prospecting in the past 18 months than they have in their entire career."

The vote would lead "minerals" to be added to a list of things that already can't be removed from county land. Officials say the county is not anti-prospecting, and may consider setting up specific prospecting zones or times in the future if the ban is passed.

"We're really just trying to put that regulatory structure in place, and kind of slow things down," Rieves told 9News.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/11/28/colorado-county-considers-banning-panning-for-gold-after-uptick-in-prospecting/?test=latestnews#ixzz2DWPvYCtZ

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Larimer County... So this "ban" could only be on private county land. County maintained roadsides and such. They would have no jurusdiction to pass a law on any other property.

It is a pretty flaky article. Ever hear of a "County Ranger"?

"9News reports officials in Larimer county say they will vote vote on banning widespread prospecting next month after a significant increase in panning."

...How could they ban "widespread prospecting" as county officials? They can only control county land, of which Larimer County has very little, as do most counties.

I'm callin it a slow news day. Much to do about nothing. County governments pose no threat to a prospector. And the Larimer County "Visitor Service Manager" probably does not know jack about it other than they are not letting people park on roadsides or prospect on county easements. Very few counties will allow any type of disturbance on these easements anyway. I can't see how this could affect a prospector at all. A tourist, MAYBE.

Larimer Co. has a good website and all agenda items of meetings are listed here.

http://www.co.larime...cc/meetings.htm

You can see for yourself that these are not anti-mining people nor do they have the power to "ban panning" anywhere except on the limited county property. And we can all see the value in withdrawing the county roadsides and water sources from panning. At least I hope we can. This is nothing except management of county resources. I bet that NO COUNTY in America would allow digging on private county land unless it was a specific park or mining area.

Stick to areas open to mineral exploration and I dont see any problem at all. This is spun up for political reasons just like the rest of the stuff this source puts out. If anyone is really interested what Larimer Co. is actually doing I would suggest getting the story straight from the horses mouth. It is all public domain and is posted on the link I provided. The issues voted on, the people voting and the REAL motives behind doing that.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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And their jurusdictions are only on county property. Not open to mineral entry anyway. That is the entire point. It does not affect the prospector in any way, shape, form or fashion. Not one square inch of prospectable land has been denied to anyone even if the county ordinance passed.

Wanna set your sluice box up under the merry-go-round in the local park? Dig in a picnic area? Dredge the Denver watershed? No can do! But then the county does not control one square acre of open land anyway. It is all PRIVATELY owned county property. And the managers or owners of private land can do whatever they want to do!

Again, you would be hard pressed to find ANY county that would allow digging on county property unless it was specially designated for that. It only makes sense. Counties just dont manage public land or support mining operations.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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RU U SUE PRIZED------as the anti mining cancer from the klamath spreads it's tenascious tentacles forevermore in a ever widening path..... :evil1: to quote the retort from airport- censored for BS--DA-N THEM ALL TO LL-John :2mo5pow:

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I have a 40 acre mineral patent. Private property for sure and I cannot high bank or dredge. Granted its not the county stopping me, but private or public land makes no difference with the law stopping those activities.

I agree with Hoser it's a cancer that has metasticized to the lowest levels of government beurocrats. And yes, we have county level rangers here too

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The article from FOX clearly states that this ordinance was only for county property...

"The vote would lead "minerals" to be added to a list of things that already can't be removed from county land. Officials say the county is not anti-prospecting, and may consider setting up specific prospecting zones or times in the future if the ban is passed"

Where is the rub?

I bet no one here can legally prospect on county owned property anywhere in the west. Not unless it is an area designated for that. I would say that ordinances like these are common. As a matter of fact we all know they are because we know stuff about land ownership and where you can and cant dig. And county property, city property, private property and such are generally on that list.

Come on boys! We are not so naieve to believe that this is some sort of anti mining attempt! The question of county property being prospectble in the first place is completely absurd.

This is not even on the county agenda as you can see, because I linked to it! Some department manager made a suggestion to limit property damage along some spots where county roads crossed creeks. People were digging there and the managers saw a problem. A local reporter was there at the meeting on some other issue. While he was there he did an interview with some county underling that you cant even find in the County Directory (I linked to that as well) on his ideas. The reporter then decided to spin the surplus tale for a few bucks to FOX. And now it is about "BANNING PANNING"!

I linked to the county website. You can call and find out what this "proposed ordinance" is all about. It was a suggestion that came up from a deparment manager that saw a problem. It is not even scheduled to be discussed. And if it is the chances are that they will DESIGNATE AREAS to pan. Mine was the third call they have had this morning about the FOX article.

This is just FOX making someone think the big bad gubment is after them. In reality it is just business as usual.

Jeeeeeeeeeeeezzzz!

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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I bet we have Larimer County prospectors on this forum. As a matter of fact I know we do 'cause I have prospected with them!

I bet they know the exact crossings and property in question. I also know the county manages a bunch of recreational lakes that some placer creeks feed into. It seems that what is actually happening there has been so poorly represented by FOX that we just might be able to cut through the BS with some local boots on the ground?

Could any local prospectors here shed any light on what is really happening in your neck of the woods? Are they "BANNING PANNING" in Larimer Co. or are they just adressing some issues on county property where it comes in contact with placer ground?

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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This is county land, there are no public mineral rights, the county retains the right to manage it as they see fit (which is generally towards urbanization around Ft Collins) and there is very little gold on them regardless.

A person can be an hour or two into the mountains in any direction except east and be into economic quantities of gold, and also on land they can file upon and mine legally which is what prospecting and mining has always been to me.

There are more legitimate mining issues to be concerned with that center around our actual rights granted by the General Mining Act of 1872, county land not being one of them.

But on that note, if recreational prospecting is your concern, you should be glad to hear that some have successfully worked with the metro Denver area to allow panning and sluicing in the city parks there so you can dip a pan while your girlfriend walks the dog, but that probably won't make the news.

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Hey Jason! Thanks!

You seem to be pretty involved in Colorado Mining and have some good savy about a wide swath of the state. We saw a great video that evidenced your mining experience very well. I feel confident that you can speak about what is happening with mining/prospecting in Colorado much better than an article on FOX News.

Can you promise us that if there are any issues with these radical anti-mining liberals who have a stranglehold on Larimer County that you will alert us? Can you be our "man on the scene" in Colorado and let us know if things get curly?

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Honestly I try to avoid those types of areas because to me it's not really mining, it's just recreation. I'll probably make some guys I know angry by voicing that opinion, but the mining rights fight needs to be concentrated on issues that actually pertain to mining - small or large scale. This is not the same thing as a total ban on dredging in CA even on federal (and private) lands, it shouldn't be confused as such, and there are cases right now where people are being denied their legitimate rights under mining law to mine on their legitimate mining claims and those issues shouldn't be diluted.

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Are you suggesting focusing on real issues? And ignore this great Kool Aid FOX is serving?

That is just crazy talk Jason. Just plain crazy talk.

....We see a perfect example of what FOX considers important issues to "miners". They insult our intelligence with this crap. The only reason they ran the story at all is for the political mileage it may get with a very few men who are easily led. Anyone who can read the facts presented and arrive at their own conclusion realizes right away that this is a non-issue for prospectors.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Boulder county has such an ordinance, too. From experience on my business trips up there, they try to extend their reach into the federal lands just adjacent to the west side of Boulder city, too... and many fall for it... so more for me :)

There is a nice creek not to far from there where a LOT of folks dredge and sluice till the day is done.

Areas look like a bucket line ran there at some point. Can't recall the name right now, though.

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I tried to find a link to reply to the editor but couldn't.

I was going to make him AWARE of the FACTS that there are more and more people every week and month OUT OF WORK AND OUT OF MONEY

because of the econimic conditions we have now.

And That is most likely the contributing factor to seeing more and more people out there trying to make money to live.

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Like State Lands in most states it was not open to anything other then Recreational Stuff any ways.

What's the Deal?

Hell ya can't even Hunt on some State Lands.

Some like in Arizona won't even let you go in for anything.

They post these cool white signs that say State Trust Land, No Trespassing.

Edited by homefire
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Nothing new here. State lands have always been private. As far as I know the only lands open to prospecting have always been public lands and no other. Otherwise you get permission from the owner. Plain and simple.

And as far as I have seen no city, county or State has any public domain. All private. Even parks and open space are private land open to the public. Even land that is designated specifically for public use or travel is privately held by the munincipality. And they can prohibit, restrict, limit and ban just about anything they want to (within reason and the constitution) on that type of land becasue after all...it is PRIVATE LAND.

If anyone actually infringes on a persons "right" to prospect, or takes away any lands or potential for prospecting I feel they need a very good reason. And our media needs to make sure everyone knows if something like that happens. And it DOES happen!

But crying "wolf" over and over and over is not helping our cause at all. We can plainly see that this article is not about the "cause" of miners or prospectors. This article is about desperately trying to support the REPUBLICAN cause as that is what FOX is all about. The article and it's objective have nothing to do with mining or prospecting at all. If anything it diminishes us as miners as it portrays us as being so irresponsible with our activities that the authorities see the need to restrict an activity that had been no problem before.

Why cant we organize behind some specific, valid issues rather than feed on this constant groan? We start this DAILY with the new non-issue that is always focused toward one specific partisan viewpoint. NEVER is the discussion focused on the actual impact to us as prospectors or miners.

Making believe that Larimer County is out to get us is just not pulling the cart guys. Nor the FEMA Forever Young. Nor the Union Islamist Chicken Pluckers. Nor the Welfare Free Phoners. It is all make believe. We are just playing cowboys and indians only we are all grown up now and we swear that it is all real even though we know in our hearts that it is not.

If we are truly concerned about the direction this country is going we need to get real and stop playing in our minds so much. And if we simply reject HALF of the BS that is being fed to us we can focus TWICE the energy on something real and productive!

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I didn't read the article. Truth is Colorado is one of the few states I couldn't care less about ( nothing personal-- just my thing). Western land issues have struck me as bizarre.

What does concern me us some is the comments invthe tread--- referring to " serious prospectors and miners" -- and a few subtle comments about " recreational " Panners. Listen--- there is nothing wrong with a greenhorn taking an interest, especially if he is bringing along his kids. No one woke up as an old sourdough. Sure there are people out there trying to play water-lottery. But, just like hunting, fishing or any other recreational hobby we need to he careful not to be assholes to those taking an interest...

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Listen--- there is nothing wrong with a greenhorn taking an interest, especially if he is bringing along his kids.

You're correct and I don't think anyone disagrees because that's not what anyone here is saying.

People need to understand the distinction between our rights granted under mining law and the privilege to recreate on lands where no such rights apply and I think that's the only thing I, and others, are pointing out.

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Recreational prospecting is to mining as deer hunting is to the slaughter of the buffalo.

Recreational prospectors would be much better represented as members of the "multiple use" community than they would be as miners. And miners would be much better represented if they distanced themselves from the recreationalist/hobbyist. The second amendment was not about duck hunting and the Mining Act was not about shaking a pan or standing over a beeper on the weekends.

Arent you glad there are not any recreational oil drillers or recreational loggers? How about we go out and leach a little potash this weekend? Run a little tin placer operation on Larimer County, Co. property?

...Not to say you should not be able to take the grandkid out to do a little uranium mining on the weekend or drillin' for gas. Gotta raise those young'ns right!

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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What is exactly, " private county land"? This may just be me, but the only land the county can acquire, is from tax revenue collected from the hard working residents of this county. That is why if I were a resident of this county, I would greatly take offense to some johnny come lately appointed bureaucrat, cutting off these areas without public discussion. I admit I am somewhat sensitive to this due what has happened in Kalifornia. JMHO.... Good hunting and good health...

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What is exactly, " private county land"? This may just be me, but the only land the county can acquire, is from tax revenue collected from the hard working residents of this county. That is why if I were a resident of this county, I would greatly take offense to some johnny come lately appointed bureaucrat, cutting off these areas without public discussion. I admit I am somewhat sensitive to this due what has happened in Kalifornia. JMHO.... Good hunting and good health...

Privately owned land. County land is ALL privately owned land and NOT PUBLIC.

Sorry, no other way to break it to you. City, county and State land, as well as almost ALL federal property not in the NFS/BLM jurusdiction is PRIVATE LAND. It has never been "open land" or "public land" and never will be.

Just simple land ownership my friend. As a matter of fact a munincipality can not hold public land by law. It is all privately held by the city, state or county. That is the way it is and the way it always has been.

Even parks and open spaces. Private land deeded to the city or county. Even if it has covenants or restrictions and is deeded for public right of way. It is still deeded private land. Munincipalites own it or they cant make decisions about it or make improvements on it or spend tax money on it.

And you may be surprised to know that most public buildings are actually owned by developers and are leased to the city/state/county. Only in rare instances do the munincipaities own the facilities they use. Most are actually leased.

As a resident of whatever county you live in go to your local county or city and ask them. You may be surprised to know that you cant dig (or do anyhting else without permission) on county property where you live either. It is just unheard of. That is county infrastructure and if the county lets you dig they are remiss in their duties.

This is just basic land ownership that all prospectors need to learn about before their first day in the field.

No "johnny come lately" cut anything off without discussion. The county can manage any of its property as per the Democratic process in place in the county. That is why we elect our officials and have that County government. They decide, not us.

It never was open for prospecting nor was it ever public. It is county road easements, bridges and infrastructure they are tasked with managing. Their job is not to provide a convinient place for people to pan, picnic, or play croquet. Their job is to maintain roadsides and manage county business. Just like any other private land if you want to pan you have to ask permission to do that. And it looks like the Larimer County managers are very amenable to doing that. They indicate that they would provide places if they ever decide to restrict any spots.

I simply cant understand where the problem is? You fellers act like you have the right to dig anywhere you want to! Even the most basic concepts of land ownership are an alien thing. Surely there are prospectors here that understand basic land ownership and acknowledge that County managers can manage the activities on county property?

I can see that many in this group have a hell of a long way to go.

Edited by Bedrock Bob
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Privately owned land. County land is ALL privately owned land and NOT PUBLIC.

" All funding for ALL government assets are funded by the taxpayers. No matter how a city or county recogizes itself legally, in California counties are largely incorporated. But government is for the people and by the people."

Sorry, no other way to break it to you. City, county and State land, as well as almost ALL federal property not in the NFS/BLM jurusdiction is PRIVATE LAND. It has never been "open land" or "public land" and never will be.

Just simple land ownership my friend. As a matter of fact a munincipality can not hold public land by law. It is all privately held by the city, state or county. That is the way it is and the way it always has been.

Even parks and open spaces. Private land deeded to the city or county. Even if it has covenants or restrictions and is deeded for public right of way. It is still deeded private land. Munincipalites own it or they cant make decisions about it or make improvements on it or spend tax money on it.

And you may be surprised to know that most public buildings are actually owned by developers and are leased to the city/state/county. Only in rare instances do the munincipaities own the facilities they use. Most are actually leased.

"Very few public private partnerships are executed anymore, as most government projects are not feasible, as business must show a profit. Government on the other hand must tax away its red ink. Please look up the Billion dollar bullet train project in California, the train to nowhere that has been turned down by every major investor and mass transit company WORLDWIDE."

As a resident of whatever county you live in go to your local county or city and ask them. You may be surprised to know that you cant dig (or do anyhting else without permission) on county property where you live either. It is just unheard of. That is county infrastructure and if the county lets you dig they are remiss in their duties.

"Actually Fresno County has land on the San Joaquin that does just that. And it is not my intention that anyone should be able to dig anywhere, that is not what the article says. These areas have been open to prospecting for sometime, and now it appears that they may be subject to a ban without public discussion."

This is just basic land ownership that all prospectors need to learn about before their first day in the field.

"It is the people who financed the land, not lifelong politicians. Government does not create wealth, they sieze it from taxpayers. If you think politicians have your best intrests at heart you may be in for heartbreak"

No "johnny come lately" cut anything off without discussion. The county can manage any of its property as per the Democratic process in place in the county. That is why we elect our officials and have that County government. They decide, not us.

"Dan Rieves, visitor services manager, apparently he has signifigant say so and he is not elected, but selected."

It never was open for prospecting nor was it ever public. It is county road easements, bridges and infrastructure they are tasked with managing. Their job is not to provide a convinient place for people to pan, picnic, or play croquet. Their job is to maintain roadsides and manage county business. Just like any other private land if you want to pan you have to ask permission to do that. And it looks like the Larimer County managers are very amenable to doing that. They indicate that they would provide places if they ever decide to restrict any spots.

"This is where you possilby need to reread the article. This area has been prospecting for sometime and now may be closed with little or no input by the public" They say they must ban all activity before they can consider providing spots for panning."

I simply cant understand where the problem is? You fellers act like you have the right to dig anywhere you want to! Even the most basic concepts of land ownership are an alien thing. Surely there are prospectors here that understand basic land ownership and acknowledge that County managers can manage the activities on county property?

" I am not advocating anyone being able to dig anywhere, just have a voice in possilbe restrictions or a total ban"

I can see that many in this group have a hell of a long way to go.

"Those who refuse the learn the lessons that history teaches us, are doomed to repeat them. The classic quote in this article, "Officials say the county is not anti-prospecting, and may consider setting up specific prospecting zones or times in the future if the ban is passed."

These are the same things said by State politicians when the governator signed a temporary dredge ban in California. First chance the envior nuts got, was to have a state senator they had in their back pocket, to attach a trailer to the state budget, with no committee, and presto, dredging is gone, in most cases, highbanking as well. And now the cancer will spread to encompass the river sluice. As the country song says my friend, If you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything... Good health and good hunting"

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