Anti-suction dredging legislation

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As many of you are already aware, Senate Bill 670

(anti-suction dredging legislation) was overwhelmingly passed by

the California Senate several days ago. The bill will now go to the

California Assembly. Our staggering defeat in the Senate has placed

our lobbyists into a full regroup mode.

All of this legislative activity (which will affect future dredging

seasons) is happening under the darker cloud of ongoing litigation

against suction dredging (which could have an impact upon our present

season) in California. Our adversaries have filed a Motion asking

the Court to prevent the Department of Fish & Game "from spending

any funds allocated from the State of California's General Fund on

any activities which allow suction dredging to occur under the

Department's current regulations." This Motion will be heard by the

Court in less than 2 weeks!

We are fighting the biggest, hardest battles our industry has ever

faced. You guys have always been there to help in the past.

Now we need you more than ever!

I have explained all of the important details, which include updated

explanations from our lead attorney and main lobbyist; and I am now

asking for your help. This is all contained in our latest

Action Alert -- which can be found at:


We need your help on this more than ever. Thanks very much for

whatever you can do!


Dave Mack, President

New 49'er Prospecting Association

The New 49er's, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039, USA

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Dredging was never legal in Australia without a special permit to do so (usually granted under a mining tenure). Curiously, it was Americans who introduced this method in the 1800s. These days people occasionally dredge with a permit, or... as is so often observed, without one. All the best guys. It will be a shame if you end up cornered on this one because it's just a step away from other methods becoming outlawed.

/France is seeking a ban on all metal detecting and an outlawing of the detectors at the moment.

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So the California politicians are picking on Dredging to outlaw it. Something that helps the rivers stir up food for the fish and does minimal damage but ignoring things that are doing real major damages.

There are many examples of massive amounts of American INDUSTRIAL POLUTION from factories, manufacturing, and refineries.. As well as mega amounts of hanging carbon dioxide like Los Angeles smog in the air everyday from cities and their poluting rivers, including one of the biggest problems, the drain off of storm-sewers from cities into waterways. Then some politicians have the gall to condem Dredging as it is a big double standard. Dredging and small miners are an easy target to pick on while ignoring the real poluters.

Massive, massive amounts of dirty coal is burnt in America, is released into the air-atmosphere, to power electrical generators and also some large holes dug to mine it :

"Coal, which accounts for more than half of America's power supply, contains the natural element mercury, which is released into the atmosphere when the coal is burned."

Oh yeah, the Dredges are tearing up big holes in the environment. Then look at the ones below. Just two example among many:

Name: Bingham Copper Pit in Utah, USA.

Description: This active mine is the second biggest open pit copper mine in the world, slightly smaller than the Chuquicamata pit in Chile. Digging started in 1904, and the hole is now half a mile deep and more than two miles wide. It is expected to be enlarged until the ore runs out sometime after the year 2020. Owned and operated by Kennecott Copper Company, which employs 2,400 people at the site and the nearby smelter. On the National Register of Historic Places.

Location: 20 miles SW of Salt Lake City

There are so many other examples envirnmental damage too numerous to mention it is mind boggling and they pick on Dredging, it is laughable. As the Bible says, they should take the log out of their own eye first. Clean up their own act before looking at small scale mining, being a hypocrite.

Citicizing the tailing piles of Dredging ?? Then look here:

Massive tailings & overburden mounds near the huge Ruth open-pit mine and Copper Flat in Nevada, USA.


I read that this Ruth open-pit mine was the second biggest in the world. "The managed pits was last 3.2 km long; 1.6 km across and 1000 ft. deep."

A fellow told me it was illegal to gold mine in a certain river in Pennsylvania that Industrial pollution had killed that river.

Dredging is a very small, tiny drop in the bucket compared to this massive water pollution problem. Just one of many examples:

The pollution levels along the Mississippi River have been on an increase since decades. The reason for this is bad farming practices in the heartland of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Missouri have caused sediment, fertilizer, and pesticides

to be carried by rainfall runoff from farm fields into creeks and rivers that feed the big Mississippi River. Due to continuous pollution along the Mississippi River basin and the Gulf of Mexico, the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico till date has spread to around 8,000 square miles and is the second largest.

The Mississippi River brings the nutrients from the Midwest to a 6,000- to 8,000-square-mile "Dead Zone" just off the coast, where each summer there is no oxygen for fish and other aquatic life because fertilizers upset the food chain.

Every summer, a huge swell of algae spreads through the Gulf of Mexico and then dies, smothering aquatic life in its wake. Scientists have documented this expanding "dead zone" since the early 1970s, finding that in recent years it has grown to an average of 14,000 square miles of ocean.

Though the federal government has implemented voluntary programs over the last decade to reduce the pollution that feeds the Gulf dead zone, a study released yesterday by an environmental research group found that taxpayers are inadvertently footing the bill for the fertilizers thought to be the largest contributor to the Gulf?s annual ecological blackout.

The dead zone in the Gulf, like other dead zones throughout the world, is caused by lack of oxygen in the water, a condition known as "hypoxia." Studies have blamed increasing amounts of nitrogen-laden fertilizer dumped into the Gulf by the Mississippi and AtchafalayaRivers for the expansion of the hypoxic zone. The nitrogen spurs the growth of marine algae, which then die and feed bacteria that in turn consume nearly all the oxygen in the area.

A February 2002 study on the Gulf Coast hypoxia published in the journal Bioscience reports that 74 percent of the nitrogen flushed into the Gulf comes from agricultural fertilizers, mostly originating in the northern portion of the Midwest. Municipal waste systems and other human and animal waste sources in the Mississippi River Basin contribute the rest of the nitrogen.

AND they are picking on drop in the bucket Dreding that hurts almost nothing, and then looking the other way on real huge pollution areas. Is a BIG hypocrtical double standard by the govenment. Yes I know some of this is not in California but it does not matter.

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Hi all. Just joined the forum.

There is much more to this than a simple case of the California Govt trying to shut down dredging. For years there have been many attempts to stop dredging. This case is the result of the Karuk Tribe and other interested parties claiming that dredging negatively impact the Coho Salmon in the waters of the Klamath. In 2006 the court ordered the Dept of Fish and Game to complete a CEQA study of the impact of dredging on the fish populations. They were given until 2008 to do so and have not. SB 670 is the result of that inaction by the Calif Dept of Fish and Game. Now they are being oredered by this Bill to cease issuing dredge permits until the study is done. If this Bill passes the Assembly next week then the only thing left to stop it is a veto by the Govenor. Not likely!

Best case scenarion at this point is that there will be no permits issued for two to three years while the study is completed. With the current state of the economy in California I would be surprised if it doesn't take much longer if it happens at all.

Looks like the environmentalists have finally found the way to shut down dredging, at least in its current form of licensing. Those of us with claims will be left to pay for our own EIRs and if we can wade through the red tape may be able to work our claims again with a dredge.

I am praying that lighning will strike and the Governor will come to his senses and veto this Bill.

Write or call your representatives!

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