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Gold Rush's Fred Hurt Believes His Mining Practices Would Get A Thumbs-Up From Environmentalists

Since its debut in 2010, "Gold Rush" has consistently soared as a hit show for Discovery. And that's likely because its premise of modern gold miners trying to make it big by digging in the Yukon is simply too intriguing to pass up. "Gold Rush" often depicts gold mining as potentially lucrative for the skilled and tenacious. Yet just like the tons of dirt encasing those valuable gold nuggets, heartbreaking failure surrounds any potential success, which makes the whole operation, at times, a major gamble. Throughout the show's seasons, there's been a spotlight on the numerous hurdles and setbacks, especially from the wilderness.

The relationship between Mother Nature and the cast of "Gold Rush" is often marred by frequent clashes. Show cast member Fred Lewis once noted Mother Nature as his crew's biggest competitor, as seasons can make digging plans go a little haywire. On the other hand, the digging performed during "Gold Rush" could easily raise some concerns from the environmentally conscious. After all, the massive digging equipment and machinery featured on the show significantly shifted all of the surrounding land and rivers. However, according to former "Gold Rush" cast member Fred Hurt, environmentalists would have likely given his mining practices a thumbs-up.

Fred Hurt said his crews practiced land reclamation

During an interview with Discovery Nederland, Fred Hurt expressed his belief that environmentalists would approve of his mining practices, which include restoring the land after digging. "I think environmentalists would be rather happy with the way we operate out there," Hurt said in the interview. "There's wrong ways to mine. There's right ways to mine. We mine the right way. We do reclamation." Hurt then further added in the interview that any land dug up by his crew would go back to looking nearly untouched when the crew was done, just missing that valuable gold, of course.

In addition, Hurt isn't the only one from "Gold Rush" who has claimed to perform land reclamation after a digging job. In another show clip, both "Gold Rush" regulars, Parker Schnabel and Tony Beets, also discussed their efforts to restore the land after digging. Beets even went so far as to say that, in some ways, his team's effort in restorations winds up even improving the environment. Without any current scientific research to back it up, it's debatable whether the latter claim from Beets is true. Still, his words, along with Hurt and Schnabel, suggest that "Gold Rush" wants to quell any environmental concerns. And that's necessary, seeing as gold mining can cause irreparable damage to habitats, and as a result, governments are always on the watch. 

For instance, earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency blocked a proposed Alaskan gold mine project due to the potential damage it could have caused for local salmon fisheries. Maybe "Gold Rush" should dedicate more detailed episodes to showing off their reclamation efforts.