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old gold miner

SB 670 Ca dredge ban

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The national forests are to be open for entry "for all proper and lawful purposes, including that of prospecting, locating, and developing the mineral resources thereof." 16 U.S.C. § 478

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1980).

“***prospecting, locating and developing of mineral resources in the national forests may not be prohibited nor so unreasonably circumscribed as to amount to a prohibition ***”

Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299

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The national forests are to be open for entry "for all proper and lawful purposes, including that of prospecting, locating, and developing the mineral resources thereof." 16 U.S.C. § 478

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1980).

“***prospecting, locating and developing of mineral resources in the national forests may not be prohibited nor so unreasonably circumscribed as to amount to a prohibition ***”

Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299

OGM,

Considering the above….. I have a question relative to the authority of the BLM and FS to permit ones mining activity using POOs and NOIs. Has there ever been a challenge to this authority?

Gary

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OGM,

Considering the above….. I have a question relative to the authority of the BLM and FS to permit ones mining activity using POOs and NOIs. Has there ever been a challenge to this authority?

Gary

USFS & BLM have the right to regulate lands they administer.

Any challenge of that aspect would fail.

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Interview With A Coho Salmon

by Scott Harn

We’ve obtained the rights to publish this exclusive interview conducted on the Klamath River between David, an environmental activist, and a Coho salmon.

David: “What do you think about these suction gold dredgers?”

Coho: “Suction gold dredgers?”

David: “They’re the miners who run those noisy machines, vacuuming the river bottoms in search of gold while destroying the rivers.”

Coho: “They make noise? Hmm, I hadn’t noticed. They’re never running when I come through. Does it bother you? It seems like you’re bothered by it. Have you tried going to a different area so you aren’t annoyed by the noise? Do you have a problem with sharing the river? Is that the issue? You know, I hear there’s counseling available for those humans who have problems with sharing.”

David: “I’m asking the questions here.”

Coho: “Sorry. I spend much of my life out in the ocean. I’m not really around when the dredges are operating, so the noise doesn’t bother me.”

David: “Don’t you swim up the rivers during spawning season and lay your eggs?”

Coho: “Yeah, but I’ve heard there are some rules or something the dredgers follow so they aren’t in the water during that time.”

David: “Well, what about these holes they make when they move the gravel and boulders? That must make you pretty angry!”

Coho: “Suction dredgers create the holes? I thought you guys did that, because those are a huge help. Some of the water is too warm for us. The deeper water in the hole is cooler, and it’s a great place to get out of the faster currents and rest. Holes are awesome.”

David: “Never mind. What about those gravel areas, where the compacted gravels are broken up and redistributed?”

Coho: “I’ve been meaning to thank you for that. We lose a few of our offspring if high water comes, but we still prefer those areas for spawning.”

David: “Ummm, let’s move on. Let’s talk about mercury. Mercury is in the gravels and these dredgers are stirring it up. Doesn’t that bother you?”

Coho: “Yeah that shiny, liquid metal is nasty stuff. It messes with my nervous system.”

David: “Now we’re making progress. So tell me how the dredgers are causing you severe harm by stirring up the mercury?”

Coho: “Yeah, I think you’re confused. I’m pretty sure when they vacuum the river bottom to get the gold they also capture almost all of the mercury. The tiny amount they don’t get ends up making its way back through the gravels and settles in the cracks of the bedrock. I heard that mercury is bad for humans, too! I’m sure you guys know this. Haven’t you read the studies?”

David: “No. I mean, yes. Well, we’ve produced our own studies.”

Coho: “Are these studies biased? Are the results predetermined?”

David: “Let’s get back to the questions. How about all that sediment they stir up? That must be a pain.”

Coho: “Have you ever been to a river during the winter run off? That’s some serious cloudy water, like thousands of times worse than what comes off a dredge. The dredge plumes are a joke in comparison. Next question.”

David: “Okay. Let’s talk about trash. You know, garbage. Doesn’t that stuff mess up your habitat?”

Coho: “Sure does. Those dredgers leave tons of lead with these stringy things attached.”

David: “Ummm, the lead is actually left by fishermen.”

Coho: “Oh. So, what is it you guys actually do to help us?”

David: “Well, we collect money, which we use to conduct studies, educate the public, and provide legislators with funds for their elections so they will support our position. We also file lawsuits against the state to stop any activity that might damage your environment.”

Coho: “That’s cool. So you constantly harass the fishermen while supporting the dredgers? And the Indians too, of course—they use gill nets.”

David: “Ummm, no. We team up with fishermen and Indians and sue the dredgers.”

Coho: “I am soooo confused.”

David: “The fishermen, the Indian tribes, and other groups who want exclusive use of the rivers are the ones who give us money, so we’re all on the same team.”

Coho: “So, you team up with those who kill us to stop those who help us?? Even a fish can recognize a problem with your logic!”

David: “What would you recommend?”

Coho: “Why don’t you guys start suction dredging? That would be a huge help to us. You could totally clean up our habitat, get rid of that nasty mercury and those lead things, make some nice spawning beds and some of those awesome holes. You’d get some gold to help your family and the economy. I hear the economy is pretty messed up right now.”

David: “You want us to start dredging?”

Coho: “It would create a win-win situation for fish and humans! Oh, I forgot—the noise bothers you and you don’t like to share. I guess it’s much easier to mine the humans for contributions than it is to mine for gold. And it seems to me you should be suing the fishermen instead of the dredgers.”

David: “Just between you and me, the fishermen are the next target on our list, but we’re not done using them yet.”

http://www.icmj.com/article.php?id=475&amp...h_A_Coho_Salmon

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USFS & BLM have the right to regulate lands they administer.

Any challenge of that aspect would fail.

I would agree to a point with....."USFS & BLM have the right to regulate lands they administer", but what I'm asking is how does it apply to this, as quoted here.....

“***prospecting, locating and developing of mineral resources in the national forests may not be prohibited nor so unreasonably circumscribed as to amount to a prohibition ***”, Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299

I do have an opinion on these words, I guess I'd like to see if it falls into the same court yard! Not trying to argue, just learn more. And why would a challenge to POOs and NOIs fail?

IMHO, there is a vast difference between Administrative law, as in Managing a system, and Granted mining rights i.e. 1866 and 1872. The Congress has defered a ton of oversight Legislation with wording such as this....."The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate Legislation".....but, in the case of the Mining Laws this is Not an "article" that can be further morphed or enforced into subscription beyond what it is and initially allows for as written!

To All, I'm only "Asking" and nothing more. Keep a grip on the keyboard! :laught16:

Gary

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I would agree to a point with....."USFS & BLM have the right to regulate lands they administer", but what I'm asking is how does it apply to this, as quoted here.....

“***prospecting, locating and developing of mineral resources in the national forests may not be prohibited nor so unreasonably circumscribed as to amount to a prohibition ***”, Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299

I do have an opinion on these words, I guess I'd like to see if it falls into the same court yard! Not trying to argue, just learn more. And why would a challenge to POOs and NOIs fail?

IMHO, there is a vast difference between Administrative law, as in Managing a system, and Granted mining rights i.e. 1866 and 1872. The Congress has defered a ton of oversight Legislation with wording such as this....."The Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate Legislation".....but, in the case of the Mining Laws this is Not an "article" that can be further morphed or enforced into subscription beyond what it is and initially allows for as written!

To All, I'm only "Asking" and nothing more. Keep a grip on the keyboard! :laught16:

Gary

It means, USFS / BLM have the right to regulate, but such regulation cannot be arbitrary, capricious, or so crazy that it effects an unjustifiable prohibition on mining.

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SB 670

FISCAL EFFECT: According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

I beg to differ.

Apparently, all committees involved failed to have SB 670 analyzed for fatal federal preemption law flaws, or significant “takings” liabilities it causes. Which, in my opinion will eventually lead to state coffers being held liable for damages to existing permit holders, those denied permits, and all unpatented placer mining claim owners in California for between $20,000,000 & 30,000,000 million dollars annually.

Nor, did any committee involved analyze the devastating effect SB 670 would have on California based suction dredge manufactures (Keene Engineering, Proline), 400 other small local business that sell prospecting & mining related supplies, 700 other small business’s that rely on sales of food, supplies, fuel, etc to California mining claim owners, miners & prospectors state wide. Those damages near $60,000,000 annualy.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

#SB 670

Page 1

#Date of Hearing: June 16, 2009

ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON WATER, PARKS AND WILDLIFE

Jared William Huffman, Chair

SBPCA Bill Id: SB 670 (Author:Wiggins) – As Amended: Ver: May 19, 2009

SENATE VOTE: 31-8

SUBJECT: Vacuum or Suction Dredging

SUMMARY: Places a statewide temporary moratorium on the use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment in any river, stream or lake until the director of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) completes a court ordered environmental review of its existing suction dredge regulations and updates the regulations. Specifically, this bill:

1) Prohibits the use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment in any river, stream or lake of this state until the director of DFG certifies to the Secretary of State that all of the following have occurred:

a) DFG has completed the environmental review of its existing suction dredge mining regulations as ordered by the court in the case of Karuk Tribe of California v. DFG.

b) DFG has transmitted for filing to the Secretary of State new regulations, as necessary, pursuant to the Administrative Procedures Act.

c) The new regulations are operative.

2) Declares that the issuance of permits to operate vacuum or suction dredge equipment is a project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), and permits may be issued and vacuum or suction dredge mining may only occur as authorized by any existing permit if DFG has caused to be prepared and certified completion of an EIR for the project as ordered by the court.

3) Includes an urgency clause stating that it is necessary for this bill to take immediate effect for the reason that suction or vacuum dredge mining results in adverse environmental impacts to protected fish species, the water quality of the state, and the health of the people of the state.

EXISTING LAW:

1) Prohibits the use of vacuum or suction dredges in any river, stream or lake except as authorized under a permit issued to that person by DFG in compliance with regulations adopted by DFG.

2) Requires DFG to adopt regulations governing use of vacuum and suction dredge equipment, including the maximum size of dredges and time of year when dredges may be used. Authorizes DFG to close streams otherwise open to dredging if there is an unanticipated water level change and DFG determines that closure is necessary to protect fish and wildlife.

3) Requires DFG to issue a suction dredge permit to an applicant if DFG determines, pursuant to the regulations, that the operation will not be deleterious to fish. Operation of a suction

dredge without a permit, or in any waters or at any times not authorized by the permit, is a misdemeanor.

FISCAL EFFECT: According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8, negligible state costs.

COMMENTS:

Background: Vacuum and suction gold dredging is a process by which power equipment is used to vacuum up sediment from the streambeds of rivers, creeks or other water bodies to search for gold. DFG issues permits for use of motorized vacuum or suction dredge equipment for recreational gold mining in California rivers and streams. The base fee for a permit is $25, unless a site inspection is necessary in which case the fee is $130. DFG issues approximately 3,000 suction dredge permits per year. DFG's existing regulations governing use of suction dredge equipment for instream gold mining were last updated in 1994. In 2005 the Karuk Indian Tribe sued DFG over the adequacy of the regulations in protecting instream fish and wildlife resources. DFG filed declarations with the court stating that in the opinion of DFG and other fish biology experts, suction dredge mining is resulting in deleterious effects on Coho salmon, a species listed under the Endangered Species Act. The case was subsequently settled and a court order entered in December 2006 ordered DFG to complete an environmental review of its existing permitting program and to promulgate new regulations, as necessary, to protect Coho salmon and other species listed as threatened or endangered, or as special status species. The court order stated that new information regarding the effects of suction dredge mining provides evidence that the issuance of suction dredge mining permits under the current regulations could result in environmental effects different and more severe than considered when the regulations were adopted in 1994, on Coho salmon and other species listed as threatened or endangered since that time. The court required DFG to complete the new environmental review and regulatory update by July of 2008. DFG has yet to comply with the order, citing a lack of funding, which was not provided until this year. DFG has now selected a consultant and indicates it will take until the end of 2010 for the environmental review to be completed.

The delay in conducting the environmental review prompted the Karuk Tribe, Caltrout, Friends of the North Fork, and the Sierra Fund in January of this year to petition the DFG to adopt emergency regulations to limit dredging in certain key salmon spawning streams while the new EIR is being developed. However, DFG denied the petition, indicating that while they agreed that deleterious harm was occurring to listed species, they do not believe they have authority to stop issuing the permits, which they interpret as a ministerial act, much like issuing fishing licenses. The petitioners, on the other hand, believe that issuance of the permits is a discretionary act, and development of the regulations a project under CEQA, and that therefore no permits should be issued until the new regulations are in place. On this point, it should be noted that the existing statute provides that DFG is required to issue the permits only if DFG determines, pursuant to the regulations, that the operation will not be deleterious to fish.

Author's Statement: The author has introduced this bill to prohibit suction dredge mining in rivers and streams that provide critical habitat to spawning salmon until DFG completes its court-ordered overhaul of regulations governing this recreational activity, which according to the author disturbs streambeds, kills fish eggs and immature eels, and churns up mercury left over from the gold mining era. The author notes that our salmon fisheries in particular are in crisis, with salmon fishing banned along the California coast for the second year in a row, affecting the livelihoods of thousands of commercial fishermen and others, while allowing status quo for recreational gold mining. The author asserts these conditions warrant use of the precautionary principle to protect endangered fish.

Fishery Concerns: Studies conducted by DFG, the U.S. Forest Service and others indicate that suction dredging can degrade fish habitat and water quality, and have a deleterious impact on native aquatic species. For example, two studies conducted by the U.S. Forest Service found that dredging may affect the reproductive success of fall-spawning fish such as Chinook salmon, and a study conducted by DFG found that suction dredging may adversely affect yellow-legged frogs and native trout. Declarations filed by DFG's chief fisheries biologist and Dr. Peter Moyle of the University of California at Davis in the 2005 Karuk lawsuit cite to numerous other scientific peer-reviewed studies on the effects of suction dredging issued since the DFG regulations were last amended in 1994. The declaration of DFG's chief fisheries biologist acknowledged that DFG's existing regulations are inadequate and that harm is occurring to listed species including Coho salmon. Dr. Moyle in his declaration also explains that "suction dredging represents a chronic disturbance of natural habitats that are already likely to be stressed by other factors and can therefore have a negative impact on fish…suction dredging through a combination of disturbance of resident fishes, alteration of substrates, and indirect effects of heavy human use of small areas, especially thermal refugia, will further contribute to the decline of the fishes."

Water Quality Concerns: According to a report by the Division of Mines and Geology, during the California gold rush gold miners used about 6.6 thousand tons of mercury to extract over 3.6 thousand tons of gold. About half of the mercury was lost to the environment in the Sierras, where much of it still remains, and mercury runoff from these watersheds has also been a source of mercury contamination in the Delta. Some proponents of suction dredging have asserted that suction dredgers help recover mercury from hot spots. A 2003 pilot study conducted by the State Water Resources Control Board found that motorized suction dredging exacerbates rather than alleviates mercury contamination of rivers and streams. The study found that instream suction dredge mining is an unacceptable means of recovering mercury lost to the environment from gold mining because the dredges release too much mercury back into the environment. Mercury concentrations in the sediment released by the dredges were more than ten times higher than that needed to classify it as a hazardous waste. By "flouring" the mercury and releasing it back into the stream, dredging may also distribute the mercury more broadly and contribute to methylation of mercury and bioaccumulation in fish making it toxic for human consumption.

Arguments in Support: Fishery groups such as Caltrout, California Sportfishing Protection Alliance, and the Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations note the affect the closure of the salmon fishery is having on thousands of commercial, recreational and tribal fishermen and other businesses, and the further risk these fish face from the effects of suction dredging. Caltrout and others also point to the fact that DFG has acknowledged in sworn statements that suction dredge mining is harming fish, including Coho salmon which is on the brink of extinction. Friends of the River notes that many other endangered fish and amphibian species are also in decline, and urges that until DFG adopts new regulations it is critical that a moratorium be implemented. The California Tribal Business Alliance, the California Association of Tribal Governments, the Karuk Tribe, and several other tribal organizations point to the tribal cultural and traditional religious practices that revolve around the annual returns of salmon, steelhead and other species. They also note that many tribal members rely on subsistence fishing to provide food for their families, and emphasize this bill will protect habitat, water quality, and tribal cultural, religious and subsistence practices. Other supporters also emphasize concerns over water quality impacts, particularly mercury.

Arguments in Opposition: Opponents reject claims that suction dredging is harmful to fish or has contributed to the decline of salmon fisheries. The New 49'ers also note the prior EIR found that suction dredging had positive impacts, creating additional salmon spawning habitat by loosening concretized river gravels, and that further restrictions on suction dredge mining will violate property rights of those with mining claims. Siskiyou County and the Regional Council of Rural Counties also cite concerns regarding the economic impact of the proposed restrictions on local communities, assert that the existing regulatory permitting process is adequate, and argue that this bill would circumvent the CEQA process.

Prior Related Legislation: AB 1032 (Wolk) of 2007, which was vetoed by the Governor, would have imposed seasonal limits on suction dredging in streams in Northern California and the Sierra that have been identified as habitat for salmon, steelhead and wild trout, pending completion of the EIR, and also increased the fees for suction dredge permits.

REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

Support

California Assoc. of Tribal Governments

California Coastkeeper Alliance

California Sportfishing Protection Alliance

California Tribal Business Alliance

California Trout

Clean Water Action

Defenders of Wildlife

Environmental Justice Coalition for Water

Friends of the North Fork

Friends of the River

Karuk Tribe

Klamath Riverkeeper

Pacific Coast Fed. of Fishermen's Assoc.

Planning and Conservation League

Ramona Band of Cahuilla Indians

Resighini Rancheria

Rogue Riverkeeper

San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

Sierra Club California

Sierra Nevada Alliance

Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation

The Sierra Fund

Over two hundred individuals

Opposition

County of Siskiyou

Karuk Tribe Members for Reform

New 49'ers

Regional Council of Rural Counties

Several hundred individuals from various states

Analysis Prepared by: Diane Colborn / W., P. & W. / (916) 319-2096

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OGM,

Scott Harn of ICMJ magazine was tasked to provide a backround of damages / lost revenue created by this bill SB670 should it pass by aides of Arnold.....Scott is a very smart individual and I'm very sure that he asked others in the mining and prospecting community how this legislation would affect them.

He did so for Arnold and crew and provided documentation which he can prove in an amount / neighborhood of 60M +/- dollars in lost State revenue.

And now the State of CA is going to pick-up the additional "tab" for lawsuits to defend this un-constitutional legislation.....what is wrong with this picture!??

BTW, I have much more.....its just a matter of finding it all over again after the years I've been watching and commenting about this "stuff"!

Gary

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For those who have never seen the CA DF&G suction dredge permit regulations.

You can veiw them at the link below:

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/pdffiles/s...geninforegs.pdf

A short while back DF&G took their link down. Why, I cannot explain?

This is just to give the public a general idea how strict the existing Reg's were, showing the area's closed state wide, shows the area's open & when.

Plus, what dredgers can & cannot do.

These Reg's protect all salmon/trout spawning grounds perfectly well.

Since, no dredging is allowed during spawning seasons everywhere state wide.

Nor, during times when fish eggs are in gravel, or hatching out.

Frankly, how can harm be done, as alledged by the CA ANTI-GOLD-DREDGING LOBBY, if no gold dredging is allowed state wide when or where any harm might even be possible?

I would also be VERY leary of any EIR being performed by anyone who is not an experianced dredger.

I wonder who, how, where & what type dredging will be done by those compiling the new EIR.

Who's watching them, to insure the new EIR is not biased.

You never know, DF&G might have hired Karuk tribe, or Seirra club members to do the new EIR. :confused0013:

WHAT FIRM WAS HIRED TO DO THE NEW EIR?

WHAT ARE THEIR QUALIFICATIONS?

WHAT TYPE EQT WILL THEY USE?

WHERE/WHEN WILL THEY DO DREDGING? (I would like to watch)

IS THE HIRING CONTACT WRITTEN TO INSURE THE EIR MUST BE PERFORMED IN A NON-BIASED & FAIR MANNER?

WILL THERE BE A PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD?

TAX PAYERS ARE PAYING FOR THIS EIR, WE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW.

California Public Records Act

GOVT. CODE §§ 6250 - 6276.48

http://www.thefirstamendment.org/publicrecordsact.pdf

If push comes to shove, we can always use the link above, to find out.

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The public dog and pony show starts in November with 3 public meeting in kalif. CDFG website has the dates/locations. Farce from the getgo with leader being the Cantara Spill liar with 18+ years experience of dredge killing and failed attempt to kill the 1994 EIR almost immediately after passage. Nothing but a study on the studies of the studies and extrapulation of preconceived results to kill dredging forever. Really doesn't matter though as the massive coalitions of environutz and injuns will just fill another suit anyhow. For dredging it does NOT get any worse. AND AS KALIF GOES--SO DOES THE NATION with a very nice precedent to hang their ban dredging hats on--no thank you --- John :Huh_anim]:

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GG

I would venture a WAG here....... If SB670 was proven to cause a $60M loss to the state, I'll bet the Indians have a back door method of guaranteeing that income back to the state via their casino revenue! That may be why Arnold switched his opinion 180 degrees from AB1032.

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http://www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/specialper...permitfaqs.html

Frequently Asked Questions - Existing Suction Dredge Permits(Updated August 11, 2009)

Q: Why is suction dredging now illegal in California?

A: SB 670 (Wiggins) was enacted on August 6, placing a prohibition on the use of vacuum or suction dredge equipment in any California river, stream or lake, regardless of whether the operator has an existing permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The moratorium does not apply to suction dredging operations performed for the regular maintenance of energy or water supply management infrastructure, flood control, or navigational purposes.

Q: When does the moratorium go into effect?

A: The moratorium went into effect on August 6. SB 670 contained an urgency clause, putting it into effect immediately upon enactment.

Q: Who is affected by the moratorium?

A: The moratorium affects both individuals and companies that use vacuums or other suction dredging equipment for instream mining in any California river, stream or lake. The ban does not affect suction dredging operations performed for the regular maintenance of energy or water supply management infrastructure, flood control, or navigational purposes are not included in the ban.

Q: What if I already have a suction dredge permit issued by DFG?

A: SB 670 prohibits all instream suction dredging mining, even if the operator has a permit previously issued by DFG.

Q: Can I get a refund of fees paid for my suction dredge permit?

A: DFG can only issue refunds if authorized to do so by law. SB 670 does not provide this authority, nor does any other provision of law. DFG is therefore prohibited from providing refunds for 2009 suction dredge permit fees.

Q: When will the ban be lifted?

A: The ban will remain in effect under SB670 until three things occur:

1.DFG completes a court-ordered environmental review of its permitting program;

2.DFG updates the existing regulations governing the program as necessary; and

3.the updated regulations take effect.

The court-ordered environmental review required by the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) is currently underway and DFG expects to complete the effort, including any updates to the existing regulations, by late summer 2011.

Q: When will the EIR be completed?

A: DFG is preparing a Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to conduct the court-ordered review. DFG estimates at this point that it will complete and certify the Subsequent EIR (and updates to the existing regulations, if necessary) after a series of public meetings and other opportunities for public comment and review by late summer 2011. The environmental review and regulation processes are governed by the California Environmental Quality Act and the Administrative Procedures Act, respectively. The time line is driven by the requirements of these laws.

Q: Why is this process going to take so long?

A: DFG has already begun the environmental review necessary to analyze the current regulations; this was last done in 1994. The review process will be complex and lengthy given the statewide scope of the analysis and the time that has passed since the last review. In addition to the detailed written analysis prepared by DFG in coordination with the State Water Board, the review process will also include several opportunities for public involvement, both via public meetings and through solicitation of written comments and suggestions. Initial public meetings to discuss the scope of the environmental analysis are currently being planned for November 2009 in Fresno, Sacramento and Redding. Additional details, including time and place of the meetings, will be posted on the DFG Web site, www.dfg.ca.gov, as they become available.

Q: What is DFG doing to notify suction dredge permit holders about the ban?

A: DFG staff is notifying current permit holders by mail and will contact suction dredge operators in the field as opportunities arise. Information about the moratorium is available at DFG license counters and at the DFG Web site, www.dfg.ca.gov. DFG has also issued a press release and is working with the media to make information about the new law widely available.

Q: Is there a “grace period”?

A: The urgency clause in the bill put the moratorium into effect immediately. DFG wardens are authorized to issue citations to anyone found violating the law.

Q: What are the legal consequences of suction dredging now that the moratorium is in effect?

A: A violation of the law is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and/or six months in jail.

Q: Why has DFG stopped selling suction dredge permits?

A: Consistent with the moratorium DFG has ceased issuing suction dredge permits. DFG is also currently subject to a court order prohibiting the issuance of suction dredge permits. (Leeon Hillman et al. v. California Dept. of Fish and Game et al., Super. Ct. Alameda County, 2009, Case No. RG09-434444.) The court order prohibits DFG from spending any money from the California State General Fund to issue suction dredge permits.

Q: Will permits be sold again in the future?

A: Permits may be sold again in the future if:

1.the prohibition on suction dredging is lifted; and

2.the Hillman lawsuit is no longer pending or until a further order is issued by the court.

Q: If I already have a permit, is it still valid?

A: SB 670 prohibits all instream suction dredging mining, even if the operator has a permit previously issued by DFG.

Q: Can I legally use suction dredge equipment on private property?

A: SB 670 (Wiggins) as signed into law by the Governor prohibits instream suction dredge mining in any river, stream, or lake within California. The prohibition applies regardless of whether the river, stream, or lake is on private property.

Q: Can I leave my equipment in the water, as long as I'm not using it?

A: No. Vacuum or suction dredge equipment must be removed from the water pursuant to Fish and Game Code section 5653, subdivision (d). This provision of the Fish and Game Code makes it illegal to possess a vacuum or suction dredge in areas, or in or within 100 yards of waters that are closed to the use of vacuum or suction dredges. Because SB 670 prohibits instream suction dredge mining in any river, stream, or lake in California, suction dredge equipment must be removed from the water even if the equipment is not in use.

Q: How soon do I need to get my equipment out of the water?

A: SB 670 (Wiggins) took effect on August 6, 2009, and the related legal obligation to remove vacuum or suction dredge equipment from the water took effect the same day. It is currently unlawful under the Fish and Game Code to possess any vacuum or suction dredge equipment in or within 100 yards of any river, stream, or lake in California. Any person in possession of such equipment in or within 100 yards of any river, stream, or lake must remove that equipment from the water immediately.

Q: What can I do if I see prohibited instream suction dredge mining?

A: Call Cal-Tip at 1-888-334-2258. :innocent0009: :innocent0002:

Q: Where can I find more information about this in the future?

A: Additional information can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov.

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http://www.earthjustice.org/library/maps/CA_Chinook-Map.jpg

http://www.earthjustice.org/library/maps/CA_Coho_Map.jpg

http://www.earthjustice.org/library/maps/c...eelhead-map.jpg

ABOVE ARE MAPS OF CALIFORNIA WHERE ENDANGERED OR THREATENED SALMON HABITAT IS:

Which leads one to wonder WHY the dredge ban is STATEWIDE.

REALITY CHECK: no Salmon habitat, why study it, or close the areas to dredging: :confused0013:

INFO FROM LAST YEAR ON ONGOING SALMON STUDY BELOW

http://www.epa.gov/fedrgstr/EPA-SPECIES/20...Day-16/e688.htm

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07/22/2009

Economic Impact of Suction Gold Dredging in California is Over $52 Million Per Year

by Scott Harn

Editor/Publisher

ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal

The Surveys

An Environmental Impact Report on suction gold dredging was completed by the State of California in 1994. As part of this process, the State sent out two survey questionnaires. The first questionnaire was sent to over 4,000 individuals. Nearly 2,000 were returned completed. The surveys covered dredge locations, annual spending activity, amount invested in dredging equipment, nozzle size and related questions. The second survey was sent to county Boards of Supervisors, Chambers of Commerce and mining businesses to determine the importance of suction gold dredging on local economies. A sample of 1,257 of the individual surveys was used by the State to complete a statistical analysis.

The Results

“Suction dredging is an activity that requires a substantial investment.” It was determined that each suction dredger spent approximately $9,250 per year on expenses related to suction dredging in 1994. This included motels, camp fees, food, gas, oil, equipment maintenance and repairs related to suction dredging. Suction gold dredgers are currently spending approximately $13,249 each per year when adjusted for inflation.

The expenditures cited above did not include the cost of the suction dredge and related equipment, which the survey found was approximately $6,000 in 1994, or $8,594 adjusted for inflation.

In 2008, 3,523 suction gold dredging permits were issued in California. Adjusted for inflation, the economic impact of suction gold dredging in 2008 was $46.68 million. If only one-fifth of permitted suction gold dredgers purchased a dredge during the year, another $6.06 million would have to be added to the above figures, making the total economic impact $52.74 million per year.

Conclusion

Suction dredge miners contribute substantially to the economy of California.

(Note: This estimate does not reflect the value of the recovered gold nor the expenditures of those who may be assisting or accompanying the miner, which could substantially increase the economic impact of suction dredge mining in the State.)

Sources

•California Department of Fish and Game. 1994. Final Environmental Impact Report, Adoption of Regulations for Suction Dredge Mining. April, 1994.

•United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics. Consumer Price Index.

•California Department of Fish and Game, 2009. Licensing statistics, Special Permits. www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/pdffiles/sp_items_10yr.pdf

Copyright ICMJ & CMJ, Inc. 2009. (Permission granted to link to this document by copying the web address above.)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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http://www.goldgold.com/legal/GreeneDeclar...5B1%5D.prn2.pdf

Good read from an expert on the subject matter of suction dredging effects :whoopie:

304744171_o.jpg

Maybe I should load my old "casting rod" on a lowboy & go fishing with it.

Since, I still have a fishing license to do that, until CA DF&G revokes that to.

LOL, officer....... I'm fishing for those GOLD trout........:innocent0009:

You know..........

The kind that hide under the gravel, on or near bedrock.

Hell, they are so rare, the market value is over $1000 per ounce today.

It's simple, ya make a cast, drag bottom & pull it in.

Then, dump the gravel in a sluice box, to see if you caught any.

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I'll volunteer to be the Master Baiter on that fishing trip!

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California taxes every unpatented mining claim in the state.

If we did not OWN them, as "real & private property" no such right to "tax" our property would exist.

The taxability of unpatented mining claims was established more than a century ago by the California Supreme Court, in the case of the State of California v. Moore 12 Cal. 56 (1859), which stated in part: "The interest of the occupant of a mining claim is property, and, under the Constitution, it is in the power of the Legislature to tax such property."

Section 104(b) of the California Revenue and Taxation Code defines real property in part as"All mines, minerals, and quarries in the land, and all rights and privileges appertaining thereto." The term “land” is defined in Property Tax Rule 121 in relevant part as “the possession of, claim to, ownership of, or right to possession of land; mines, quarries, and unextracted mineral products. All real property not exempt or immune from taxation is subject to property tax.

The terms "mineral rights" and "mining rights" as described in Section 607.5 include the right to enter in or upon the land for the exploration, development, and production of minerals including oil, gas, and other hydrocarbons.

Conversely,

For federal income tax purposes, Indian tribes are governmental entities and, as such, are not required to pay taxes on the income generated by the Indian tribes, including income generated by commercial activities. Local property taxes are not paid on reservation or trust land because these lands are held in trust by the federal government, much like national forest land. :hmmmmmm:

"State and local regulations which render a mine commercially impracticable cannot be enforced".

California Coastal Commission et al., v. Granite Rock Co., 480 U.S. 572, 592, 107 S.Ct.1419, 1425 (1987).

The SB 670 suction dredge ban renders about 90% of all placer claims in California "commercialy impracticable".

(1) preemption claim was ripe, and (2) Federal Mining Act preempted ordinance. Affirmed;

South Dakota Mining Association Inc v. Lawrence County, 155 F.3d 1005

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

“***prospecting, locating and developing of mineral resources in the national forests may not be prohibited nor so unreasonably circumscribed as to amount to a prohibition ***”

Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299 (1980)

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Maybe Dave Mack & the New49ers group should be a little bit more discrete. :coffeetime:

Nothing like throwing fuel on the fire, to make the environmental zealots hotter. :tisc-tisc:

Suction Dredge Miners Zeroing in on So. Oregon Rivers- Please send a Quick Auto Letter to DEQ

A mining group called the “New 49ers,” based on the Klamath River, has made it clear that they are moving operations to southwest Oregon now that California has banned suction dredge mining. We are very concerned about the impacts of suction dredge mining on water quality and native fish in the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois River watersheds.

KS Wild is asking folks to click here to send the letter below to the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) asking them to monitor and enforce environmental protections along SW Oregon's precious free flowing rivers as the pressure from recreational suction dredge miners increases following the banning of the practice across the border in California.

Dear Ms. Mitchell,

In August, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger took long-overdue action to protect the state’s endangered Coho salmon when he signed a bill that placed a temporary moratorium on suction dredge mining. Under this practice, miners use giant motorized pumps to vacuum streambeds and suck up gravel and river rock in search of gold. In that process, fish eggs can be sucked into pumps and spawning grounds can be damaged or destroyed.

The California moratorium will remain in place until the state Department of Fish and Game completes a study on the effects of motorized dredge mining on fish habitat and issues new regulations to protect salmon and other fish.

A mining group called the “New 49ers,” based on the Klamath River, has made it clear that they are moving operations to southwest Oregon now that California has banned suction dredge mining.

We are very concerned about the impacts of suction dredge mining on water quality and native fish in the Rogue, Applegate and Illinois River watersheds. We are worried about the lack of oversight and enforcement in southwest Oregon for these activities. We ask that DEQ inform the public and policy makers of what measures DEQ is currently taking to protect water quality and fisheries from dredging activities and how DEQ intends to respond to the foreseeable increase in this activity.

Thank you,

http://www.kswild.org/take-action/suction-...o-letter-to-deq

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The Mining Act of 1872, 30 U.S.C. §§ 22-54

1/6/2009

Equal Access to Justice, Inc.

The Mining Law has Been Amended

Since the Clinton Administration, both political parties have proposed major revisions to the Mining Law of 1872, as Amended. We say “as Amended” because that is how the Mining Law is usually referenced and because it has, in fact, been amended since 1872.

We surmise that some say that, “the Mining Law has not been amended since 1872”, to support their view that their proposed major revision is in order. These same proponents also imply that the Mining Law does not afford any protection, what to speak of sufficient protection, of the environment. Neither representation is true by any stretch of the imagination. One should be very wary of anyone who finds it so necessary to blatantly misrepresent the truth to gain support for their view.

Congress did not micro manage mining. Instead of constantly revising the Mining Law, they bestowed their power to manage mining unto the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior. For the National Forests, effectively, the Mining Law of 1872 was first amended in 1897. (16 U.S.C. §§ 478 and 551.) Then, Congress delegated to the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to regulate mining in the National Forests.

“The Mining Act of 1872, 30 U.S.C. §§ 22-54, is still the basic law governing mining activities today. That Act consolidated existing laws, and promoted prospecting on public lands. About 25 years later, Congress made it clear that mining was allowed in the National Forests, and delegated to the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to prescribe ‘rules and regulations’ that would govern mining activity. 16 U.S.C. § 478.” (Baker v. USDA (Dist. Idaho, 1996) 928 F. Supp. 1513, 1519.)

Under that authority, the Secretary of Agriculture has regulated and continues to regulate mining to protect the environment.

“Since then, the Department of Agriculture's Forest Service has promulgated regulations governing mining activity. Specifically, the Forest Service has promulgated regulations requiring the mining in National Forests ‘be conducted so as to minimize adverse environmental impacts on National Forest System surface resources.’ 36 C.F.R. § 228.1 (1993).” (Baker, 928 F. Supp. at 1519.)

For all Federal lands, the Mining Law of 1872 was, actually, amended in 1970 by adding Section 21a. (30 U.S.C. § 21a.) Congress declared its policy concerning mining and made the Secretary of the Interior responsible for carrying out that policy. The Secretary has construed this Amendment to require mining regulations that ensure protection of the environment.

“While the original Mining Act of 1872 contained no environmental protections, Congress later revised the Act to declare that it was the ‘policy of the Federal Government ... to promote the wise ... use of our natural ... mineral resources ... and to lessen any adverse impact of mineral extraction and processing upon the physical environment....’ 30 U.S.C. § 21a.” (Baker, 928 F. Supp. at 1519.)

For all Federal lands, the Mining Law of 1872 was supplemented in 1976. (43 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1784.)

“On October 21, 1976, Congress passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) §§ 101-707, as codified at 43 U.S.C. §§ 1701-1784. This legislation supplemented the earlier mining laws popularly known as the ‘General Mining Act of 1872,’ established further policies and guidelines for managing public lands, and, relevant to this case, policy and guidelines for the management of potential wilderness areas located on the public lands.” (In re Reeves (2002) 54 Fed. Cl. 652, 653.)

There is no doubt that mining is regulated and, regulated to protect the environment.

“While mining ‘has been accorded a special place in our laws relating to public lands,’ Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299, there is no doubt that mining activities are subject to regulation to protect the environment. California Coastal Comm'n v. Granite Rock, 480 U.S. 572, 94 L. Ed. 2d 577, 107 S. Ct. 1419 (1987). There is no inherent conflict between mining and environmental interests indeed, they ‘were intended to and can coexist.’ Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299.” (Baker, 928 F. Supp. at 1519.)

Without exception, the courts, including the Supreme Court, have concluded that mining is over regulated.

“The variety and complexity of regulations governing miners in National Forests is certainly bewildering. In typical understatement, Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell described the legislation as an ‘almost impenetrable maze....’ Granite Rock, 480 U.S. at 606. Amidst this confusion, it comes as no surprise that some regulations may overlap or conflict.” (Baker, 928 F. Supp. at 1519.)

We agree with all the courts mining is not under-regulated, as some advocates of major revisions to the Mining Law would imply but, rather, it is over-regulated. If the Mining Law is to be revised, it should be to make one set of regulations a set that is not conflicting, within itself, and is in conformity with the constitution and other law.

Whilst making out our wish list this Christmas we would like Congress to provide a citizen suit provision that, effectively, would retract a newspaper’s adjudication right for making such blatant misrepresentations, as we mentioned here.

One can only hope! :whoopie:

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California taxes every unpatented mining claim in the state.

If we did not OWN them, as "real & private property" no such right to "tax" our property would exist.

The taxability of unpatented mining claims was established more than a century ago by the California Supreme Court, in the case of the State of California v. Moore 12 Cal. 56 (1859), which stated in part: "The interest of the occupant of a mining claim is property, and, under the Constitution, it is in the power of the Legislature to tax such property."

I wanted to find out more about the above and did a search on "Establishment of Federal Property Taxes" and came to this one which is reason for the above court decision.....

http://www.drbilllong.com/LegalHistoryII/TaxII.html

Thanks again for helping to open some doors for us.

Gary

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The Mining Act of 1872, 30 U.S.C. §§ 22-54

1/6/2009

Equal Access to Justice, Inc.

The Mining Law has Been Amended

Holly smokes OGM, this is absolutely great information. :whoopie:

Gary

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The link below has to do with ownership of coal & the right to mine it.

http://openjurist.org/926/f2d/1169/whitney...v-united-states

Long story short, the same applies to the SB 670 suction dredge ban.

Company owned coal & the right to mine it.

(same as unpatented placer mining claim owners own gold within their property & the right to mine it)

Regulations were effected, that profited the coal owners from mining it.

(same as SB 670 bans the only practical & profitable means to mine placer gold in all California waterways)

End result, $60,000,000 in damages , + interest were awarded to the owners. :whoopie:

(California politicians should ponder that, because it‘s heading their way) :innocent0009:

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CALIFORNIA ADMISSION TO Union

Act for the Admission of California Into the Union

Volume 9

Statutes at Large

Page 452

Whereas, the people of California have presented a constitution and asked admission into the Union, which constitution was submitted to Congress by the President of the United States, by message date February thirteenth, eighteen hundred and fifty, and which, on due examination, is found to be republican in its form of government:

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress Assembled, That the State of California shall be one, and is hereby declared to be one, of the United States of America, and admitted into the Union on an equal footing with the original States in all respects whatever.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That until the representatives in Congress shall be apportioned according to an actual enumeration of the inhabitants of the United States, the State of California shall be entitled to two representatives in Congress.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said State of California is admitted into the Union upon the express condition that the people of said State, through their legislature or otherwise, shall never interfere with the primary disposal of the public lands within its limits, and shall pass no law and do no act whereby the title of the United States to, and right to dispose of, the same shall be impaired or questioned;

and that they shall never lay any tax or assessment of any description whatsoever upon the public domain of the United States, and in no case shall non-resident proprietors, who are citizens of the United States, be taxed higher than residents;

and that all the navigable waters within the said State shall be common highways, and forever free, as well to the inhabitants of said State as to the citizens of the United States, without any tax, impost, or duty therefor.

Provided, That nothing herein contained shall be construed as recognizing or rejecting the propositions tendered by the people of California as articles of compact in the ordinance adopted by the convention which formed the constitution of that State.

Approved, September 9, 1850.

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