Saturday, September 3, 2011

September Shaver Lake Field Trip Unlikely...



If you are one of the "happy band of collectors" that added the Shaver Lake Field Trip to your schedule...bad news...most likely canceled.

Diligent, generous and die-hard Rock Hound Kris Rowe is still trying to negotiate this trip and one planned for October.  So keep an eye on his Ning Community - Rock Hound Field Trip Fanatics and he will keep us up-to-date on the talks.
This is Kris's Release on the topic:

September 1, 2011

From:    Kris Rowe, President 2011
              Fresno Gem & Mineral Society, Fresno, CA
              Website - www.fgms.us

Re:       SCE Restricting Public Access to Shaver Lake, Fall/Winter 2011

For over a quarter century, the amethyst deposits of Shaver Lake in eastern Fresno County, California were accessible resources for the mineral enthusiasts (aka "rockhounds") of Central California and beyond. Then, at the end of the 1990's, the lake level was "regularized" and the deposits of lovely lavender quartz were rendered inaccessible to mineral collection.

During the partial draining of Shaver Lake during late 2010 for repairs and improvements to the dam, a safe and successful rockhounding field trip was conducted to Amethyst Cove, Shaver Lake. Organized and sponsored by the Fresno Gem & Mineral Society (FGMS), the trip was attended by more than 40 mineral enthusiasts. Though muddy conditions made prospecting difficult, a safe & pleasurable trip was successfully conducted.

This August, an FGMS Field Trip to Amethyst Cove at Shaver Lake was announced, scheduled for September 17th, 2011.

Unfortunately, any Shaver Lake mineral collecting during this years draw down is seriously in doubt. The manager for the Shaver Lake Forestry area has informed us that the entire lake bed will be closed to mineral enthusiasts during draw down, for the stated purpose of assessing/"protecting" archeologically & environmentally sensitive sites.

We were contacted this morning by Micheal Esposito from the Shaver Lake Forrestry Resources office, and spoke with the Area Forest Resources Manager, Richard Bagley. We discussed the heretofore unpublicized closure of the lake bed, which he stated would apply to public access in general and rockhounding activities in particular during the draw down period. Though circumspect in his wording, it was clear that the main concern of local managers and So Cal Edison was to minimize liability & safety threats, which are certainly legitimate concerns.

Mr. Bagley emphasized his support of our recreation activities and his ongoing efforts to keep the lake shore and surrounding Edison administered lands open for rock & mineral collectors.  He explained that the access denial order had come from the Southern California Edison Big Creek Hydro (aka Northern Hydro) archeological & environmental studies staff, partially in conjunction with agreements with local indigenous tribes, and promised to forward copies of the applicable orders and agreements.

FGMS regularly offers its members, members of CFMS associated Societies and land owners/managers the assurance of experienced, organized and well equipped field trip leadership, in addition to field trip liability insurance through the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies. Our field trips occur at public sites, and when permitted, private lands. We welcome inquiries from individuals who are interested in allowing organized hobby mineral prospecting and collection upon their properties, through the auspices of FGMS.

The Fresno Gem & Mineral Society is hopeful that controlled, Society sponsored access to the historical mineral collection areas at Shaver Lake in general, and Amethyst Cove in particular, may be achieved during the current draw down.  As earlier noted, Amethyst Cove, and indeed, numerous mineral deposits in the area have been accessed by collectors for many decades. It is our hope to conduct safe, controlled and successful field trips to these areas this year. When the waters again rise, the amethyst pockets of Shaver Lake will again become inaccessible, perhaps for the remainder of our lifetimes.
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Helpful links & email addresses:

The Fresno Gem & Mineral Society - www.fgms.us
Kris Rowe, FGMS Publicity - fgms.publicity@gmail.com
Richard Bagley (Manager, Forest Resources) - richard.bagley@sce.com
SCE Media Desk - mediadesk@sce.com

California Federation of Mineralogical Societies - www.cfmsinc.org
American Lands Access Association - http://www.amlands.org
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The Fresno Gem & Mineral Society welcomes inquiries about our ongoing activities in promotion of the study and practice of mineralogy, geology and the associated arts & sciences. We welcome interested individuals to visit our website at www.fgms.us for more information on our ongoing activities and offerings. We also welcome attendees of the Big Fresno Fair to visit our annual Rock & Gem exhibit, located in the first building south of the Grandstands.