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PLP Lawsuit Report 8-03-12

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I attended the oral arguments this morning in San Bernadino. The courtroom was packed to near capacity. The principle reason for today's hearing stems from a petition brought by the State of California to coordinate the numerous cases which have sprung up. Three main issues were argued.

1. Is this complex litigation? The State, PLP et al, and the New 49ers all urged that this was complex litigation. The atty from the Environmental Law Foundation waffled on this point.

2. Should all related cases be coordinated? The State, PLP et al, and the New 49ers argued forcefully that they should be -- the common thread being the validity of the new F&G regulations. The environmental attorney argued that different issues were involved in the various cases.

3. What is the proper venue? This is where the arguments heated up. The environmental atty claimed her constituents [the Karuks, Hillman, et al] could not afford to travel down to San Berdoo and that Alameda County would be the most appropriate venue since the majority of cases are filed there. The State urged that San Bernardino would be an adequate venue and, if not, then Sacramento. The PLP attorney, David Young, and the New 49ers attorney, James Buchal, argued that Alameda County is the least appropriate because there are no mining claims located there, no parties and no cases that have ripened beyond the bare filing stage. Mr. Buchal pointed out derisively that the Karuks have plenty of tribal money and could easily afford to travel to Alameda County, so why not San Bernardino? Mr. Young pointed out that it was the miners who are suffering most in that they have been denied their ability to earn a living, noting that San Bernardino County has a great number of active mining claims and numerous miners lived in that county, including parties to the lawsuits such that venue in Alameda County would marginalize these numerous individuals. Judge Donald Alvarez commented that in a petition to coordinate complex litigation determining venue largely turns on the paramount legal issues.

Judge Alvarez stated that he would attempt to issue a detailed written opinion as soon as possible. There was no ruling from the bench. Judge Alvarez acknowledged that his role is to recommend, not decide. If he recommends that these cases should be coordinated and constitute complex litigation, then the matter goes to the Judicial Commission for a final decision as to what the proper venue will be and which judge will preside. Bottom line: by my lights the miners are on a role. They presented strong, authoritative arguments. The State attorney {Bradley Solomon, Deputy Attorney General], Mr. Young and Mr. Buchal each left no doubt that they are top notch attorneys and eloquent speakers. I left the courthouse with a definite impression that the weight of the arguments favor a recommendation to coordinate, to declare this to be complex litigation [thus invoking specialized procedural rules of court] and to favor venue in San Bernardino County. What this means is that there likely will be another hiatus of time that will pass -- probably 60 or more days before it becomes clear who the judge will be. Thereafter, the matter should pick up speed and most likely [assuming the court grants leave for the plaintiffs to file an amended petition to include a challenge to the trailer language that extends the 5 year permit moratorium to an almost infinite moratorium, there will be an early motion for summary judgment on federal preemption grounds. If such a motion prevails, then in my opinion the state SEQA issues disappear and the matter goes to federal court, possibly with some temporary injunctive relief that may have the effect of allowing the miners to enjoy their mining claims until the federal court rules.

All of this will take MONEY. Please, please, please do not lose heart. This is an important struggle. Consider giving what you can fore this honorable cause.

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Due to history I have not been in favor of supporting PLP, but after some consideration I am thinking about changing. anyone else wanna persuade me?

Martin, thanks so much for the fantastic report, coming from you, it weighs heavily on my decisions

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I have been a member of PLP for the past year and my membership just expired this week ... I was hesitant to re-up, but now I not only will re-up, but donate additional dollars plus urge all forum members to donate at least $10 each ... Last I figured out, Bill has about 5,000 members ... That would go a long way toward helping out ... What say ye? ... Cheers, Unc

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No not never as I do NOT reward those who have perpetuated this mess for personal gain--and failed all the miners of california miserably to our industries demise and annialation--John

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HJ, I hate when you hold back and do not speak your mind :D

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Martin,

Thank you for taking the time and writting this report. I will donate.

Also I've been M.I.A. on the forums this year, but has the PLP Posted any online Petitions to support the cause. It could also be a great way to collect donations from the miners. just my 2 cents. Jon

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H. John ... Will you expand on your comment? Is PLP and McKracken the same or??? Cheers, Unc

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The hate generated for dredging was born on the klamath,and rightly deserved,for actions taken against the miners,indians,public lands and dececration of all rights. There are 1,000 of publications on dozens of forums throught the years. EVERY lawsuit,injunction,restraining order,EIR gripe and Karuk rant stipulates the &^%$# 49er greed. Now Oregon under attack as their Guv pleaeded to the feds for a injunction to stop the hordes. BAD press for 15 years has tainted the info pool and a miniscule group of folks has now become the environutz,indian,fishermen focus of hatred-the multimillion dollar coalition has proven that and they openly boast of such. PLOP gross incompetance and obstructionism killed almost 20 years of work to gain credibility in the eyes of the government and WE HAD SEATS IN THE GOVERNMENT-till they lied and refused to even talk about the 1994 EIR openings-100s of mile of openings and killed it all. Steve El D was there in the state senate the day dredging died due to the absolute incompetance of the beforemention groups whilst 500+++ years of experience and knowledge were ignored by the same groups to be too stupid to talk as THE DAY PRIOR THEY GAVE AWAY OUR RIGHT TO SPEAK AS THEIR 20 MINUTES OF STUPIDITY killed dredging. Yes that day dredging died when the back door deal to REPRESENT US with no knowledge,forethough or wisdom of the subject just 10,000 folks and 4 cows,a dam lawyer Steinburg blew a gasket over and of coarse the same old stupid the 1872 mining laws say...... Weze outta there forevermore sayeth the craven raven and ya'll are just now starting to pay the price as the cancer from the klamath and stupidity spreads it's tentacles into the very fabric of american life. We we there-we were one of the system and now-NO NOT NEVER AND just read my last EIR 169 page statement and you will see whatzup. It was soo huge it had 3 sections in the appendix.-John A25 05/09 Oates

A26 05/09 Oates Supplement 1

A27 05/09 Oates Supplement 2

www.dfg.ca.gov/suction dredge/

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oops sorry BILL AS THIS WHOLE THREAD SHOULDA BEEN IN POLITICS,MINING LAWS WHATEVER BUT .........

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John, I know... back door deals bumbling lawyers, El Dorado NF giant screw up and yes... cancer from Happy Camp. You are 100% right but, it looks like a small thread of hope is still left and maybe just maybe they can get it together this time.

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It is the duty of all miners who want to see justice to forget the past, roll up our sleeves and fight. That means donating to PLP because they are the representatives in court. It may be a small chance, but it is a chance none the less. If we do not unite and support who is fighting for our rights then we have not given it our best shot. Now is the time to write letters, support PLP, and show up in court - this is our last chance and we must all pull together as a group.

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CCBrant -

Not.looking to start any infighting, but who are you?

You joined today and have only the one post.

Again not looking to start anything, we're a very friendly bunch. But this topic is rather heated and I'd appreciate knowing where you're coming from.

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It is the duty of all miners who want to see justice to forget the past, roll up our sleeves and fight. That means donating to PLP because they are the representatives in court. It may be a small chance, but it is a chance none the less. If we do not unite and support who is fighting for our rights then we have not given it our best shot. Now is the time to write letters, support PLP, and show up in court - this is our last chance and we must all pull together as a group.

I gave PLP $500.00 in 2010. Still have no idea what it was spent on. Travel? Meals? Lodging? Lawyers that should be working Pro Bono, or should be paid by concerned Corporate mining companies in America? What? PLP is a poorly managed and run organization that hasn't done anything except shoot the bear with a slingshot.

Did I say that out loud? :D

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Thanks for the update Martin. I always like to hear from you whats happening with this.

I don't mean for this to sound negative or anything but I'm a little hessitant to give my money to PLP because the last time I did I din't even get a receipt for it. At that time I figured if I couldnt even get a receipt for my donation then they may not be the most organized non-profit group and giving them my money is probaly not a good idea.

Reading this post has changed my mind about them a little bit and hopefully with more success they will eventually convince me that any money I donate will be put to good use.

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I need a little assistance about the PLP. The general school of thought seems to be PLP is not, for the most part, a beneficial association. Why?

I ask because PLP representative briefs at my club monthly meeting and this representative is taken with a certain level of seriousness by the club. I have during the PLP representative briefs ask about pooling resources with the Blue Ribbon Coalition (http://www.sharetrails.org/). What I would consider a defensive response was “We have the law of 1872 off roaders don’t”. While there is some truth in the statement off roaders don’t have the law of 1872 off roaders do desire access to public lands and have been fighting for public access a long time.

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I have studied the PLP 990 forms. All of their money goes to Attorney David Young and has for years.

There are no free meals or anything else for Jerry Hobbs or anyone else on the board.

They have no entertainment or advertising budget.

All that being said they have never won a case in all these years. I have my own ideas why that is. I see their current case as ultimately being a loser too. Perhaps the reasons for that is best left for another discussion.

Just because PLP loses a case does not mean all is lost.

There are worthy organizations out there that fight and win for miners and public land users and have for years. No matter how you feel about PLP I would hope you will support groups that have a real track record of success. I include two of the most successful below:

Mountain States Legal Foundation

Western Slope No Fee Coalition

Both of these groups have a long and significant series of wins.

Mountain States has taken several cases to the Supreme Court and the various Circuit courts. They have driven most of the important pro miner and anti EPA CWA cases. If you hate the greenie agenda these are the folks who regularly give them a spanking. They have some of the best attorneys in the nation working with them. In most cases they work Pro Bono (FREE).

Western Slope was the driving force in this years 9th Circuit decision against Forest Service use fees. They do not give up. They attack Public Land use fees wherever they find them and have several significant wins.

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Gaius

You have raised a very good point,and have hit the nail on the head,with your

observation.

Most members of PLP are recreational ,and hobby miners. Why in hell do they

resist joining forces with other recreational groups? They have beat the 1872

mining law into the ground, and have little to show for the money and time spent.

The recreational groups have a lot of clout with politicians too. Politicians can get

laws changed,quicker than a court. Check the thread about how an Oregon politician

got the access thing rolling. That is how things really get done.

I have a real strong suspicion where all this recreational mining,is going to go in

court,under the current federal mining law. Ever wonder why a real professional

mining lawyer,or professional mining association doesn't get involved ? I won't go

into any more details here,but the outcome may not be pretty.

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ANY GROUP THAT MANDATES A MANTRA OF "ALL OR NOTHING" does not represent anyone but themselves. After losing my right to dredge,after 40+ years of protecting that right to dredge in my Golden Years, I can attest to 3 years of pure LL as now layer after layer of regs,rules,permits have been overlayed onto our grave to NEVER RISE AGAIN. YAAAA all or nuttn'-NOT-John

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After climbing to the top of the fence and almost leaning towards the money pit side, I have decided to just keep my cash and put it to where I know will do some serious good. My gas tank so I can go get some more gold.......putting it in a questionable attorney's wallet will not put gold in my poke.

At this point in my golden years I am going to be selfish and just watch out for El Dorado and do what is best for him.

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Gaius

You have raised a very good point,and have hit the nail on the head,with your

observation.

Most members of PLP are recreational ,and hobby miners. Why in hell do they

resist joining forces with other recreational groups? They have beat the 1872

mining law into the ground, and have little to show for the money and time spent.

The recreational groups have a lot of clout with politicians too. Politicians can get

laws changed,quicker than a court. Check the thread about how an Oregon politician

got the access thing rolling. That is how things really get done.

I have a real strong suspicion where all this recreational mining,is going to go in

court,under the current federal mining law. Ever wonder why a real professional

mining lawyer,or professional mining association doesn't get involved ? I won't go

into any more details here,but the outcome may not be pretty.

I agree sawmill. Pretending the 1872 Mining Act was written for recreational prospectors is a recipe for failure. The counsel for PLP have no experience in mining law and their filings and results show it. Their recent addition of a civil litigator/politician to their mix will not bring them their missing expertise.

I would like to make the point that even though one group may lose in court by making a bad decision about their legal basis for overthrowing government action that does not prevent others from winning based on valid objections.

The Eldorado MTMP loss was not due to crooked judges or lack of funding. Arguing the 1872 Mining Act to prevent road closures locks every other valid travel interest out of the discussion. Spending time and money appealing a dismissal for cause is wasted resources. Eldorado can still be won but not by continuing to pursue already discredited legal theories.

Doing the same thing over and over again will not produce different results. In my opinion it's time to leave behind discredited theories and move on to more productive action. Whether PLP can leave their past behind and actually move towards "Public Lands for the People" is yet to be seen. At present I see only more of the same.

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Hello Clay

We are in total agreement about this issue. I was typing my post at the same time

that you were typing yours. You just happened to post first,and have a better way

with words. :thumbsupanim

My suggestion would be to side with groups like you linked to,and every other

recreational or public land use group. Then lobby politicians,to make special,

amendments,and provisions to the current mining laws,for recreational mining,as

with other recreation pursuits . Trying to argue laws in court,that don't fit your

cause ,is a waste of time,and money. In the end,a little thing called legal standing,

can bite you in the butt. :grr01:

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Adding to the fray a little here...

BRC and Tread Lightly! both not only javelin good tack records of successful work with land agencies, but they also have a good track record in court. Additionally, they have the backing of national, regional, state, and local mixed-use, pro-access groups. Add ORBA (Off Road Business Association) and you have some pretty strong allies in the fight.

At the core of ALL of this is access and recreation. Few of us are mining for a primary source if income (wouldn't be able to afford a computer and Internet access if we were), so we are first a recreationist and second a prospector/miner.

Until the groups which are "fighting for us" get that straight, it's a doomed proposition. We, as recreationists, aren't well covered by the 1872 and subsequent mining laws. If you own a claim or mineral patent, then touch have some coverage. Most of us don't, plain and simple.

Jerry Hobbs, according to my research, is paid a salary of around $60k per year as president. I have not been able to find salary info for other board members or staff. The claim is that they are all volunteer and only get travel expenses reimbursed. Until I see the accounting (which is public record and any reputable org like this should have on their website) I can't comment otherwise. I will say that it seems shady not to release financial accounting of where donations go.

Not bashing PLP. I believe they mean well and have donated in the form of GPAA gold show raffle tix. They could easily dispel the myths and questions surrounding the org with a little bit of info and a few documents.

I do believe, thought, that their atty is a sham and wonder how many times it took to pass the Bar. I'm a lowly poli-sci guy and could write better briefs on ny smart phone while sitting on the toilet.

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It's hard to believe PLP would think they can consider their 990 filings as private. These filings are public information by law. A simple request to the IRS produced the whole filing.

PLP has nothing to hide if their filing is correct. Their last filing was 2010. Ruby has been CFO for a large nonprofit as well as CFO for an even larger Corporation. She has prepared 990 filings as well as audited non-profits. She says everything appears kosher. PLP is a very small organization in the scheme of things. They need to consider greater transparency, in my opinion, so as to avoid wasting their time dealing with what should be a non-issue.

I have several reservations about the effectiveness of PLP. I don't think that is any secret. :rolleyes: None of those reservations are based on how they handle their finances.

I would be willing to upload their 990 filing here if it's alright with Bill. It's a small PDF (508 KB). If Bill would rather not host this file I would be glad to email it to anybody that expresses an interest.

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Clay, I believe both of us have the same reservations. It's a simple.matter of approach to the issue, management of the message, and effectiveness of both of the prior.

They need to treat it like a project manager (which I am) and plan the attack from the end goal to figure out where to start. This allows you to foresee all interested and impacted parties so you're quickly able to engage their support, and identify risks so mitigation can be planned and proactive, instead of reactive. This is why the planning stages of most all successful projects are the longest part of the whole.

The 7 Ps...

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

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Adding to the fray a little here...

BRC and Tread Lightly! both not only javelin good tack records of successful work with land agencies, but they also have a good track record in court. Additionally, they have the backing of national, regional, state, and local mixed-use, pro-access groups. Add ORBA (Off Road Business Association) and you have some pretty strong allies in the fight.

At the core of ALL of this is access and recreation. Few of us are mining for a primary source if income (wouldn't be able to afford a computer and Internet access if we were), so we are first a recreationist and second a prospector/miner.

Until the groups which are "fighting for us" get that straight, it's a doomed proposition. We, as recreationists, aren't well covered by the 1872 and subsequent mining laws. If you own a claim or mineral patent, then touch have some coverage. Most of us don't, plain and simple.

Jerry Hobbs, according to my research, is paid a salary of around $60k per year as president. I have not been able to find salary info for other board members or staff. The claim is that they are all volunteer and only get travel expenses reimbursed. Until I see the accounting (which is public record and any reputable org like this should have on their website) I can't comment otherwise. I will say that it seems shady not to release financial accounting of where donations go.

Not bashing PLP. I believe they mean well and have donated in the form of GPAA gold show raffle tix. They could easily dispel the myths and questions surrounding the org with a little bit of info and a few documents.

I do believe, thought, that their atty is a sham and wonder how many times it took to pass the Bar. I'm a lowly poli-sci guy and could write better briefs on ny smart phone while sitting on the toilet.

This is the mentality that is killing mining. There is no such thing as recreational mining or prospecting. The 1872 mining law protects anyones right to prospect for and locate valuable minerals on public land regardless if they own a mining claim or not. Maybe you don't need the income from your mining activities and maybe you are just doing it for personal enjoyment, but that doesn't mean you should be subject to any different laws than a serious miner. Bill Gates can't open an unprofitable antique shop downtown for the fun of it and expect to be treated any different than any other business. He wouldn't be a recreational antique shop owner would he? The same goes for mining. Mining is a business no matter how much fun you're having or how little gold you are finding. The fact that every opponent of dredging tries to emphasize that its a purely recreational activity should tell you thats it's not a good defining character and is being used against us. The sooner everyone realizes that there is no such thing as recreational mining the better.

Every citizen who desires to enter public land to find gold, even if your only ambition is a few flakes, is 100% covered by the 1872 mining law. This is YOUR land and YOU have the right to use it for YOUR benefit. It's really a sad sign for our country when we as a people are being convinced otherwise and accepting it.

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