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old gold miner

SB 670 Ca dredge ban

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Where CA DF&G is right now, RE: SB 670 EIR status

http://www.dfg.ca.gov/suctiondredge/docs/S...atureReview.pdf

A long read but informative as how the company hired to do it, is going about it.

I see multiple flaws in rationalization aspects in area’s of it.

It appears (at least for now), they are not including any comparison percentages of the impact effects of all other public waterway uses. Such as pollution effects of motorized boating, the amounts of lead, steel hooks & plastic based fishing line fishermen lose when fishing.

Not to mention the impacts of massive water diversions for agricultural irrigation purposes, agricultural pollutants, hydroelectric dams, logging, etc.

If they do not present some scale of all other impacts, in comparison to suction dredging . The study result will appear one sided . Certainly, I agree suction dredging has impact (just as all other uses do). But, if they don’t present a scale, in relationship to other impacts……….. It will unfairly slant the study against suction dredging.

Nor do they appear to have a succinct understanding of the fact, public domain, national forests, BLM lands, etc & water within it are not to be managed for recreational use alone by the public. As many federal laws mandate guidelines to provide for the miners use of water & production of minerals from those same lands.

Nor, do they seem to grasp, that a mining claimant, with a valid unpatented mining claim has a private property right, provided by statutory grant & case law that they own the mineral within the boundaries of a mining claim, along with a well established right to extract it. While the general public has no such vested private property right.

More after I print this out & go over it better.

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Given that SB 670 focus on determining “possible” environmental impacts beyond de minimis or negligible impacts of small scale suction dredging in California waterways.

Because the state of California licenses sports & commercial fishing state wide, as well as through various agencies licenses water diversion, impoundment, use for hydroelectric power production, agricultural irrigation, industrial use, & municipal use (including sewage treatment), etc.

As well as licenses all motorized boat registration, obviously used in, and effecting all state waterways.

For the purposes of equity, similar EIR’s would also have be performed on all state licensed uses of water.

If otherwise, there is no legitimate graph, or scale to compare impacts of any individual water use, against any other individual use, or all water uses combined.

SB 670 was passed as an “urgency” measure, causing immediate implementation, revoking all existing permits, and banning suction dredging until such time as the EIR is complete, and if necessary, any changes in DF&G regulations are made.

In effect, SB 670 sets a clear cut regulatory precedent, governing all state licensed use of water, and every other in-water use that could cause adverse environmental impact.

To be equitable, California would need to immediately revoke all such water use licenses, until such time as EIR’s are completed, and any regulations governing such use are updated to reflect those individual EIR’s.

YA RIGHT…………………….. California turned of the tap on suction dredging permits

Now, turn off all the licensing taps on all other water uses in California. :laught16:

There reason I point this out is that a single focus stand alone study of one infinitesimally small aspect of water use, such as suction dredging alone in California. Will without doubt, point out some degree of adverse impact (no doubt “negligible”). Which, at first glance may appear scientific, and unbiased, but are not, unless all other water uses are judged equally, by the same exact standards.

Otherwise, there is nothing credible to compare impacts of suction dredging against.

Standing alone, suction dredging adverse impacts might appear significant to a laymen.

Yet, in comparison to all other adverse water use impacts.

The effects of suction dredging is so infinitesimally small.

It’s effect is comparable to a single snow flake,…………………………….....

Compared to all annual winter snowfall combined throughout the Sierra Nevada mountains.

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307848713_o.jpg

CALIFORNIA GOVERNMENT CODE. TITLE 1. GENERAL

DIVISION 2. STATE SEAL, FLAG, AND EMBLEMS

CHAPTER 2. STATE FLAG AND EMBLEMS

SECTION 420-429.8

425.1. Native gold is the official State Mineral and mineralogic emblem.

SB 670 brings SHAME to this

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SB 670 SUCTION DREDGE STATEWIDE BAN IS IN EFFECT UNTIL:

(1) The department 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 et al. v. California Department of Fish and Game et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG 05211597.

THAT COURT ORDER IN PERTINNENT PART READS:

THEREFORE, the Department is hereby ORDERED to conduct a further environmental review pursuant to CEQA of it’s suction dredge mining regulations and to implement, if necessary, via rulemaking, mitigation measures to protect the Coho salmon and or other special status fish species in the watershed of the Klamath, Scott, and Salmon Rivers, listed as threatened or endangered after the 1994 EIR.

Obviously, a legal conflict exists here.

The court order SB 670 relies on specifically covers three watershed cited above.

How then can the ban be justified state wide?

Secondly, it would appear DF&G contracting a statewide EIR is beyond the bounds of this court order.

Moreover, it is certainly a waste of taxpayer funds, to perform an EIR, where no listed, threatened, or endangered Coho, or other salmon exist.

Which is grounds for a seperate taxpayer suit against doing so.

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I may have missed it, but it looks like the CDFG is not even attempting to budget a mandated EIR.

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all the greenie stuff started taking off in the 70s with these goof balls brain washing everyone. i was a commerical tuna fisherman on the big boats that traveled to south and central america and outside lower mexico, sometimes we were 2000 miles or more from land. the sierra club targeted us because of the porpise associated with tuna and started a very clever and twisted campaign to put us out of bussiness. they were telling stories that were unbelieveable and had so much money behind them plus many of the politicians in their pockets. the gov. ended up putting observers on the boats to watch and record everthing. same as having a cop breath down your back 24 hours a day. i stated out in the eailey 60s and got out in the late 70s with a bad injury. i guess what i am saying, is that those people have more power and clout now adays than before. got to fight them all the way because if we don't, prospecting will end up like the great san diego tuna industry, just a memory. these people are really extreme and will not stop. enough of my rambling, just wanted to give some in-put into what i had seen these people do in the past. thanks much for listening. take care, ron

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So true.

I have read much of what the sierra club & other enviro zealots put out.

Reality is...............................

It is for the most part like distorted Nazi propaganda.................

Lies & more lies

So many, so often, so long.................. the general public starts believing it.

Then the gullible public DONATES tons of cash to them.

So they can propagate more propaganda, like a never ending cycle of news clips, sound bites & ugly photos.

The trouble being, all the greenies use everything mining provides.

Which is everything our infrastructure, transport, power & all modern conveyance in existence, is made of.

Then have the gall to bad mouth the mining of raw materials that, create what they enjoy daily.

I watched the logging industry in Oregon, pretty much die, over marbled murrelet & white spotted owls.

That Oregon logging industry is now only a tiny fraction of what it once was.

And, those 2 birds are no better off for it.

Now, I am watching the American mining industry & law die.

And, America will become dependent on foreign sources of what we can easily produce ourselves.

America is going to suffer drastic consequences, from that.

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Well said.............

In ordinary English, a "claim " is merely a demand for something, or an assertion of a right where the right has not been established. The phrase "mining claim" therefore probably connotes to most laymen an unsupported assertion or demand from which no legal rights can be inferred. But that is emphatically not so. In law, the word "claim" in connection with the phrase "mining claim" represents a federally recognized right in real property. The Supreme Court has established that a mining "claim" is not a claim in the ordinary sense of the word--a mere assertion of a right--but rather is a property interest, which is itself real property in every sense, and not merely an assertion of a right to property.

Benson Mining & Smelting Co. v. Alta Mining & Smelting Co., 145 U.S.428 (1892)

............ :whoopie:

This possessory interest entitles the claimant to "the right to extract all minerals from the claim without paying royalties to the United States."

Swanson v. Babbitt, 3 F.3d 1348, 1350 (9th Cir. 1990).

....................... :whoopie:

Under the Supremacy Clause, any state law that conflicts with a federal law is preempted.

Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824).

Any state legislation which frustrates the full effectiveness of federal law is rendered invalid by the Supremacy Clause" regardless of the underlying purpose of its enactors,

Perez v. Campbell, 402 U.S. 637, 651-52, 91 S.Ct. 1704, 29 L.Ed.2d 233 (1971)

.............................. :whoopie:

"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).

................................................... :whoopie:

Sadly, the goverment of California, in passing SB 670 .......... IGNORES THIS FACT & RULE OF LAW :hmmmmmm:

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I studied a lot of the suction dredge verse salmon life cycle literature.

Several of which came to the conclusion suction dredging causes high mortality of salmon eggs & eyed embryo.

The point being, the tests were done in salmon spawning grounds, when eggs & embryo are present.

In effect, they intentionally killed the eggs & embryo.

So, the results are biased, because

……………the rest of the story……………………….

Existing pre-SB 670 California DF&G regulations clearly prohibited any suction dredge gold mining in spawning grounds during spawning season , as well as through the period when eggs & embryo are in gravels.

Meaning, dredging CANNOT harm eggs, or embryo.

As no dredges are there, when eggs/embryo are present.

As important, DF&G regulations also prohibit suction dredging all year around in various streams (CLASS A).

To create a double set of protections, on salmon spawning grounds.

Suction dredging is also prohibited in waters designated under the state and federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Acts. Waters designated under the acts include portions of the American River (North Fork and Lower American River), Big Sur River, Eel River, Feather River, Kern River, Kings River, Klamath River, Merced River, Sespe Creek, Sisquoc River, Smith River, Trinity River, and the Tuolumne River.

The regulations in Sections 228 and 228.5 of title 14 in the California Code of Regulations govern suction dredging in California. Which has an Emergency Closure provision.

“The Department may initiate emergency regulatory action pursuant to Government Code Section 11346.1 to close any water to suction dredging.”

Meaning, for any justifiable reason, the DF&G could close any waterway to suction dredging.

Which raises the question why SB 670 is or was needed at all.

As DF&G could have simply closed all threatened, or listed salmon spawning habitat during the period while the court ordered EIR is being performed.

RATHER THAN THE SB 670 STATE WIDE BAN.

For those of you who have never seen the when/where suction dredging was allowed & prohibited.

See below:

228.5. Suction Dredge Use Classifications and Special Regulations.

(a) Suction Dredge Use Classifications. For purposes of these regulations, the following classes of suction dredge use restrictions apply in California's lakes, reservoirs, streams and rivers as specified:

(1) Class A: No dredging permitted at anytime.

(2) Class B: Open to dredging from July 1 through August 31.

(3) Class C: Open to dredging from the fourth Saturday in May through October

(4) Class D: Open to dredging from July 1 through September 15.

(5) Class E: Open to dredging from July 1 through September 30.

(6) Class F: Open to dredging from December 1 through June 30.

(7) Class G: Open to dredging from the fourth Saturday in May through September 30.

(8) Class H: Open to dredging throughout the year.

(b) Special Closures by County. Except as specified in subsections © and (d) below, the suction dredge class restrictions for each county are as follows:

(1) Alameda Class H.

(2) Alpine Class C.

(3) Amador East of Highway 49 is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(4) Butte Class C.

(5) Calaveras East of Highway 49 is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(6) Colusa Class H.

(7) Contra Costa Class H.

(8) Del Norte Class E.

(9) El Dorado East of Highway 49 is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(10) Fresno within the external boundaries of the National Forests is Class C, the remainder is Class H. (Kings River Special Management Area has been closed to suction dredging by the U.S. Forest Service. Contact Sequoia National Forest for details.)

(11) Glenn Class H.

(12) Humboldt Class E.

(13) Imperial Class H.

(14) Inyo Class A.

(15) Kern Class H.

(16) Kings Class H.

(17) Lake Class H.

(18) Lassen Class C.

(19) Los Angeles Class H. (Portions of the San Gabriel Mountains may be closed to suction dredging by the U.S. Forest Service. Contact the Angeles National Forest for details.)

(20) Madera within the external boundaries of the National Forests is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(21) Marin Class A.

(22) Mariposa within the external boundaries of the National Forests is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(23) Mendocino Class A.

(24) Merced Class H.

(25) Modoc Class C.

(26) Mono Class A.

(27) Monterey Class A.

(28) Napa Class A.(29) Nevada East of Highway 49 is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(30) Orange Class H.

(31) Placer East of Highway 49 is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(32) Plumas Class C.

(33) Riverside Class H.

(34) Sacramento Class H.

(35) San Benito Class A.

(36) San Bernardino Class H. (Portions of the San Gabriel Mountains may be closed to suction dredging by the U.S. Forest Service. Contact the Angeles National Forest

for details.)

(37) San Diego Class H.

(38) San Francisco Class H.

(39) San Joaquin Class H.

(40) San Luis Obispo Class A.

(41) San Mateo Class A.

(42) Santa Barbara Class H.

(43) Santa Clara Class H.

(44) Santa Cruz Class A.

(45) Shasta Class C.

(46) Sierra Class C.

(47) Siskiyou Class E.

(48) Solano Class H.

(49) Sonoma Class A.

(50) Stanislaus Class H.

(51) Sutter Class H.

(52) Tehama Class D.

(53) Trinity Class E.

(54) Tulare within the external boundaries of the National Forests is Class C, the

remainder is Class H.

(55) Tuolumne East of Highway 49 is Class C, the remainder is Class H.

(56) Ventura Class H.

(57) Yolo Class H.

(58) Yuba Class H.

© Eight-Inch Nozzle Size.

An eight-inch diameter intake nozzle size is permitted on the following rivers unless

otherwise specified in Section 228.5(d):

(1) American (Placer, Nevada, and EI Dorado counties)

(2) Cosumnes (Sacramento, Amador and EI Dorado counties)

(3) Feather (Butte, Plumas, and Yuba counties)

(4) Klamath (Del Norte, Humboldt and Siskiyou counties)

(5) Merced (Mariposa and Merced counties)

(6) Mokelumne (Amador, Calaveras and San Joaquin counties)

(7) New (Trinity County)

(8) Scott (Siskiyou County)

(9) Trinity (Trinity and Humboldt counties)

(10) Yuba (Sierra and Yuba counties)

(d) Special Regulations by Water.

In addition to the classifications listed in Section 228.5(b) and ©, the special regulations below apply to the following waters:

(1) American River (Sacramento County). The main stem American River from the Sacramento River upstream to Nimbus Dam is Class A.

(2) American River, Middle Fork (El Dorado and Placer counties). The main stem American River Middle Fork from its junction with the North Fork of the American River upstream to the confluence with the Rubicon River is Class C. (Note: Recreational dredging is allowed in the Auburn State Recreation Area on an interim management basis. Contact the Auburn State Recreation Area for instructions.)

(3) American River, North Fork (Placer County). The main stem North Fork American River from Folsom Reservoir to the Colfax-Iowa Hill Road Bridge is Class C. From the Colfax-Iowa Hill Road Bridge upstream to Heath Springs (T16N R14E S26) is Class A. (Note: Recreational dredging is allowed in the Auburn State Recreation Area on an interim management basis. Contact the Auburn State Recreation Area for instructions.)

(4) American River, South Fork (EI Dorado County). The main stem South Fork American River from Folsom Reservoir upstream to the Highway 49 Bridge at Coloma is Class C.

(5) American River, South Fork Tributaries (EI Dorado County). All tributaries to the South Fork American River from Folsom Reservoir upstream are Class C.

(6) Antelope Creek and Tributaries (Placer County). Antelope Creek and its tributaries are Class B.

(7) Auburn Ravine and Tributaries (Placer County). Auburn Ravine and its tributaries are Class B.

(8) Bear River (Placer County). The main stem Bear River from Forty Mile Road to the South Sutter Irrigation District's diversion dam is Class D.

(9) Big Chico Creek (Butte County). The main stem Big Chico Creek from Manzanita Avenue in Chico to the head of Higgins Hole (T24N R3E S31) is Class A.

(10) Big Creek and Tributaries (Fresno County). Big Creek, tributary to the Kings River, and its tributaries are Class A.

(11) Big Creek (Trinity County). The main stem Big Creek is Class A.

(12) Blue Creek and Tributaries (Del Norte and Humboldt Counties). Blue Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(13) Butte Creek (Butte County). The main stem Butte Creek from the Sutter County line upstream to the Durham-Oroville Highway Bridge is Class H, and from the Durham-Oroville Highway Bridge upstream to the intake of Centerville Ditch (T23N R3E S10) is Class A.

(14) Calaveras River and Tributaries (Calaveras and San Joaquin Counties). The Calaveras River and its tributaries below New Hogan Reservoir are Class B.

(15) Canyon Creek (Yuba County). The main stem Canyon Creek from its mouth upstream to the Sierra-Yuba County line (T20N R8E S25) is Class C.

(16) Cherry Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem of Cherry Creek is Class B.

(17) Chowchilla River (Madera and Mariposa counties). The main stem Chowchilla River from Eastman Lake upstream to the West and East forks of the Chowchilla River is Class A.

(18) Chowchilla River West Fork (Madera and Mariposa counties). The main stem West Fork Chowchilla River from its mouth upstream to the Highway 49 Bridge is Class A.

(19) Clavey River (Tuolumne County). The main stem Clavey River is Class A.

(20) Clear Creek and Tributaries (Siskiyou County). Clear Creek and its tributaries are Class A.(21) Colorado River and Tributaries (Imperial, Riverside and San Bernardino counties). The main channel and all side sloughs and tributaries of the Colorado River are Class A.(22) Cosumnes River (Sacramento, Amador and EI Dorado counties). The main stem Cosumnes River from the Western Pacific Railroad Bridge about ¼ mile above the mouth upstream to the Latrobe Highway Bridge is Class D, and from the Latrobe Highway Bridge upstream to the confluence with the North and Middle forks of the Cosumnes River is Class H.

(23) Cosumnes River, North Fork (EI Dorado County). The main stem North Fork Cosumnes River from the Middle Fork of the Cosumnes River upstream to the

Somerset-Pleasant Valley Road Bridge is Class H.

(24) Cosumnes River, Middle Fork (El Dorado County). The main stem Middle Fork Cosumnes River from the North Fork Cosumnes River upstream to Bakers Ford on the Aukum-Somerset Road is Class H.

(25) Cosumnes River, South Fork (Amador and EI Dorado counties). The main stem South Fork Cosumnes from Middle Fork Cosumnes River upstream to the County Road Bridge at River Pines is Class H.

(26) Cow Creek and Tributaries (Fresno County). Cow Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(27) Curtis Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Curtis Creek is Class C.

(28) Deep Creek (San Bernardino County). The main stem Deep Creek is Class A.

(29) Deer Creek (Nevada County). The main stem Deer Creek from Ponderosa Way below Rough and Ready Falls (T16N R7E S13) upstream to Highway 49 is Class C.

(30) Dillon Creek and Tributaries (Siskiyou County). Dillon Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(31) Dinkey Creek and Tributaries (Fresno County). Dinkey Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(32) Eagle Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Eagle Creek is Class C.

(33) Eastman Lake (Madera and Mariposa counties). Eastman Lake is Class A.

(34) Eel River, All Forks and Tributaries (Mendocino County). The Eel River, all forks and its tributaries upstream of the Humboldt/Mendocino and Trinity/Mendocino County lines are Class A.

(35) Eel River, Middle Fork and Tributaries (Mendocino and Trinity counties). The Middle Fork Eel River and its tributaries are Class A.

(36) Feather River (Butte County). The main stem Feather River from Honcut Creek (T17N R3E S27) upstream to the Highway 70 Bridge is Class B, and from the Highway 70 Bridge upstream to Oroville Dam is Class A.

(37) Feather River, South Fork (Butte and Plumas counties). The main stem South Fork Feather River from Oroville Reservoir upstream to Little Grass Valley Dam(T22N R9ES31) is Class C.

(38) Flat Creek and Tributaries (Shasta County). Flat Creek and its tributaries are Class H.

(39) French Creek (Trinity County). The main stem French Creek is Class A.

(40) Grapevine Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Grapevine Creek is Class B.

(41) Horton Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Horton Creek is Class A.

(42) Hunter Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Hunter Creek is Class B.

(43) Independence Creek and Tributaries (Nevada and Sierra counties).

Independence Creek and its tributaries from Independence Lake upstream are Class A.

(44) Jawbone Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Jawbone Creek is Class B.

(45) Kaweah River (Tulare County). The main stem Kaweah River upstream of Kaweah Reservoir is Class A.

(46) Kern River and Tributaries (Kern and Tulare counties). The Kern River and its tributaries from Isabella Dam upstream are Class A.

(47) Kern River, South Fork and Tributaries (Kern and Tulare counties). The South Fork Kern River and its tributaries are Class A.

(48) Kings River and Tributaries (Fresno and Kings counties). The Kings River and its tributaries from Tulare Lake upstream to Pine Flat Dam are Class A.

(49) Klamath River, Main Stem (Del Norte, Humboldt and Siskiyou counties). The main stem Klamath River from the mouth upstream to the Salmon River is Class G, from the Salmon River upstream to 500 feet downstream of the Scott River is Class H, from 500 feet downstream of the Scott River upstream to Iron Gate Dam is Class G, and from Iron Gate Dam to the Oregon border is Class A.

(50) Knights Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Knights Creek is Class C.

(51) Lavezzola Creek (Sierra County). The main stem Lavezzola Creek is Class C.

(52) Little Rock Creek and Tributaries (Los Angeles County). The main stem Little Rock Creek and its tributaries from the Sycamore Campground in the Angeles National Forest upstream are Class A.

(53) Little Swede Creek (Trinity County). The main stem Little Swede Creek is Class A.

(54) Macklin Creek (Nevada County). The main stem Macklin Creek from its Confluence with the Middle Fork Yuba River (T19N R12E S16) upstream is Class A.

(55) Malibu Creek and Tributaries (Los Angeles County). Malibu Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(56) McCloud River (Shasta County). The main stem McCloud River from the southern boundary of Section 16, T38N, R3W, upstream to Lake McCloud Dam is Class A.

(57) Merced River (Merced County). The main stem Merced River from the San Joaquin River upstream to the Crocker-Huffman Dam (upstream from Snelling) is Class A.(58) Merced River (Mariposa County). The main stem Merced River is Class C.

(59) Merced River, North Fork (Mariposa County). The main stem North Fork Merced River is Class C.

(60) Miner's Ravine and Tributaries (Placer County). Miner's Ravine and its tributaries are Class B.

(61) Minnow Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Minnow Creek is Class A.

(62) Mokelumne River (Amador, Calaveras and San Joaquin counties). The main stem Mokelumne River from Burella Road upstream to Camanche Dam is Class A, from Camanche Dam upstream to Pardee Dam is Class H, and from Pardee Dam upstream is Class C.

(63) Mud Creek (Butte County). The main stem Mud Creek from Big Chico Creek upstream is Class C.

(64) Nelson Creek (Plumas County). The main stem Nelson Creek is Class C.

(65) New River and Tributaries (Trinity County). New River and its tributaries upstream from the East Fork New River are Class A.

(66) New River East Fork and Tributaries (Trinity County). The East Fork New River and its tributaries from the New River upstream are Class A.

(67) Piru Creek and Tributaries (Ventura and Los Angeles counties). Piru Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(68) Pit River and Tributaries (Lassen and Modoc counties). The Pit River and its tributaries are Class A.

(69) Poor Man Creek and Tributaries (Tuolumne County). Poor Man Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(70) Portuguese Creek and Tributaries (Madera County). Portuguese Creek and its tributaries are Class A.(71) Rock Creek (Butte County). The main stem Rock Creek from Big Chico Creek upstream to the Butte/Tehama County Line is Class C.

(72) Rock Creek and Tributaries (Shasta County). Rock Creek and its tributaries are Class H.

(73) Rose Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Rose Creek is Class C.

(74) Rubicon River and Tributaries (El Dorado and Placer counties). The Rubicon River and its tributaries are Class C. No dredge with an intake larger than four inches may be used.

(75) Sacramento River and Tributaries (several counties). The main stem Sacramento River from the San Francisco Bay upstream to Shasta Dam is Class A. The Sacramento River and its tributaries from Shasta Lake upstream to Box Canyon Dam are Class A.

(76) Salmon River (Siskiyou County). The main stem Salmon River is Class D.

(77) Salmon River, North Fork (Siskiyou County). The main stem North Fork Salmon River from the South Fork Salmon River upstream to the Marble Mountain Wilderness boundary is Class D.

(78) Salmon River, South Fork (Siskiyou County). The main stem South Fork Salmon River from the North Fork Salmon River upstream to the Trinity Alps Wilderness boundary is Class D.

(79) Salt Creek and its Tributaries (Riverside County). Salt Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(80) San Felipe Creek and its Tributaries (Imperial and San Diego Counties), San Felipe Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(81) San Gabriel, East Fork and Tributaries (Los Angeles County). The East Fork San Gabriel River and its tributaries from Cattle Canyon upstream are Class A.

(82) San Gabriel River, West Fork and Tributaries (Los Angeles County). The West Fork San Gabriel River and its tributaries from the Rincon Guard Station upstream are Class A.

(83) San Joaquin River (several counties). San Joaquin River from the Delta upstream to Friant Dam (Millerton Lake) is Class A.

(84) San Juan Creek and Tributaries (Orange and Riverside counties). San Juan Creek and its tributaries from its mouth upstream are Class A.

(85) San Mateo Creek and Tributaries (San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties).

San Mateo Creek and its tributaries from its mouth upstream are Class A.

(86) Santa Ana River and its Tributaries (San Bernardino County). The Santa Ana River and its tributaries from the mouth of Bear Creek upstream are Class A.

(87) Santa Clara River and Tributaries (Los Angeles and Ventura counties). The Santa Clara River and its tributaries from the Los Angeles/Ventura County line upstream are Class A, except that Texas Canyon Creek is Class H.

(88) Santiago Creek and Tributaries (Orange County). Santiago Creek and its tributaries within the Cleveland National Forest are Class A.

(89) Saxon Creek (Mariposa County). The main stem Saxon Creek is Class A.

(90) Scott River and Tributaries (Siskiyou County). The Scott River and its tributaries are Class G.

(91) Secret Ravine and Tributaries (Placer County). Secret Ravine and its tributaries are Class B.

(92) Sespe Creek (Ventura County). The main stem Sespe Creek from the Los Padres National Forest boundary upstream to its confluence with Tule Creek is Class A.

(93) Shay Creek and Tributaries (San Bernardino County). Shay Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(94) Shasta River and Tributaries (Siskiyou County). The Shasta River and its tributaries are Class A.

(95) Sherlock Creek (Mariposa County). The main stem Sherlock Creek is Class A.

(96) Silver King Creek and Tributaries (Alpine County). Silver King Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(97) Six-Bit Creek and Tributaries (Tuolumne County). Six-Bit Creek and its tributaries are Class A.(98) Smith River Middle Fork (Del Norte County). The main stem Middle Fork Smith River is Class D.

(99) Stanislaus River (Calaveras, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties).

The main stem Stanislaus River from the San Joaquin River upstream to Goodwin Dam is Class A, and from New Melones Dam upstream, excluding New Melones Reservoir, is Class C.

(100)Sullivan Creek (Tuolumne County). The main stem Sullivan Creek is Class C.

(101)Sutter Creek (Amador County). The main stem Sutter Creek from Highway 49 to Pine Gulch Road is Class H.

(102)Sycamore Creek and Tributaries (Fresno County). Sycamore Creek, tributary to the Kings River, and its tributaries are Class A.

(103)Texas Canyon Creek (Los Angeles County). The main stem Texas Canyon Creek is Class H.

(104)Trinity River, Main Stem below Lewiston Dam (Humboldt and Trinity counties).

The main stem Trinity River from the Klamath River upstream to the South Fork Trinity River is Class A, from the South Fork Trinity River upstream to the North

Fork Trinity River is Class H, from the North Fork Trinity River upstream to Grass Valley Creek is Class D, and from Grass Valley Creek upstream to Lewiston Dam is Class A.

(105)Trinity River, Main Stem and Tributaries above Lewiston Dam (Trinity County). The Trinity River and its tributaries above Lewiston Dam are open to dredging from July 1 through October 15.

(106)Trinity River, North Fork and Tributaries (Trinity County). The North Fork Trinity River and its tributaries upstream from Hobo Gulch Campground are Class A.

(107)Tuolumne River (Stanislaus County). The main stem Tuolumne River from the Waterford Bridge upstream to La Grange Dam is Class A.

(108)Tuolumne River, North Fork, and Tributaries (Tuolumne County). The North Fork Tuolumne River and its tributaries are Class B.

(109)Turnback Creek and Tributaries (Tuolumne County). Turnback Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(110)Wolf Creek (Nevada County). The main stem Wolf Creek from the Tarr Ditch Diversion (T15N R8E S10) upstream is Class C.

(111)Woods Creek and Tributaries (Tuolumne County). Woods Creek and its tributaries from Harvard Mine Road (Jamestown) downstream are Class C, from Harvard Mine Road upstream are Class A.

(112)Wooley Creek and Tributaries (Siskiyou County). Wooley Creek and its tributaries are Class A.

(113)Yuba River (Yuba County). The main stem Yuba River from its mouth at Marysville upstream to Highway 20 is Class B, and from Highway 20 upstream to Englebright Dam is Class A.

(114)Yuba River, North Fork (Sierra and Yuba counties). The main stem North Fork Yuba River from the Middle Fork of the Yuba River upstream to Fiddle Creek is Class H.

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No where is this fact, better stated than here......

....................In ordinary English, a "claim " is merely a demand for something, or an assertion of a right where the right has not been established. The phrase "mining claim" therefore probably connotes to most laymen an unsupported assertion or demand from which no legal rights can be inferred. But that is emphatically not so. In law, the word "claim" in connection with the phrase "mining claim" represents a federally recognized right in real property. The Supreme Court has established that a mining "claim" is not a claim in the ordinary sense of the word--a mere assertion of a right--but rather is a property interest, which is itself real property in every sense, and not merely an assertion of a right to property. Benson Mining & Smelting Co. v. Alta Mining & Smelting Co., 145 U.S.428 (1892) ;)

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California’s surface mining law exempts operations moving less than 1,000 yards of material from any permitting requirement.

California Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975.

Public Resources Code § 2714 (d) & (e).

2714 (d) Prospecting for, or the extraction of, minerals for commercial purposes where the removal of overburden or mineral product totals less than 1,000 cubic yards in any one location, and the total surface area disturbed is less than one acre.

2714 (e) Surface mining operations that are required by federal law in order to protect a mining claim, if those operations are conducted solely for that purpose.

:rolleyes::inocent::rasberry:

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SB 670, unpatented placer mining claims & claim owners valid existing rights

"This Constitution and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof...shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any state to the contrary notwithstanding." Supremacy Clause, Article VI U.S. Constitution

"The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting...property belonging to the United States.""Property Clause", Article IV, Section 3, U.S. Constitution

California was admitted to the Union, upon the following indefeasible condition:

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 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. Act for the Admission of California Into the Union, Volume 9, Statutes at Large, Page 452

The General Mining Law of 1872, is a clear unequivocal federal grant towards disposal of federal public domain lands, containing valuable minerals, open to such entry. Absolutely guaranteeing the grantee’s the right to mine applicable valuable minerals they own, under reasonable regulation.

The legislature of California accepted this express provision in 1850, thus as long as the Federal government retains title, the federal interest in providing free access to its own land in order to promote mining is sufficient to preempt any state law that fundamentally bans such use. Accordingly under standard preemption analysis any state legislation, or subsequent regulation that conflicts with this overriding federal purpose, must fail.

The purpose of the Mining Act is to encourage mining on federal lands. United States v. Weiss, 642 F.2d 296, 299 (9th Cir.1981) (Weiss); see also United States v. Goldfield Deep Mines Co., 644 F.2d 1307, 1309 (9th Cir.1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 907, 102 S.Ct. 1252, 71 L.Ed.2d 445 (1982).

Unpatented mining claims are self-initiated rights granted under the General Mining Law. Congress exercised that discretion in granting those rights under the law. (30 U.S.C.A. § 23, 27-28; 43 U.S.C.A. § 1744; Cole v. Ralph, 252 U.S. 286, 296 (1920).)

In ordinary English, a "claim " is merely a demand for something, or an assertion of a right where the right has not been established. The phrase "mining claim" therefore probably connotes to most laymen an unsupported assertion or demand from which no legal rights can be inferred. But that is emphatically not so, as follows;

In law, the word "claim" in connection with the phrase "mining claim" represents a federally recognized right in real property. The Supreme Court has established that a mining "claim" is not a claim in the ordinary sense of the word--a mere assertion of a right--but rather is a property interest, which is itself real property in every sense, and not merely an assertion of a right to property. Benson Mining & Smelting Co. v. Alta Mining & Smelting Co., 145 U.S.428 (1892)

Locators’ rights of possession and enjoyment. The locators of all mining locations … situated on the public domain, their heirs and assigns, … so long as they comply with the laws of the United States, and with State, territorial, and local regulations not in conflict with the laws of the United States governing their possessory title, shall have the exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all the surface included within the lines of their locations”. (for mining purposes)30 USC § 26.

Once the requirements of the General Mining Law have been met, the right granted by the statute is a real and private property interest. Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252 cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed.2d 103 (1981); Oil Shale Corp. v. Morton, 370 F.Supp. 108, 124 (D.Colo. 1973).

Valid unpatented mining claims are “property in the fullest sense of that term.” (Wilbur v. United States ex rel. Krushnic, 280 U.S. 306, 316 (1930).) Which entitles the owner "the right to extract all minerals from the claim without paying royalties to the United States." Swanson v. Babbitt, 3 F.3d 1348. Further entitling the holder to “the right to a flow of income from production of the claim.” (United States v. Locke, 471 U.S. 84, 104 - 105 (1985).)

Even though title to the fee estate remains in the United States, these unpatented mining claims are themselves property protected by the Fifth Amendment against uncompensated takings. See Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334 (1963); cf. Forbes v. Gracey, 94 U.S. 762, 766 (1876); U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 5; North American Transportation & Trading Co. v. U.S., 1918, 53 Ct.Cl. 424, affirmed 40 S.Ct. 518, 253 U.S. 330; United States v. Locke, 471 U.S. 84, 107, 105 S.Ct. 1785, 1799, 85 L.Ed. 2d 64 (1985); Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252, cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed. 2d 103 (1981); Rybachek v. United States, 23 Cl.Ct. 222 (1991).

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

California law recognizes water rights by ownership of riparian land, appropriation, or prescription. Cal.Water Code § 2501. In re Water of Hallett Creek Stream Sys., 749 P.2d 324 (Cal. 1988), cert. denied sub nom. California v. United States, 488 U.S. 824 (1988). The California Supreme Court ruled that the federal government, as owner of nearly half the land in the state, held riparian water rights on the lands it set aside for particular federal purposes, but that the extent of rights were determined with reference to the interests of other water users. Id. at 327.

National forests “…are not parks set aside for nonuse, but have been established for economic reasons“. 30 Cong.Rec. 966 (1897) (Cong. McRae)." United States v. New Mexico, 438 U.S. 696, 708, 98 S.Ct. 3012, 3018, 57 L.Ed.2d 1052 (1978).

Even the Forest Service is limited in the amount of regulation it may impose as a condition of mining in national forests because of the federal policy to encourage mining on federal lands. See Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299; see also 30 U.S.C. Sec. 21a; 36 C.F.R. Sec. 228.5(a).

To allow a second tier of permit authority to be exercised by the states would undermine the Forest Service's ability to keep the applicable environmental requirements within the range of reasonableness. See Weiss, 642 F.2d at 299; 36 C.F.R. Sec. 228.5(a). Current federal law allows the states to establish environmental standards that the Forest Service will apply in exercising its permit authority. See id. Sec. 228.8. But by reserving final permit authority in the Forest Service, see id. Secs. 228.4-.5, it also affords the Forest Service the power necessary to promote the federal purpose of maintaining the reasonableness of the overall regulatory mix. See 30 U.S.C. Sec. 21a; 36 C.F.R. Sec. 228.5(a).

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

I just keep plugging away at this.

After all, that’s what tenacious old prospectors do.

Dig, and dig some more, until they either find something valuable, or die trying.

It appears to me now, that if an unpatented placer claim owner has previously (or does now) file an Notice of intent (NOI) with USFS or BLM to suction dredge.

And, USFS or BLM did not require a "plan of operation" (POO).

Which, they would not, in normal cases, where a dredge under 6 inches was used, in an area & time period CA DFG previously classified as being open to suction dredging.

Even if a POO was required, it would be very “minimal” to say the least.

In either case, that would give the holder a FEDERAL PERMIT to suction dredge.

If USFS or BLM denied the applicant the right to suction dredge, on the basis of the SB 670 prohibition.

Which, I doubt they would (as I don‘t believe they have that authority).

As, if federal laws allows something, but state law (unfairly) prohibits it.

That opens a can of worms for USFS &/or BLM in making such a “decision“.

In the sense that the USFS/BLM applicant has the right to file an administrative “appeal” of any “denial decision” under applicable USFS and/or BLM regulations.

Which, would administratively place USFS/BLM squarely in the forefront of the SB 670 issue.

Because, in that appeal, they (by law & their own regulation) would have to defer to, and defend federal law, which allows suction dredging on unpatented placer mining claims on USFS/BLM administered lands..

As a matter of fact, (in my humble opinion) any dredger who previously filed a NOI, already has valid Federal permit to suction dredge.

More later, as I am still digging..........

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SB 670

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

SECTION 1. Section 5653.1 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to read:

5653.1. (a) The issuance of permits to operate vacuum or suction dredge equipment is a project pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) and permits may only be issued, and vacuum or suction dredge mining may only occur as authorized by any existing permit, if the department has caused to be prepared, and certified the completion of, an environmental impact report for the project pursuant to the court order and consent judgment entered in the case of Karuk Tribe of California et al. v. California Department of Fish and Game et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG 05211597.

Ambiguous: Fails to define exactly what “vacuum or suction dredge equipment” is. Suppose, an operator were to use a “flotation mounted, power driven sluice ” ?

Notwithstanding Section 5653, the use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment in any river, stream, or lake of this state is prohibited until the director certifies to the Secretary of State that all of the following have occurred:

Ambiguous: Not all inclusive, does not define what a “river, stream, or lake” is. For instance, does this exclude springs, creeks, area’s of seasonal water flow that are impounded, ponds, reservoirs & lakes, etc?

(1) The department 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 et al. v. California Department of Fish and Game et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG 05211597.

Specifically what was ordered by the court, is this: “THEREFORE, the Department is hereby ORDERED to conduct a further environmental review pursuant to CEQA of its suction dredge mining regulations and to implement, if necessary, via rulemaking, mitigation measures to protect the Coho salmon and/or other special status fish species in the watershed of the Klamath, Scott, and Salmon Rivers, listed as threatened or endangered after the 1994 EIR”

This order is confined to the “watersheds of the Klamath, Scott, and Salmon Rivers“ only, not statewide.

SB 670 does not appear to give, grant or authorize the CA DF&G to perform a statewide CEQA study.

(2) The department has transmitted for filing with the Secretary of State pursuant to Section 11343 of the Government Code, a certified copy of new regulations adopted, as necessary, pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

Ambiguous: Refers to “new regulations adopted, as necessary”.

No new regulations may be deemed necessary, or adopted.

(3) The new regulations described in paragraph (2) are operative.

Ambiguous: Again, no new regulations may be necessary. Thus, no new regulations could become “operative”.

(c ) The Legislature finds and declares that this section, as added during the 2009–10 Regular Session, applies solely to vacuum and suction dredging activities conducted for instream mining purposes. This section does not expand or provide new authority for the department to close or regulate suction dredging conducted for regular maintenance of energy or water supply management infrastructure, flood control, or navigational purposes governed by other state or federal law.

(d) This section does not prohibit or restrict nonmotorized recreational mining activities, including panning for gold.

Ambiguous: By inference, appears to prohibit or restrict all motorized mining.

SEC. 2. This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect.

Urgency statutes are those necessary for immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety.

A statement of facts constituting the necessity shall be set forth in one section of the bill.

The facts constituting the necessity are: The Legislature finds that suction or vacuum dredge mining results in various adverse environmental impacts to protected fish species, the water quality of this state, and the health of the people of this state, and, in order to protect the environment and the people of California pending the completion of a court-ordered environmental review by the Department of Fish and Game and the operation of new regulations, as necessary, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.

Ambiguous: “facts” cited are purely speculative, not based on the best available scientific evidence. Appears to be based on a future study that has not taken place, nor may ever take place.

END

~~~~~~~~~

California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA)

21068. "Significant effect on the environment" means a substantial, or potentially substantial, adverse change in the environment.

21080 (e) (1) For the purposes of this section and this division, substantial evidence includes fact, a reasonable assumption predicated upon fact, or expert opinion supported by fact.

(2) Substantial evidence is not argument, speculation, unsubstantiated opinion or narrative, evidence that is clearly inaccurate or erroneous, or evidence of social or economic impacts that do not contribute to, or are not caused by, physical impacts on the environment

:rasberry::inocent:

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Title 14. California Code of Regulations

Chapter 3. Guidelines for Implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act

Article 19. Categorical Exemptions

15300. Categorical Exemptions

Section 21084 of the Public Resources Code requires these Guidelines to include a list of classes of projects which have been determined not to have a significant effect on the environment and which shall, therefore, be exempt from the provisions of CEQA. In response to that mandate, the Secretary for Resources has found that the following classes of projects listed in this article do not have a significant effect on the environment, and they are declared to be categorically exempt from the requirement for the preparation of environmental documents. Note: Authority cited: Section 21083, Public Resources Code; Reference: Section 21084, Public Resources Code.

15300.1. Relation to Ministerial Projects

Section 21080 of the Public Resources Code exempts from the application of CEQA those projects over which public agencies exercise only ministerial authority. Since ministerial projects are already exempt, categorical exemptions should be applied only where a project is not ministerial under a public agency's statutes and ordinances.

CA DF&G themselves held that issuance of a dredging permits, is MINISTERIAL

15304. Minor Alterations to Land

Class 4 consists of minor public or private alterations in the condition of land, water, and/or vegetation which do not involve removal of healthy, mature, scenic trees except for forestry or agricultural purposes.

Suction dredge fits inside this exemption.

15330. Minor Actions to Prevent, Minimize, Stabilize, Mitigate or Eliminate the Release or Threat of Release of Hazardous Waste or Hazardous Substances.

Class 30 consists of any minor cleanup actions taken to prevent, minimize, stabilize, mitigate, or eliminate the release or threat of release of a hazardous waste or substance which are small or medium removal actions costing $1 million or less.

Suction dredging fits here also, as it certainly removes toxic mercury & lead

.............. :olddude:

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Owners of valid unpatented placer claims under 30 USC 21-54, are “licensed”, and hold a “permit”, or statutory “grant” from the federal government, to mine federally authorized mining claims, subject to existing federal regulations at 36 CFR 228 et. seq., & 43 CFR 3809 et. seq. Certainly, the state may also regulate that use. But, state regulation cannot be unreasonable, nor so onerous as to effect a total prohibition of mining, or prohibit any standardized mining methods, such as suction dredging. To hold otherwise arbitrarily obliterates what a valid “mining claim” is, the owners private property rights, and federal law providing for their existence, and use.

The basic authority for Forest Service management of the surface resources on mining claims is 16 U.S.C. 551, which provides: The Secretary of Agriculture . . . may make such rules and regulations and establish such service as will insure the objects of such reservations, namely, to regulate their occupancy and use and to preserve the forests thereon from destruction . . . . There is a statutory right for persons to prospect and mine on National Forest System land open to mineral exploration, but such persons must comply with the rules and regulations covering the National Forests (16 U.S.C. 478). The relevant regulations are primarily set forth in 36 CFR Part 228, Subpart A, et. seq.

The regulations at 36 CFR Part 228, Subpart A shall be administered in a fair, reasonable, and consistent manner and not as a means of inhibiting or interfering with legitimate, well-planned mineral operations. The regulations at 36 CFR Part 228, Subpart A apply to all unpatented mill sites, tunnel sites, and mining claims, including those not subject to 30 U.S.C. 612, and to activities, primarily prospecting, which may be conducted under the mining laws but not on claims.

The statutory right of the public to prospect, develop, and mine valuable minerals shall be fully honored and protected. Onsite disturbance would be considered significant if natural recovery, to a condition of no higher standard than existed before the operation, would not be expected to take place within a reasonable period of time The determination of what is significant can come only from a fair, reasonable, and consistent evaluation of proposed operations on a case-by-case basis. .

These regulations do not allow the Forest Service or BLM to deny entry or preempt the miners’ statutory right granted under the 1872 Mining Law.

Given that fact, clearly, any state law, such as SB 670 cannot prohibit mining via suction dredging on a valid federally protected unpatented placer claim.

............. :olddude:

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SB 670

Notwithstanding Section 5653, the use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment in any river, stream, or lake of this state is prohibited until the director certifies to the Secretary of State that all of the following have occurred:

Ambiguous: Not all inclusive, does not define what a “river, stream, or lake” is. For instance, does this exclude springs, creeks, area’s of seasonal water flow that are impounded, ponds, reservoirs & lakes, etc?

CORRECTION > SHOULD READ

For instance, does this exclude springs, creeks, area’s of seasonal water flow that are impounded, ponds, reservoirs & MAN MADE POOLS, etc?

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Overview of small-scale suction dredging, applicable law & associated property rights.

Gold is found in drainages as alluvial placers where the gold is concentrated in present stream or river channels. To form placer deposits, gold is eroded from its host rock upslope, and upstream and carried downstream by the action of the water. The particles range in size from "flour" gold, to small flakes, wheat or rice grain sized nuggets, and much larger nuggets, sometimes weighing an ounce, or more.

The distance gold particles move depends on the size and shape of the particle and on the energy of the stream. Gold is picked up where currents are fast and deposited when stream velocity slows. One typical area where stream velocity decreases is where the stream enters a pool. Other areas include the inside curve of bends, where the flow is slower than in the main channel and outside bend. Water also slows in eddies on the downstream sides of obstructions in the stream, such as rocks, vegetation, logs, or bedrock outcrops.

As one of the densest materials transported by any stream velocity, gold is among the first to drop out when a stream slows and energy diminishes. Unless the gold is picked up again, it often sifts down to a hardpan layer or to bedrock by the action of gravity. Miners have long recognized how and where gold is likely to be concentrated and have operated accordingly.

All gold bearing streams in California were historically placer mined to various degree‘s, and many continue to give up gold to miners today. Placer gold is normally recovered by miners who use small-scale suction dredges, primarily on unpatented placer mining claims, they own, lease or have permission to dredge on.

Unpatented placer claims on public domain lands, open to mineral entry (some - not all National Forests & BLM lands) are initiated, and held by mining claimants under the General Mining Laws (30 U.S.C. § 21-54). Corresponding regulations to protect the environment from undue, or unnecessary degradation that may be caused by mining are found at 36 CFR 228 et. seq., & 43 CFR 3809 et. Seq.

These federal mining regulations are lengthy, complex, and stringent. Federal law mandates these regulations shall be administered in a fair, reasonable, and consistent manner and not as a means of inhibiting or interfering with legitimate, well-planned mineral operations. These regulations do not allow the Forest Service or BLM to deny entry or preempt valid mining claim owners statutory rights, or private property interests granted under the General Mining Laws.

Dredges typically use gasoline-powered pumps to create suction in a flexible pipe, generally up to 5 inches in diameter. The suction pulls stream sediment, gravel, small rocks, and other overburden materials from the stream bottom, along with any gold. All this material is routed through the header box and onto a sluice box.

The sluice box channels the water and other material over a series of riffles that serve to create pockets of slow water immediately behind each riffle - the heavier material, including any gold, settles behind the riffles and the rest ejects directly back into the stream. The entire system (e.g., gasoline-powered engine, pump, and sluice box) is mounted on a floating platform that is anchored or tethered near the work area.

Operators try to open, and maintain a hole open down to bedrock in which to work. As the operator advances upstream, cobbles and rocks too large to be vacuumed up through the nozzle and suction hose are pried loose and placed to the edge or back of the hole while smaller material is pumped through the sluice box and - except for gold and other heavy materials, such as lead sinkers, mercury that may settle out behind riffles - is immediately discharged out of the sluice box and back into the stream.

Some dredges are equipped with air compressors that provide air to "divers" so they can remain under water while examining and suction-dredging deeper holes. In extreme cold water, some dredges are even equipped with water heating devices, that recirculate warm water through a divers wet suit, to ward off hypothermia, in extreme cold water conditions. A rule of thumb is that up to one foot of overburden can be worked economically for each inch of dredge-hose-nozzle diameter.

Small-scale suction dredge operators generally prospect or explore and mine only a relatively short distance each mining season, from less than 10 feet of stream up to a maximum of perhaps 200 feet. Significant lengths of almost all gold bearing drainages in California have experienced some form of past placer mining.

Suction dredge operators search for areas that were overlooked or avoided by past miners. Many suction dredge operators have found gold in previously mined areas by meticulously exploring cracks and crevices in bedrock. The amount of material worked by small-scale suction dredgers varies widely, from less than a cubic yard per day up to 5 or possibly more yards per day, dependent on overburden characteristics, and dredge nozzle size.

In areas of large substrate, more time and effort is spent by the operator moving small boulders and cobbles larger than the nozzle diameter out of the work area. Consequently, in larger substrate less material is processed through the dredge. The opposite is true for dredging in substrate that is predominantly smaller than the dredge nozzle diameter.

Miners typically move their dredges into the stream at the beginning of the their endeavor, and do not remove their dredge until the last day of operations. There is not repeated loading or unloading of the dredges. Some miners, only dredge during week ends, holidays, or vacation periods. Others, dredge more often, to supplement other income sources. Some dredge full time, as their primary livelihood, and sole source of income.

While suction dredge is often described as a “hobby“, or “recreational”. In the vast majority of instances, primarily where miners own unpatented mining claims, that is emphatically not so. Initiation of a valid placer claim is, to say the least a difficult, often a lengthy, time consuming, expensive process. In-so-far as, almost every inch of all open to entry placer gold bearing, streams, creeks, or rivers in California are already covered with one of the 25,000 pre-existing active unpatented mining claims in California.

The investment to find, initiate, acquire, or purchase a productive unpatented placer claim, as well as a suction dredge, trailer to haul it, and all other gear required to profitably suction dredge can run from as little as $3,000, to as much as $50,000. Because valid unpatented placer mining claims, are in fact, “real property“, they are subject to California property tax, as well as annual BLM maintenance fee’s. Which, if not perfectly maintained, subject any unpatented mining claim to forfeiture, by operation of federal law.

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Guest bedrock bob

"Because valid unpatented placer mining claims, are in fact, “real property“, they are subject to California property tax..."

Please elaborate on this one OGM. This is a sticking point for me. My understanding was that Public Lands are multiple use and as a claim holder, grass lessor, etc.etc.the "real property" is limited to mineral rights only. I have certainly never been taxed on those mineral rights, and can not dictate surface use outside of my interest in the mineral rights. What gives here?

Bedrock Bob

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"Because valid unpatented placer mining claims, are in fact, “real property“, they are subject to California property tax..."

Please elaborate on this one OGM. This is a sticking point for me. My understanding was that Public Lands are multiple use and as a claim holder, grass lessor, etc.etc.the "real property" is limited to mineral rights only. I have certainly never been taxed on those mineral rights, and can not dictate surface use outside of my interest in the mineral rights. What gives here?

Bedrock Bob

In ordinary English, a "claim " is merely a demand for something, or an assertion of a right where the right has not been established. The phrase "mining claim" therefore probably connotes to most laymen an unsupported assertion or demand from which no legal rights can be inferred. But that is emphatically not so. In law, the word "claim" in connection with the phrase "mining claim" represents a federally recognized right in real property. The Supreme Court has established that a mining "claim" is not a claim in the ordinary sense of the word--a mere assertion of a right--but rather is a property interest, which is itself real property in every sense, and not merely an assertion of a right to property. Benson Mining & Smelting Co. v. Alta Mining & Smelting Co., 145 U.S.428 (1892)

Even though title to the fee estate remains in the United States, these unpatented mining claims are themselves property protected by the Fifth Amendment against uncompensated takings. See Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334 (1963); cf. Forbes v. Gracey, 94 U.S. 762, 766 (1876); U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 5; North American Transportation & Trading Co. v. U.S., 1918, 53 Ct.Cl. 424, affirmed 40 S.Ct. 518, 253 U.S. 330; United States v. Locke, 471 U.S. 84, 107, 105 S.Ct. 1785, 1799, 85 L.Ed. 2d 64 (1985); Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252, cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed. 2d 103 (1981); Rybachek v. United States, 23 Cl.Ct. 222 (1991).

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.

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Some states tax unpatented mining claims, some don’t. For instance, Oregon & Idaho do not, while California does.

For that matter, if California could tax the ability of humans to breath California air, or drink California water, they would.

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Little known history, law & facts about exclusive surface rights on mining claims.

Prior to the Multiple Use Act of 1955 (69 Stat. 368, as amended; 30 U.S.C.611-615) (PL 167): Anyone who initiated a valid unpatented mining claim, had absolute exclusive right to the minerals there, as well as all of the surface of the claim. Meaning, you could fence & gate it in, post no trespass signs, live on it, build a cabin, home, barn, shop or about anything you wanted.

Because so many (back then) took advantage of that, using it like a “homestead” law. Congress was impelled to change the law, subject to “valid existing rights”. The Multiple Use Act provided that anyone who wished to retain those pre-1955 “valid existing rights“, must file a notice within 150 days of the acts passage.

After 1955, any new mining claim, no longer had “exclusive” rights to the surface land & use. So, post 1955 mining claims, are limited to owning the mineral right, as well as the right to occupy the surface, to extract the mineral. Meaning, no fences, gates, houses, etc.

Sadly, only about 3% of mining claim owners back then filed to maintain that pre-1955 surface right.

Even so, because the way the law was, back then. Meaning, no law existed to extinguish those pre-1955 rights, even if the a mining claimant failed to file assessment work, years later, he could resume assessment work, and maintain title, so long as no 3rd party had intervened, & filed over the claim in the years the owner failed t file assessment work.

The Federal Land Policy Management Act (FLPMA) of 1976 .…… http://www.blm.gov/flpma/FLPMA.pdf …… closed that loophole. Because after 1978, if you failed to perform assessment work, and made no BLM filing, the claim (and any corresponding rights) were absolutely extinguished, by operation of law, per FLPMA.

Of the 3% of claim owners who retained pre-1955 “valid Existing rights”, FLPMA cut that down to about 1% of the former 3%. As, many did not file per FLPMA. Or, if they did, later died off, and their heirs failed to maintain a clear chain of title by continuing FLPMA filings.

Pre-1955 claims, with valid existing rights, of exclusive use of the surface are about as rare buying a winning megabucks lottery ticket. By dumb luck, I acquired one in Idaho, that I bought in 1980. Which dated back to 1931 & the owners did file to retain pre-1955 rights. LOL, I did not even know what I had, until I received a certified letter from USFS, requesting a right of way, through it. For years after that, I searched out others with pre-1955 surface rights & bought them also.

How you can tell if a claim has exclusive pre-1955 surface rights, is by searching BLM Master Title Plats (MTP). As, if applicable, each has a PL 167 surface rights determination on it. Few, understand what that is. But, it’s the starting point, if you know what you are looking at.

If a MTP shows PL 167 rights, and the claim has been maintained with current BLM filings. It holds pre-1955 exclusive surface rights. Sadly, very few people today that do hold those rights, even understand, what it is they own.

................... :olddude:

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Guest bedrock bob

Well, this is interesting to say the least. I have been told that a mining claim is definitely NOT real property and only reserves the mineral wealth for the claimant. I have also been told that the claim holder has no RIGHT to mine or exploit the mineral wealth, but only the opportunity to request a permit which is a priveledge. I figured that this was correct, as if I had the RIGHT to mine on a claim then the BLM could not deny my plans to mine it without violating my rights.

You make a great supported argument and I certainly am not arguing with it. It is just 180 degrees from what I have always THOUGHT that I understood. I have this sneaking suspicion that in order to excercise these "rights" as quoted there would be a lengthy court battle.

I do know that the three requirements for "adverse possession" is that if you pay taxes for ten years on any private property, occupy it for ten years, or fence it and claim it for ten years with no objections from the rightful owner that it becomes yours (of course with a trip to court to render a judgement). Would this apply to California non- patented mining claims? Also, if an unpatented mining claim is taxable and can be held as real property, then what is the difference (legally) between a patented claim and an unpatented one, besides the actual transfer of title on record?

Also the law you quoted mentions "oil, gas, and other hydrocarbons". Here (and I thought on all federal lands) oil, coal, natural gas, helium, and very soon Uranium is not regulated under the mining act and has very different rules from all other locatable minerals. Your quote was simply a definition and not nessesarily tied in to the "claim" issue, but it is still an interesting point. I do know that oil, coal, and gas property are night and day different from any other mineral claim.

Bob

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A claim owner is a Mineral Estate Grantee. The ownership of the claim is in fact considered real property. Just not in the same regard as real estate. You own the Minerals on that claim, you just do not own the land. A Patent property gives you all rights to the land to include ownership of everything (except water flowing through it).

You could not take adverse possession of BLM land, for one thing that land is not taxable, being owned by the Feds. What you may be referring to is private property and in some cases squatting the land.

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Well, this is interesting to say the least. I have been told that a mining claim is definitely NOT real property and only reserves the mineral wealth for the claimant. I have also been told that the claim holder has no RIGHT to mine or exploit the mineral wealth, but only the opportunity to request a permit which is a priveledge. I figured that this was correct, as if I had the RIGHT to mine on a claim then the BLM could not deny my plans to mine it without violating my rights.

You make a great supported argument and I certainly am not arguing with it. It is just 180 degrees from what I have always THOUGHT that I understood. I have this sneaking suspicion that in order to excercise these "rights" as quoted there would be a lengthy court battle.

I do know that the three requirements for "adverse possession" is that if you pay taxes for ten years on any private property, occupy it for ten years, or fence it and claim it for ten years with no objections from the rightful owner that it becomes yours (of course with a trip to court to render a judgement). Would this apply to California non- patented mining claims? Also, if an unpatented mining claim is taxable and can be held as real property, then what is the difference (legally) between a patented claim and an unpatented one, besides the actual transfer of title on record?

Also the law you quoted mentions "oil, gas, and other hydrocarbons". Here (and I thought on all federal lands) oil, coal, natural gas, helium, and very soon Uranium is not regulated under the mining act and has very different rules from all other locatable minerals. Your quote was simply a definition and not nessesarily tied in to the "claim" issue, but it is still an interesting point. I do know that oil, coal, and gas property are night and day different from any other mineral claim.

Bob

It is absolutely established that a valid unpatented placer mining claim is in fact a Statutory Federal Grant of “private property” derived from 30 U.S.C. § 21-54. All unpatented placer mining claims situated in California are on federally owned lands, under jurisdiction of the USFS, or BLM. Otherwise none would exist, as federal land is the only place an unpatented mining claim can be initiated, and held.

As long as the Federal government retains title, the federal interest in providing free access to its own land in order to promote mining is sufficient to preempt any state law that fundamentally bans such use. Thus under standard preemption analysis any state legislation, or regulation that conflicts with this overriding federal purpose, must fail.

"Under the mining laws a person has a statutory right, consistent with Departmental regulations, to go upon the open (unappropriated and unreserved) Federal lands for the purpose of mineral prospecting, exploration, development, extraction and other uses reasonably incident thereto." (See 30 U.S.C. § 21-54, 43 C.F.R. § 3809.3-3, 0-6).

Federal mining claims are "private property" Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252 cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed.2d 103 (1981); Oil Shale Corp. v. Morton, 370 F.Supp. 108, 124 (D.Colo. 1973).

This possessory interest entitles the claimant to "the right to extract all minerals from the claim without paying royalties to the United States." Swanson v. Babbitt, 3 F.3d 1348, 1350 (9th Cir. 19930).

16 U.S.C. § 481, Use of Waters: All waters within boundaries of national forests may be used for domestic, mining, milling, or irrigation purposes under the laws of the state wherein such national forests are situated or under the laws of the United States and the rules and regulations established thereunder.

"Uncompensated divestment" of a valid unpatented mining claim would violate the Constitution. Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252, cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed. 2d 103 (1981).

Even though title to the fee estate remains in the United States, these unpatented mining claims are themselves property protected by the Fifth Amendment against uncompensated takings. See Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334 (1963); cf. Forbes v. Gracey, 94 U.S. 762, 766 (1876); U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 5; North American Transportation & Trading Co. v. U.S., 1918, 53 Ct.Cl. 424, affirmed 40 S.Ct. 518, 253 U.S. 330; United States v. Locke, 471 U.S. 84, 107, 105 S.Ct. 1785, 1799, 85 L.Ed. 2d 64 (1985); Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252, cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed. 2d 103 (1981); Rybachek v. United States, 23 Cl.Ct. 222 (1991).

A valid location, though unpatented, is a grant in the nature of an estate in fee and if such an estate is taken by the United States, just compensation must be made. See U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 5, North American Transportation & Trading Co. v. U.S., 1918, 53 Ct.Cl. 424, affirmed 40 S.Ct. 518, 253 U.S. 330

Such an interest may be asserted against the United States as well as against third parties (see Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334, 336 (1963); Gwillim v. Donnellan, 115 U.S. 45, 50 (1885)) and may not be taken from the claimant by the United States without due compensation. See United States v. North American Transportation & Trading Co., 253 U.S. 330 (1920); cf. Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co.

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Oil, gas, coal & hydrocarbons are one thing & ruled by differing laws than locatable minerals.

As for mining claims, look at it this way, like a bundle of sticks, that are private property rights.

If you own a VALID unpatented mining claim.

You own several of the sticks (right to access, right to use/occuppy the surface (for mining purposes), the mineral ownership, right to mine that mineral(subject to reasonable regulation) & the right to the flow of income & profit, from what you mined.

ALL THOSE ARE CONSTITUTIONALY PROTECTED PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

But, you do not own fee simple title to the land itself.

If the mining claim was PATENTED, you would own the complete bundle of sticks (the land & all other associated private property rights).

Look at it this way, if no private property ownership rights, came with an unpatented mining claim.

There would not be mining law, or mining claims.

Who would want one? As they would be worthless.

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