Dave Mack

“We need your help now more than ever…”

Update concerning SB 670

As many of you are already aware, Senate Bill 670 (anti-suction dredging legislation) was overwhelmingly passed by the California Senate several weeks ago, and then received unanimous approval last week in the first Committee within the California Assembly. Our staggering defeats in trying to kill this harmful bill have prompted me to ask our lobbyists to perform a very careful evaluation of our prospects for success in the Assembly and/or with the governor.

Here is what our lobbyists had to say about how things went down last week in the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee. This will give you a good idea of what we are up against. It is not good!

In the event that SB 670 is passed into law (which would likely happen in September or later since California is struggling with crippling budgetary problems), no further suction dredging would be allowed in California’s active waterways until the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) completes an updated Environmental Impact Report (EIR) and adopts new or revised suction dredging regulations, if necessary. As this will take some time to complete, our 2010 (and perhaps 2011) season(s) hangs in the balance.

Preliminary research by our attorneys suggests that if SB 670 is passed into law by the State of California this fall, we have a reasonable chance of successfully overcoming it in federal court this winter. Our legal challenge would be based upon a strong legal theory that the State of California does not possess the authority to bypass its own formal administrative process and eliminate our federal mining rights (especially since no evidence has been brought forward that suction dredgers have ever harmed a single fish).

Action Alert

Senate Bill 670 will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations committee on July 1. Since we have zero chance of stopping the bill there, our lobbyists are asking us to direct immediate Action towards members of the full California Assembly and the governor, as follows:

1) California residents please send an email to your own Assembly member and Governor Schwarzenegger. Please click here to find the correct email address for your particular Assembly member.

2) Persons residing outside of California please send an email to
Governor Schwarzenegger. (Note: Once you click on the “email” link, after typing in the required details, in the “subject” box click on “Other” at the bottom of the menu options. Then on the final page, click on “Con,” place “SB 670” in the “Subject” box, and type or paste your message in the “email” box. Please remember to include your name and address at the bottom of your message).

For those of you who prefer to fax Governor Schwarzenegger, the number is: (916) 558-3160 or (916) 327-1009.

Here are some talking points to help you draft your own email in opposition to SB 670.

Please remember: You must include your full name and address on any message that you send to your assembly member or the governor!

Our lobbyists are telling us that volume of messages to these officials are our only remaining chance to kill this harmful bill within the California legislative process. So please spread the word around that we need as much participation as possible right now!

Your Help is also Needed to Support our Legal Fund!

Once again, I want to thank all of you who have responded to our past calls for financial assistance to help pay the specialists we have hired to defend our industry.

I am informed that we have received a May legal billing in the amount of $17,000. Our legal account presently has a balance of $8,266. This leaves us with a deficit of $8,734. While we are making some progress in catching up on past-due legal bills, it would be much better if we could catch completely up during our existing prize drawing which ends on July 4th. That’s just 2 weeks from now! Can you please help a little more?

Here is a link to the prizes included in this latest fundraiser.

In addition to 53 very nice prizes which have been donated by myself and others, we also are expressing big thank you to Jeff Kuykendal at Proline for donating a brand new 3-inch Proline dredge (worth $2,500.00) as our main prize, and to Louie Welding for donating a 2 ½-inch dredge/high-banker combo!

The contributors of these prizes have authorized the girls in our office to print a ticket on your behalf for each $10 contribution that we receive from you ($100 contribution will generate10 tickets, etc.). This prize drawing will take place on 4 July, 2009. There is no limit to the number of tickets you can accumulate, or the number of prizes that you can win in this drawing.

Any funds that are received after the drawing takes place on July 4th will be issued drawing tickets in our next prize drawing.

Our girls are automatically issuing drawing tickets to every legal contribution that we receive from any of multiple ways of sending money. You can make legal contributions by calling into the office at 530 493-2012. You can mail a check to The New 49’er legal fund, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, CA 96039. Or you can also use a credit or debit card by using our new (secure) on-line form which can be found here:

Make a Donation

Thanks very much for whatever you can do!

Dave McCracken, President
New 49’er Gold Prospecting Association

The New 49’ers27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, CA 96039 (530) 493-2012