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Re: California bans gas dredgers

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avatar California bans gas dredgers
August 06, 2009 08:06PM
Guess what I think about this.

California bans gas dredging

I've been around those who use those things, they are home made, usually, and not intrusive other than that they're a little noisy.

I prefer a gold pan and no noise, but I'm not against a dredger. They fit comfortably in the back of an SUV when not in use and the dredgings go back right where they started after being sluiced.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 06, 2009 08:17PM
Quote
Vince
Guess what I think about this.

I don't care.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 06, 2009 08:23PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Guess what I think about this.

I don't care.

Kewl...Briceberg here I come

(not, it's already been gone over anyway)
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 06, 2009 08:25PM
Quote
Vince
.... the dredgings go back right where they started after being sluiced.

Kind of like taking apart the bottom of the stream, scrambling it up, and then putting it back in the watershed to make things right.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 06, 2009 08:27PM
Quote
Frank Furter
Quote
Vince
.... the dredgings go back right where they started after being sluiced.

Kind of like taking apart the bottom of the stream, scrambling it up, and then putting it back in the watershed to make things right.

Too bad we have to make such laws to keep the morons from messing up the streams. Sigh.
Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 12:33AM
I've been gone from central California for 35 years; I thought large-scale dredges had been banned. For a real laugh, look at a GoogleEarth image of the area between Snelling and Merced Falls: Row upon row of dredge tailings.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 07:22PM
Quote
Dearborn
I've been gone from central California for 35 years; I thought large-scale dredges had been banned. For a real laugh, look at a GoogleEarth image of the area between Snelling and Merced Falls: Row upon row of dredge tailings.

Some of the stuff can legally be dredged on a commercial scale. What was banned was hobbyists on sand bars up further in the foothills. Silly. There might be 300 such portables in use in the entire state. California can't recognize a tax opportunity if it hit them in the face...income taxes is all the legislature understands.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 07:28PM
Quote
Vince
Quote
Dearborn
I've been gone from central California for 35 years; I thought large-scale dredges had been banned. For a real laugh, look at a GoogleEarth image of the area between Snelling and Merced Falls: Row upon row of dredge tailings.

Some of the stuff can legally be dredged on a commercial scale. What was banned was hobbyists on sand bars up further in the foothills. Silly. There might be 300 such portables in use in the entire state. California can't recognize a tax opportunity if it hit them in the face...income taxes is all the legislature understands.


Where is the great "tax opportunity" in 300 units?
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 07:43PM
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
Vince
Quote
Dearborn
I've been gone from central California for 35 years; I thought large-scale dredges had been banned. For a real laugh, look at a GoogleEarth image of the area between Snelling and Merced Falls: Row upon row of dredge tailings.

Some of the stuff can legally be dredged on a commercial scale. What was banned was hobbyists on sand bars up further in the foothills. Silly. There might be 300 such portables in use in the entire state. California can't recognize a tax opportunity if it hit them in the face...income taxes is all the legislature understands.


Where is the great "tax opportunity" in 300 units?

The same that cut 100 state parks for a mere $6 mil
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 07:46PM
Quote
Vince
Quote
szalkowski
Quote
Vince
Quote
Dearborn
I've been gone from central California for 35 years; I thought large-scale dredges had been banned. For a real laugh, look at a GoogleEarth image of the area between Snelling and Merced Falls: Row upon row of dredge tailings.

Some of the stuff can legally be dredged on a commercial scale. What was banned was hobbyists on sand bars up further in the foothills. Silly. There might be 300 such portables in use in the entire state. California can't recognize a tax opportunity if it hit them in the face...income taxes is all the legislature understands.


Where is the great "tax opportunity" in 300 units?

The same that cut 100 state parks for a mere $6 mil


OK, let's ask the question this way: what would you propose as a tax on each unit?
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:27PM
Quote
Vince
The same that cut 100 state parks for a mere $6 mil

Bull.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:27PM
Quote
Vince
Some of the stuff can legally be dredged on a commercial scale. What was banned was hobbyists on sand bars up further in the foothills. Silly. There might be 300 such portables in use in the entire state. California can't recognize a tax opportunity if it hit them in the face...income taxes is all the legislature understands.

Gold isn't worth destroying streams for.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 07:47PM
Permit
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:04PM
Quote
Vince
Permit


There really seems to be a large-scale disconnect here. You are asked for a number and respond with a non sequitur.
Will your medical cover a battery of neuroimaging tests?
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:28PM
Quote
szalkowski
There really seems to be a large-scale disconnect here. You are asked for a number and respond with a non sequitur.

You want someone in Nevada to do math?
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:28PM
Quote
Vince
Permit

300 units brings in $6,000,000 in premit fees. Wow!
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:29PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Permit

300 units brings in $6,000,000 in premit fees. Wow!

Well, how about that!
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:31PM
Quote
Vince
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Permit

300 units brings in $6,000,000 in premit fees. Wow!

Well, how about that!

Yes, Vince is caught in another lie. How 'bout that.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:36PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Permit

300 units brings in $6,000,000 in premit fees. Wow!

Well, how about that!

Yes, Vince is caught in another lie. How 'bout that.

What lie would that be?
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:46PM
Quote
Vince
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Permit

300 units brings in $6,000,000 in premit fees. Wow!

Well, how about that!

Yes, Vince is caught in another lie. How 'bout that.

What lie would that be?

The obvious one.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:23PM
The ban on gas dredgers affects pretty much no one. It's not a big deal at all, just gets reactionaries to make a topic and chat about it. Ho hum.
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:30PM
Quote
Vince
The ban on gas dredgers affects pretty much no one. It's not a big deal at all, just gets reactionaries to make a topic and chat about it. Ho hum.

Oh, please. If it were really as "ho hum" as you are saying it is, you would be bothering to make so many inane posts on the subject.
Re: California bans gas dredgers
September 19, 2009 12:47PM
LINK BELOW IS THE LAWSUIT WE MINERS FILED SEPT 14th 09

http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/16/SuctionMining.pdf

California politicians blunder

It is absolutely established that a valid unpatented placer mining claim is in fact a Statutory Federal Grant of “private property” derived from 30 U.S.C. § 21-54. All unpatented placer mining claims situated in California are on federally owned lands, under jurisdiction of the USFS, or BLM. Otherwise none would exist, as federal land is the only place an unpatented mining claim can be initiated, and held.

As long as the Federal government retains title, the federal interest in providing free access to its own land in order to promote mining is sufficient to preempt any state law that fundamentally bans such use. Thus under standard preemption analysis any state legislation, or regulation that conflicts with this overriding federal purpose, must fail.

Under the Supremacy Clause, any state law that conflicts with a federal law is preempted. Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824). Any state legislation which frustrates the full effectiveness of federal law is rendered invalid by the Supremacy Clause" regardless of the underlying purpose of its enactors, Perez v. Campbell, 402 U.S. 637, 651-52, 91 S.Ct. 1704, 29 L.Ed.2d 233 (1971)

A conflict exists if a party cannot comply with both state law and federal law. In addition, even in the absence of a direct conflict between state and federal law, a conflict exists if the state law is an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress. Crosby v. Nat’l Foreign Trade Council, 530 U.S. 363, 372-73 (2000).

In determining whether a state law is a sufficient obstacle, the courts examine the federal statute as a whole and identify its purpose and intended effects and then determine the impact of the challenged law on congressional intent. State law can be pre-empted in either of two general ways. If Congress evidences an intent to occupy a given field, any state law falling within that field is pre-empted.

If Congress has not entirely displaced state regulation over the matter in question, state law is still pre-empted to the extent it actually conflicts with federal law, that is, when it is impossible to comply with both state and federal law, or where the state law stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the full purposes and objectives of Congress. California Coastal Comm’n v. Granite Rock Co., 480 U.S. 572, 581 (1987)

An 1998 8th Circuit Court of Appeals case revolving around near identical prohibitions on unpatented mining claims, wherein holders brought suit claiming that federal mining laws preempted ordinance prohibiting issuance of any new or amended permits for surface metal mining within area which included federal lands. Private landowner intervened to defend the ordinance.

The United States District Court for the District of South Dakota, Richard H. Battey, Chief Judge, 977 F.Supp. 1396, granted summary judgment for plaintiffs and enjoined the ordinance. Intervener appealed.

The Court of Appeals, Hansen, Circuit Judge, held that: (1) preemption claim was ripe, and (2) Federal Mining Act preempted ordinance. Affirmed; South Dakota Mining Association Inc v. Lawrence County, 155 F.3d 1005

The only locatable mineral on the majority of unpatented placer claims held under federal law is placer gold. Which is naturally concentrated in stream or river bed gravels, and usualy no where else in worthwhile amounts. The only economically viable means to profitably recover placer gold in stream or river gravel is by “suction dredging”.

Accordingly, suction dredging is the “Highest & Best Use” of placer mining claims.
As a matter of fact, it is only viable use, as no other mining method is practical, economical, or profitable.

When the only viable use of an unpatented placer mining claim is by suction dredging, arbitrarily prohibiting that use (even temporarily) effects a complete “taking” of all economic benefit the owner could derive from it, for the duration of the ban.

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to state and local governments by the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits the government from taking private property for public use without just compensation.

The California Constitution provides, "Private property may be taken or damaged for public use only when just compensation ... has first been paid to, or into court for, the owner." (Cal. Const., art. I, § 19.)

It is well established that just compensation… is the full value of the property taken at the time of the taking, plus interest from the date of taking. United States v. Blankinship, 9 Cir., 1976, 543 F.2d 1272, 1275.

Without doubt, S.B. 670 capriciously deprives thousands of families of their legitimate livelihood, and caused an immediate gross compensatory “taking” of valid existing rights, and compensable private property interests of considerable magnitude.

Neither the USFS, or BLM will enforce this state law, given that that federal statutes, and regulations preempt this suction dredging ban on unpatented placer mining claims situated on federal lands under their control in California. That clearly should give public notice the federal courts will most certainly, and quickly take the same position the USFS/BLM has.

The Treasury of the State of California will ultimately be held liable to pay compensable damages to all those effected, accruing from August 6th 2009 forward. Until at least the illegal ban on suction dredging unpatented placer mining claims is lifted, or if necessary overturned by appropriate federal court action.

Plainly, Senator Wiggins who introduced this Bill, all the legislature that voted for it, and even the Governor failed to have S.B. 670 analyzed for critical federal preemption flaws, or significant “takings” liabilities it would create.

It would seen astute on the part of the California legislature to limit state financial liabilities here by swiftly correcting this law, to effect only a suction dredging ban on fee simple lands in California, which federal law may not preempt.

If not corrected quickly, state coffers will needlessly expend precious funds in paying attorney fees, and costs attempting to delay the inevitable overruling of S.B. 670 illegal provisions in federal court. Involved compensatory damages could well approach $60,000,000 annually. If ignored, those applicable damages will certainly compound over time with interest, costs and attorney fees applied.

California politicians should ponder that the 3,200 other current California suction dredge permit holders, and approximately 21,000 other similarly situated owners of unpatented placer mining claims on federal lands in California will justifiably require compensation for their loss’s S.B 670 directly caused them.

Once all affected are joined in a class action, which will most certainly prevail.
Who do these politicians think will be billed for that compensation?
Without question, it will most certainly be the treasury of the state of California.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"Under the mining laws a person has a statutory right, consistent with Departmental regulations, to go upon the open (unappropriated and unreserved) Federal lands for the purpose of mineral prospecting, exploration, development, extraction and other uses reasonably incident thereto." (See 30 U.S.C. § 21-54, 43 C.F.R. § 3809.3-3, 0-6).

Federal mining claims are "private property" Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252 cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed.2d 103 (1981); Oil Shale Corp. v. Morton, 370 F.Supp. 108, 124 (D.Colo. 1973).

This possessory interest entitles the claimant to "the right to extract all minerals from the claim without paying royalties to the United States." Swanson v. Babbitt, 3 F.3d 1348, 1350 (9th Cir. 19930).

16 U.S.C. § 481, Use of Waters: All waters within boundaries of national forests may be used for domestic, mining, milling, or irrigation purposes under the laws of the state wherein such national forests are situated or under the laws of the United States and the rules and regulations established thereunder.

"Uncompensated divestment" of a valid unpatented mining claim would violate the Constitution. Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252, cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed. 2d 103 (1981).

Even though title to the fee estate remains in the United States, these unpatented mining claims are themselves property protected by the Fifth Amendment against uncompensated takings. See Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334 (1963); cf. Forbes v. Gracey, 94 U.S. 762, 766 (1876); U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 5; North American Transportation & Trading Co. v. U.S., 1918, 53 Ct.Cl. 424, affirmed 40 S.Ct. 518, 253 U.S. 330; United States v. Locke, 471 U.S. 84, 107, 105 S.Ct. 1785, 1799, 85 L.Ed. 2d 64 (1985); Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252, cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed. 2d 103 (1981); Rybachek v. United States, 23 Cl.Ct. 222 (1991).

A valid location, though unpatented, is a grant in the nature of an estate in fee and if such an estate is taken by the United States, just compensation must be made. See U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. 5, North American Transportation & Trading Co. v. U.S., 1918, 53 Ct.Cl. 424, affirmed 40 S.Ct. 518, 253 U.S. 330

Such an interest may be asserted against the United States as well as against third parties (see Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334, 336 (1963); Gwillim v. Donnellan, 115 U.S. 45, 50 (1885)) and may not be taken from the claimant by the United States without due compensation. See United States v. North American Transportation & Trading Co., 253 U.S. 330 (1920); cf. Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co.

For further information on federal preemption law, the internet link below gives a basic explanation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_preemption

THE TRUTH ABOUT DREDGING

Truths about Dredging and effects on Fish Habitat
The Honorable Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814
Fax: 916-558-3160

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger,

PLEASE VETO BILL SB670 (anti-suction dredging legislation)

My name is Claudia Wise; I retired in 2006 after 32 years of civil service with the U.S. EPA as a physical scientist/chemist. I have been a member of many scientific projects over the years starting my federal career in the Fish Toxicology arena and ending it with the Salmon Restoration division. I have worked on projects ranging from urban fish populations and fish avoidance testing to eelgrass habitat and global climate change. I have been and remain to be a strong proponent of protecting the environment.


On October 11, 2007 in regards to AB 1032 I wrote to you regarding another attempt by the legislature to get around a court order and unnecessarily put a large group of miners and businesses out of work with no scientific evidence to support their claims.


Dozens of peer-reviewed journal articles some commissioned by the USEPA, USGS, CDFG, Corp of Engineers, and many more from universities support suction dredging as having de minimis effects or no significant effect on the environment they are used in. Nothing has changed in peer-reviewed literature since that time to change this fact.


Suction dredge mining has little impact on the areas fish and biota. In relation to natural occurrences suction dredge mining is insignificant. To put the impact of suction dredge mining into perspective it was calculated that suction dredge mining disturbs only 0.7% of the sediment that is moved naturally in a year. The Siskiyou National Forest (SNF), where this study occurred, is a very prominent mining area in California.

According to the U. S. Forest Service, SNF, "There are 1,092,302 acres on the Siskiyou National Forest. Using a factor of 0.33 cubic yards per acre per year times 1,092,302 acres will produce a very conservative estimate that 331,000 cubic yards of material move each year from natural causes compared to the 2413 cubic yards that was moved by suction dredge mining operations in 1995. This would be a movement rate by suction dredge mining that equals about 0.7% of natural rates." (Cooley 1995).

California Department of Fish and Game already regulates the miners out of the waterways during important life events for the Salmon. That includes during spawning season when redds are present.

It is well known that suction dredging causes little or no environmental harm to fish and biota what many overlook are the many benefits that dredging provides such as increased spawning gravels, dredge made refugia, and yes, mercury remediation to name a few.


Suction dredging breaks up cemented riverbeds providing fish with loose gravel for future spawning grounds in areas fish presently are not able to use for spawning. Between 1996 and 1998, Quihillalt (1999) found 4% of redds where located on or within 1000 m of dredge tailings. He theorized that dredge tailings may be attractive sites for redd construction because tailings are often located near riffle crests where fish frequently spawn, and they provide loose, appropriately sized substrate. However, embryos in tailings may suffer high mortality during years of high river flows (1998) and be of no concern during years of low river flows (1996 & 1997).

During a later survey on the Klamath River during 2002 only one redd was observed on suction dredge tailings. Recreational suction dredge mining was present throughout the survey from the Highway I-5 Bridge to Happy Camp (Schuyler and Magneson. 2006).


Even with scouring effects to redds reported in scientific literature this gravel provides areas to spawn that would not otherwise be available to them. Any added benefit to increasing salmon productivity, using suction dredging, is a benefit to fish numbers. Even during years of high mortality due to high flow events if only a few of the embryos survive that may be more than would be expected without the benefit of added spawning gravels provide by the tailings.


I have been involved in temperature surveys on the Klamath River in California in regards to suction dredge activity and existing conditions of refugia. We have found natural refugia to be no better in many cases to that of dredge made refugia.


Dredge holes can provide a holding place for fish as they pass up the waterway on their migration path to and from the ocean providing a place to get out of the faster currents to rest. Some of these dredge holes may also be cooler due to ground water seepage if the holes are deep enough. This leads to development of additional areas of needed refugia.


Another Benefit the suction dredge community could provide the state with is mercury remediation. In talking with miners, the majority typically do not run into large pools or hot spots of mercury. However, their concerns for the environment is the same as other citizens. Miners have shown the willingness to hand over collected mercury to a collection facility if such a facility exists. The California State Water Board’s Water Quality Division report (Humphreys, 2005) suggested the idea of paying the miner’s for their efforts would help facilitate this plan. Collection facilities have been provided in the past with great response.


The California Water Board has spent a lot of time and money on mercury remediation projects with limited success, though in 2001 EPA Region 9 located in San Francisco, California did collect mercury from miners very effectively. Collections of mercury has been happening in Oregon and Washington through the states respective Division’s of Ecology and with even greater success at miner’s rallies.


Even though EPA Region 9 has ended this program and removed it's existence from the website EPA, Region 9 had a mercury "milk run" in 2000. Agency personnel were able to collect 230 pounds of mercury from miners and local dentists. The total amount of mercury collected was equivalent to the mercury load in 47 years worth of wastewater discharge from the city of Sacramento's sewage treatment plant or the mercury in a million mercury thermometers. (US EPA, 2001.)


Over the past four years, the Resources Coalition and other small-scale miners associations in Washington have turned in 127 pounds of mercury and eight pounds of lead for safe disposal with the help from the Washington Department of Ecology. Ecology staff attended miners' rallies in Oroville and Monroe, explaining the state's program for proper disposal of lead and mercury. (ENS 2007).


The mining community of today is, in my opinion, the only group that is in a position with the technology to help with the removal of lead and mercury at a very economical price to the public. Any residual mercury remaining after dredging is that much less to worry about residing in our Nations waterways.


In reviewing Humphrey's (2005) comments regarding possible problems associated with collecting mercury via suction dredging methods, it is right to look to the suction dredge community for help locating hotspots and removing mercury from the river systems. In my opinion the data provided in the report by Humphrey's (2005) did not demonstrate any clear conclusions that would prohibit the State from allowing this activity. On the contrary, in the discussion of results it was stated that a suction dredge in the American River was able to collect 98 percent of the measured mercury processed through the dredge. The amount of mercury collected may have been higher if the investigators had been using a dredge with the modern jet flare design. Even 98 percent is a huge plus for the environment and it would be irresponsible to not allow mercury to be removed from the rivers and streams whenever it is found.


In Humphreys report (2005), the author expressed concern for the loss of a small portion (2%) of the mercury from the back end of the sluice box. In the conclusions it was stated that the amount lost constituted a concentration more than ten times higher than that needed to classify it as hazardous waste. Yet 98 percent of the mercury was now secured and the process did not add any mercury to the system that was not already present. The small fraction lost, because of its density, would relocate back onto the river floor buried in the sediment close to where it was removed while dredging.


Mercury is continuously moved every winter in high storm events. Since the cessation of hydraulic mining, accumulated sediment from hydraulic placer mining has been transported to the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta and San Francisco Bay by sustained remobilization (James, 1991). Providing a program to collect mercury from miners would aid the Water Board’s mission of reducing mercury contamination in the deltas and bays where mercury methylation is a large concern.


In the test described by Humphreys (2005) a small portion of floured mercury was collected in the sediments as it escaped the sluice box. This mercury whether floured before it entered the sluice box, or not, would still be in elemental form. Regardless of surface area it would be no more toxic then the other 98 percent that was suggested to be left in place.


Aside from grossly polluted environments, mercury is normally a problem only where the rate of natural formation of methyl mercury from inorganic mercury is greater than the reverse reaction. Methyl mercury is the only form of mercury that accumulates appreciably in macroinvertebrates and fish. Environments that are known to favor the production of methyl mercury include certain types of wetlands, dilute low-pH lakes in the Northeast and North central United States, parts of the Florida Everglades, newly flooded reservoirs, and coastal wetlands, particularly along the Gulf of Mexico, Atlantic Ocean, and San Francisco Bay (USGS 2000).


If not collected the mercury is guaranteed to end up farther down stream, and eventually in the delta or the bay, where methylation is a real environmental problem. In my opinion it would be a highly irresponsible management practice to leave a large portion of mercury in the rivers and streams because of unrealistic concerns for the lesser amount moving only a short distance away from an operating dredge. Most likely if floured the movement of fine mercury would extend no farther than 50-feet off the end of the sluice box. That would relate to the distance a turbidity plume might extend downstream from a small-scale suction dredge.


However, if the mercury was left in place the next storm event would surely move it downstream closer to, and eventually into, the bay and delta. In fact, according to Humphrey's study in 2005 mercury was seen moving down stream and re-deposited on bedrock already dredge cleaned. The important fact here is mercury was flowing down stream in a suction dredge free zone during lower river flows than what take place under high winter river conditions.


It is most important to reduce the total amount of mercury in the streams and rivers and its transport downstream into the bays and deltas. This is defined as a part of Total Maximum Daily Load (“TMDL”) goals.


We know for certain that mercury is transported downstream throughout the winter season during high water events. Therefore, anytime there is the possibility for the removal of mercury by miners it should be undertaken and supported.


You justifiably vetoed that last bill because it was unnecessary and suction dredge mining is already regulated by the Department of Fish and Game. But here we are again….


There was no reason, last year, to sign AB1032 into law and there is no reason to sign Bill 670 into law this year. I respectfully ask that you not add further to the problems related to increased government regulation where none is warranted. Please allow California Fish and Game to do their job. They are already regulating suction dredging adequately to protect fish. The court has ordered California Department of Fish and Game to prove suction dredging creates significant harm before changing the mining regulations.
I respectfully ask that you VETO bill 670.

Sincerely,


Claudia Wise

34519 Riverside Dr SW

Albany, Oregon 97321



REFERENCES

Cooley, 1995, USFS. Siskiyou National Forest Service Yardage Estimate, A comparison of stream materials moved by mining suction dredge operations to the natural sediment yield rates. In house Report.

Environment News Service (ENS). 2007. Miners Remove Gold Rush Mercury from Washington Streams.

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/sep2007/2007-09-18-096.asp

Grove, Schuyler and M. Magneson. 2006. USFWS. Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, Mainstem Klamath River Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning Survey.

Humphreys, R., 2005, Losses and Recovery During a Suction Dredge Test in the South Fork of the American River. Staff Report, State Water Resources Control Board, Division of Water Quality.

James, A.L., 1991, Incision and morphologic evolution of an alluvial channel recovering from hydraulic mining sediment: Geological Society of America Bulletin, v. 103, p. 723–736.

Quihillalt, Rick R and J. D. Glase., 1999. USFWS. Arcata Fish and Wildlife Office, Mainstem Trinity River Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning Redd Survey, 1996 through 1998. In house Report.

USEPA, 2001. Mercury Recovery from Recreational Gold Miners.
http://www.epa.gov/region09/cross_pr/innovations/merrec.html

USGS, 2000. Mercury in the Environment, USGS Fact Sheet 146-00 (October 2000) Environments Where Methyl mercury is a Problem.

MORE TRUTH

Apply common sense:

Environmental zealots claim that small scale suction dredging to recover placer gold is harmful to, and kills indigenous fish.

Fact: Numerous unbiased scientific studies on the subject clearly show the effects of small scale suction dredging has a “de minimis” impact, meaning no discernable, or extremely minimal effect on fisheries.

http://www.icmj.com/UserFiles/file/recent-...redge-study.pdf

Fact: Prior to the passage of SB 670 (which illegally bans all suction dredging state wide) suction dredging throughout California was strictly prohibited in waterways during fish spawning seasons, to further minimize any possible negative impact.

Environmental zealots who sponsored SB 670 used biased propaganda (rather than sound scientific evidence) to gain support for SB 670 from California sports fisherman. Who threw consider political weight behind SB 670.

:REALITY CHECK:

> sports fishing KILLS fish <

California politicians appear to believe that its perfectly proper for approximately 3 million California fishermen to kill fish as a leisure sport. Assuming each fishermen catches a few, the fish kill in California waterways directly attributable to sports fishing alone amounts to many millions annually.

:MORE REALITY CHECK:

> Hydroelectric dams throughout California are known to KILL fish<

>Draw downs of water flow for agricultural irrigation is known to kill fish<

>Runoff from agricultural fertilizers & pesticides is known to kill fish<

>Commercial fishing kills fish<

>Industrial pollution is know to kill fish<

The aforesaid are primary causes of fish habitat degradation & fish kills, amongst the many other factors known to kill fish

Not one single fish has ever been known to have been killed attributable to the 3, 200 California suction dredge permit holders

To BAN all suction dredging in California to determine it’s effect on indigenous fish is ludicrous, capricious & illogical

Numerous credible unbiased scientific studies of the effects of small scale suction dredge gold mining have been performed by various state & federal agencies in the last three decades, throughout Alaska & the western United States.

Rather than Ban suction dredging in California for an indeterminate amount of time, to perform an independent environmental study report, at great cost.

If the California DF&G were competent?

They could easily, and quickly compile those credible reports from all applicable state & federal agencies. Then draw fair unbiased scientific conclusions from them. Which, without doubt would show suction dredging has a “de minimis” impact, legally meaning no discernable, or extremely minimal effect on fisheries.

To perform an independent lengthy environmental study, at considerable taxpayer expense. When numerous credible studies of the same subject already exist.

Is a clear unequivocal illogical WASTE of taxpayers funds.

Moreover, the ban on suction dredging SB 670 implements will without doubt, be rapidly be overturned in Federal court. Because such law is plainly preempted by statutory federal law.

Again, in attempting to defend illogical, and illegal state actions, politicians of California will most certainly compound their errors, and waste more taxpayer dollars.


http://www.swrcb.ca.gov/water_issues/progr...om_chambers.pdf


http://www.akmining.com/mine/fsyards.htm


http://www.recminer.com/economics/socioeco...onal_mining.htm


http://afsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1577/154...DO%3E2.0.CO%3B2


http://afsjournals.org/doi/abs/10.1577/154...ournalCode=fima
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
September 19, 2009 03:24PM
OR, it would appear that pillaging hordes are no longer assembling only at Trondheim to invade areas south:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anwy2MPT5RE
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:31PM
I can make "inane" posts...I don't make law
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
August 07, 2009 08:34PM
Quote
Vince
I can make "inane" posts...

Well, duh.
avatar Moratorium on Instream Suction Dredge Mining, Effective Immediately
August 21, 2009 03:38AM
DFG News Release
Moratorium on Instream Suction Dredge Mining, Effective Immediately
August 6, 2009

Contact:
Kirsten Macintyre, DFG Communications Manager, (916) 322-8911

All California instream suction dredge mining has been suspended following the Governor’s signature on a new state law. The ban will be in effect until the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) completes a court-ordered environmental review of its permitting program, expected in late summer 2011.

SB 670 (Wiggins), signed today by Gov. Schwarzenegger, prohibits the use of vacuum or other suction dredging equipment for instream mining in any California river, stream or lake. Consistent with the moratorium, DFG has ceased issuing suction dredge permits, and all previously issued state permits are now invalid.

The moratorium on instream suction dredge mining took effect immediately as an urgency measure, prohibiting the use of vacuum or other suction dredging equipment for instream mining in reliance on any permit previously issued by DFG.

The moratorium does not apply to suction dredging operations performed for the regular maintenance of energy or water supply management infrastructure, flood control, or navigational purposes.

A violation of the moratorium on instream suction dredge mining is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

DFG is also currently subject to a court order prohibiting the issuance of suction dredge permits. (Leeon Hillman et al. v. California Dept. of Fish and Game, Super. Ct. Alameda County, Case No. RG09-43444.) The order, which prohibits DFG from expending any General Fund money, even indirectly, to issue suction dredge permits, will remain in effect as long as the Hillman lawsuit is pending or until further order of the court.

Additional information can be found at www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/specialpermits/suctiondredge.
avatar Re: Moratorium on Instream Suction Dredge Mining, Effective Immediately
August 21, 2009 03:42AM
5653.1. (a) The issuance of permits to operate vacuum or suction
dredge equipment is a project pursuant to the California
Environmental Quality Act (Division 13 (commencing with Section
21000) of the Public Resources Code) and permits may only be issued,
and vacuum or suction dredge mining may only occur as authorized by
any existing permit, if the department has caused to be prepared, and
certified the completion of, an environmental impact report for the
project pursuant to the court order and consent judgment entered in
the case of Karuk Tribe of California et al. v. California Department
of Fish and Game et al., Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG
05211597.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 5653, the use of any vacuum or suction
dredge equipment in any river, stream, or lake of this state is
prohibited until the director certifies to the Secretary of State
that all of the following have occurred:
(1) The department has completed the environmental review of its
existing suction dredge mining regulations, as ordered by the court
in the case of Karuk Tribe of California et al. v. California
Department of Fish and Game et al., Alameda County Superior Court
Case No. RG 05211597.
(2) The department has transmitted for filing with the Secretary
of State pursuant to Section 11343 of the Government Code, a
certified copy of new regulations adopted, as necessary, pursuant to
Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3
of Title 2 of the Government Code.
(3) The new regulations described in paragraph (2) are operative.

(c) The Legislature finds and declares that this section, as added
during the 2009-10 Regular Session, applies solely to vacuum and
suction dredging activities conducted for instream mining purposes.
This section does not expand or provide new authority for the
department to close or regulate suction dredging conducted for
regular maintenance of energy or water supply management
infrastructure, flood control, or navigational purposes governed by
other state or federal law.
(d) This section does not prohibit or restrict nonmotorized
recreational mining activities, including panning for gold.
avatar Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 04:58PM
SACRAMENTO (CN) - Gold miners claim California violated their constitutional right to suck gold out of river beds and streams with power dredging equipment. The state is causing "serious economic hardship" for the suction miners to preserve habitat for Coho salmon, according to the federal complaint.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2009/09/16/Gold_Miners_Want_to_Dredge_Streams_with_Power_Pumps.htm
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 05:06PM
Pretty soon we will be hearing the benefits of clear-cutting, water pollution, and selenium (after all, it is an essential element).

Consider the following reasoning:
"Suction dredge mining has little impact on the areas fish and biota. In relation to natural occurrences suction dredge mining is insignificant. To put the impact of suction dredge mining into perspective it was calculated that suction dredge mining disturbs only 0.7% of the sediment that is moved naturally in a year. The Siskiyou National Forest (SNF), where this study occurred, is a very prominent mining area in California.

According to the U. S. Forest Service, SNF, "There are 1,092,302 acres on the Siskiyou National Forest. Using a factor of 0.33 cubic yards per acre per year times 1,092,302 acres will produce a very conservative estimate that 331,000 cubic yards of material move each year from natural causes compared to the 2413 cubic yards that was moved by suction dredge mining operations in 1995. This would be a movement rate by suction dredge mining that equals about 0.7% of natural rates." (Cooley 1995)."

In other words, compared to all the natural movement of sediment, the amount of sediment re-arranged by suction dredging is trivial. Why not compare the amount moved by dredging to the mass of the Universe? That will be an even smaller percent. Is there no data since 1995?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 05:11PM
Here's another article:

“The scientific evidence against suction dredging doesn’t pass the laugh test,” James Buchal, attorney for a mining advocacy group called the New 49’ers, tells the newspaper. “This bill will put hundreds of people out of work and destroy the vacation plans of thousands of people for no purpose whatsoever.”

http://www.utne.com/Environment/Suction-Dredge-Gold-Miners-Hoppin-Mad-Over-Ban-5188.aspx
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 05:59PM
BTW,
Almost all the URL listed in the Dredgeminer post do not work for me.


Several thoughts:
1. The suction dredge operators should be required to take home all the sediment they remove from the river. Returning it seems likely to just add to the turbidity of the streams and sediment suspension in the water.
2. Considering how hydralic mining was addressed in late 19th century California, suction dredging will certainly not continue: (from Wikipedia article on hydralic mining)

"Vast areas of farmland in the Sacramento Valley were deeply buried by the mining sediment. Frequently devastated by flood waters, farmers demanded an end to hydraulic mining. In the most renowned legal fight of farmers against miners, the farmers sued the hydraulic mining operations and the landmark case of Edwards Woodruff v. North Bloomfield Mining and Gravel Company made its way to the United States District Court in San Francisco where Judge Lorenzo Sawyer decided in favor of the farmers in 1884, declaring that hydraulic mining was “a public and private nuisance” and enjoining its operation in areas tributary to navigable streams and rivers. Hydraulic mining was recommenced after 1893 when the United States Congress passed the Camminetti Act which allowed such mining if sediment detention structures were constructed. This led to a number of operations above brush dams and log crib dams. Most of the water-delivery infrastructure had been destroyed by an 1891 flood, so this later stage of mining was carried on at a much smaller scale in California."



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 06:05PM
Quote
Frank Furter
BTW,
Almost all the URL listed in the Dredgeminer post do not work for me.


Several thoughts:
1. The suction dredge operators should be required to take home all the sediment they remove from the river. Returning it seems likely to just add to the turbidity of the streams and sediment suspension in the water.
2. Considering how hydralic mining was addressed in late 19th century California, suction dredging will certainly not continue: (from Wikipedia article on hydralic mining)

Wrong on both counts. Addressing the first of your thoughts: The sediment is nil. Like I said above, they are sucking up mostly gravel. What sediment is stirred up only travels a few feet. I have demonstrated this with my own gold pans, and gold panning is not illegal. These rivers only flow a mile or two an hour at the best time of the year to hunt gold. On your second point, hydraulic mining has absolutely nothing to do with suction dredging. Nothing at all. Hydraulic mining ripped away entire mountainsides 140 years ago and it was banned fairly quickly (in government terms). Suction dredging has nothing to do with hydraulic mining any more than gold panning does. Go try panning some time, the differences are evident. Or, if you prefer, just spend your time wishing the government would ban all human activity.
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 06:28PM
Quote
Vince
Wrong on both counts.

Nice debating technique.

Quote

Addressing the first of your thoughts: The sediment is nil. Like I said above, they are sucking up mostly gravel. What sediment is stirred up only travels a few feet.

That's a lie, Vince.
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 06:31PM
Quote
eeek
Quote
Vince
Wrong on both counts.

Nice debating technique.

Quote

Addressing the first of your thoughts: The sediment is nil. Like I said above, they are sucking up mostly gravel. What sediment is stirred up only travels a few feet.

That's a lie, Vince.

No, it isn't. Like I said to FF, I think you should go check it out sometime.
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 06:23PM
When I commented immediately below the post by dredgeminer, I considered the arguments extolling the virtues of dredge mining to be so convoluted and specious as to not merit a reply.
avatar Re: Gold Miners Want to Dredge Streams with Power Pumps
September 19, 2009 06:30PM
Quote
szalkowski
When I commented immediately below the post by dredgeminer, I considered the arguments extolling the virtues of dredge mining to be so convoluted and specious as to not merit a reply.
I understood that when I watched the video and then took my Holy Grail double DVD off the shelf smiling smiley
avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
September 19, 2009 05:46PM
Here is a photo of two guys doing their hobby, suction dredging. How evil they are! The Coho Salmon will all die from this!!!

They are wearing wet suits. The machine they are using is made up of a small gas motor ($100 at Harbor Freight), a water pump, a hose, a sluice box, and a couple pontoons. I think they bought this model, but most of those 3,200 permitted gas dredger people have home-made equipment.

They were sucking up mostly gravel around the boulders, what didn't fall out of the sluicer was just gravel going pretty much right back where it came from. Hardly any sediment kicked up. They worked around the boulders for about 45 minutes before giving up, but they had fun, as did I upstream a little from them with my gold pans.

I didn't have any complaints about this other than their gold-hunting hobby is just a little noisier than mine. My handgun and rifle are one helluva lot noisier. I don't understand the whine from CA other than the state plans to ban all internal combustion engines in the near future.

Oh, BTW, this is a little east of the gold-mining semi-ghost town of Washington, CA.

avatar Re: California bans gas dredgers
September 19, 2009 06:26PM
Quote
Vince
Here is a photo of two guys doing their hobby, suction dredging. How evil they are! The Coho Salmon will all die from this!!!

Oh, please. They're moving the boat. The dredge isn't running.
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