By Kevin Hoagland
The header to the State Directors mailer that I send out at least once a month states exactly what is happening within the program, “2018 - A Year of Education and Growth” and I must say that both are right on track for an incredible year.
State Directors are working closely with me as the local leads on the GPAA 2018 Share-A-Claim initiative and we are moving fast and certainly in the right direction. Since the beginning of 2018 we have made several GPAA Members new claim owners with their claims being shared back to the GPAA for all members to use. We call these members Claims Crew Founders and in the spirit of the beginning of the GPAA they are accepting a great responsibility to the GPAA membership and asking little in return.
Let’s look at the what we have accomplished since the first of the year.
• 6 new claim owners inducted into the Claim Crew Founders
• 1 claim given to the GPAA membership by a Lifetime GPAA member
• 7 new claims added in Arizona, California and Idaho to the GPAA member only claims in the first quarter of 2018
• 14 pending claims with three from GPAA Chapters in California. Out of these pending claims, 4 are located in Colorado, 7 in California, 2 in Oregon and another claim in Idaho. Since third quarter 2017 we have added 7 claims in Idaho for our members benefits with more coming soon from our Members.
This is just the beginning. If you've been using the Online Mining Guide you would have seen an additional 60+ public access sites added to the GPAA Online Mining Guide. That is a total of over 85 new sites for GPAA Members to visit, prospect for gold, gems, fossils and other treasures under our feet, and all of this in the last 7 months. Averaging to about 10 sites per month, this is the growth I expect the GPAA claims department to continue over the next few years.
For the last few months I have been talking to members, chapters and quite frankly anyone that would listen about the GPAA Online Mining Guide and the upcoming printed Mining Guide as hand in hand companion tools that will make your prospecting adventures less about getting there (except for a few of the new claims) and more about getting to the gold.
I’ve talked and trained members at great length about the 2014 Mining Guide being somewhat obsolete the day we printed it due to claim additions that happened at the time the guide was printed and how the Online Mining Guide filled the void in real time. But there is another part of the GPAA publications that I really haven’t included and that is the Pick and Shovel or as well call it around the office, the PnS.
In the beginning days of the GPAA, the Pick and Shovel was the repository of information concerning claims and other activities from around the prospecting and small-scale mining world. However, as the magazine grew a decision was made to shelf the Pick and Shovel and use the magazine to share this information.
Shortly after taking control of the GPAA, Brandon Johnson asked to have the Pick and Shovel reinstated as a tool for members and to build upon what his grandfather had created so many years ago. Since that time the new Pick and Shovel has undergone a number of changes while trying to find that perfect balance between real information for the GPAA members concerning claims and other important events, advertising and how to articles.
With that balance seemingly found and moving forward it is the third tool in the members kit when it comes to claims.
The GPAA claims department is committed to feature not only new claims in the Pick and Shovel but to also include some of our members favorite tried and true claims within the Mining Guide for newer members to get a better idea about what we have to offer as claims benefits for our membership.
All in all, with the revamping of the GPAA Pick and Shovel Gazette, the 50th anniversary GPAA Mining Guide and the GPAA Online Mining Guide, Members have more information than ever before available as part of your membership benefits. Become familiar with all three of these tools and get out and get on the gold. Look for the complete article with more on the Claims Crew, Pick & Shovel integration and the digital and print Mining Guide in the upcoming June/July Pick & Shovel.
And as always, I’ll see you out there.
Executive Director of Development
Gold Prospectors Association of American and the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association
Contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org