Drought Brings Gold Rush Back to California

Drought Brings Gold Rush Back to California

Thanks to the ongoing drought, Californians in small towns throughout the Golden State are experiencing somewhat of a nostalgic throwback to a once highly lucrative time. What’s being referred to as more of a “gold fever” than a rush has handfuls of people sifting and swirling through soil and black sand with pans to reveal little flakes and specks of gold in the blazing sun, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Gold prospectors who have been scouring the rivers for years are taking full advantage of the lower-than-normal water levels in areas such as Lytle Creek near San Bernardino, the San Gabriel River, and the Bear River of the Sierra Nevada, writes the Times

In fact, the gold bug has resulted in sluicing classes in Cajon Creek, located northeast of Los Angeles, and a surge in sales for mining supply stores in parts such as Sacramento, Bakersfield and Auburn.

But the gold fever is more a labor of love than a money-making scheme and more of a hobby than anything else. “People think prospectors are greedy. It’s hard work,” said Farris Farnsworth, a 66-year-old retired handy man and gold prospector who was sifting and swirling parts of the Kern River, according to the Times.

Photo: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters