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CA SUCTION DREDGE REFUND POSSIBLE


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Aanestad Legislation Requests Fairness for Suction Dredge Miners

SACRAMENTO: Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) has introduced new legislation that provides financial relief for the suction dredge mining industry in California. Senator Aanestad agreed to author SB 233 following the successful passage of legislation earlier this year that placed a permanent ban on the practice of Suction Dredge Mining in California.

Specifically, the Aanestad legislation will allow miners to request a refund of all suction dredge mining permits that were purchased from the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) in 2009. Senator Aanestad says his legislation is a matter of fairness.

“Thousands of miners in California followed the letter of the law by purchasing permits in 2009 that would allow them to practice suction dredge mining,” said Senator Aanestad. “They are not to blame for legislative action earlier this year that essentially pulled the rug out from underneath their industry. They paid for a full year of mining activities. They didn’t get it. They deserve a full refund.”

According to statistics from the DFG website, nearly 4,000 suction dredge mining permits were purchased in 2009. More than 3,000 of the permits were purchased by California residents alone. The cost of a permit for California residents is $47.50, and for out of state miners the permit fee is $186.75. In 2009, the Department collected about $250,000 from miners who were subsequently denied the right to mine.

Senator Aanestad, who led the opposition against the passage of legislation that banned the practice of suction dredge mining, believes a full refund is the least that the State of California can do.

“If I could convince the State Legislature to issue an engraved apology for wiping out an entire industry, believe me, I’d do it,” said Senator Aanestad. “The economic impacts of the ban are already hitting home in my Northern California district. Miners aren’t mining. They’re not renting motel rooms. They’re not renting equipment. They’re not paying taxes or fees that would benefit the state’s bottom line.”

The Aanestad legislation, sponsored by the New 49ers Prospecting Association, Inc., will be heard in committee when the State Legislature reconvenes for regular session in January.

“We very much appreciate the Senator’s efforts on this matter and his enthusiastic and unwavering support for not just our industry but all small business concerns,” said New 49ers General Manager Dave McCracken. “While we don’t agree with the decision to ban suction dredge mining, we are complying with the law. We just feel it’s only fair to refund the fees that thousands of miners paid earlier this year.”

http://info.sen.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/sen/sb_0201-0250/sb_233_bill_20091217_amended_sen_v98.html

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If this legislation passes to refund the Dredgers, who will this impact the decision to lift the ban on dredging. Could this lend the state even more impetus to continue the ban?

The Legislation introduced by Senator Sam Aanestad is certainly to be applauded, but will the state no longer feel beholden to the dredgers if they ever did?

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I'm of the opinion that this may not be as good as it sounds, if the state refunds the permit fees they will use this to say "We haven't harmed anyone they got their permit fees back, so how did we harm them, we only saved the salmon from being annihilated by the gold dredgers!"

Skip

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Actually, this is just the door opening & gives us a forum in the legislature.

In that if we send committee members short concise letters explaining the facts of SB 670.

In that it creates an unconstitutional taking of private property, from every unpatented placer claim owner in CA.

Which, the state will become liable to pay, if/when the federal Court rules in our favor.

It may (just may) be possible to get this amended to repeal the dredge prohibition part of SB 670.

Meaning, we still have the CEQA study to deal with.

But DFG could again issue dredge permits until the CEQA study results are in. Then, go from there.

But, the HILLMAN lawsuit & Court order complicates that.

At least we have a forum to present facts to.

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Actually, this is just the door opening & gives us a forum in the legislature.

In that if we send committee members short concise letters explaining the facts of SB 670.

In that it creates an unconstitutional taking of private property, from every unpatented placer claim owner in CA.

Which, the state will become liable to pay, if/when the federal Court rules in our favor.

It may (just may) be possible to get this amended to repeal the dredge prohibition part of SB 670.

Meaning, we still have the CEQA study to deal with.

But DFG could again issue dredge permits until the CEQA study results are in. Then, go from there.

But, the HILLMAN lawsuit & Court order complicates that.

At least we have a forum to present facts to.

Well that sounds good, but thats going on the assumption that they dont have any facts or knowledge of SB 670 already. If they do not....then why dont they?

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This will sound naive, and more of a Christmas wish, but instead of refunding our permit fees, how about crediting them

towards a free year of dredging once SB670 is overturned/repealled?

KD

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Well that sounds good, but thats going on the assumption that they dont have any facts or knowledge of SB 670 already. If they do not....then why dont they?

Have you ever thrown any of your mail out? You know, like junk mail.

Send a letter to an office, they can just toss it, if they don't like it.

Send one to a committee, they cannot do that so easy.

Hell, a lot of miners & unpatented mining claim owners, don't even know what rights they have.

Do you expect anyone outside of mining, would?

The answer is NO.

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I'm not a dredger but do care about the outcome of this. Just a thought ... collect the refunds and deposit them with the PLP!

I like the way you think Mike. I'll donate. And OGM thats a good idea. That would be a possible way to educate the legislature of the facts. I admit before sb 670 as a life long Miner I didn't know my rights. And I'm still learning.

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