Mining may have halted for the season at the Hoffman claim in Fairplay, Colorado, but the Gold Rush stars are still on the mind of the local residents. On the eve of Friday’s episode, “Blizzards and Bullets,” a nearby residential group, calling themselves Save South Park, have filed a lawsuit to prevent the Todd Hoffman crew, that are featured on the Discovery Channel gold reality show, from returning to mine for gold in their Colorado town in 2018. They believe that the disruption is because Discovery is “mining for ratings.”
Speaking to the Summit Daily, this group of 30 residents who make up the Save South Park group resides in the neighborhood adjoining Todd Hoffman’s Fairplay mining claim.
They are unhappy with the multitude of miners who use machinery who start their work at 7 a.m. and end sometime in the evening and they are causing a ruckus.
Residents of this “bedroom community” claim that “the sound of dump trucks and trundling boulders have registered more than 20 decibels higher than the permitted level at their homes.” They feel their peaceful community has been disrupted for “ratings,” and they do not want a repeat next season.
One local resident, Ann Lukacs, expressed her frustration that her sought after solitude was disturbed by Todd Hoffman and his mining operation.
“All I’ve ever wanted to do all summer long is sit on my deck and have some quiet, and I couldn’t do that this year because there was so much noise — it was unbelievable.”
Not only are they unhappy with the noise throughout the summer, but they claim that the reality show crew destroyed their natural surroundings when they claimed that they “wrecked a hillside landscape.” They believe this was all done because Gold Rush was “mining for ratings.”
The mayor in Fairplay, Gabby Lane, doesn’t seem to find any issues with the Hoffman crew. He describes Todd and company as “nice.” Understandably, Mayor Lane is also pleased to mention that the miners and the film crew are spending money in his jurisdiction.
“As far as the relationship they’ve had with the town, it’s all been five-star. Nice gentlemen, they come into town, they spend a lot of money, they don’t cause any trouble. What more could you ask?”
So, it is no surprise that the Save South Park group believe that their local government failed them. This mining claim, which is completely unlike the Hoffman’s Season 6 wilderness claim in the Yukon, is ripe with “hillside homes.”
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Many locals feel that the Discovery gold miners have created an atmosphere that has become difficult for them to live their daily lives. This is not the peaceful existence they signed up for in beautiful Colorado.
Their attorney, Danny Teodoru, explained their case to the paper.
“This is not an appropriate land use decision. Here’s a circumstance where there are people directly next to this mine and the impacts are felt by them in a very dramatic fashion.”
Yet some could remind the Save South Park group that this site always been a mine. Last season, Freddie Dodge went to Todd at the failed Oregon mine, telling him that the Fairplay mine had the gold they were seeking. Even in a shortened season, Todd found what he was looking for here.
Yet, opponents of the Gold Rush crew claim that the previous miners didn’t have the “deep pockets” that Hoffman and the Discovery Channel have. One local resident, Krissy Barrett, claims that in the past, miners didn’t have the multitudes of machinery that have disturbed their existence this past summer.
“We think that a normal miner who is not subsidized could probably not really afford to do the kind of mining they were doing.”
So, it is understandable that things between the residents and the miners blew up, with the Inquisitr reporting that shots were fired, and Aaron Borth was arrested for firing at the Hoffman crew.
Yet, this incident did not thwart local politicians from approving more gold mining in this area. In August “the county commissioners unanimously approved a rezoning of 28 acres of residential land for mining uses.”
The lawsuit contends that with this new approval, there could be mining “within 100 yards of residences.” This is unacceptable to the Save South Park group.
No court date has been revealed, but the results of the lawsuit will surely be news. Then the question of whether Todd Hoffman and his crew got the gold they were looking for, or could they already be planning to head out somewhere else Season 9?
Todd is saying nothing. Just a week after the mining season ended, Todd Hoffman isn’t talking about lawsuits. Instead, he has been busy recording his own version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic song, “Simple Man.” The Gold Rush star promises that he did it justice.
“Lynyrd, we will try to do it right.”
What do you think of this lawsuit? Do you think that the local people are right or should Todd Hoffman and the Gold Rush crew still mine for gold at the same spot next year?
[Featured Image by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images]