By Clay Diggins
Not quite sure where to put this Steve. It will probably have some interest for western prospectors and the eastern hunters are going to find it really useful. You decide if it needs to be moved and I'll go with it.
Land Matters has begun a new section on their website for new projects in development. The most recent new project is Forest Ownership. This new map tracks Forest Boundaries as well as both surface and subsurface (mineral) ownership on the National Forest System.
"Forest Ownership" may sound funny since the common assumption is that all National Forest lands are created equal and are owned by the federal government. Unfortunately it's not really that simple. Land status within the forests varies greatly depending on several factors. We hope by developing this map set individual areas of the forests can be better understood by those who live near, use and research the United States forest reserves.
These maps should help you understand why some areas of forest are off limits, why you see houses and farms within a National Forest and who owns the mineral rights in any particular area of a forest.
In particular visitors to the eastern states forests can discover why they don't have the free use rights western forest users do. This map is going to be an eye opener for those who believe that all National Forests are the same. Many of the eastern forests are not owned or controlled by the federal government. Often when the U.S. has purchased some rights to surface use the minerals and timber are still owned in whole or in part by private individuals or corporations.
When you go to the New Projects Page be sure and click on the "Forest Ownership" tab in the center of the page and read the background I've written for these new map layers. That background can really help you understand what you are seeing on these maps.
The purpose of introducing these new projects while they are still in development is to get user feedback. You can have a direct influence on how these maps are developed and used as well as helping Land Matters define which projects should receive priority in their development. Please leave any comments you may have and if a particular project seems worthwhile consider supporting that project to help it along.
Here is the link to the New Projects Page. Just click on the "Forest Ownership" tab then choose the Forest Ownership map link on the right to open the new project map in a new tab.
Minelab now have updated the Xchange2 software for the GPZ7000, and it's now compatible with the 7000 upgraded software from 18 months ago.
I have just done a download of stored data that was on the 7000 and it worked just like it used to, and it still kept all the find points and stuff from the original xchange2 which was great.
Also I was able to restore all the MLX file data that I have been saving on the desktop for the last 18 months as well, this was a bit of a challenge to begin with. What you do is when the 7000 is plugged into the computer, the MLX file that is there, (provided you have saved it) delete that one and copy and paste one of the saved ones from your PC, if you have renamed them just change the name back to GPZ7000.MLX and then just do the normal download form the 7000 to the exchange2 like before, then keep deleting and pasting and downloading till all your files that were save on the PC have been uploaded.
Job done. Thanks minelab, I just don't know what took so long.
I haven’t been able to get away and hunt very much this year due to various reasons and last week I finally found a little free time so I headed to the hills for a few days of hanging out with Zed. In anticipation of getting away for a hunt I called Rob and had him send me one of those new SteelPHASE enhancer/filter’s and wow fastest shipping I’ve ever experienced, Rob must have jumped on a plane and stuffed it in my mail box, or could have just been overnight shipping anyway it was really fast.
Gold was very scarce nails, tiny bits of rust, tacks and bird shot were a plenty the tiny piece of gold weighing in at a whopping 1.95 grains I did find this trip gave a clear indication down under around 3” of forrest mulch and soil, this is the smallest bit of gold I’ve found with the 7000 to date. I’d attribute finding this piece to the sP01 it made the zed a little more stable and tightened up the target response it was easier to tell the difference between ground noise and targets and I was digging some deep small bits of rusty nail and other itsy bits of trash. The sP01 was comfortable to carry too, I was a little concerned about adding another gadget to the mix with more cables to get in the way and after getting my enhancer I was thinking the cable used for connecting to the wm12 might be a little long. Wrong, everything was perfect and if not for the fact my detector was running great I could forget anything was different in my setup. With the sP01 clipped to my zed harness on the head phone shoulder side and the wm12 on the other shoulder the cable ran perfectly over the wm12 shoulder around my back and under the arm on the sP01 side. Once plugged in the cable never hung up or got in my way was comfortable, really great product engineering.
I also bought a SpotX satellite device, so many (most) of the remote areas we go into alone have no cell service and help is a long way off. In short it’s good, but not great an evolving technology. In a nutshell it works although on its own schedule at least with non-emergency texts, most of mine were sent, some did not and I think there are limitations on how soon one text can be sent after another I’m still figuring the little quirks out something with traffic limitations and the system needing to reset...but, don’t ask cause I don’t know. The service has nine different rates based on 3 different plans, a basic, advanced and an unlimited service ranging from around $14 a month to $40 a month for the unlimited flex plan. The basic plan monthly payments gets you 12 texts a month, the advanced plan get you 100 texts a month plus more frequent satalite access and unlimited is well... the three tiers are repeated except when you pay the year up front you get all your available text limit for the year and they all are good for the entire year plus it’s a couple bucks cheaper, the three levels are again repeated as flex, this has slightly higher rates and no one year commitment you can start/stop as it fits all the plans come with an $100 activation fee. I chose the advanced with 1200 texts for the year. I also added rescue insurance, roadside assistance and replacement insurance for an additional $85, the rescue insurance provides $100K/$50K per occurrence, roadside 50miles towing free, off road ok and winching service available at the push of a button that also sends the tow service your gps and a map with your location pinpointed, you can also send the gps data and map with a text. All in all The device, tax, fee and service for the year set me back roughly $750, cheap insurance I think. There are also other tracking and social networking features, it’s actually a great device and gave me some comfort knowing if I needed I could get help and also it was great being able to send my wife a note and let her know everything was good.
By Steve Herschbach
There are few places left where you can dredge legally in the United States, especially with larger suction dredges. Alaska however is very dredging friendly. I have been updating the Alaska Mining Claims For Sale page and there are several decent dredging claim packages available now at some good prices. If you are looking for a summer long dredging adventure, this is the place to start so check it out.