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Western Mining Alliance Needs The Help of ALL Small Miners/Prospectors

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The thread on the other topic just about died when I made my last post. I am assuming no one saw it, but I guess this way I will know for sure.

WMA is trying to reach out to all miners who have claims in California. And we are doing so by individually calling each miner. Heck it is only 10,000 phone calls to be done by March 15..... no problem....But hey, if you have some spare time, we sure could use some help. If you live in any of the states noted below, we'd appreciate it if you help us out by spending a couple of evenings calling the California Claimholders in your state. It's actually quite fun- it doesn't sound like it, but it is a lot of fun.

I need people to call California Claimholders in California - I have a lot of counties which need pepple to make calls. It is actually really fun and you get to meet California claimholders near you.

And we need callers in the following states and territories:

AK, AL, AR, AZ, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, KN, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, NY, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, British Columbia, Ontrio Canada, Yukon Territory, Jamacia

Some states have a handful of claimholders, the following have quite a few and may need several callers: California has 6800 claim holders, AZ, NV, OR, TX, and WA also have quite a few CA claim holders.

So if you want to have some fun talking with mining claim owners to ensure they know what is going down, please contact me: wminerick@gmail.com

We have a 2 week time frame to contact 10,000 claim holders who hold (collectively) over 55,000 mining claims in CA.

A tall order, to be sure.

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Can you elaborate a little more Rick about what is needed in other States? In AZ for instance what is it you need told when calls are made to claim holders. I am thinking there will be more volunteers if folks know what is to be discussed when they get a total stranger on the phone.

I may be able to help here in AZ...

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I do cold calling for a living and this is the easiest call I have ever made. When you call and claim holder answers the line, the conversation goes like this:

You: Is this Joe Smith?

Him: Yeah, who are you?

You: I am a miner/ suction dredger...... and rumor has it you are too (the secret to cold calling is to IMMEDIATELY show some connection between you and who you are calling- by making that statement, you have immediately made connection with him)

Him: Yeah, I used to be until CA threw me off the rivers

You: That is the reason I am calling. I am trying to organize all California Claim holders to create a grass roots movement to turn the regulations around. Are you interested in finding out more information or joining our movement?

Him: Sure, what do you have to send me?

You: I'd like to get your email address so I can have Western Mining Alliance email you some info. We promise we won't spam you.

From that point on, the person you are calling will start asking you questions, and feel free to talk all you want. But remember it is too easy to get consumed while talking to another miner. I have literally spent over 3 hours talking to a guy who had a claim near mine and it was so interesting I didn't want to hang up.

It's really easy, huge fun, you get to meet a lot of interesting miners who literally are neighbors of yours and YOU ARE STEPPING UP AND MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

I cannot promise you we will win this thing, but the more people we get involved, the better chances we have of prevailing.

Are there any takers out there?

Time is short.

California Suction Dredgers Need your help.


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Guest Gripper


I can't afford the cell phone minutes, but I have a printer, envelopes, and a roll of stamps. I would like to contact the local miners in my area via mail using the names and addresses I find on LR2000. I'm not much good with words, could you give me a good idea of a form letter I can use to convey our message. Please post it here or PM me.


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Hi Rick. All these people you are trying to enroll in your organization can do more than just send in their checks and try to get others to do the same can they not?

Do you have a list of elected Congressmen and Senators who have sponsored and/or supported legislation that is unfriendly to miners and those who want access to public lands? I would think identifying them and getting them out of office would be real important.

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Slim- A lot of politicians from both sides of the isles voted against us. And I cannot blame them as they were approached by the environmental groups who had a good story "those criminals are desecrating our precious natural resources". And I truly believe they voted their conscience. At this point in time, I cannot blame the representatives any more than I can blame the lack of organization by the mining community. Rick Eddy and Rachel Dunn took it upon themselves an acted as "miner lobbyists" and personally visited many of the representatives during the crucial vote on AB120 , a bill which was "slipped in" to the budget with no oversight as it appeared we were making headway with the responses to the original proposed EIR. Rick & Rachel, by themselves turned a bunch of the votes around through grass roots lobbying (and the AB120 vote was missed by one representative they didn't have time to visit)- every representative they talked to, changed their vote. So, in effect, our defeat lays directly on our own "inaction" or lack of organization of the mining community. Everyone is expecting someone else to do the heavy work, yet reap the benefits.

Personally, I stand gulity as charged. I am one of those people who has never been politically active, but expected someone else to carry my load- especially as I am not a full-timer, I figured the full timers had it under control. Nada. This one of the reasons we created WMA is to ensure the process of grass roots lobbying is spread amonst ALL the miners, so no any one person is liable for the sucess of the whole group. In order for everyone to be successful, EVERYONE has to participate. If you don't carry your load, the whole thing goes down.

Personally, (after taking a crash course on grass roots lobbying by one of the esteemed members of this board) I have changed my whole view of the political process. It appears that writing letters and attending protests makes the letter writer feel good, but pretty much has no effect on the political process. It is only when you make an appointment and show up and introduce yourself to your representative and talk to them (and show them your gold) - then they can put a face to the comment and things start rolling. Now multiply that process by 20,000 miners up and down the state and then someone will take notice. The environmental lobby has people they pay to do this. That is because they are organized and are run as successful taxpayer-financed corporations (don't get me started on that one). The miners on the otherhand expect someone else to do it for them. For the enviros, it was probably like shooting fish in a barrel. They were probably sitting around yucking it up how easy it was. Since we cannot afford to pay someone to do this job, it is high time we all took some time to call our representatives (no matter where you live) and go talk to them to tell them YOUR side of the story how YOUR livelyhood has been destroyed by the environmental lobby.

WMA is working to design a cookie cutter protocol to assure that everyone in California has the same message when they go to their representatives. We don't want to confuse them, you know. So the message has to be the same. If repesentatives up and down the state have groups of miners visit them on a regular basis, they won't forget that this is actually a VIABLE INDUSTRY in CA and will think twice about regulating away someone's "hobby". By the way, that word needs to be excluded from all miner's vocabulary, along with the word, "Recreational". As long as we as a group use those words, the regulators are regulating away someone's "interest" and not a viable industry. Kind of like regulating away your ability to play checkers. "Yeah, but they will find some other game to play". This is serious stuff and we all need to be extremely careful how we describe ourselves.

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Hi Rick,

Perhaps a form letter a better idea for communicating with claim owners? I did not get a very good response by calling folks and they seem more put off by it here in AZ than they are happy to hear from someone on the phone.

I now see how frustrating it can be to try to communicate with folks in this business....

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Sorry about that Bill- it seems a lot of people are trying and not getting anywhere with it. Maybe my 15 years of doing it has paid off. I give good phone as all I get are enthusiastic people responding to me. I guess I will have to work all the miners across the US. Each day I knock down a couple of counties. So in a few weeks I should have most of California done, then I will more further out. Thanks for the effort. I will call you tomorrow.

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In my opinion you shuld be contacting the local prospecting groups. They would be the only "claim holders" that would want to talk to you and they are already organized under their own flag in their own locality.

And don't ask for support for WMA. Offer support! Tell the groups what you are doing as far as dredging goes and offer an "alliance" or a "coalition". Think about how they can help you aand you can help them and offer a partnership of resources.

You are not going to rally "claim holders". By the numbers and by the acreage, here in New Mexico, that means corporation claims. Then there are the few individuals that are left and club claims. Of those claims many are old women whose husbands are senile or dead who hold the claims in trust. Some are grumpy old timers that shoot at movement in the bushes. Some are young roosters who think they are making a fortune.

Then there are the people that are already organized, loosely, into the various prospecting groups or their associates. There are a couple of clubs in Albuquerque and one in El Paso. And there are several fellows (some regulars here on Nuggetshooter) that hold a bunch of claims. This latter group will acount for 100% of the people that will consider listening to you and they wont be interested in getting involved in the dredging issue in California. But they may be interested in getting more organized HERE and joining in some larger group voice.

I think it is the best that any group can do right now is organize locally and learn to network together. Any herd animals have already gathered in the pasture in their natural groups. If you work with thise groups you will have marginal luck. If you concentrate on forming your own group you wont have any luck at all.

Just my two cents.

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Thanks for your opinion Bob. I am sure that after I reach out to 9000 claim holders by placing a phone call to them, I will be warmed up to call the clubs. So far I have made over 2000 phone calls, personally. My ears are starting to get sore, but I only have 7000 calls to go.

The claim holders have "skin in the game" and they are probably the only group that hasn't been organized or approached. The clubbers have been hammered by everyone for years for donations, etc as they are easy pickings. I am extending huge amounts of energy to contact every claimholder in CA. Not many people have the patience to do that, especially if there is no financial reward for doing so. Since I cold call for a living and apparently I am pretty good at it, I have a lot of fun with it.

I have come up with some surprising conclusions from my cold calling experience which I will share with you all:

1. The LR2000 is HORRIBLY out of date. Most of you know that, but I will confirm it. I am calling people who have been deceased for 4 years or have moved several years ago. I could see the deceased thing as transferring the paper claims could be a hassle if arrangements weren't made before the person passed away. I would guess that 50% of the info on the LR2000 is at least 2 years out of date.

2. The age of the miners is a real eye-opener: There is a very small percentage which is 20-40 years old- I'd call it 10%. From 40-50 years old I would say 15%. From 50-60 I would say 25%. From 60-70 I would say 40% and from 70 on I would say 10%. The miners need to do something to inspire the younger generations as we are a dying breed.

3. I would say that 95% of the claim holders I talked with are very supportive of what we are doing. Very supportive. A lot of them were unaware that the DFG was moving forward with the EIR and were suprised that there were new regulations which were recently released. Many of them thanked me for calling to inform them.

4. In conducting 2000 calls, I had one person hang up on me. It was in Trinity county, I called a claim holder and when I said I was a gold miner, he asked me "are you a gold miner" and when I replied in the positive, he said "if you are a gold miner, I have nothing to say to you" and he hung up. What I am finding is that there are quite a few people who purchase claims, even though they have no intention to mine them. I have talked to numerous people who tell me they pay taxes on the claim, so "they can have their own camping spot". I inform them that the claim only affords them the mineral rights and thus paying taxes on a camping spot which you cannot control who goes there is a little odd. There are others apparently who get the claims to land lock their own property away from the gold miners- some for privacy issues, others because they are growing "other cash crops" and they don't want prying eyes.

5. Miners = Neanderthals is not in play here. I cannot tell you how many engineers, scientists, venture capitists, businessmen, housewives and otherwise really bright people I have talked to. Most everyone was very well spoken and asked me very intelligent questions.

6. Privacy. The LR2000 only gives me an address with no phone number. I have to search the internet to find the phone numbers. I had one guy call me back from an unlisted number (didn't show up on caller id) and he asked me where I got his number. I told him off the internet. He told me his number wasn't on the internet. I politely told him he was mistaken as I got his number off the internet. He again told me it wasn't on the internet and how I got his number. I then politely told him that since I had no idea who he was (his number was blocked) and he didn't tell me himself who he was, that there was no way I could tell him how I got his number other than off the internet. THe point of this exercise is you really have to manage what information of yours gets put on the internet. If you use facebook or google, they apparently sell your info or something, because there are search engines out there that come up with amazing things when you put in a person's name and city. I was using a program called Spokeo which costs $3 a month to use. It wasn't very accurate for getting phone numbers as probably the LR2000 info was out of date, but the OTHER stuff was amazing. I could put in a name and a city and it would come back with a photo of the front of that person's house, how old they are, what their political affiliation, what religion, the value of the house, their yearly income, and tidbits like "likes to shop from catalogs, likes outdoors, likes fishing, etc". Really scary stuff. On my facebook page there are no images of me, nor do I post anything- it is just there so others can post stuff for me to see. Thus when I do a search for myself, pretty much nothing comes up and that is the way I like it.

So if you want to have some privacy with owning a mining claim, I would recommend you create an LLC and put the claim under that name which goes to a PO Box.

All in all, I am having a great time. Every day I end up talking to a bunch of really interested people who were glad I called them. I don't know if this project will change the dredging universe or help our cause, but the way I look at it is I have nothing to lose, when the people are home, they ask me a lot of questions and of course I tell them to check out the site for the latest info.

I will give you an update as I work through my next 2000 calls. Maybe things will be different- but so far I have hit quite a few different counties with a broad range of demographics and the acceptance of my calls has been broad based.

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E.D. - You are the second person to tell me that. I reinstalled the widget and it appeared to work. I am not a web guy as all I know how to do is to surf the internet- I am a old guy who doesn't know a lot of tricks. The WMA site is the compendum of my obvious lack of website design, and html knowledge. I can only install the REALLY simple widgets to get them to work as I don't have the time nor the natural abiltiy to understand how to program the widgets- if I spend too much time on trying to figure it out, my head starts to hurt. I have a million things I'd like the site to do, but I don't have the understanding to impliment them.

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By the way, Bedrock Bob, we have an opening for volunteer position of Gold Mining Club liason. If you know of anyone who is interested. Personally, my plate is a bit full and the clubs are an obvious and overlooked portion of our potential reach.

Applications are being accepted, if you know of anyone.

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