Archive for the ‘Gold Prospecting’ Category

Monday April 10, 2017 Oregon legislators pass SB3 which unfairly over regulates gold suction dredging. There was testimony submitted at the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee public hearing that shows the environmental impact of suction dredging on the environment and fish habitat is less than significant and that suction dredging also has a beneficial impact on the environment and fish habitat, scientific, peer reviewed studies were presented. This bill is designed to discourage suction dredging by placing a high financial burden on the dredger as well as restricting locations to dredge as well as other restrictions. Why is it that they don’t hear the truth, is it incompetence, is it corruption, is it the fact that they are blinded by lies? I really don’t know the answer but I can speculate. All legislation and regulation should be based on facts, scientific, peer reviewed facts and not on assumption, opinion, or conjecture. Even the opinion of a professional such as a college professor or a field biologist, may be the basis of a hypothesis, until that hypothesis is proven by science and peer reviewed is still nothing more than an opinion.

On Monday April 10, 2017 at the Senate vote there were 21 yea’s and 9 Nay’s. 9 Senators see the truth, Sen. Herman Baertschiger [R] is one of those senators that knows the truth and here is the video of his speech from April 10, 2017:

 

I just had to share this video. This video is from a television program out of Washington D.C. that airs weekly and it highlights the best green practices from around the World. This program is called The Inside Scoop Emerald Planet and if you go to the 30 minute mark on the video you will see that in this segment which aired on March 12, 2017 highlights small scale suction dredging as a best green practice and interviews Joseph Greene. Enjoy and please share. The entire video is great!

March 21, 2017, Energy and Natural Resources Senate Committee Public Hearing on House Bill 591 Relative to suction Dredging in the surface waters of the state. This bill was introduce under the premise that suction dredging was harmful to the environment and fish habitat. This bill would prohibit all motorized prospecting as well as rocker boxes. Gold prospectors assemble at the State House in Concord New Hampshire to testify in opposition to this bill, gold prospectors came prepared. Over the last several decades scientific studies have been conducted in numerous states by and or for government agencies such the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Fish and Wildlife of California and Washington State just to name a few, and peer reviewed. There were a number of these studies presented to the Committee as well as summaries of these studies prepared by two respected Scientist in this field. All of these studies come to the same conclusion that small scale suction dredging’s impact on the environment and fish habitat is less than significant. The Army Corps of Engineers states that any dredge less than a 6″ nozzle size impact on the environment is “De Minimus”. There was a lot of great testimony from prospectors you can hear the entire hearing here: Senate Committee Public Hearing HB 591.

If you can’t play the hearing here is the summary report of the hearing: Summary Report Public Hearing the audio is far better since this is just a summary.

I commend these Senators for their integrity and honesty, they weighed the facts and based their decision on the facts presented. Their recommendation to the Senate was that HB 591 was inexpedient to legislate. On March 29, 2017 the senate met and voted on HB 591 based on the recommendation of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and HB 591 was officially killed.

Legislation should be based on facts, scientific, peer reviewed facts and not on assumptions, opinion or conjecture or even lies. Even the opinion of a professional such as a college professor or a biologist in the field, while this opinion may be the basis of a hypothesis, until that hypothesis is proven by scientific study and peer reviewed, is still nothing more than an opinion. The Senators of New Hampshire based their decision on the truth, unlike legislators of other states that pander to special interest groups, I will leave it up to the reader as to why they would pander to these special interest groups.

The Senators of New Hampshire give me hope that our form of government still works the way it should, with integrity and honesty, at least in one state. LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!

As many of you know I am a gold prospector and if you don’t know, you know it now.  I enjoy the great outdoors by prospecting for gold, I would hike miles and miles, over mountain ranges just to get to a good gold prospecting location. For me to hike I need a destination and a purpose. The same with camping, I will camp in the worst weather, for days and even weeks for gold prospecting. Gold prospecting is my serenity, just like fishing is to some, or hunting to others it is my passion. I like to prospect in New Hampshire, and I love to dredge for gold. I love New Hampshire, especially the state moto “live Free Or Die”. This is the state I was born in, I call New Hampshire my home state, most of my relatives still live in New Hampshire, my ancestors settled in New Hampshire while it was still the Massachusetts colony, one day I plan on going home. I want to spend my retirement in the mountains prospecting and dredging for gold.

Earlier this week I read an article in the Concord Monitor online titled: Bill would halt dredging machinery in N.H. gold prospecting , my blood pressure sky rocketed and I thought I was going to have a stroke because what I read was a proposed bill, HB 591 to ban gold dredging in New Hampshire. The entire bill is based on misconceptions about small scale suction gold dredging, possibly even lies. What happened to live free or die? There goes my whole plan for retirement. I would like to clear the air on some of these misconceptions about gold dredging especially those listed in this news article.

“There’s a surprising amount of damage that can be done by one of these things,” Claims Rep. Lee Oxenham, a Plainfield Democrat, which by the way indroduced and sponsored this bill. What I want to know is what is this surprising amount of damage. What is the merit for this bill? I don’t want to hear opinion and conjecture or flat out lies, show me the data that supports your claim. what I need to see are studies and or reports that have been peer reviewed, performed on the practice of small scale suction dredging because the ones that I have read prove otherwise.

It is obvious that who ever provided the information for this article knows very little to nothing about the subject of gold prospecting , gold dredging or anything associated with the practice thereof. The article states and I quote ” The bill also would outlaw similar processes and technologies with names like “rocker box” and “highbanking,” which suck up stones and water from steambeds via small gasoline-powered pumps and filter them in some way to help the users spot tiny flecks of gold that might be there.” Rocker boxes and highbankers don’t suck up stones you shovel into them. Rocker boxes don’t even have a motor on them it is a hand operated device that you pour water in with a pail. How does legislation get introduced on anything without even the basic facts even being known and better yet how does it pass a House vote? Something is wrong with our government.

Here is another quote from the article: “New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services says these processes stir up too much silt and mud, “releasing fine sediments back into the stream” that can harm life in the waterway.” Flat lazy water is where mud and silt covers the bottom, rivers on flat land, swamps, ponds and lakes is where you would find this condition, this is not at all ideal for gold dredging. We don’t dredge here. What is ideal is a river that drops at least 10 feet per mile which means faster moving water, silt and mud does not settle in these areas for us to dredge up, we need to dredge in gravel, with mostly rocks (cobble) and boulders where only the heavy materials, minerals like magnetite, hematite, garnet and gold will settle, the lite materials have already been washed away by nature.

Another quote from the article:

“The turbidity can go for thousands of yards – it’s not just localized,” said Oxenham. “It’s disruptive for fish, insects, the benthic community in all its forms.” There are occasions where you may dredge into a pocket of clay and there is a moment of noticeable turbidity, it is not constant, travels about 50 to 100 yards and 100 is stretching it, not thousands. Notice in the picture below how clear the water is, this is typically how it runs.

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Typical dredge in operation, where is all this turbidity that travels thousands of yards?

Yet another quote: “Further, she added, the noise and smell of the machines “can drive those searching for the unmediated, unspoiled experience of our natural wonders out of the state, along with their tourist dollars.” Yes there is the noise of  a small engine, the size of a lawn mower engine, a push mower not a riding one.  What smell? This makes it sound like we are running a paper mill out here and we are driving all the tourist away, simply not true. We have just as much right to the wild as a hiker or any one else who is recreating out in the state of New Hampshire. I am spending my money too, on campgrounds or other lodging, groceries, restaurants, gas stations, ice cream stands not to mention the $50.00 I pay for the permit to dredge.

New Hampshire residents should be outraged by this legislation because it is all based on fiction and if this is how legislators deal with a matter such as this imagine how legislation is passed on matters that you really care about. Maybe they should focus their efforts more on things like the heroin epidemic in the state.

If you like to prospect for gold and dredge in New Hampshire then please stand up for your rights and attend the public hearing that is going to be held by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee which the date and place is yet to be determined.  You should be able to find the date here when it is determined: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/senate/committees/legislation/committee_billstatus.aspx?l=368&cc=S38&r=1

 

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.

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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