THIRD QUARTER, AUGUST 2021 VOLUME 35, NUMBER 2
Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager
I am honored to introduce Dennis Kim. Dennis has been a strong supporter of The New 49’ers for a long time. Some of you might remember him in earlier newsletters because he participated in many of our Weekend Group Mining Projects.
Dennis comes over from Hawaii to prospect for gold during our summer months. He has always had a natural ability to get onto the gold. This largely has to do with his work ethic and never-quit world view. Dennis really works hard. His kindness to others seems to have no bounds. The girls in our office call Dennis “Mr. Aloha” for the macadamia nuts and candy he brings them every year.
Dennis served two tours with the Army Rangers in Viet Nam during the 1960’s.
Several years ago, Dennis lost a pretty serious contest with a large boulder that ultimately broke one of his legs in six different places. After surgery put his leg back together, Dennis returned to Hawaii to do some healing. He says he was a complete invalid for at least six months. I’ll bet! The following season, Dennis returned to Happy Camp on crutches, which he traded in for a walking stick; and he then resumed his gold mining program until the end of the season. How’s that for determination?
We have a bunch of members working the shallows of the Klamath and working all of our side tributary mining properties using masks and snorkels. Some are also using motorized dry washers up away from the waterways. Some of them are recovering impressive amounts of gold. I have seen some nice gold nuggets being brought into the office. Dickey (our Office Manager and Internal Affairs) has been telling me about members who are doing well up on Indian Creek.
I paid a visit to Dennis Kim several mornings ago, because I heard that he and his mining partner, Brent, also from Hawaii, have been recovering nice gold using hand methods inside the Scott River.
I found Dennis and Brent in their well-organized camp along the Scott River. My timing was good, because they were just getting ready to go out to their mining site for the day. I followed them by car up to S-3, a place where they have been mining in the river for at least two seasons.
The Scott River is running low and pretty warm at this time of the year. They are both working in the river without having to wear full wet-suits. I captured the following video sequences which demonstrates the way they are recovering gold and nuggets out of the river:
One of the interesting things about Dennis is that he brings an offering of food, incense and hand-picked flowers every day. He places these items and more on an alter which he has made from some rocks off the streambank. I have seen this practice many, many times in Thailand, Cambodia and elsewhere. I have been told that the gift to spiritual forces is for the hope of good luck and personal safety. It is a means to harmonize closer to the world around us. Dennis told me that the practice is a respectful gesture to communicate their intention to create no harm to the area where he and Brent are searching for gold in the river. I know from long experience that the Thai culture also takes these “giving’s” very seriously. Here is Dennis explaining his viewpoint:
The difference is that Dennis’ gifts are always gone the following morning. I’m sure there are very grateful local wildlife creatures that show up there for dinner or breakfast every day.
The mining program Dennis and Brent are doing is very simple. They both are working inside the river, using weight belts to get deeper into the water without floating away. As the younger person on the team, Brent is packing or rolling the larger rocks out of their excavation. The water is so clean and clear that he is not even using a mask and snorkel. Dennis is then using a modified shovel to excavate smaller-sized streambed from underwater into a #4 sized screen that is sitting on top of a 5-gallon bucket. The buckets of material are then fed into a hand sluice that is set up on the backside of their excavation. Here it is on video:
They modified their shovel so that most of the material is not washed off as Dennis lifts and moves it underwater to the catch bucket.
The team switches places once Dennis has exposed more of the larger rocks along the bottom of where he is digging. This way, the excavation of pay-dirt is rather continuous.
Most of the gold they have recovered so far, including all or most of the gold nuggets, have come off the bedrock. They also recovered plenty of gold last season on the far side of the river, and never reached bedrock. So, the streambed itself is also rewarding them.
Boulders are clearly getting larger as they excavate deeper into the streambed; too large to roll out of the hole. Those boulders may, or may not, be sitting on bedrock. They may just have to juggle them around in the bottom of the hole in order to excavate underneath them.
This was pretty close to my own plans for doing some mining this season inside Indian Creek. That is, until I realized how cold the water is that is flowing down the creeks! This is just me. I have suffered in my life with enough cold water running into my wet-suit. I have explored the area along Indian Creek where last year’s Slater Fire removed all or most of the underbrush. There is a lot of fresh opportunity there for hand mining inside the creek. We do have members that are not being discouraged by the colder water.
Dennis explained to me that the gold they are recovering is just icing on the cake. He said the outdoor experience and challenge of finding and recovering the gold provides adventure that brings internal rewards which exceed the value of the gold. The place they are mining along the Scott River is an outdoor paradise.
Annual Dues are More Important These Days
We bill all Full Members $50 for annual dues in August. September through the end of the year is when we must shoulder the load of substantial property tax and filing fees to the County and Bureau of Land Management. These are legal requirements which allow us to continue making a very substantial number of federal mining claims (60+ miles of gold-rich river and creek properties) available to our members.
In real terms, the true value of the gold along these extensive properties is probably more than the net assets of any financial institution on the planet. Especially these days when the government is printing trillions upon trillions of Dollars out of thin air which is fueling inflation. Prices are not going up because goods and services are worth more than before. They are going up because the Dollar is not worth as much as before. This happens because too many Dollars are being printed and circulated.
We should be calling our properties the “Klamath First National Bank.” Ours is the only bank in the world where you can go out and make a draw anytime you wish. There are no interest or bank fees to pay. And you never have to pay the gold back!
This is as close as it comes to an opportunity to maintain some degree of personal freedom during these ever-more difficult and troubling times. As far as I know, we are the only organization in the world that makes a very large bank of pure wealth freely available to our members.
Having said that, governments (California, Oregon, Washington and others) have imposed very unreasonable regulations upon our industry. As long as you guys continue to stand with us, we will continue the fight for our basic freedoms.
There remains hope that America will wake up and realize that we need to produce value and wealth in excess of what we consume. We all know that these are very troubled times for America. The whole world hangs in this balance.
I believe personal integrity and pursuit of the truth are the only road towards enlightenment. The guidance I receive on that level is that we should stay the course for a while longer and see how these larger forces play out. I am willing to invest my personal resources to keep our program going as long as you guys, our members, are also willing to hang in there until we overcome what is destroying America, or it becomes clear that there is no longer any hope. My assessment of your support will be in what percentage of Full Members are willing to invest $50 a year to help keep our dream alive: The freedom for Americans to go out on the federal lands and invest your personal energy and resourcefulness in exchange for all the gold you can find.
This is not the first time I have made this commitment to you in August. We are still here thanks to you guys!
Comments by Dave Mack
We are having a pretty good season. Many members have been along our extensive mining properties and have visited us in the office. Most are very happy to get up here where the ongoing political turmoil and health issues in our country are not really visible.
We will continue to try to keep our costs from exceeding income while we wait for the political leanings to swing back in the direction of reducing regulatory burdens which create more harm than good. Things appear to be coming to a head. The hard reality is that a free society cannot just print money forever to keep the private economy going. Free societies are largely made up of people who are allowed the freedom to create goods and services which can be exchanged with others. Until we get back to this reality, my own outlook is that we will not see very much that will change our existing circumstances for the better. So, we wait.
Having said that, we still have plenty to be thankful for.
My best wishes to everyone,
New 49’er Gold Prospecting Association
27 Davis Road P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012