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NEW CA. SUCTION DREDGING BILL


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I just found this posted on another forum!!!

I haven't been able to find anything else on the internet about this to confirm it, but I will be sending emails for my support.

Skip

Lets all get behind this bill and call our legislators

BILL NUMBER: SB 657 INTRODUCED

BILL TEXT

INTRODUCED BY Senator Gaines

FEBRUARY 18, 2011

An act to add Section 5653.2 to, and to repeal and add Section

5653.1 of, the Fish and Game Code, relating to fish and wildlife, and

declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST

SB 657, as introduced, Gaines. Vacuum or suction dredge equipment.

The California Environmental Quality Act requires a lead agency,

as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared by contract, and

certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a

project, as defined, that it proposes to carry out or approve that

may have a significant effect on the environment, or to adopt a

negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that

effect. The act exempts from its provisions, among other things,

certain types of ministerial projects proposed to be carried out or

approved by public agencies, and emergency repairs to public service

facilities necessary to maintain service.

Existing law prohibits the use of any vacuum or suction dredge

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

without a permit issued by the Department of Fish and Game. Existing

law designates the issuance of permits to operate vacuum or suction

dredge equipment to be a project under the California Environmental

Quality Act, and suspends the issuance of permits, and mining

pursuant to a permit, until the department has completed an

environmental impact report for the project as ordered by the court

in a specified court action. Existing law prohibits the use of any

vacuum or suction dredge equipment in any river, stream, or lake, for

instream mining purposes, until the director of the department

certifies to the Secretary of State that (1) the department has

completed the environmental review of its existing vacuum or suction

dredge equipment regulations as ordered by the court, (2) the

department has transmitted for filing with the Secretary of State a

certified copy of new regulations, as necessary, and (3) the new

regulations are operative.

This bill would repeal the prohibition on the use of vacuum or

suction dredge equipment, and would exempt the issuance of permits to

operate vacuum or suction dredge equipment from the California

Environmental Quality Act until January 1, 2014. The bill would

require the department to refund a specified portion of the permit

fee paid by a person issued a vacuum or suction dredge equipment

permit and subject to the prohibition on the use of vacuum or suction

dredge equipment. The bill would require the department, on or

before January 1, 2014, to complete an economic impact report on the

prohibition on the use of vacuum and suction dredge equipment.

This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as

an urgency statute.

Vote: 2/3. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.

State-mandated local program: no.

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION 1. Section 5653.1 of the Fish and Game Code is repealed.

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.

SEC. 2. Section 5653.1 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to

read:

5653.1. (a) The California Environmental Quality Act (Division 13

(commencing with Section 21000) of the Public Resources Code) does

not apply to the issuance of permits to operate vacuum or suction

dredge equipment pursuant to Section 5653.

(B) This section shall remain in effect only until January 1,

2014, and as of that date is repealed, unless a later enacted

statute, that is enacted before January 1, 2014, deletes or extends

that date.

SEC. 3. Section 5653.2 is added to the Fish and Game Code, to

read:

5653.2. (a) The department shall refund a portion of the permit

fee paid by a person issued a permit for the use of vacuum or suction

dredge equipment pursuant to Section 5653 and subject to the

prohibition on the use of vacuum and suction dredge equipment imposed

by Section 5653.1, as that section read on August 6, 2009. The

amount of any refund issued pursuant to this subdivision shall be

prorated to refund the portion of the permit fee that is attributable

to the period for which the permit was issued and for which the

permittee could not use vacuum or suction dredge equipment as a

result of the prohibition on the use of vacuum and suction dredge

equipment.

(B) On or before January 1, 2014, the department shall complete a

report on the economic impacts of the prohibition on the use of

vacuum and suction dredge equipment imposed by Section 5653.1, as

that section read on August 6, 2009.

SEC. 4. 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. The facts constituting the necessity are:

In order to address, at the earliest time possible, the financial

hardship caused by the moratorium on vacuum and suction dredging to

those who depend on vacuum and suction dredging for their livelihood,

it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.

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We've introduced legislation before and shot down each and EVERY time. This bill is predicated on the new EIR which HAS NOT BEEN PUBLISHED. So don't hold your breathe :zip-lip: and have your crying towel handy as the Indian/environutz/fishermen coalition has millions,best lawyers on the planet and ready to kill all again through injunctions,cease and desist blah blah blah. Getting your hopes up just leads to more frustration and ANGER :ph34r2: John

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We've introduced legislation before and shot down each and EVERY time. This bill is predicated on the new EIR which HAS NOT BEEN PUBLISHED. So don't hold your breathe :zip-lip: and have your crying towel handy as the Indian/environutz/fishermen coalition has millions,best lawyers on the planet and ready to kill all again through injunctions,cease and desist blah blah blah. Getting your hopes up just leads to more frustration and ANGER :ph34r2: John

I understand that tho they have been short lived, victories have been won before.

But I do find it discouraging to see so many of the old hands here having been worn down in the fight, and little hope left that any good can still be accomplished.

If that is the case?

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Skip,

If this turns out to be fact, could you facilitate our ability to contact the responsible legislators by providing links to their offices or emails?

I will do some searching for links on who to contact.

Skip

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Ok here is a start, contact the California Senators and encourage them to support SB 657.

http://www.senate.ca.gov/~newsen/senators/senators.htp

If you live in California and don't know who your senator is you can find your senate district here..

http://192.234.213.69/smapsearch/framepage.asp

You can also contact Senator Ted Gaines and thank him for introducing SB657!!

http://cssrc.us/web/1/default.aspx

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I am so glad I voted for him on the Jan Special election.(I am one of his constituents). He replaced Sen Cox who passed away. Sen Cox was also very pro dredging and I confered with him more than a few times during the AB1032 battle. I think Gaines will more than fill Cox's boots, a tough job to do.

Here is his home page: Ted Gains

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This bill REMOVES all dredging rights from CEQA protection which has kept us in the water for over 16 years since the last CEQA mandated EIR. Without CEQA protection they(CDFG)have utilized PROMULGATION to close over 650 miles of the Sacramento river and all tribs to their point of inseption,effectively closing 1,000's a miles to all dredging for 20 years this july. NO CEQA=NO protection=no rights forevermore. Take a deep chug on that cyanide laced kool aid as all is given away by this bill-John :*&$*(:

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This bill REMOVES all dredging rights from CEQA protection which has kept us in the water for over 16 years since the last CEQA mandated EIR. Without CEQA protection they(CDFG)have utilized PROMULGATION to close over 650 miles of the Sacramento river and all tribs to their point of inseption,effectively closing 1,000's a miles to all dredging for 20 years this july. NO CEQA=NO protection=no rights forevermore. Take a deep chug on that cyanide laced kool aid as all is given away by this bill-John :*&$*(:

That doesn't sound at all good.

If that is the the case, then a longer look at what is intended here needs to be considered.

Can such a bill be amended to cover that gap in protection. Especially at this early stage of the process?

Perhaps Gaines isn't really aware of this potential problem.

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This bill REMOVES all dredging rights from CEQA protection which has kept us in the water for over 16 years since the last CEQA mandated EIR. Without CEQA protection they(CDFG)have utilized PROMULGATION to close over 650 miles of the Sacramento river and all tribs to their point of inseption,effectively closing 1,000's a miles to all dredging for 20 years this july. NO CEQA=NO protection=no rights forevermore. Take a deep chug on that cyanide laced kool aid as all is given away by this bill-John :*&$*(:

John how would this bill do that?

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This appears to be a well drafted, well thought out piece of proposed legislation. Most importantly, it re-focusses attention on the impact of the dredge moratorium on economically depressed areas in California and is designed to be an equitable, interim measure that can appeal to both sides of the aisle. Let's face it, the bulk of California legislators and the overwhelming bulk of California inhabitants know little or nothing, and could care less, about small scale suction dredging. For any bill to succeed it must appeal to larger interests that are familiar both to legislators and the average Joe Blow. IMHO this bill fits the current atmosphere that pervades Disneyland North. California is on the brink of a fiscal catastrophe. Governor Jerry Brown is under terrific pressure to do something. He, in turn, has attempted to pass the buck to California voters. But before he can pass that buck, he must convince the legislature to place such an initiative on a special election ballot. That means compromises must be made. That is where the give and take, the wheeling and dealing, of politics takes place. SB 657 becomes one of the political chips.

Bottom line: To maximize the effectiveness of SB 657, each interested individual MUST communicate support of this measure to his/her ASSEMBLYMAN/WOMAN or SENATOR. There are 40 Senators and 80 members of the Assembly. Most of them are from heavily populated urban areas. Thus, it is even MORE important for our urban prospector friends to contact these urban legislators.n They, after all, will be the swing votes needed in the Big Compromise taking shape in Sacto as we speak.

There are different ways to make these contacts. You, your family members and your friends can do all four. 1. The easiest is via e-mail. 2. Just about as easy, but less permanent, is a telephone call. 3. A written letter takes a few minutes more, but has more stature in the eyes of politicians, especially if sent via express mail. 4. A personal visit to the local office of your politician is by far the most effective and outweighs all of the others. You may not get to talk to your politician since they all are up north in the capitol right now. But you WILL make an impression on the politician's aides. They, in turn, relay this type of info to their boss. My advice: START DOING IT NOW AND DON'T LET UP OVER THE NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS!!! This is a great opportunity to ACT in addition to just talking or moaning about it.

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For those members of this forum who support passage of SB 657, here is an outline of an argument for your consideration. It can be e-mailed, snail mailed, discussed via telephone or presented at a local legislator's office in person:

Dear Senator _________________ [or] Assemblymember ___________________,

Please be aware of recently introduced SB 657 [sen. Ted Gaines] that would resume the issuance of permits for the in-stream recovery of gold nuggets and flakes using small scale placer mining dredges. It deserves you support for the following reasons:

1. For decades small scale dredge permits have been issued to gold nugget enthusiasts [both for fun and/or profit]. Fees for these permits regularly have been paid to the Dept. of F&G. Rural economies have benefited from the money spent by these gold prospectors.

2. All prior EIR studies concluded that such small scale activities result in no measurable harm to the environment.

3. Suddenly on August 6, 2010 during the chaotic scramble to pass its annual budget bill AFTER small scale prospectors paid their 2010 fees, and in the ABSENCE of any new evidence, the Legislature [Wiggins] suspended the issuance of small scale dredge permits and did not return the fees collected.

4. F&G then was given the impossible task of performing an EIR study of a non-existent activity [like ordering a traffic study to be done AFTER outlawing all traffic]. Not surprisingly F&G has failed to do so despite a court order issued years ago.

5. This sudden moratorium has resulted in economic hardships to hard hit rural economies by the loss of dollars spent in those local economies by the permit holders, their families and their friends.

6. SB 657 addresses these issues by following DUE PROCESS, i.e., by permitting such longstanding activities unless it is shown, through tangible empirical evidence, to be harmful.

7. SB 657 restores the status quo and gives F&G 3 yrs to complete a valid scientific study.

8. F&G scientists benefit because they will be able to perform a credible scientific study of an EXISTING activity [like performing a traffic study during times when traffic is present].

9. Rural economies will benefit because of an influx of sorely needed money spent by small scale prospectors, their family members and friends at local stores, cafes and RV Parks.

10. The State of California Budget will benefit from the resumption of small scale dredge permit fee payments.

Thank you for considering this request to support passage of SB 657.

Very truly yours, _________________________

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For those members of this forum who support passage of SB 657, here is an outline of an argument for your consideration. It can be e-mailed, snail mailed, discussed via telephone or presented at a local legislator's office in person:

Dear Senator _________________ [or] Assemblymember ___________________,

Please be aware of recently introduced SB 657 [sen. Ted Gaines] that would resume the issuance of permits for the in-stream recovery of gold nuggets and flakes using small scale placer mining dredges. It deserves you support for the following reasons:

1. For decades small scale dredge permits have been issued to gold nugget enthusiasts [both for fun and/or profit]. Fees for these permits regularly have been paid to the Dept. of F&G. Rural economies have benefited from the money spent by these gold prospectors.

2. All prior EIR studies concluded that such small scale activities result in no measurable harm to the environment.

3. Suddenly on August 6, 2010 during the chaotic scramble to pass its annual budget bill AFTER small scale prospectors paid their 2010 fees, and in the ABSENCE of any new evidence, the Legislature [Wiggins] suspended the issuance of small scale dredge permits and did not return the fees collected.

4. F&G then was given the impossible task of performing an EIR study of a non-existent activity [like ordering a traffic study to be done AFTER outlawing all traffic]. Not surprisingly F&G has failed to do so despite a court order issued years ago.

5. This sudden moratorium has resulted in economic hardships to hard hit rural economies by the loss of dollars spent in those local economies by the permit holders, their families and their friends.

6. SB 657 addresses these issues by following DUE PROCESS, i.e., by permitting such longstanding activities unless it is shown, through tangible empirical evidence, to be harmful.

7. SB 657 restores the status quo and gives F&G 3 yrs to complete a valid scientific study.

8. F&G scientists benefit because they will be able to perform a credible scientific study of an EXISTING activity [like performing a traffic study during times when traffic is present].

9. Rural economies will benefit because of an influx of sorely needed money spent by small scale prospectors, their family members and friends at local stores, cafes and RV Parks.

10. The State of California Budget will benefit from the resumption of small scale dredge permit fee payments.

Thank you for considering this request to support passage of SB 657.

Very truly yours, _________________________

Micro,

That a good argument/form letter, but #10 wouldn't apply as SB657 would do away with permit fees until 01-01-2014.

Skip

P.S. I just noticed the smilies in the bill text, sorry I didn't put those in there, the punctuation marks that should be there just happen to be the same as the "codes" for the smiles!! :inocent: :inocent:

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Guest Gripper

Micro Nugget,

Thanks for your work.

Hoser John:

What is your answer to our situation? I gather that this bill is a conspiracy in your eyes. So what then?

I want dredging back. Who shall I support?

Gripper

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Exact same casino/karuk/environutz/fishermen coalition fueled folks bought off politicians to launch the multi million dollar multi year attack on my dredging rights-through 1225 & SB670. PROMILGATION is the emergency act utilized to close a area forevermore to dredging. Many MANY closures and not 1 SQUARE INCH OF OPENINGS EVER. Senator McClintock is the only man with a plan-go to his website and many meetings monthly trying to get back our rights-all others pure bs and ignorance. Ya'all drank the cyanide laced koolaid for years by listeneing to PLOP and the 69ers and this is what ya got and earned--John----I do believe this is about as political as can be and verboten on this website soooo outta respect for the owners wishes I'll not post or look on this here again-so viscerate at will :yuk-yuk:

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Exact same casino/karuk/environutz/fishermen coalition fueled folks bought off politicians to launch the multi million dollar multi year attack on my dredging rights-through 1225 & SB670. PROMILGATION is the emergency act utilized to close a area forevermore to dredging. Many MANY closures and not 1 SQUARE INCH OF OPENINGS EVER. Senator McClintock is the only man with a plan-go to his website and many meetings monthly trying to get back our rights-all others pure bs and ignorance. Ya'all drank the cyanide laced koolaid for years by listeneing to PLOP and the 69ers and this is what ya got and earned--John----I do believe this is about as political as can be and verboten on this website soooo outta respect for the owners wishes I'll not post or look on this here again-so viscerate at will :yuk-yuk:

Sometimes we can't escape some politics when it directly affects our rights involving mining and as long as the name calling and mud slinging is not started useful info is just that...

Just gets irritating when grown fellers and ladies can't make a point without name calling. I quit that stuff before getting to High School...

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I have been doing a bit of research into the policies of Senator McClintock, and the guy really does come across as a no-nonsense, get to the heart of the matter, fellow. Hoser John was right about him.

Have not yet run across his comments as relates the dredging issues in California, but did enjoy his examining Sec Salazar over the loss of 200 billion gal of water dumped into the ocean for the sake of a Delta Smelt, when the San Joaquin Valley dried up and lost it's crops.

The Greenies are gonna kill us!

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Yes!

Apparently, all of the smaller tributaries of the Klamath are going to remain closed, the Klamath itself will be reopened, but only to 4" intakes without an on-site inspection. Then maybe up to 8" on Klamath and Scott rivers.

Nothing is written in stone yet, as hearing on proposed regulations are being scheduled.

Saw no info on rest of state.

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Just recieved a call from a 'Kim' at Calif fish and game, during the course of our conversation she mentioned that 4000 dredge permits will be issued statewide, and that Calif had never reached a 4000 permit issued year as yet.

I told her to sharpen her pencil, with the price of gold currently, it would very likely exceed that the next time!

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