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Geo-George

Illegal dredging/sluicing?

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So, I understand that,....

I can use a recirculating system for the water, but I may not use suction to retrieve the material off the mine floor, once it has been chipped from the wall or floor, correct?

I think thats what he is saying. If you can sweep it up or shovel great. Just cannot suction it up.

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From the DFG.....

“If booming does not involve the use of a suction system to extract minerals from the bottom of a stream, river or lake, it is not suction dredging subject to the Department’s authority under Fish and Game Code 5653 et seq. (See also Fish and Game Code 5653.5 (“’ river, stream or lake’ means the body of water at the current water level at the time of the dredging”).)” (Emphasis added)

Gary

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I really appreciate everyone's input on this issue.

And as you said, Skip, this discussion in based on opinion and conjecture.

It really helps to get the horse out of the barn and ride him around to see if he's worth his oats.

Thanks again.

Now, just who is Jerry, and how would I contact him for his direct opinion on this matter? I still have a hunch that because of the mine, there may be other rules that apply.

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So, I understand that,....

I can use a recirculating system for the water, but I may not use suction to retrieve the material off the mine floor, once it has been chipped from the wall or floor, correct?

George,

What you stated is in my opinion is very legal, no problem and I believe everyone else will agree, but what I believe Steve (Eldorado) is saying is that you could use the Highbanker combo posted in the picture he posted, setup in dredge mode with suction nozzle within the 150 ft of a stream where stated you were mining and still be legal, and that Jerry Hobbs of the PLP agrees with this.

My reply above was in response to Steve's last post.

Skip

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From the DFG.....

“If booming does not involve the use of a suction system to extract minerals from the bottom of a stream, river or lake, it is not suction dredging subject to the Department’s authority under Fish and Game Code 5653 et seq. (See also Fish and Game Code 5653.5 (“’ river, stream or lake’ means the body of water at the current water level at the time of the dredging”).)” (Emphasis added)

Gary

Gary,

I think the real subject that is in question here and is opened to interpretation is the wording in SB670...

"Under existing law, it is unlawful 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..."

George,

Contact info for Gerald "Jerry" Hobbs, President of the PLP (Public Lands for the People), if you haven't heard of the PLP you can navigate to the home page via this page as well, and I would encourage you to make a donation to the causes of the PLP or even better join and become a member...

http://www.plp1.org/contacts.html

Skip

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From the DFG.....

“If booming does not involve the use of a suction system to extract minerals from the bottom of a stream, river or lake, it is not suction dredging subject to the Department’s authority under Fish and Game Code 5653 et seq. (See also Fish and Game Code 5653.5 (“’ river, stream or lake’ means the body of water at the current water level at the time of the dredging”).)” (Emphasis added)

Gary

Gary,

Just to clarify your post, is the quote in your post from the DFG regulations before or after SB 670 was passed into law?

Skip

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Gary,

I think the real subject that is in question here and is opened to interpretation is the wording in SB670...

"Under existing law, it is unlawful 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..."

Skip

Here are the links to two letters addressing this.....

From the lawyer.....

http://www.goldgold.com/legal/Letter_Mattox_10-27-09.pdf

From DFG.....

http://www.goldgold.com/legal/CDFG_Ltr_12-10-09.pdf

Gary

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Thanks Skip,

I have heard of the PLP, but don't really know what they are about.

I will contact them and see what's up.

George

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Gary,

I copy the regulations quoted in your post in there entirety to avoid any confusion and they are as follows...

Skip

Edit: The smilies that are in the below quoted regulations appear because of certain text contained within the regulations and the incidental "smilies codes" of this forum and where not inserted by me. :tisk-tisk: :tisk-tisk: :inocent::inocent:

Quote:

"5653. (a) The use of any vacuum or suction dredge equipment by any

person in any river, stream, or lake of this state is prohibited,

except as authorized under a permit issued to that person by the

department in compliance with the regulations adopted pursuant to

Section 5653.9. Before any person uses any vacuum or suction dredge

equipment in any river, stream, or lake of this state, that person

shall submit an application for a permit for a vacuum or suction

dredge to the department, specifying the type and size of equipment

to be used and other information as the department may require.

(B) Under the regulations adopted pursuant to Section 5653.9, the

department shall designate waters or areas wherein vacuum or suction

dredges may be used pursuant to a permit, waters or areas closed to

those dredges, the maximum size of those dredges that may be used,

and the time of year when those dredges may be used. If the

department determines, pursuant to the regulations adopted pursuant

to Section 5653.9, that the operation will not be deleterious to

fish, it shall issue a permit to the applicant. If any person

operates any equipment other than that authorized by the permit or

conducts the operation in any waters or area or at any time that is

not authorized by the permit, or if any person conducts the operation

without securing the permit, that person is guilty of a misdemeanor.

© The department shall issue a permit upon the payment, in the

case of a resident, of a base fee of twenty-five dollars ($25), as

adjusted under Section 713, when an onsite investigation of the

project size is not deemed necessary by the department, and a base

fee of one hundred thirty dollars ($130), as adjusted under Section

713, when the department deems that an onsite investigation is

necessary. In the case of a nonresident, the base fee shall be one

hundred dollars ($100), as adjusted under Section 713, when an onsite

investigation is not deemed necessary, and a base fee of two hundred

twenty dollars ($220), as adjusted under Section 713, when an onsite

investigation is deemed necessary.

(d) It is unlawful 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.

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.

(B) 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:

(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.

(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.

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

© 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.

5653.3. Any person required to possess a permit pursuant to Section

5653 shall present his or her dredging equipment for inspection upon

request of a state or county fish and game warden.

5653.5. For purposes of Section 5653, "river, stream, or lake"

means the body of water at the current water level at the time of the

dredging.

5653.7. In the event of an unanticipated water level change, when

necessary to protect fish and wildlife resources, the department may

close areas that were otherwise opened for dredging and for which

permits were issued pursuant to Section 5653.

5653.8. For purposes of Sections 5653 and 5653.3, "person" does not

include a partnership, corporation, or other type of association.

5653.9. The department shall adopt regulations to carry out Section

5653 and may adopt regulations to carry out Sections 5653.3, 5653.5,

and 5653.7. The regulations shall be adopted in accordance with the

requirements of Division 13 (commencing with Section 21000) of the

Public Resources Code and Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340)

of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code. "

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George,

Thanks for posting your questions on this forum, it will help others to decide for themselves what they can or cannot do in California while SB670 remains in effect. :thumbsupanim

I know that you have posted these questions on other forum/s that I'm also a member of, Please feel free to link to this thread/discussion as needed to help others in their decisions while the state is under the dredging ban.

Skip

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Skip,

Steel Pan directed me to this forum due to the experianced members.

The other forum, while being a downright friendly place, just doesn't seem to have the experianced prospectors/miners I've found here.

Some forums are real touchy about linking to another forum, so I have held back from linking.

I thank everyone for y'all being such a dynomite group. :wubu:

Best to ya all in 2010!

George

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I have a question just as a question.

I see issue with the whole it is illegal to own or posess thing.

If you have a home or cabin that is within 100 yards from a closed waterway.

I would think what you owned prior to said law is exempt by the very rule of I think in school it's habis corpus?

Please excuse my spelling. But the whole idea of tell us what we can own or possess.

Maybe nobody lives with in those areas but to think that they can suddenly out law what your owned prior is something to be concerned about.

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I have a question just as a question.

I see issue with the whole it is illegal to own or posess thing.

If you have a home or cabin that is within 100 yards from a closed waterway.

I would think what you owned prior to said law is exempt by the very rule of I think in school it's habis corpus?

Please excuse my spelling. But the whole idea of tell us what we can own or possess.

Maybe nobody lives with in those areas but to think that they can suddenly out law what your owned prior is something to be concerned about.

That is a very good point!!

That is also something that the politicians didn't think about when passing this, in my opinion "illegal" law, another point that has been overlooked is simply transporting your dredge to storage/another state, etc. you will be in violation of SB670 simply by hauling your dredge on a lot of highways and roads throughout California, not a lot of forethought was use when getting this law passed, only misleading information and $$$$ in people's pockets!!! :*&$*(: :*&$*(:

Skip

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Skip,

Steel Pan directed me to this forum due to the experianced members.

The other forum, while being a downright friendly place, just doesn't seem to have the experianced prospectors/miners I've found here.

Some forums are real touchy about linking to another forum, so I have held back from linking.

I thank everyone for y'all being such a dynomite group. :wubu:

Best to ya all in 2010!

George

Go Get'm George.... you might also want to see what the folks at Golddredger.com might have to say.... it is a great forum also and I would like to see the conversation there too. J. Hobbs frequents that forum

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Excerted from the New 49'rs newsletter.....

"In an attempt to get the confusion cleared up before the upcoming season, our attorneys wrote a formal request to DFG for clarification on 27 October 2009. In our letter, we made our position clear that we do not believe booming can be classed as “dredging” under the terms within Section 5653 of the Fish & Game Code, because high-banking activity takes place completely outside of the active waterway. We also pointed out that while some of the gear is similar, DFG could not class booming or other high-banking gear as “dredging equipment” (which cannot be within 100 yards of a waterway that is closed to dredging) as long as there is no intention to excavate river or stream-bottom materials from the active waterway. Here is copy of our letter."

Gary

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Go Get'm George.... you might also want to see what the folks at Golddredger.com might have to say.... it is a great forum also and I would like to see the conversation there too. J. Hobbs frequents that forum

Okay, dropped my question on the site.

It's beddy bye time, so I'll check on it tomorrow.

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I would think what you owned prior to said law is exempt by the very rule of I think in school it's habis corpus?

Please excuse my spelling. But the whole idea of tell us what we can own or possess.

Well they are making everyone buy healthcare, just beacuse you are breathing.....I dont see much of a difference.

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Okay, dropped my question on the site.

It's beddy bye time, so I'll check on it tomorrow.

The only answer to your questions are with the authorities. The forums will tell you how they think it should be, but the only place you are going to find out an interpretation of the law is through the office with jurusdiction over the activity.

PLP simply does not interpret the law, nor does it enforce the law. Neither does any internet forum. What is legal and what is prohibited is dictated by the authorities. That is the only place that you could possibly find an answer to any of your questions. Phone numbers for this information are available at the click of a mouse.

SKip is the only one that has offered any real advice here. The rest is just conjecture.

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The only answer to your questions are with the authorities. The forums will tell you how they think it should be, but the only place you are going to find out an interpretation of the law is through the office with jurusdiction over the activity.

PLP simply does not interpret the law, nor does it enforce the law. Neither does any internet forum. What is legal and what is prohibited is dictated by the authorities. That is the only place that you could possibly find an answer to any of your questions. Phone numbers for this information are available at the click of a mouse.

SKip is the only one that has offered any real advice here. The rest is just conjecture.

Yes Bob, I realize that.

If I had not posted this dilema I wouldn't have gotten the info to further pursue my inquiry.

Thanks,

George

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Yes Bob, I realize that.

If I had not posted this dilema I wouldn't have gotten the info to further pursue my inquiry.

Thanks,

George

It seems the letter that GG posted from DFG has the right info, straight from the horse's mouth. It cuts diagonally through what has been posted on this forum. Someone is mistaken, the Lord only knows who.

Be careful of those who would suffer for a cause. There are those here that would completely ignore the law. This type makes a great patriot but a poor legal advisor. Also keep in mind there is the law, and there are the officers. Many folks have been thrown in the clink over an interpretation and the ensuing conflict over "who is right". I have found that the man with the badge is ALWAYS right until it gets in front of a judge. If you want to prove a point, interpret the law yourself, or ask a prospector to do it for you. If you want to stay out of trouble ask the DFG to interpret it for you.

I wouldnt ask a race car driver to interpret traffic laws in Indianapolis. I wouldn't ask a thief for legal advice, and I wouldnt ask prospectors to interpret DFG regualtions. Just my two cents for what it is worth.

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It seems the letter that GG posted from DFG has the right info, straight from the horse's mouth. It cuts diagonally through what has been posted on this forum. Someone is mistaken, the Lord only knows who.

Be careful of those who would suffer for a cause. There are those here that would completely ignore the law. This type makes a great patriot but a poor legal advisor. Also keep in mind there is the law, and there are the officers. Many folks have been thrown in the clink over an interpretation and the ensuing conflict over "who is right". I have found that the man with the badge is ALWAYS right until it gets in front of a judge. If you want to prove a point, interpret the law yourself, or ask a prospector to do it for you. If you want to stay out of trouble ask the DFG to interpret it for you.

I wouldnt ask a race car driver to interpret traffic laws in Indianapolis. I wouldn't ask a thief for legal advice, and I wouldnt ask prospectors to interpret DFG regualtions. Just my two cents for what it is worth.

You are so right. Im going' to meet with the district ranger to get their "opinion" on my situation. I'm trying to reseach all avenues regarding the issue at hand. I have some time before I can get back on my claim, so I am going to take advantage of my down time.

Thanks Bob!

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District Rangers are some of the worst when it comes to law. The law will be interpreted by them many different ways depending on their own personal agenda. The information from the DFG already agrees that this is not considered dredging.......That came up a long time ago,hence why I made my statement in the first place.

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District Rangers are some of the worst when it comes to law. The law will be interpreted by them many different ways depending on their own personal agenda. The information from the DFG already agrees that this is not considered dredging.......That came up a long time ago,hence why I made my statement in the first place.

Page 2 paragraph 2 of that letter indicates that it could indeed be considered dredging if you used a suction nozzle but was not in a stream course and so the ban wouldnt apply. At least that is how I interpret it. But then, my interpretation is only as good as yours, or anyone else with absolutely no authority to interpret the law. The interpretation of the law belongs to the officer and the department charged with enforcement.

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A "river", "stream", or "lake" is a river, stream or lake within the legally recognized definitions of those bodies of water that have come down through the years. A tub of water has never been legally construed to be a river, stream or lake. It is not an "active waterway". It seems that Mr. Buchal's letter has in mind a kind of mud hole [instead of an enclosed tub] created outside an active waterway by filling a low spot with water and then using a suction nozzle to "boom" with, i.e., suck water and material from the bottom of the mud hole and return the water and gravel back into the mud hole after capturing concentrates in a sluice mechanism. The F&G staff attorney seems to be aware that there is a gray area here. He basically leaves the key question unanswered. Can you or can you not dig a mud hole away from an active waterway and boom it [even if it is closer than 100 yards distant]? The staff attorney appears to place emphasis on what a "bank" is. SB670 defines rivers, streams and lakes as the level at the time of operation, i.e., the traditional definition of where the active waterline is located [the place where the river, stream or lake water touches the dry land at the moment]. Senator Wiggins [author of SB670] and her handlers probably put the 100 yard restricted zone in the bill for ease of regulation and criminal citation. Mr. Buchal, however, correctly poses the issue of intent [i.e., as a required element of a crime] to distinguish booming activities from traditonal dredging activities that previously required a dredge permit. So, for example, if an over zealous F&G warden cites a truck driver for driving a truckload of Keene suction dredges across a bridge that is less than 100 yds from an active waterway while the driver is enroute to Oregon to make a delivery of newly manufactured dredges, a valid legal defense would be that the driver had no "criminal" intent -- he did not intend to suck up gravel from an active waterway. Although he "possessed" items that "could" be illegal [depending on his intent], he was merely transporting them from one state to another. In this country each incident is treated on a case by case basis and many legal rules and principles come into play that are way beyond the scope of this reply. I agree that there is no infallible oracle from which to secure a firm answer to the question posed. But it seems to me, anyway, that Mr. Buchal has raised a very good point and the F&G attorney merely warns that it would be up to the courts to supply an answer, depending on the circumstances at issue.

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What about the intent of the law? The intent of the law is clear. To put a ban on dredging in the river to save salmon. It was not intended to be a ban on all mining. But the sticker is the 100 yard rule. If you had a dredge in the river they would cite you for what? What would the charge be? If you were sucking up material from under a lava cap in an old tunnel and you were otherwise legally mining, what would the charge be? Sucking within 100 yards of the river? They have to cite the law somewhere and the laws intent ends at shoreline.

Surely an argument could be made that the dredge ban made a huge impact on mining, and now as industry tries to adapt and is absolutely no threat to the salmon the law is being used to further impact the miners. The intent was clearly to stop damage within the waterway. Seems like some brave soul is going to get the opportunity to take this new law for a test drive. I bet we have a few Huckleberrys in our midst this season.

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