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wminerick

Organizing Miners & Prospectors

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Organizing the miners:

Hi, I'm a new guy on your forum, but have been around the other forums for around 5 or so years under another name (Bluebeard).

I've seen previous posts about trying to orgainze the miners. I was involved with a small group of really bright guys for the last two years writing letters to the DFG and legislators. I spend a lot of time on the internet and have quite a few google alerts set up, so I saw just about every article written about the suction dredgers and our plight here in California. Just about every single one of the was anti-dredging with an initial paragraph which started out like..."As everyone knows, suction dredging is bad for the environment..." The only pro dredging articles were ones that were purchased by Rachel Dunn on PR Newswire, and a couple of other ones from the Author of Gold Rush Tales who understood what we were up against. And after those posts were made, myself and a few of the guys I was working with were trying to do damage control by sending in comments on the articles. But once the articles were published, the damage was done.

It was really annoying having all the negative press and nothing postive came out about the good stuff the suction dredgers & prospectors did. The miner's unofficial lobbyst's were Rachel Dunn & Rick Eddy, who (were working on ther own) were trying to approach as many legislators as they could, but California is a big state, and they were doing it in their "spare time". On the vote of AB 120, Rick told me that every anti-suction dredging legislator they approached and talked to, they made enough sense that the legislator changed their vote. The problem was there was only two of them trying to change the minds of legislators up and down the state. And it is a BIG state. Rick tells me they missed the AB120 vote by one vote. That was the one legislator they didn't get to. Too bad there weren't more miners out there who understood what grass roots lobbying is all about. It could have changed history for us.

Meanwhile on the forums, everyone was complaining that there was nothing to do.

For the environmentalists, rolling over us was like shooting fish in a barrel. For an industry which supposedly brought somewhere between $50 million & $250 million a year to the state's economy, there was ZERO push back, because there was no advocacy organization to promote our side of the story.

Our small group watched and waited for SOMEONE to pull something together.

Finally, we got tired of waiting and we decided to do something. We checked out available names, contacted organizations whose names where similar to the one we chose, to make sure we weren't stepping on anyone's toes and then decided upon calling ourselves Western Mining Alliance. It wasn't official, as we weren't really sure what we were going to do if AB120 was defeated.

There was a lot of talk on the forums of people organizing, but no one did anything. And then after AB120 was passed, we were so angry..... in a fit of frustration, we actually trademarked the name, set it up as a limited liability corporatation (so we could eventually lobby) and started figuring out what we were going to do.

We talked with a lot of people, and got a lot of ideas. We decided we wanted to start an Industry Organizaton, since currently there seems to be no such thing. Right now we are focusing on California, but if there are other organizations in other states that want to do the same thing we are doing, we'd love to hook up with them so between us and whoever else does this, there can be some coordination on a national scale in our fight for our livelyhoods.

By the way, we didn't start this because we wanted to make a living from it. All of us have real 9-5 real jobs that demand our attention during the daylight hours of the day, so if someone thinks we are doing this to get rich, it is not the case- again, we started it because no one else did. I can honestly say, I work on this from after work to midnight every night. It's a long day, but someone has to do something. And no matter what the outcome of our efforts, it won't change how much money I make, because my business has NOTHING to do with mining or prospecting.

Nobody in our small group has any ego problems, which is good. As a matter of fact, we designed this organization to be a "bottoms up" organization as far as gathering info and processing it. We want to hear what EVERYONE of our members has to say, even if we disagree with it. At first we thought we were going to be another "send in the lawyers" group, but soon decided that wouldn't work, as we are working stiffs and no one is independently wealthy enough to buy lawyers. So we decided to go the grass roots avenue with the help of a very important mentor from Indiana.

So the plan is to contact all the people in this industry by phone in this state. Gee, that is only about 20,000 phone calls, but hey, you gotta start somewhere. We want to talk to EVERY person who is involved with this so we can get a consensus and come up with some outside the box kind of ideas.

So far we have some great ideas of how the organization will promote change:

Legislative

Advocacy (media and marketing)

Grass Roots

Community

History

Environmentalism

Networking

Business Development

That's a pretty big order for a small group of part time volunteers.

If anyone wants to help out or has any ideas they want to share, I would encourage you to stop by our site www.thewma.org or call me. My number is on the site. We NEED TO ORGANIZE ALL THE MINERS/PROSPECTORS in the State of California (and ultimately across the country) if we want to turn this thing around. EVERYONE needs to participate.

In the thread that got accidently deleted, there was some disparaging remarks about one of the person's and his organization that is trying to change the laws. Apparently there are a bunch of you guys who have issues with the person who runs that organization. That person is one of many advisors to our organization. We chose him because he is knowledgeable, and many of the main manufacturers in the industry support him (I know lots of people who although they may not agree with everything he does, feel that he was instrumental in teaching them in nuances of mining law). We wanted someone to advise us on the mining law side of things to make sure anything we did didn't interfer with any pending lawsuits.

My main point about this man and his organization is - you may like him or you may not- never the less, he is stepping up to the plate and dedicating his life to try to turn this thing around. And if you don't like what he is doing, rather than bad-mouthing him and his organization, maybe it is time for YOU to step up and make a BIGGER impact than he is. It frustrates me that we are fighting people with more money than god, and not only are we fighting them, but we have to be fighting each other. Now is the time we need to put ALL OF OUR RESOURCES to turn this thing around. If we don't work together, and do it quickly, then we can all be good little cry-babies and sit at home and bitch and moan on the forums.

If you want to step up and be a part of this fight, WE WANT YOU!

Check out our website @ www.thewma.org

Spend some time there looking around and before you commit to anything, make sure you see the same vision we do. We are interested in EVERYONE's input- the farther outside the box, the better. If you want to help out, contact us and together we can find something that you will enjoy doing and you can then go to sleep at night knowing YOU ARE MAKING AN EFFORT TO TURN THIS THING AROUND.

As a side note, yesterday I contacted a State minerals officer from another nearby state to ask him what he thought the chances are of turning things around. His comment to me was " All the big mining companies have written California off.... no one is even considering opening a mine in California.... The only thing that is going to save mining in California, is a GRASS ROOTS MOVEMENT- if that doesn't happen, the coffin will be nailed shut forever"

So, I guess this is our DO or DIE moment.

If you know anyone who wants to help turn around the mining issues in California, contact us. We need all the help we can get.

Wminerick

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Stepping up to keep from getting stepped on is good for sure....

I also agree it is indeed do or die time and I am looking forward to hearing what some of our members have to say.

I think many of us have had enough now and I also agree fighting amongst ourselves does noithing but help those who seek to destroy us.....

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I forgot to add, I will be speaking at the Shasta Prospector's meeting in Redding this coming Wednesday Jan 18, at Moose Lodge at 320 Lake Street at around 8PM (the meeting starts at 7PM). If you are in the neighborhood and want to stop by, you are welcome to come. I'd love to talk with you. A map is on the website @ www.thewma.org if you need directions.

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I tried opening the website www.thewma.org and it won't open...help! Cheers, Unc

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After having a lengthy telephone conversation with Rick, I think his organization deserves support. The current goal is to bring miners together and set up a network so all can stay informed or have input. As Rick pointed out, many miners do not have or use computers and he is reaching out to them also. He has put a lot of time and effort into bringing this to light. Here is hoping him all the success he deserves and we need.

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