Saturday, July 26, 2008
One final post about the Circle The Wagons trip last weekend. While we were in Mineral Basin pretty close to the end of the road, we stopped to take some pictures. While looking around I spotted the tree in the picture above. The Forest Service sign on the tree says it's against the law to tamper with a "Witness Tree". I had no clue what this meant.
Guitar, who has worked in the oil and gas industry for years enlightened us all. A Witness Tree is a tree that has been blazed to draw attention to itself. The little sign above the "Attention" sign indicates that there is a corner post for a mining claim located in a certain direction and distance away from the tree. When a surveyor puts a stake into the ground it is most times not very visible. A large tree that has been blazed is much more visible and serves to let people know that a mining claim is close by. This particular mining claim was established in 1980 according to the placard above the sign. We were able to find the surveyor's stakes from the directions on the placard. There was no sign that any real mining had occurred on the claim.
Today the tree is in pretty bad shape and I suspect that within a few years this tree will fall prey to the elements and a new tree will have to be selected to "witness" this claim.
Here's some interesting facts about mining claims in Colorado.
Thanks for visiting.