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 eswett@fs.fed.us 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

Weeks Room

71 White Mountain Drive

Campton, NH

6:00 PM Thursday, December 1, 2016

Location Androscoggin Ranger District

300 Glen Road

Gorham NH

2:00 PM Saturday, December 3, 2016

Location Salyards Center for the Arts

110 Main Street

Conway, NH


James Innes

District Ranger.

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.


If you like reading about our adventures you may want to see us in action. Keep in mind we are not videographers by any means, shooting video while we are prospecting is a real challenge. We started out with antiquated video equipment, we have been challenged with editing software problems, and audio issues, but we are learning as we go and we are getting better equipment to film and edit with.

Please check out our channel here: Appalachian Prospectors Channel.

We will be posting more videos in the future of our adventures, and you can see how equipment works and so on.

Thank You.

Finding Gold In Colorado

Posted: November 29, 2015 in Uncategorized

I thought that I would share this blog post with you.


People have been “finding gold in Colorado” since well before there was a place called Colorado and are still actively doing it today.From Native American residents of this area finding gold in the streams and using it in trade, to modern residents digging in their neighborhood creek, many have found success!

This blog will share stories about both the history and current events in gold prospecting in Colorado. I’ll also highlight some of my personal adventures finding gold, exploring the past and writing a book intended to help visitors and residents to explore our state for gold themselves!

Photo note: That’s me in Summit County dry washing in September 2014.

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In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Creepy.” Here is my submission to Creepy Photo Challenge:


Quote  —  Posted: August 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


That’s right, dowsing for gold. I know that many people have heard of dowsing for water. I can’t remember the first time that I had heard about dowsing for gold but I had often thought how does that work. I had worked as a plumber for a period in my life and I knew of plumbers or public works utility workers locating metal pipe buried under ground by means of dowsing. I had worked with a guy that would dowse for water and he located many wells, I had asked him if he had ever heard of dowsing for gold and the reply from him was no. I had seen videos of prospectors dowsing for gold and they claimed that they found gold using this method. I spoke with prospectors that I knew about this and  swear by it. My curiosity was peaked, I was skeptical but I didn’t necessarily doubt it after all it is working for them.

Last year I figured I had to try it, I simply took  two 7018 welding rods and bent them at 90 degrees so that they fit my hands, the width of my palm. I had them in my backpack and when I got down to the river I took them out and just started walking around holding them loosely pointing straight out in front of me and they started to move. I came to a spot where they crossed, I stopped then I backed up a little and the went straight out again, I walked forward, they crossed. I walked beyond the spot and they straightened again, I backed over the spot and they crossed. This is it, dig here! I dug, and panned the material and nothing. I went over the location again with the dowsing rods and they still crossed, well it is hitting on something I thought so I dug and panned a few more times, and I got a very little bit of gold, dust. Well, not very much, did it really work I wondered. Let me try another spot, I waded out into the river with my dowsing rods pointed straight out and not only did they cross but they spun all the way around slowly, I marked the spot with several rocks piled up and I continued this until I had a line about 8 feet long. Here it is I yelled to Hillbilly John, this is the location we are going to dredge. We set up the dredge and we worked that location all day, we worked it down to the clay which was only about 2 feet down. Time to do a clean up, we lifted up the rubber mat in the sluice box and behold we had several pickers. We cleaned out the box, took it back to the camp and we ran it through the spiral wheel there was a lot of fine gold and it was one of our best cleanouts we ever had. It could be a coincidence, I used the dowsing rods for the rest of the season and every time put me on the gold and it seemed that we kept getting more gold each time. I can’t tell how deep the gold is, if it is an inch or 5 feet.

How does it work? Some folks think that it is some mystical power. I have my own theory and it is thus: the earth is like an enormous generator emitting power, electricity from deep within the core, this power emanates through the crust as a magnetic field as it passes through different elements in the earth it causes the dowsing rods to move.

Dowsing is working for me so I will continue to use this method in locating gold. What are your thoughts, please share.

So, I am taking a course called Blogging 101 on wordpress and todays assignment is: Take control of your title and tag line. Of course this should reflect who you are and what your blog is about. Therefore I am leaving my tittle alone, for me it says it all. As for the tag line I am willing to experiment with that.

My title is pretty well explanatory, we are Appalachian Prospectors, doing most of our prospecting in the Appalachian Mountain chain which covers most of the eastern part of the United States and into Canada, pretty big territory.  We are not confined to this area as we would like to travel to the western United States as well as other parts of the world.

As for the tag line I have changed it from gold and mineral prospecting to “Gold is where you find it!” it sounds more interesting. I got to tell you that it is not original because I have heard it many times around the gold prospecting community but it really is a profound statement when it comes to finding gold. Gold will be where ever mother nature has planted her and it could be any where. There are places that it should be like California, but some folks think that all the gold is gone in California, that the 49ers got it all, they didn’t because gold hides where it wishes. Many of people don’t know that you can find gold in the Eastern part of the United States, but you can. In fact there was a gold rush in Georgia before the California gold rush. It’s funny because I don’t remember learning about this in school, I do remember learning about the Cherokee Indians and the trail of tears, I didn’t know then that is was because of the gold in Georgia, their ancestral land was rich with gold. There was a gold rush in other southern states as well. New England was dotted with a number of mini gold rushes, the people that came back from the California gold rush noticed the geology looked a lot like California so they started searching for gold and found it. You got to remember that gold was not known in these locations until someone discovered it and there could be another large strike in another unknown location just like the area that you live in. All you need is a gold pan, something to dig with and a stream and you may just may find gold where it is.

Prospecting Tunnel Brook, White Mountains NH

Hillbilly John prospecting Tunnel Brook, White Mountains NH


My Name is John Dorval a.k.a. Prospector Jack, my passion is prospecting for gold mostly but I like to prospect for gems and minerals as well as metal detecting and treasure hunting. I do this with my long time friend Hillbilly John as well as my wife Doris, my son Charlie and my grandson Brandon and my granddaughter Ayla and just about anyone that will go with me. In 2011 I started blogging about some of our adventures and things pertaining to prospecting. At the time there was very little that I could find on the internet about this activity so I thought that I would share our adventures with anyone who would be interested. I thought that it would be good for those who are just beginning or exploring a new hobby. Prospecting is a great adventure for any age from the adolescent looking for fun or retiree looking for something to do with their time. It may not be for everyone because you would have to like the out doors. Everything in my blog pertains to prospecting or treasure hunting somehow, the problem is that I have a hard time finding the time to write, therefore I have enrolled in “Blogging 101”.