On November 9, 2016 I received a letter from the United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Saco Ranger District, White Mountain National Forest, file code 2800; 1910, date November 1, 2016.
It reads as follows:
Dear interested parties
The White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) is in the process of improving the management of the mineral resources across the Forest. This change is under consideration because of the significant increase in mineral collecting on the Forest in the last several years. While we welcome the interest in mineral collecting, the increase has brought some adverse impact to the majority of the existing collecting areas. We are also finding new collecting sites growing in frequency and size across the Forest. Given the disturbance at these sites, it is apparent that some collectors do not follow the Forest Service standards and guides for mineral collecting. At this time, we are concerned about the steady expansion of collecting, its impact to the resource, and the sustainability of the collecting program. To address these concerns, we are exploring different strategies for the management of our mineral resources with the goal of providing collecting opportunities that will be sustainable into the future.
At this time, we are seeking input from the minerals community and other interested members of the public to better understand the resource issues we are observing and to discuss how we could manage collecting more effectively. The information we collect will better inform our management decision during the planning process. The WMNF will hold three public meetings to engage with collectors and other interested parties as a focus group and create a dialogue about mineral collecting on the Forest. The dates and times are listed bellow. If these meetings dates cannot be attended comments can be sent to Elaine Swett email@example.com or in writing to the Saco Ranger District, 33 Kancamagus Hwy, Conway, NH 03818. There will be an additional public comment period once the formal planning process begins. Additional Questions concerning the meetings can be directed to Elaine Swett or Austin Hart at the Saco Ranger District 603-447-5448.
6:00PM Tuesday, November 29,2016
Location: Pemigewasset Ranger District
71 White Mountain Drive
6:00 PM Thursday, December 1, 2016
Location Androscoggin Ranger District
300 Glen Road
2:00 PM Saturday, December 3, 2016
Location Salyards Center for the Arts
110 Main Street
This is public information, other than the letter I don’t know where you would find this information, I can’t find it on the White Mountain National Forest web site so that is why I am sharing it with you. This is the time where you have a voice in the future planning of what takes place in the White Mountain National Forest and the future of mineral collecting therein. So please take advantage of this time, If you can’t attend a meeting then send a letter via snail mail or send an email. This may also be a good time to bring up sluicing in the Forest since as of June, 2016 it is no longer permitted, Gold is a mineral.
There are currently 3 locations where mineral collecting is allowed and they are Deer Hill, Lord Hill, and Moat Mountain, click on each one for information. Gold Panning is allowed in some areas, click for information.