Sustained forests; sustained profits
Prospectors is a for-profit enterprise within Lasting Forests, the Nature Folks unit.. As in other enterprises, relations are as important as the specific work of the enterprise. It attempts to relate to all aspects of people's great interests in mining, geology, geomorphology, rocks, soil, and minerals. The organization sponsors "prospecting trips" as a primary activity but it has a diverse set of tactics all aimed at improved, comprehensive resource management with an emphasis in the diverse realms of geology. The work will be changing, but in the first years, the tasks will be:
- Creating a geologic database (including hazard maps) for the lands of the Lasting Forests and moving it into the GIS.
- Creating a mines database and area history.
- Mapping with GPS mining sites.
- Mapping radioactivity and potential toxicants (e.g., arsenic and lead).
- Arranging for university geology field trips (a "tent city") from universities around the world with analyses and reports.
- Developing camps for "prospectors", people who want a 2-5 day wildland mining experience.
- Developing guided tours with donkeys or llamas, "old-timers", education, early dress, foods (promoting the Lasting Forests Sourdough (see under the Products Group), music, etc.
- Working with all enterprises to assure "environmental geology" is integrated into their projects (roads, trails, fishery, viewscapes, soils, forest site quality and stress, safety).
- Developing publications (e.g., relating forests and geology; geology and wildlife; geology and the stream fishery; geology and rangeland types; fossil records).
- Encouraging responsible mineral rock collecting. Providing a stone-polishing service for visitors, one that allows them to take "their perfect stone" with them.
- Reducing problems from abandoned mines and mine tailings.
- Exploring profits from new mining technology that may allow resource development within the context of the Lasting Forests concept.
The activities, services, and products of the Prospectors are:
Working with others within Nature Folks, people within this group tend to emphasize the soil and geological elements of the ecosystem. Gold is still found is some parts of Virginia. Tours are readily created with a mine as a destination, and then ancillary activities can be included to create desirable tourism conditions...both into the Roanoke area and within it for the tour-creating tour-enhancing enterprise.
- Travel agent services for local field trips and international tours
- Field trips
- Photo opportunities
- Mineral collecting and displays of local, regional materials
- Mining and mineral-resource-based ecotourism (see Tours Group)
- Promoting the Virginia coalfield
- Promoting responsible mineral collecting and prospecting
- Sale of prospecting equipment (panning, hammers, display cases)
- Publications on geological strata, maps, historical geology and ecology including computer maps of select areas
- Publications on mining history
- Art sales (painting, sculpture, photographs)
- Tours into mines and caves
- Trips to locate abandoned mines and to study their influences
- Web-page interactions for members with emphasis on rocks and minerals and on geological mapping (advertising support)
- Interaction with the Wildland Knowledge Base (contacts for services)
- Sale of mined-land reclamation services
- Foundation support and memorials (Memorials)
Estimated development cost.....$30,000
Estimated profits (5-years).....$50,000
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Last revision January 17, 2000.