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Calif Dredge Permit Process Update


Micro Nugget

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I attended the public scoping hearing conducted by Fish & Game on 3-23-11 in Southern California. My estimate is that 80 or more people attended. None spoke in favor of the proposed amended dredge regulations. Many vented their frustration, but no fights broke out. I pointed out what appears to be a fatal defect with one of the proposed new rules. That new rule is section 228(k)(3) which purports to establish a 3 foot no-dredge zone from the lateral edge of the waterway or from any gravel bar in the waterway. Adoption of this rule would automatically criminalize possession of any dredge located closer than 303 feet from the lateral edge of the waterway. This is so because of Fish & Game Code section 5653(d) which makes it a CRIME to possess a dredge within 100 yards of waters closed to dredging. I pointed out that this proposed rule must be eliminated entirely because it can not be fixed. The reason it can not be fixed stems from the constitutional limitation placed upon the executive branch of government [which F&G is part of]. The state constitution does not permit one branch of government from exercising the powers of either of the other branches. In this case, F&G cannot interpret its rule not to trigger the prohibition found in section 5653(d) because only the judicial branch has the power to interpret or construe the law and only the Legislature can make the laws. It was never the legislature's express intent to delegate criminal rule making powers to F&G. Hopefully F&G will recognize how it has overstepped its authority and correct the mistake by eliminating this defective rule.

Numerous other suggestions were made to revise the proposed regs. One of these was the extension of a dredge zone on the East Fork of the San Gabriel River to a point roughly 2 miles upstream from Cattle Canyon Creek. The reason for this extension is founded, in part, by a unique biological circumstance that does not exist in most, if any, other California rivers -- used disposable diapers. The annual cleanups at the East Fork regularly result in massive numbers of used disposable diapers that fill several truckloads. This is a documented, quantifiable fact. This means that unlike other stretches of Calif rivers, the East Fork is super-saturated with e-coli and related human fecal/urine contamination and this zone of artificial contamination extends way upstream from Cattle Canyon Creek. This is so because literally thousands of bathers and waders glut the riverbed during the summer months and make improvised dams to create swimming holes. Dredges would oxygenate the contaminated silt and gravels thus allowing natural processes to re-purify the waterway. This would constitute a great benefit to fish and other aquatic creatures that inhabit this particular stretch of the East Fork.

The next 4 public hearing sessions take place in Northern California. As always the devil lies in sorting out the details. If you have something to say, now is the time to do so. Following up with written comments is encouraged instead of relying solely on a verbal record if only because, "...the mud elephant wading through the sea leaves no tracks."

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The reason for this extension is founded, in part, by a unique biological circumstance that does not exist in most, if any, other California rivers -- used disposable diapers. The annual cleanups at the East Fork regularly result in massive numbers of used disposable diapers that fill several truckloads. ...<Snip>"

Sounds as if the only socially redeeming quality the East Fork of the SGR has left is

it's gold. Never fails...give people a nice place to play and recreate, and they just

can't seem to stop themselves from pooping all over it.

Welcome to California :grr01:

Mike

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