As an econ student and self-titled environmentalist, I attend conferences of interest from time to time to help me disseminate promote new information to the public that will change minds. The more facts you know, the more you will be convinced that climate change is indeed a reality not to ignore. It is time to find some real solutions. Recently, I went on a quick trip to the beautiful state of Alaska to study the business model of some eco-tourism companies. I admire what they are doing in combining travel and recreation with environmental education. There might be something here for me I thought. It may be peripheral to my main concerns, but I felt there would be some opportunity to expand my knowledge.
During one of the conference sessions, I met a very interesting person, a professed gold miner who took the time to give me some tips about prospecting in Alaska. He stood out in the crowd and drew me in immediately. I loved his enthusiasm for his work, and I had to take a selfie to share on Facebook. One of the companies represented had hired him as an expert to talk about opportunities for tourists to enjoy gold prospecting in the region at certain times of the year. He’d even written about it at https://www.findingafortune.net/a-beginners-guide-to-prospecting-gold-for-fun-and-maybe-profit/. It seemed that the focus of the meeting was on this innovative plan. They explained the concept so well that I wanted to sign up on the spot. What would such prospecting be like?
First, I had to know where to go and if there would be a guide. Would the tour include a panning kit or a gold sluice? I had just learned about these prospecting supplies. These were mentioned by the miner in the course of our discussions. No, I would not be wielding a heavy pick. That was strictly old school. Whew! He proceeded to give me a bit of local history.
Prospectors discovered the precious metal in 1848 on the Kenai peninsula. It happened to be a Russian mining engineer. The rush soon began when word got out. After the U.S. purchased the territory (“Seward’s Folly”), before which many miners had already left in disappointment, gold was also found southeast of Juneau opening up new areas to explore. Major lode veins were near Windham and Sumdum Bays around 1880. The story goes on, but in the end, I can say that there are numerous gold localities remaining to this day, enough to please avid tourists. Resources on locations come from the U.S. Geological Survey Mineral Investigations in Alaska.
This was enough to tell me that the gold excursions would be viable. While visitors would flood into the state for fun and profit, the geologists would continue their ecological studies. This is the kind of news I like to hear. I hope gold fever keeps the Alaskan economy pumping along. It has always enjoyed an ample share of tourism, and this new prospecting idea will give it a definite boost.