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Potatoes or Sour Grapes?

Potatoes or Sour Grapes?


A couple of years ago, we gathered our staff from Angler’s Covey together for a fun outing on one of our local small streams. We had a ton of fun and caught a surprising amount of fish. So, when we got home, we wanted to share our experience but not everyone likes us pointing out their secret favorite spot…


Hence, the creation of Potato Creek, aka Grape Creek, southwest of Canon City. I share this now because the gem and amazing spot is possibly going to be exposed to significant degradation and we could possible lose a valuable resource.


I personally have fished most of Grape Creek for a better part of 20 years. I had one of my most memorable experiences throwing a large foam hopper with my Sage 1 weight fly rods to hook and land a 19” brown trout! This is a great pre and post run-off stream early in the season, but run-off is early in the canyon with water coming out of DeWeese reservoir. The lower access closes July 1st through August 14th for Big Horn Sheep to have some privacy.


Why talk about Grape Creek NOW?


I wanted to inform you that the Colorado State Land Board is considering an application for a new mineral lease for zinc, lead, copper, gold and silver minerals on state trust land known as Grape Creek-Horseshoe Mountain. The initial activity proposed is airborne geophysical mapping and geological mapping as well as surface sampling. This would be followed by ground exploration and drilling. The location of the drilling is unknown but will be based on the exploration phases that will occur throughout the property. The lease is for the entirety of the section. If a lease is approved, the applicant will be required to file and gain approval of all required permits prior to commencement of activity on this property, including but not limited to a local land use permit and a mining & reclamation permit from the Division of Reclamation Mining & Safety.


(Grape Creek is a few miles southwest of Canon City)



Personally, I am not generally opposed to mining, we need resources close to home, but it should be balanced with other industries and values. The Outdoor Industry is sized at $373 Billion and Mining at $268 Billion. More and more the Outdoor Industry is getting the credit it deserves when it comes to establishing federal, state, and local land use policies.


I have submitted my comments and concerns; I am asking that if you also love having great small stream fly fishing close to home that you write a comment no later than December 15th,2018 to Mari Johnson , Stewardship Trust Manager at the Colorado State Land Board Trust Office. Reference: Zephyr Gold USA Ltd surface sampling and drilling: Grape Creek- Horseshoe Mountain


Often these decisions weigh heavily on the internal staff recommendations and it is likely that there are no studies that would identify the economic and environmental impacts to the region. This places any feedback from the public at a premium, so please consider sending a note even if it is just a few sentences.


Have a great Holiday Season.

David Leinweber



More information at The Pueblo Chieftain

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