OF-03-14 History, Geology and Environmental Setting of Selected Mines in the Upper Alamosa River Basin, Rio Grande National Forest, Conejos and Rio Grande Counties, Colorado


Open-File Report OF-03-14 describes the history, geology and environmental setting of several mines in the upper Alamosa River drainage basin. All of the sites lie at least partly on US Forest Service administered land. The sites were selected by the US Forest Service based on the results of an abandoned mine inventory recently completed by the the CGS. This information is useful for state and federal agencies and private owners for developing realistic and cost-effective reclamation strategies. Digital ZIP download. OF-03-14D

From the Introduction:

During the summer of 1993, the CGS inventoried mines in the upper Alamosa River basin of the Conejos Peak Ranger District, Rio Grande National Forest. This project was part of an eight-year, statewide inventory of abandoned mines on National Forest System (NFS) lands in Colorado. Not all of the mines were on NFS lands; in some instances the forest boundary or mine locations were incorrectly located on Primary Base Series (PBS) maps. Some mines on private land close to NFS lands were inventoried, as were mines that potentially impacted NFS lands.

In 1998 and 1999, the Forest Service requested more detailed studies on selected mines in five inventory areas in the upper Alamosa River drainage basin. All of the selected mines had received Environmental Degradation Ratings (EDRs) of 3 (potentially significant) or worse from CGS. This study presents the results of the additional investigation (field work or historic records searches) requested on mines in the upper Alamosa River watershed.

Many of the smaller mines in the upper Alamosa River watershed were worked in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some of the mines may have shipped very small quantities of ore, if any. Very little historical information was available regarding these mines. Without a formal mine or claim name, historical research is difficult. Defining geographical locations of mining claims from older county records can be difficult or impossible. Mining district or mining camp names vary depending on the reference source and time period. Some of the district or camp names used in the upper Alamosa River include Summitville, Jasper, Stunner, Decatur, and Gilmore.