On this week’s episode of Gold Rush, Parker Schnabel talked about the time it takes for reclamation after a dig. That got a lot of fans talking about why the show doesn’t include this important part of the job on the weekly series.
Here is what you need to know about the reclamation process and why it isn’t a part of Gold Rush.
What is reclamation on Gold Rush?
On last night’s episode of Gold Rush, Parker Schnabel said that he only has a limited amount of time before his license for that area runs out. He said that he not only has to mine the ground before it expires but also get the reclamation done. That caused some fans on Reddit to ask why the reclamation is never shown in the series.
Mine reclamation is the process where they minimize the adverse effects of mining on the environment. The miners return the land to its original condition. It is easy to see the equipment, digging, and more destroying the land, and in many locations, laws don’t allow miners to leave the land destroyed after finishing their job. Alaska has strong laws in place to protect the land.
This process includes returning mined lands to open spaces, wildlife habitats, agriculture, or commercial development. It also could include avoiding and repairing the effects on the wildlife habitat. Finally, in the end, the crew usually replaces topsoil and re-vegetates the land with suitable plant species. Usually, this happens while the mining is going on and not just at the end. Parker Schnabel actually won an award recently for his innovative work in this area.
Why is this not shown on Gold Rush?
So, why does Gold Rush not show this interesting and important step in the mining process? The OP Redditor in the thread asked why that part of the show is never done. They also wondered if there was a special crew hired just to do the reclamation part of the projects. That is actually where the problem lies.
One commenter said Gold Rush could offer a season-ending special every year showing the reclamation process. They mentioned fans would likely receive that well since it is so important. Another mentioned that Tony Beets’ sites look like a wasteland, and they would love to see how they revitalize it. However, it is that separate crew doing the job that provides the problem here.
There was an episode of The Dirt where they talked about the process. In that episode’s segment, the reason this doesn’t appear on Gold Rush received an explanation. “In that segment it was made clear that some workers do not wish to be on camera, referring to the reclamation guys,” one Redditor explained. “I guess they want to be left alone to get on with the important work they are doing, working on a legacy which will last thousand of years.”
Is the reclamation process something you would want to see on Gold Rush? What are your favorite parts of the show? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.