Colorado county considers banning panning for gold after 'uptick' in prospecting

Prospectors during widespread Gold Rushes in the 1800s are credited with settling land and developing commerce in several Western states, including Colorado.

However 200 years later, officials in one Colorado county say amateur prospectors panning for gold on county land have become such a nuisance they are considering banning the practice.

9News reports officials in Larimer county say they will vote vote on banning widespread prospecting next month after a significant increase in panning.

"There's certainly an uptick,"  Dan Rieves, visitor services manager for Larimer County, told 9News. "There's rangers that we've had out in the field who have been working here for 10, 15 years that have contacted more people out prospecting in the past 18 months than they have in their entire career."

The vote would lead "minerals" to be added to a list of things that already can't be removed from county land. Officials say the county is not anti-prospecting, and may consider setting up specific prospecting zones or times in the future if the ban is passed.

"We're really just trying to put that regulatory structure in place, and kind of slow things down," Rieves told 9News.

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