Posting about my walk along Clear Creek earlier today reminded me of this pic I took a while ago (March 24th) and what I wanted to say about it.
With the price of gold skyrocketing in the last couple years, seeing people prospecting for gold in Clear Creek has become common, especially in the spring (the high flows that come with the snowmelt wash down gold from up in the mountains). Now, I think that the gold panner working the stream is a part of our heritage here (some of the first gold found in Colorado was in Clear Creek in 1850) and it’s a fun hobby that can give some financial rewards if you’re diligent and/or lucky. But I’m not too thrilled at the scale of some of these operations now. Sure, this is just three guys with a cartful of equipment. But remember that this is a public park- it’s my opinion that mechanized equipment like this shouldn’t be allowed. Not to mention that this is a gas-powered pump. In an area as arid as this one, Clear Creek is a significant source of water and also an important habitat for wildlife. A few gallons of gasoline accidentally spilled into the creek could cause considerable damage.