Central Montana Prospectors
Central Montana Prospectors

Just What Is This?

     Um, when you find black sands in ribbons in the small cliffsides you know some chemical changes had happened long ago to bring about the formation. Wherever there are black sands, often gold is nearby.

      So, you bring home your buckets of dirt and decide to process it in your variety of mechanisms that you have. When the metal fragments go up the spiral of the gold genie that allows the nuggets to fall through the hole in the back of it and the heavy metal shows up silver instead of gold. What do you have?

     Definitely an investigation is launched. Osmium in the mountaintop dirt? Or is it rhodium? Why did we find this in the Montana dirt? Always something new while out prospecting. 

Barite on a Rock Wall

    Hunting barite this weekend you say? Scale this wall you might add. Only some of us find it right at our feet having been shoved down by scalers of the daring type. 

     Barite has been hunted for awhile. Remnants of the search are out front with collapsed entrances to old mines right by the road out of Basin. Those pretty yellow cubes all stuck together abound all about. Just fill your bag, bucket or pockets to go home and clean. Rock hounding is fun.

     Follow the Cataract Creek Road way up top and back again to search for nests of crystals while you are in the area. You will be glad you did.

Australian Sapphires

     Walk into a Montana sapphire shop and find right on the counter sapphires of a different sort from way down under the earth, Australia. How cool is that!! The El Dorado Sapphire Mine out of Helena, sells them for the sapphire seeker along with bags of gravel that can be taken home or processed right outside in their yard with shakers, tubs of water and tweezers.

     These sapphires look way different than our Montana ones, as the Australian ones are dark, not varied in colors like our local ones that range from pinks, orange, blue, green, purples and various shades in between. 

     Take a peek outside our state's capitol on York Road, near Canyon Ferry Lake.

Butte, Montana Gem and Mineral Show Rocks!!

     If you can't find the time or opportunity to head out to Arizona in the winter months, spinning over to Butte's Gem and Mineral Show in June gives you the brushing of shoulders with rock vendors from everywhere with rocks from all over the world on parade just like in Arizona. 

     These Ethiopian opals were a hit with the show with the water baths helping to showcase their beauty you could purchase as they weighed them per gram.

      Rocks from China, South Africa, Basin Montana, Arizona, Utah, Madagasgar, you name the place and the vendors had polished, raw, partial, complete, rock beads, and even hair from wooly mammoths encased. I brought home some wooly mammoth ivory from tusks a few hundred thousand years old. 

     Feeling connected with the mineral vibrations from all over the world was a part of what jumped out to you with flash, shine and sparkle. Wondrous sites with silent auction happenings every few minutes. A real go to event on the must see list. 

Blue Clay and It's Relationship with Gold

     Upon return from Zortman and talk came to going back up to the dig site after the dig was over to pick up the blue clay balls set aside as our team was digging, had to ask the question, "What's the value of it?"

     As the team poured buckets of gravel into the hopper of the high banker and the water washed away the dirt and small chunks on occasion there was a ball of clay that had an usual texture. Didn't know it meant anything.

     Apparently clay balls, especially blue ones indicate there is gold and more of it in the ball. Through a process the gold is extracted and there can be quite a bit attached to this stick, gooey stuff, so check out the balls with blue for something new. 

A Montana T-Rex Goes to Washington D.C.

      After discovering the dinosaur part sticking out of the ground, the Wankel family went back to dig up its curiosity in 1988 and in 2019, that entire example will be on display for millons of people to see.

      It came from our land where giant beasts used to traverse the area in search of food. Now we get to divvy up its remains for others to see in our nation's capitol. Learn more about it here: https://krtv.com/news/montana-and-regional-news/2019/06/05/new-smithsonian-exhibit-features-t-rex-fossil-from-montana/

Rare Earth Minerals in Political Volleying

     The United States is in a precarious position in the world because it does not supply the volume of rare earth minerals needed in production of products. Our country is very dependent upon China for them and yet our President wants to apply aversive pressure to a country that is supplying us with these crucial minerals.

     Not wise to play around with the country that holds the goods. But when one wants to bully others, games can get nasty. Working our own country for mining minerals might be more important than threatening other countries with all kinds of sanctions etc. We need to get to getting with the goods in our homeland. China has us over the barrel. The perspective is not good. Check out this article; it's a little scary. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/why-china-s-threat-to-restrict-rare-earth-minerals-is-so-serious/ar-AAC9sdJ?li=BBnb7Kz

Zortman Big Dig, Big Success!!

     Even though everything changed in the regular routine of the past, Kevin, of the Yellowstone Group stepped up to the plate and reorganized a dig for gold up the gulch with three spots to dig that proved better odds for everybody present.

      Many more went away with gold nuggets because, when one site wasn't producing we moved to the one that was. 

      The usual machines were not present, but new teams were. New friendships were formed, Nic Frank walked away with a metal detector, many others won raffle items for their Christmas lists, and happiness in the heart prevailed as the team process of working together, young and old worked well. Cheers to the Yellowstone prospecting group for having another fun super dig for people mainly all over Montana this time.

      This was a shot in the arm to go out and find gold in a variety of places and get those machines going for your search. This event gets you jump started and now we are on the go!! Getting gold is fun. More to come. 

It's All in the Prep

     Prospectors plan ahead. In getting ready for an outing event, new devices are conjured up, created and built. Even though Alan Robertson is the master at generating homemade prospecting equipment of the genius kind, others are capable of the enlightened as well.

     When Delbert Henry of the Missouri River Diner in Great Falls, an avid recreational prospector, shared his pipe fixture addition to the back of his ATV it was immediately evident that it was a safety device to keep those bouncing shovels from hitting your head when the trek to the spots up the creek in Zortman are bouncing you and all your supplies all over God's creation. Simple things added to your toys can make for the perfect realm for accessing your materials in the creek bed eventually digging of the gold. May the golden color fill your pan regularly with safety of a shovel held securely on your ATV. 

DEQ Makes an Attempt

      With the public comment opportunity at Great Falls High School recently, Rainy, the water dismissal chief from DEQ had statistics, paperwork, and pep talk, but she didn't quite know what to make of comments and questions asked of her: Are you really going to look at the daily, weekly and monthly data from this mine (at the refinery DEQ lets them self-monitor the flame for every 10 minutes it is going and for days there is no reporting?) How is the PH maintained? How does repositories work if you are not changing the chemical structure  of materials removed? Plastic for a pond...is that secure enough? Are they going to use up all the ground water? Even though you tell them what to do, when you don't monitor what they do to return the water to a safe level, is that sufficient? Would you present to the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology in October because conditions of the water in mining is a crucial element for public safety. What kind of pollution is Great Falls going to have to deal with when this mine pollutes our upstream water? Did you know there are already 5 Super Fund sites along the Missouri River Corridor that were promised to be remediated long ago and nothing has happened? Did you know Belt's water was polluted by mining that closed in the 1930's and they had to float millions of dollars in a water filtration plant recently to clean the water sufficiently for health? Did you know that Great Falls water is already close to unacceptable levels now without pollution from this mine? 

      Rainy's response to my questioning: my, Alma, you are all over the place! Ummm...yeah, when there are accountability issues, there are many topics to cover. Many of the speakers said that DEQ had not done a sufficient job analyzing all the factors in regards to this mine, and it needs to go back and work some more on their drafts. The Great Falls Tribune had a very good article about this event that is worthy of perusal. 

Earth Gives Up the Gold

     On the internet there can be some very interesting combinations of information about all kinds of topics in one show.

     Recently this one posted was of the most gigantic pieces of gold ever found. It is amazing what the earth can belch out from its belly of darkness. What it has been hiding are for those lucky ones who find them. 

     Check out history in the showcasing of gold; it's amazing.  https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-most-gigantic-gold-finds-of-all-time/ss-BBTQYUa?li=BBnbfcN#image=3

All Things That Sparkle 

      The gem and mineral shows across Montana in the springtime feature a gigantic array of choices of stones, novelties, fossils, rocks, minerals, anomalies, and the hard to find items. Stories of seeking adventure for their finds abound as well. The earth's treasures from all over the world are on display. But the samples have its draw. So many pieces to garner your attention to hop in your pocket with laying down some cash to take home.

     Certainly, the history that lies in each morsel of earth's beauty can be at your fingertips to examine and mull over for your weekend perusal. 

      The Helena Mineral Society puts on a two-day event with opportunities on the second floor level to examine sapphires in the gravel, play games with the rocks, and a silent auction that moves rapidly throughout the day. The displays are perfect, and the entire family finds lots of curious objects to feast the eyes upon. Lustville prevails; all life's desires can be found at these shows. You will love them.

Dinosaurs Signed in Law

     Apparently, Governor Steve Bullock got into some dinosaur action. Two giants died while fighting on the range, got fossilized over time, but the courts have juggled with the topic of just who owns the millions of dollars worth of their bones.

     Is it the surface rights holder or do those bones belong to the mineral rights owner? Our state legislature weighed in on the topic, and Governor Bullock signed into law the verdict. We'll see how it will turn out eventually, but check it out on the news channel. https://www.abcfoxmontana.com/regional/governor-signs-bill-clarifying-ownership-rights-to-fossils/article_16603df1-c730-5974-b9bc-38deb24c8466.html

Best Place to Dig in Montana

      Crystal Park out of Dillon, made the top place to dig in Montana. For decades families have gone there to have the bonding experience of digging in the dirt and finding crystals underground in those giant gopher holes.

      Check out what the latest posting on the internet says that is in store for you if you put this on your calendar for the summer. It's worthy and the hot springs nearby will soak your weary bones. Good prospecting.  https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/montana/crystal-park-mt/?fbclid=IwAR3o7se9VLOP9IXB5aThdGBzLY2iwBN4acLxPPr3yQLFyOYanI8m3nq5thc

The Publication Has Arrived

      In 2017 in October an attendee got a small copy of the abstracts that were to be presented at the Symposium offered by the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology.

      This last October attendees were notified they would receive the copy about January of 2019. It just arrived in the mail April 8th, and it is such a treat to hold in your hand. Having taken copious notes to savor all the knowledge exchanged while listening to this myriad of topics presented, to have the visual reference to thumb through is just fabulous. I am sure the time it took to get all the t's crossed and the i's dotted took perseverance. But none the less, the arrival is welcome and I would imagine available for inquirers to the Bureau. You just might enjoy it as well. It's a masterpiece.

Going Mini

      With a quick trip up to Gold Fox, in Conrad, Montana, one can find new products on the counter of Kelly Fowler's workshop. They are the hottest selling items on the market. They fit in a backpack, have a waterproof battery pack and can last a long time in the woods for processing gravel both with this trommel and a mini high banker too.

      You can slap your money down, and wait to get your equipment shortly, but you get put on a list for when they go into full production. 

      These machines are the creation from the genius prospecting mind of an innovative developer who knows his stuff. His Little Monster was fabulous, but their two, new products are the best there is out on the market for ease, efficiency and design. Fabulous prospecting finds a notch below the gold nugget itself.

Billings Rock Shop

      Want to take your rock breath away? Try stopping into the Stones and Bones rock shop on 24th in Billings and see what you will feel when you open the door and step into the room filled with every kind of rock imaginable. 

       Crystal, the operator exhibits knowledgeable skills of many uses of the stone from decorative, healing, lapidary, and more, and is ready and willing to answer any of your questions about rock hounding in Montana, and all over the world. Her rocks rock!!

      Just the choices of pendulums is an eye catcher, plus all the egg rocks all in a circular fashion. The fossil display is profound, and whatever avenue of rock pursuits you might have, certainly she can answer your questions. Stop by for the rock of your life. It's amazing. 

Don't Underestimate the Power of China to Influence Our Minerals; Oh, and What About Russia?

      Story told today about China flooding the market with cheap minerals driving the market down in order to put out an American company out of business. Foreign countries affect our mining operations here and their resources. When we are dependent upon foreign minerals, other countries can affect our market value for many precious metals.

      It is the critical metals that the US is dependent upon, almost to the 100% level that are affecting decisions in Washington DC. The demand for these rare earth metals for technology's needs and specialty manufacturing processes have increased our issues in the US. More freedoms to mine and prospect need to happen in order to develop mining independence. Why do you think the only platinum mine in the US in Montana was bought by a foreign country? There is a crucial need for it. 

Make Like a Drone

       While you are socked in with the igloo effect of snow with trails to your backdoor, don't fret, your imagination can fill the prospecting bill and take you away to a land of make believe for the moment. 

      Those exploration plans for the warmer weather can fetch adventure if you think of all the places in Montana you can go while on a destination point of travel. For instance, just recently in thinking about mining for opals out of Nevada for the Memorial Day weekend, the thought occurred of all the places in Montana that could be checked out along the pathway out of the state. I felt like a drone, covering and hovering over sites between Great Falls and the Montana border. When you know and hear of spots for prospecting, why not incorporate a few stops for sampling the rivers and streams and remote places in between to add a little spice to the rock life of ours.

     The sparkly thrills of planning a prospecting weekend can twinkle in your eye now with the visual imagination droning can bring. Find your spot to get some earthen goodies now, so when you launch out your summer exploratories you are right on target for fun and the bounty.

     May the blessings begin with you and your desire to be successful in prospecting with a Montana droning effect. There are lots of sites that can be seen from above that will prove fruitful to you. It's application of your skills on the ground eventually that combine with the aerial that bear fruit. 

Flocking to Montana

      Opportunities abound with former Montanans who come back here in the summer to enjoy our great outdoors. Just today spoke with one who knows of an antimony mine just south of Thompson Falls he explored while growing up there. Gonna connect up with him and explore the gold that comes in the area as well. Putting it on my calendar right now.

     The other Texan source of love for this state has a claim out of Helena that he has developed with friends and the US Forest Service with their plan of operations that has been accepted. For one month the bunch avidly dig in our soil for the hopes of landing some shiny. Summer prospecting plans are being laid right now. 

Read All About It!!

     That wanderlust got ahold of you midwinter? Satisfy it with a Tucson Show Guide. Flip through the pages and feast your eyes upon the multitude of ingenious ideas that vendors design to pop in your eyes the drive for the sparkly, shiny stones the earth has to divulge.

     Oh, my, what a trip you can have from sitting right at your desktop and touring the sea of aisles set out for the rock hungry minded. Order now, so you can see what awaits you if you up and decide you might like to join the many snowbirds who fly from Montana to Arizona way seeking the comfort of the warm temperatures. 

      The international appeal of stones, gems, and artifacts from all over the world with vendors who know the business is great. They seek transactions with you. Join in the fun some how.

Barite Crystals: Where can they be found in Montana?

       Looked this question up on the internet and here is what it said: Boulder River Barite Nice cubic crystals of barite can be found about five miles west of the Whitehouse campground along the Boulder River. Take the Bernice exit off I-15 between Basin and Butte. It is about five miles to the campground. For information, call Montana Tech at 406-496-4395

     Just sounds like to me, this might get put on a list for 2019 prospecting for the summer. If you can buy them at Rockin' Rudy's in Missoula, why not go out in Montana and dig your own? It's worth a try. If you want more ideas of where to go in Montana, check out this website; it has some good ideas with specifics: http://southwestmt.com/maps/gw_rockhoundingmap.pdf

Mining Rights Turmoil: Expect to Fight for Your Mining Rights

       In the newspapers across Montana was the article about Arnold Bakie who finally won his 10-year battle with big mining companies to the tune of $2.6 million dollar settlement, just to lose his battle with life 2 days later.

      But some points in the articles about this story are things one learn after consulting for a time with mining rights activists in Montana. You learn very quickly there are conniving, deceitful behaviors when it comes to the minerals in the land. Big mining companies see the silver, copper or whatever as their right to access over the common man. But with determination, one can prevail, and in this case the family will benefit down the road.

       The big mistake that is made is the fact that some organizations such as the USFS or mining companies, in this case, want to determine how far below the ground a claim can go. A prospecting claim goes all the way to China, if need be. It is owned by the prospector with the claim, channeling through it sideways doesn't make it legitimate. 

        In this case, it meant huge sums of money to Manatore and its various subsidiaries or connections. It was worth $8 billion to them in the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness. The company wanted to tunnel through his claim, which they had no right to do and he won. He fought them and won!! He made mining history for us all. He set a precedence by fighting for his rights. I honor him and his family. The little guy can win because there are prospecting rights that go with governmental claims in forest land. 

      May Arnold get a spot in heaven to help shine down upon us prospectors who want to stand our ground. We need all the help we can get when it comes to greed and the heavy hand of mining interests especially from out of this country. Read more: https://apnews.com/a53bd8864e884b47920477ba88f32b2d

Montana Volcano

     Did you know that Montana has a volcano and we are sitting on it? That's one thing learned at the symposium in Butte, Montana recently. The descriptions of it is provided with this statement The last time the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted was 640,000+ years ago. The Yellowstone eruption area collapsed upon itself, creating a sunken giant crater or caldera 1,500 square miles in area. The magmatic heat powering that eruption (and two others, dating back 2.1 million years) still powers the park’s famous geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and mud pots. 

Here's an interesting site that says more: https://www.yellowstonepark.com/things-to-do/yellowstone-supervolcano

Trippy Rocks

      At the gathering of rock and mineral hounds, there was an Idaho rock trader who had gone to the Tuscon Gem and Mineral Show 46 times in his life. With such jaunts, one begins to know the vendors and their benefits.

      One of those vendors offered to take a group of 8 people to Morocco, take a list of rocks sought after and make sure there would be trips to dig for those stones in the 10 days for $1000 out of Arizona. Sounds like a deal; more to come.

Here's an Idea for Winter Panning to Satisfy Your Prospecting Pleasure at Home

Clever Techniques to Fish for Gold, See a Prospecting Shop, and Learn How to Bake Your Black Sands for Easy Panning with Separating Them from the Gold

Seven Rivers in Montana that are Full of Gold

       If and when you get the itch to ditch a prospecting club and strike out on your own, to make a plan of an independent venture, look no further than government land on any of the seven rivers listed on this web site. You can set up shop, go to work with your sluice or gold pan, and/or bring home gravel to work; either way, the possibilities is unlimited because "gold is always being unearthed every day in the world." Is the lucky number 7http://raregoldnuggets.com/?p=4564

Hear or See Where People are Finding Gold; Want to Know More So You Can Stake a Claim Nearby....

      Here's how you do it. Call up Peggy Delaney at the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. She looks up on her computer all the details of the area that you think might have gold on the land. She gives you the exact location with the township, range and section so you can find it physically. 

     Then you can go to the Montana Cadastral and look up two views of the land so you know what you are looking at in several different directions. You can get the entire details on any site or claim if you want to. She ID's whether the nearby land is USFS or BLM so you know who to go to for more information. Peggy is such a great resource of all information about claims and mining site and more. The best!! She is the Program Leader in the Mining Archives and her email is MDelaney@mtech.edu or find her on www.mbmg.mtech.edu Public information is handy!!

Get Gold Without Leaving Town 

     Want to sit at home, make a call, and order your gold without leaving town? You can do that right here in the state of Montana by making a call to Top O Deep, a company out of Ronana that sells their gold from their claim in the Garnet Mountains or from miners in Washington or Alaska.

     Either way you look at it, you can get a $15 dollar bag of pay dirt with plenty of gold in it, have Ralph put in a $25 gold nugget and voila, you have a great birthday, anniversary, or holiday gift of the perfect nature. Just call 1-406-676-3503 and have him send you some for your stash of finds.  They are at 37185 Little Marten Rd, in Ronan, Mt 59864. You will be happy to hold your gold in your hand.

Smokey the Bear: Hear This!!

    The first line of your letter says you are a dirty BOOGER!!! No if's, and's or BUTTs about it.

     Here's why: It's your job to provide access to prospector's claims in the forest. You were told that when the government couldn't afford roads into the woods and the country needed development. So prospectors built them long before you were born and when you came around you played King of the Hill and close roads and play games of the claim holders. Bad boys.

    Here's just some of your many unsavory tactics: You make the prospecting club build their own culvert and bridge which is your job. Then you dictate who is at the meeting, excluding women. Then say you are going to deliver a POO Plan 2 1/2 years later, not following your rules of 15 day return notice, keep a reclamation bond for years and stopped mining operations for that long, use your position to negotiate your job to be done by someone else and various, other unsavory lies and mismanagement. Why are you allowed to do this? Stomping on prospecting rights of access all over the place is not in your job description, but you do it anyhow, because of power hungry tactics. Redirection is overdue!!


The Forest Service Shuffle: Let's Dance

     Isn't there a term for heads rollin? Start documenting the power hungry levels or inefficient bureaucratic bs and all of sudden things happen. Last year the United States Forest Service was dictating, "We're taking away your access to your claim (and we don't have to follow any rules!)

     Oops this year, with meetings with state level and national level advisors we have our access back, a 3 year stall on a Plan of Operation signed (too late for this season, due 3 years ago) but the USFS gets: a "Men's Club", the ability to write their  supervisor's letters, distribution of lies and promises, the opportunity to kick the woman under the bus, and make the prospectors provide the Forest Service's job of putting in access, all so they can negotiate instead of dictate.

     Now the supervisor Bill Avey is moved out of the district, a woman is brought in temporarily, and change happens. Trouble is the perpetrator is still there.  The prospecting claim holders made some movement up the food chain; it matters not who is eaten in the process by the Forest Service.

The Office of Civil Rights in Washington DC is very helpful. They ask questions, give you answers, send you forms to fill out for violations of your civil rights and want to know details. Then they explain the process of how they handle the reports with each step. The Lincoln Forest Ranger didn't sound too good to them. Using his office to discriminate against women. That's a NO No. Had a 120 days to report it; did it in one. A comment given: with all the jockeying of employees, it almost sounds like ADMISSION OF GUILT!

Harassment of the Prospector

      Memorial Day in Zortman, Montana, the Yellowstone Prospecting Group can dig up the creekbed and make giant piles of rock and gravel in the middle of the road blocking it and BLM accepts, "We are working as fast as we can!"

     The Libby prospectors can dig out the hillside, work and block long areas with multiple trommels and water hoses everywhere with USFS approval.

     But the Lincoln District Forest Service will not allow the Blackfoot River Chapter of GPAA to do their simple plan of digging a hole for gravel for club members for two years now without any repreive in sight. The giant disparity is excruciatingly horrendous proving there are no limits to the extent of power the giant bullying by the USFS goes. We have to suffer at the hands of a federal agency that has been allowed to go too far and too long with the citizens of Montana who are stakeholders here. Where is the balance, leadership, and fairness for the prospector? Then they keep your bond money for years after the reclamation is completed satisfactorily and won't return it to the club, but rather put stipulations to it about going to an individual, not a group? Logic gone, only power remains. More to add: The USFS told our prospecting group point blank they didn't have to follow the ADA or Americans with Disabilities Act. Here's a quote right from their prospecting handout that states otherwise: The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.  I think I will write a complaint about the Ranger in Lincoln District Michael Stansberry for what he said. 


Another note to add to the complaint to the Office of Civil Rights: Apparently Michael Stansberry, the ranger out of Lincoln, Montana thinks he is above the law AGAIN!!!! He stipulated he would only meet with the men of the club, exclude the representative woman, and thinks that is appropriate. Get this Michael Stansberry: That is discrimination and your terms of employment prohibit that. Apparently you don't know what you are doing and think you are above the law!!  This dude needs to lose his job or get some serious training exercises. I know: he's been in the woods too long. He's got that Lincoln, Cabin Fever!! He needs a change. 

  Gemstones Found on this Website:

       Two years of traveling around the state of Montana exploring places to prospect for gems, fossils, specialty rocks, and gold then returning to write up the experience for you to see and learn from is an invaluable assest for you to access from your computer at home.

       If you click on Treasure Hunting Year 1 Treasure Hunting Year 1 and Treasure Hunting Year 2 Treasure Hunting Year 2, click on the gold button, it will open you up to descriptions of what you might find on each site. This "trippin'" occured from the middle of May through the end of September for both years. That is a wealth of information with many excursions for your perusal. The array is far better than you can find in a book, because it is provable, true and direct. Check these links to make your summer time plans. With preplanning and exposure to your potential sites, better experiences are gained. 



Effects of Government Implementation on Mining Claims

Charter Differences

The charter for the US Forest Service says it is in the business of selling trees. When they operate with bullying the prospector with a mining claim, making up rules, aren't they operating out of their jurisdiction??? 

Who's on First? 

The Mining Laws of 1872 were created by the Congress and invited the US citizen to go and prospect on the land out West. This was long before the US Forest Service was ever created. Does the prospector take precdence over the USFS?

BLM vs US Forest Service

The prospector has to fill out endless forms for their claims with BLM and there is no further contact with them. The US Forest Service makes up their own rules to govern the claims. Two departments confusing the public and themselves. 

Regional Differences

Discover this...if your claim is in one region supervised by one USFS official, and is compared to another there is a vast difference and some can be held hostage to the lack of consistency in operations. Discrimination can rule.

Additional Points to Consider with Mining Claims

Volleying Repsonsibility

When one needs to address state or federal authorities about inequities in treatment with prospecting claims, don't get caught in the volley between state vs federal. It is happening in your state so let them know you won't accept blame placement elsewhere. 

No Rule Book 

In the prospectors' defense know there is no rule book. The USFS makes up stuff as they go to see if they can get away with it. Example: Lincoln District said our club could only dig 10 feet deep. Placer claims have all minerals below the ground no matter how deep it goes. Fake rules!!

Prior Presence

If the USFS decides they are going to close the road to your claim, one point to make in your rebuttal to their demands is that access has been there for a long time and the club or claim owner expect that access to continue, especially if there is no inclusion in the decision. Notification is key.

Not Included

If the USFS claims ownership of any of your mining claim such as moving your tailings or making changes to your claim, know that if there has been meetings with the fire district or for water issues, if they haven't notified the mining interest in their decisions, they are in violation of procedures of  fairness in operations.


Montana Recreational Interactive Map

Most of  these dots are reviewed  in our Treasure Hunting 2016 and Treasure Hunting 2017 pages. 

Just click the orange links to learn more about all these sites.


  • Hopeless #1 GPAA Claim
  • Blackfoot River Chapter
  • Zortman
  • Libby Creek National Gold Panning Area
  • Lucky Dawg # 1 2 3 GPAA Claim
  • Golden Back Achers GPAA Claim
  • Ole Miner
  • Bacon And Beans GPAA Claim
  • The Montana Blue Jewel Mine
  • Gem Mountain Sapphire Mine
  • Spokane Bar Sapphire Mine
  • Blaze N Gems
  • Crystal Park
  • Ruby Reservoir
  • Spencer Opal Mine



  • Montana Petrified Forest
  • Great Plains Dinosaur Museum
  • Blaine County Museum
  • Earth Science Museum
  • Mineral Museum
  • Glendive Dinosaur and Fossil Museum
  • Baischs Dinosaur Digs LLC
  • Museum of The Rockies


NEWESTOld mine entrances? What about the sites on. Historical. What book might help you in fossil finding? on Book Reviews  Learn a disadvantage of a prospecting club on... Other Clubs. January's  newsletter just posted on  Newsletter! getting caught up soon.  Have you looked at the drop down buttons on the rock page? There are more elements than just one aspect. What metalloid can be mined in Montana that helps with microelectronics? check it out on... Rocks. Make plans to head to Butte mid October; a mining symposium coming you don't want to miss here . A stone can help you balance your energies of life on. Educational. Find a site that shows blow by blow evidence of just how the dinosaurs disappeared in a flash.on... Fossils. Try a small, easy book to check out your rock passion on. Book Reviews. Want to grow you own crystals? or What about dogs and rock hounding?: Kids. Will the bull trout reign supreme (NOPE!!)or will the USFS come up with an alternative plan for a culvert? Now just who uses dredges in our state?  see who .....  Latest News   What about checking in on a rock and mining symposium? or What about not getting dirty or leaving town to find rocks   on... Treasure Hunting 2018 Video on a quick tool to make gravel bucket gathering speedy. Tools of the Trade. See what lore you might swallow if you have a hankerin' to on... Prospecting Stories Can one get a prospecting tip at a show?...  Prospecting Tips.


NEWER: Check out what a prospecting advisor has to say about your rights on: Interviews. Try a kitchen tool to find gold on:  Tools of TheTradeConsider your losses when using this tool on... Gold. Can thundereggs help you? Find out  on...  Healing Stones Find out what else can be a part of ... Green Prospecting


 NEW:  Shortly, hear about the consultations for standing your ground on (It's there!!) .Interviews Check out  Kelly Fowler's light weight creations that fit in your backpack to go prospecting in Montana creeks. Let's Make Your Own Equipment . Weigh in on what you think fossils are on... Government plus the latest trials dealing with the USFS. What do 18 buckets boil down to? ... Latest News? See a visit to a new claim and what about the new 50th anniversary of the Mining Guide from? GPAA



We are a group devoted to the advancement of recreational prospecting in the State of Montana. We are called a coalition as we cover many aspects in the field of prospecting here and we seek to help prospectors with the government.

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© Central Montana Prospectors Coalition, Site Created & Written By Alma Winberry