Over the years there has been surprisingly little consideration of how the Alaskan and Canadian locals feel about the miners of “Gold Rush” moving in and using their homes to enrich themselves and become celebrities in the process. The Schnabels famously used the inexperienced Hoffman crew to their advantage in Season 1, but they are the local exception that proves the rule.
That all changed with the infamous Season 8 incident, where an altercation between some members of the Hoffman crew led to a local man opening fire on their truck. As the truck returns to camp to report what happens, Todd Hoffman flies into a panic and shuts down operations, fearing (perhaps too grandiosely) a coordinated attack.
The truth was more prosaic, but also more telling; the shooter was simply one man who was upset with the impact the show was having on his home. With its focus on the captains of each mining claim and their narrow paths to success each season, there is very little room on “Gold Rush” for even their non-mining family members, much less the people who live and work near these claims. The rest of the season mostly follows business as usual, with Tony Beets fighting yet another dredge plant and Parker once again beating his last season’s gold yield, but the specter of that attack hangs over everything that follows.