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Petersville State Recreation Mining Area


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Submitted by Dennis R. Garrett, owner and operator of
the Blue Ribbon Mine, located at the end of the Petersville Road.

Alaska Gold Miner on Cat Dozer

Here are some tips and info:

ACCESS: Access to the North Unit is via Petersville Road, and access to the south unit is via spur road off the Petersville Road. This spur road is found next to the red mobile home (trailer) in Petersville.

Click here for a map of the North Unit of the Petersville State Recreation Mining Area , and click HERE to zoom in on a map of the South Petersville Rec Mining Area.

PARKING: The State right-of-way/easement extends for 50 feet on either side of the centerline of the Petersville Road as well as the Spur Road/Public Access. You may park and camp anywhere within this easement/right of way. Only the buildings are off-limits, and you don't want to go in them anyway.

Camping and parking, as well as mining, are free of charge.

Peters Creek Canyon

view of the area from the Peters Creek Canyon

Blue Ribbon Mine/Waterstone Alaska  placer gold in panContinuing on, you'll cross Peters Creek at the bridge at Mile 32 and enter the Petersville State Recreational Mining Area, an area set aside by the State of Alaska for the citizens to pan and mine for gold. If you don't know how, it's easy to learn and fun to do. This is also another outstanding area to camp.

Alaska Gold Nuggets

Topographic Maps:U.S.G.S. Talkeetna C-2 is the main map, those adjoining it will provide excellent coverage.

Weather: The weather is subject to change rapidly due to our closeness to Denali. You could wake up to a clear, cloudless day, and temperatures could soar into the 70's, or the wind could shift, and the temperature can drop 30 degrees in a few minutes, followed by a cold, windy rain. If you expect to be more that a couple of hours away from your vehicle or camp, you would be well advised to take along a day pack with a light rain jacket or poncho, among other items.

Licenses and Permits- Check with various State and Federal agencies for information relating to fishing, hunting, and land use requirements. I don't want you to get in trouble while on your safari. Visit Curry Ridge for more info as well.

The local channel for CB radios is channel 19. Most cell phones work, but are better at the higher elevations.

MORE INFORMATION:

Petersville Road Drive Guide and South Denali Safari

Fact Sheet

Title: Petersville Recreation Mining Area
Division of Mining, Land & Water
April 2004 http://www.dnr.state.ak.us/mlw/factsht/mine_fs/petersvi.pdf

A new state law designates two areas of public land near the Petersville Road (southwest of Denali State Park) for recreational mining and other general public recreation. Senator Rick Halford proposed the new areas as part of a bill sponsored by Representatives Tim Kelly and Gene Therriault. The Legislature's action confirms an idea first proposed in 1993: to give Alaskans and visitors a place where they could find good "color" in their gold pans without worrying that they were jumping someone's mining claim. That's a problem in most gold-rich areas because of existing mining claims staked under state or federal law. To prevent this conflict, both units of the Petersville Recreational Mining Area are closed to the staking of new mining claims. The new area will give the public a chance to gain first-hand experience in recreational mining, help celebrate the Gold Rush Centennial, and maybe take home a few gold nuggets.

How do I get to the new Petersville Recreational Mining Area? Although part of the new area is still in the process of being acquired from the federal government, the north unit is already in state ownership and open to public use. Access is via the Petersville Road. See the other side of this fact sheet for a map showing the general location of the Petersville Recreational Mining Area's north unit. The last few miles of the access route are rough, recommended only for four-wheel drive vehicles, vehicles with high clearance, four-wheelers, mountain bikes, and the like.

How will the Petersville Recreational Mining Area be developed? The new law requires the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to prepare a plan for the management, use, and development of the area, including the mining methods that can be used while still protecting important habitat such as for salmon in Peters Creek. The Department of Fish and Game and the Department of Transportation will participate in the management plan, with full public input. In the meantime, the unit is already open to use.

What facilities are there now? There are no developed campsites, sanitation facilities, drinking-water supplies, or trash cans at present. Visitors should be prepared for self-sufficient, low-impact camping. Please don't leave any trash or litter, and be careful with campfires.

What kind of mining can I do? Recreational gold panning, mineral prospecting, or mining using light portable field equipment, such as pick and shovel, pan, earth auger, or a backpack power drill or auger are allowed without any permit. Also, you can obtain a permit from the DNR Office of Habitat Management & Permitting (OHMP) to use a small suction dredge.

How can I get a permit for suction dredging? Contact OHMP, at 550 W 7 Ave., Suite 1420, Anchorage, AK 99501; phone 907-269-8690 or fax 907-269-5673. Suction dredging in Peters Creek closes at midnight July 15 each year to protect salmon habitat.

Can I stake a mining claim in the Petersville Recreational Mining Area? No, new mining claims are not allowed.

Are there any mining claims already in the area? There are no mining claims within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area, but plenty of them outside the boundary. The Department of Natural Resources clearly marked the upstream and downstream ends of the north unit during the summer of 1997, and is looking for a way to show the side boundaries too. In the meantime, you can avoid any conflict by doing your prospecting and mining only on the Peters Creek valley floor, not up Cottonwood Creek or on the higher ground where there are likely to be mining claims. Any minerals within the boundaries of these claims are the property of the claim owner. Please respect the mining locators' rights under the laws of the State of Alaska. Of course, you are free to walk across these mining claims or use them for camping, hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, and other recreation, but you can't mine on them without the claimant's permission.

What else can I do in the area? The Petersville Recreational Mining Area and surrounding public lands are highly popular for hunting, fishing, hiking, four-wheeling, snowmachining, cross-country skiing, and dog mushing.

Where can I get detailed maps? You can purchase topographical maps that show more detail on the area. Ask for USGS Topographical map Talkeetna C2. If you like, you can research status plats showing the location of existing mining claims weekdays between the hours of 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the DNR Public Information Center (see below).

How can I get more information? Contact the Department of Natural Resources: Public Information Center 550 West 7 Ave., Suite 1260 Anchorage, AK 99503-5929 907-269-8400 Public Information Center 3700 Airport Way Fairbanks, AK 99709-4699 907-451-2705 Division of Mining, Land & Water 550 West 7 Avenue, Suite 1070 Anchorage, AK 99501-3579 907-269-8600


Alaska Statutes.
Title 41. Public Resources
Chapter 23. Multiple Use Management of Public Resources
Section 630. Petersville Recreational Mining Area.

AS 41.23.630. Petersville Recreational Mining Area.
(a) The purpose of this section is to establish the area described in (f) of this section as the Petersville Recreational Mining Area. The Petersville Recreational Mining Area is established to provide for a public recreational mining area to permit public recreational activities and to allow other multiple-use activities to continue as long as the activities do not detract from the primary purpose for the establishment of the Petersville Recreational Mining Area.
(b) The commissioner is responsible for the management of the surface and subsurface estate within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area necessary to carry out the purposes of this section. The commissioner shall adopt and may revise a management plan and shall adopt regulations for the management, use, and development of the Petersville Recreational Mining Area. The management plan, including any revisions, and regulations adopted by the commissioner shall be developed in consultation with the commissioner of fish and game and the commissioner of transportation and public facilities. The management plan and regulations must address, but not be limited to,
(1) the methods of mining permitted within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area;
(2) the types of mining equipment that may be used within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area;
(3) the protection of habitat within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area; and
(4) other restrictions consistent with the purposes stated in this section.
(c) Except as provided in this subsection, the Petersville Recreational Mining Area is open to recreational mining under this section. The commissioner of fish and game is responsible for the management of the fish and game resources and the public use of fish and wildlife resources within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area consistent with the purposes stated in this section. The commissioner of fish and game shall issue a general permit to the public authorizing recreational mining activities subject to seasonal restrictions on the mining activities within specified waterbody areas necessary to maintain fishery resources within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area.
(d) The Petersville Recreational Mining Area is closed to mineral entry under AS 38.05.185 - 38.05.275.
(e) The commissioner shall permit the construction and realignment of the Petersville Road within the Petersville Recreational Mining Area as is determined necessary by the commissioner of transportation and public facilities.
(f) The vacant and unappropriated state-owned land and water and the state land and water acquired in the future that lie within the following described mining claims described in United States Mineral Survey No. 2384 are reserved from all uses incompatible with the purposes of this section and are assigned to the department for control and management as the Petersville Recreational Mining Area:
(1) Township 28 North, Range 8 West, Seward Meridian Sections 6 - 8: Daisy No. 2; Hidden Treasure No. 1; Hidden Treasure No. 2; Flora No. 1; Flora No. 2; Moose No. 1; Beaver No. 1; Alexander No. 1; Alexander No. 2; Lost Shovel No. 1; Lost Shovel No. 2; Peters Creek No. 8; Peters Creek No. 9; Peters Creek No. 10; Peters Creek No. 11; Sections 21 and 28: Alder No. 1; Alder No. 2; Cottonwood No. 3; Cottonwood No. 4; Seattle No. 1; Seattle No. 2; Contact No. 1; Contact Claim No. 2; Willow Claim; Korter Bench.
(2) Township 28 North, Range 9 West, Seward Meridian Section 1: Daisy No. 2; Hidden Treasure No. 1.

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