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A Voluntary Cleanup Program at the Bonanza Mining District

Margaret W. Staub, Cleaning Up the Public Domain: The Next Frontier (1996)

The Bonanza Mining District (District) is located at the north-eastern edge of the San Juan Mountain Range of southern Colorado, roughly fourteen miles west of the town of Villa Grove. Gold, silver, lead, and zinc were discovered in Bonanza in 1880. Mining activities continued sporadically in the area until the late 1960's with heavy mining occurring during the 1920's. The Depression caused the shutdown of most mining activities in the District, however, minor amounts of exploration, rehabilitation, and mining occurred between 1930 and 1960. No major activities have occurred at the District since that time. The District covers roughly 2,040 acres of land and is comprised of 179 patented mining claims. The entire district is drained by the reaches of the 8,600 acre Kerber Creek watershed. The town of Bonanza and the Bonanza Mining District lie entirely within this watershed (MFG, 1994).