The United States Constitution as well as the 1982 Mining Rights Act gave each individual certain rights that are really irrevocable. However, since 2009 California has ignored an individual’s right to the “takings” that may be available to them through the mining process.

The California Water Board is appointed through special interest groups, selected by the governor and his special interests, as all these boards are, similar to the Coastal Commission. The chairwoman of the CWB has “never seen a suction dredge nor does she know how it works,” she stated. Their Zoom meetings are limited both in scope and time, not allowing for those present to speak (please send your complaint in, is their answer).

In 2009 the question was asked who pays more tax?, the hundred-million-dollar California mining industry or the Indian casinos? and along with the power of the Sierra Club and Jared Huffman (the same who helped Trinity County to be included with coastal politics rather than ones that pertain to us and whose current Wildness bill takes most our land away, I am sorry it preserves it or converses it — your choice), the then “I’ll be baack” governor signed the moratorium.

No science has proven that gold dredging is bad for the     fish as the heavy metals, like lead and mercury, are picked up through the process. In the river lead weights and fishing spinners and a lot of line, basically cleaning the bottom of the river are recovered. The CWB claim that “bad vapors” come over the back of the dredge and then downstream and pollute the water is non-science and just bullshit as any dredger would tell you.  

When dredging was put into a mortarium in 2009 the first excuse was the DFG had no resources to sell permits but the guy in front of me bought a hunting license. So, hunters beware, it will happen as well as in other individual outdoor activities.

The map (see counties affected at end of letter) that the CWB refers to allows one to basically dredge in the desert as all “gold areas” are basically excluded. Why I ask? There may be a lot of heavy metals used in “old-time mining — but don’t we want these recovered for a cleaner environment? No, “it’s the vapors!”

The government has wasted millions of dollars on the Trinity River to “create man-made fish pools and spawning grounds by dumping trees and foreign rock into their man-made channels that have failed. When asked what these companies that did the work at Junction City did with the gold they recovered through their trommel, the answer by the then-head of the Trinity River Restoration Program was “they keep it I guess;” it’s not in the contract.”

The TV program that many may watch “Gold Rush” is not the rule of law in California now, nor was it in 2009 when suction dredging was non-permitted. Those people who produce and use that show as a money maker have to live with that, not us.

The Bubble Guppies in the East Fork are tired of no cool holes in the summer, no fresh gravel to spawn on and claim jumpers who don’t follow the basic mining law, do not tread on my claims.

If you are a believer in climate change you may realize how important suction-gold dredging is, as there is less snow pack … flooding, creating spawning grounds and large holding pools fish need to survive … maybe that is why there are less salmon/natives in the river and side creeks beside the terrible red sea algae never reported as detrimental to the fish.

Dredging for gold on valid claims should be allowed. I wonder if one understands that all the metals or their by-products needed for that damn phone of yours comes from mining, open-pit at that! What will the car industry and all the zealous egos do when “electric” cars are a must, 2035? -- and darn if they don’t run on batteries, ask any Tesla owner. But I suspect we will be dependent on China for our necessary critical mineral needs.

Currently Trinity County has timber, water and mining on the logo, two have been taken away as economic advantages to its residents and someone else wants our water, so maybe we should have a black and white marijuana leaf on it. But even now the white market is blocked with too many rules and regulations. That industry won’t do what mining and timber did for this county and still can if given the direction so sorely needed.

If interested in supporting the small miner and others go to Publiclandsforthepeople.org. and support American Mining Rights Association.

This was an article posted by the American Mining Rights Association on January 1, 2021.

“Right before everyone rang in the new year, the California Water Board (CAWB) released their newly detailed county maps of where they are prohibiting suction dredging in the permitting scheme they have concocted as a result of the mandate in Senate Bill 637 (SB637). Remember folks, this is not based on science, it is based on their "assumption" that because someone dug a hole in the 1800s, they assume they used mercury and even though the science proves dredging removes mercury and cleans the waterways, they must ban it.

Here is a map (not shown) of just one of the counties, Placer. The yellow represents where it is banned, the green where it will be allowed after purchasing an estimated $2,700 permit. Of course, it is allowed in a place where there is no gold. This effectively makes all of our valuable mineral deposits (mining claims) worthless.

Also remember that they consider anything mechanized or motorized which aids in the processing or collecting valuable minerals as a suction dredge. Want to run that dry washer in the desert, nope. How about a post hole digger to sample ... hell no. How about a powered wheelbarrow ... forbidden in nearly every place where mining claims are and gold is found.

These counties are completely banned: Napa, Amador, Mendocino, Butte, Calaveras, Del Norte, Humboldt, Marin, Orange, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, Sutter and Trinity.

Not even one creek or mud puddle can be dredged legally in these counties, nor can the other equipment be used. Not because they have scientifically tested these banned areas, again ... it is based on their "assumption" that because someone dug a hole, they used mercury. We would like to review a one on one meeting we (AMRA) had with the director of the CAWB, head council, assistant director and one other so-called decision maker within the agency. We will paraphrase the conversation.

Ms. Sobeck, the director, stated they are going to prohibit dredging in many areas. When we asked “where and why,” she responded "anywhere legacy mining took place.” "Why" we asked. She responded "because our assumption is that they all used mercury.” We told her point blank, that not all the old-time miners used mercury, she scoffed. We asked "are you going to test those areas to prove it?” No, she replied. "Have you tested all those locations?"... again ..."No" she replied.

So based on her feelings that someone may, might, possibly, could have, but without any scientific fact, evidence or studies on all of these areas, they are just going to ban it. Why? Because all of us did not stop her and she, along with her cronies who follow her ideology don't like you and are drunk with the power given to them.

So if you have a valid mining claim in one of these counties it is deemed “worthless” in the takings but must still be kept up in order to maintain the mineral rights and claimant rights.

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