COSA Gold panning in open spaces/natural areas

Good morning all –

I hope you are staying safe and well. I just had a question come up from a citizen looking to pan for gold in the river recreationally (just a pan and a shovel, not commercial scale dredging, etc.) I’m sure this type of request has come up for many of you in your open space or natural areas networks. If so, what is your policy? If you do allow any panning, have there been lessons learned around type of panning, location, or other important considerations? How complicated has split estate mineral rights been when allowing/prohibiting this activity?

We are also in the process of updating our municipal code for activities on the city’s natural areas and trail system, so if anyone has specific code language around the allowance or prohibition of gold panning, I’d sure appreciate it!



Justin Scharton


Culture, Parks & Recreation Dept | Natural Areas & Trails Division

321 N 16th Ave | Greeley, CO 80631

O: 970.350.9412 | C: 970.590.1705