I’ve received a lot of feedback that I sure should start blogging again, and so it is!
The past year has been a busy one, but most interest seems to be about our small scale permit and associated mining.
To make a very long story short, I will say we did get a little mining done last season but were rudely interrupted by an early blizzard which dumped feet of snow in the area. We had moved to town a few days previous, but power outages associated with the storm forced us to spend those first few days with accommodating family members. We spent the next weeks, like everyone else in the area, cleaning up broken trees. We were lucky there was no significant damage to structures in our neighborhood.
That storm called a halt to mining, but we were pleased that our expectations in recovery were met. Even with the down-sized temporary equipment we had employed, we proved the gold is there!
The winter brought more snow and spring run-off was healthy. A wet spring kept flows going in the creeks.
July 8 was the date when a letter from the US Forest Service was received stating they were unable to renew the Plan of Operations because they need to perform an environmental analysis for longer term mining.
That means we’re back to pick and shovel mining while a permit sits on our desk.
We’ve had some good friends helping us out with digging… Ryan from California, Kris from Iowa, Brian and Greg from eastern South Dakota. We thank them. We’ve also met some great new prospecting friends through emails we receive.
So it appears to us, based on the information received so far, that we have a choice of reducing our operation or paying more bond. We’re not sure how that conclusion was reached considering we did not come even close to meeting our projected annual disturbance due to the storm and the fact that an environmental analysis had not yet been performed?
It also strikes us that we are paying legal fees to mitigate with the US Forest Service while paying taxes to support the agency shutting us down!
We now have information that this is not a unique situation… nothing personal! Our feeling is that “multi-use” of the National Forest is being targeted and none of us are really welcome.
Drop us an email if you wish to support the Fox “save mining” fund; we need both financial and mental support of this issue.