New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST QUARTER, JANUARY 2020                              VOLUME 34, NUMBER 1

Dave McCracken


Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager


When I made the statement in last month’s newsletter that we would be making another attempt at having our situation heard in the U.S. Supreme Court, I did not know it would happen so soon. Gold miners tend to be a hard-headed bunch of good natured people. We do not give up easily. Not giving up when times are difficult, aside from an occasional surprise, is the only way we ultimately find the rewarding gold deposits. Sometimes very rewarding!

For those of you that have been following along, you know that State agencies in Oregon and California have been attempting to eliminate small-scale gold mining on the federal lands all the way back since 1993 or before. Our industry, more or less, overcame these attempts over the many years until 2007 when California passed a law which put an end to suction dredging. Their reasons claimed to be for the protection of fish. Though, honestly, there is not a single documented instance where underwater mining, in accordance with reasonable regulations, has ever harmed a single fish. Not one! At the same time, both States sell fish-kill licenses to millions of fishermen. What?

Let me make it clear that we do not have a problem with fishing. Our problem is with State officials who just make up the rules as they go along, regardless of the factual situation. Not just State officials, but also a majority portion of our elected officials, and a fair portion of today’s judges – whose sworn duty actually is to protect us from overbearing and unreasonable State officials.

But most judges these days just act as a rubber stamp on the dictates of overbearing government, and deliberately turn America’s productive citizens into criminals. I have watched this play out in the courts for the past ten years as our industry has attempted to bring sanity back into the management of small-scale mining. We have raised and wasted over a million dollars in legal fees and attempts to lobby legislatures, only to have elected officials, State employees and judges ultimately turn their backs on the truth and take away our freedoms. I have been caught by complete surprise by the way America’s leaders have turned their backs on our founding principles!

We have fought two cases all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, only to have them rejected. This is not a slam on the high court. That body receives so many appeals, it only accepts around five percent. As important as our situation is, whoever advises the high court determined that other cases were more important to America as a whole. We pray this third attempt to reach the highest court in the land will succeed.

Our case is extremely important, because it strikes directly at the heart of socialism in America, where government officials have the power to ignore the truth and do as they please with impunity because they are acting on behalf of “the State.” No; I am not exaggerating!

If you have any doubts about whether socialism is a good idea for America, all you need to do is take an honest look at what the House of Representatives have put President Trump through during their impeachment proceeding. All or most of America’s historical and iron clad jurisprudence, and the concepts of honesty and fairness, were swept aside because the majority in the House wants to get rid of Mr. Trump at any cost, even if it means the end of honesty and fairness for themselves and all Americans forever: “Shut up! We are the State. We can do anything we want to. If you disagree, you are an enemy. If you object out loud, you are treasonous!” This is socialism. Is that really what we want to pass off on our kids and grandkids?

Like him or not, Donald Trump is the duly elected leader of the free world. Watching what the democrats have put him through over the past 3+ years is not only appalling; it is the realization that socialism has already, to a dangerous extent, taken over America’s leadership, its government institutions, educational institutions at all levels, nearly all of our mainstream press, and the thinking of maybe as much as half of America!

America is in an internal war; the battle between people who want to control everything we think and do, and those of us who want to live productive, honest lives and be left alone. We do not want to be ruled by others who have no idea how to produce wealth and safe neighborhoods.

The truth is that the socialists pretty much had America all wrapped up until Donald Trump was elected. Just one man! He was elected because half of America was feeling that the country’s direction was going down the wrong path. This is why our enemies hate him so much! One guy came along at just the right time; at the tipping point of no return from total government control over America, forever. They had it all tied up. Now we are watching their disappointment play out through the worst of socialism. I predict that the left will generate widespread violence when America turns back towards our founding principles. Hope for the best. Plan for the worst!

In any event, the big realization I have had in watching the impeachment process play out is that if the left in America can do that to the President of the United States, we as small-scale miners never had a reasonable chance of winning our industry back. Even now, our only chance of a long term fix will be through the U.S. Supreme Court. This is because, even if Mr. Trump or his team enact new administrative rules that free us to do motorized gold mining on the federal lands, America’s enemies (within) will file lawsuits in front of left-leaning judges and have us stopped again. We will need the U.S. Supreme Court to ultimately vindicate our rights and freedoms.

The good news is that, because of Mr. Trump’s two appointments to the high court so far, the high court is no longer left-leaning. Our case is so straightforward, there is more than a reasonable chance we can win our industry back in full, if we can just get the court to review it. We can do that if we don’t give up. We just have to keep trying!

Our industry has just hired (this week) a prestigious law firm: They are called, “FISHERBROYALS.” They have a presence in ATLANTA • AUSTIN • BOSTON • CHARLOTTE • CHICAGO • CINCINNATI • CLEVELAND • COLUMBUS • DALLAS • DENVER • DETROIT • HOUSTON • LONDON • LOS ANGELES • MIAMI • NAPLES • NEW YORK • PALO ALTO • PHILADELPHIA • PRINCETON • SALT LAKE CITY • SEATTLE • and WASHINGTON, D.C. They will compose and submit an Amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in the matter of THOMAS A. KITCHAR, et al., Petitioners, v. OREGON DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY, et al. The Supreme Court allows “Friend of the Court” briefings to hear what other legal scholars have to say about the legalities in important cases.

Rather than go into the particulars of this case, I will link you to the Petition for Writ of Certiorari which our longstanding attorney wrote last month in conjunction with Pacific Legal Foundation. Mr. Buchal has been our steadfast, loyal advocate for the past 10 years. He was originally hired back in 2005 by mining associations in Oregon on this very case which is being directed to the U.S. Supreme Court.  That’s 15+ years in court to try and regain their livelihoods! Who can stay in a fight for that long? Only Americans that are determined to hold onto freedom!

Tom Kitchar did a wonderful job in putting together a Summary which outlines the history of this 15-year battle, and how difficult our enemies and the lower courts have made it for us to obtain justice. You can find Tom’s Summary right here.

The New 49’ers hired Mr. Buchal upon strong recommendations from the miners in Oregon when the State of California secretly conspired with environmentalists to eliminate our suction dredge regulations. That was more than ten years ago. He has been a brilliant and tough fighter on our behalf, but has unfortunately been up against a stacked deck. The lower courts in both Oregon and California, with perhaps a few exceptions, have been co-opted by the socialists.

Frankly, underwater and motorized mining have been forbidden in Oregon and California for so long, that many longtime supporters have either gotten too old, gave up or passed away. Some remain dedicated to the fight, but it has not been enough to keep up with legal costs. That’s what this Action Alert is about. Our industry needs a boost in our legal defense resources. More on how you can help down below.

Just to demonstrate how tight this is, any amicus brief (friend of the court) to the U.S. Supreme Court concerning our case must be filed by the 3rd of February!

We have already lost in the Oregon and California supreme courts. Fortunately, this Oregon case has been ongoing since before those decisions were made. Therefore, the original case remains alive.

Note that those who are named in the Petition are not allowed to support an Amicus brief. Mostly through tireless effort by Tom Kitchar of the Waldo Mining District in southern Oregon, initial support for the Amicus has been pledged by THE NEW 49ERS LEGAL FUND, PUBLIC LANDS FOR THE PEOPLE (PLP), WILLAMETTE VALLEY MINERS (WVM), TOM QUINTAL in Oregon, AMERICAN MINING RIGHTS ASSOCIATION (AMRA), BOHEMIA MINE OWNERS ASSOCIATION (BMOA), NORTHWEST MINERAL PROSPECTING CLUB (NWMPC), COUER D’ALENE MINING DISTRICT (CDAMD), GALICE MINING DISTRCIT (GMD), JOSEPHINE COUNTY in Oregon, and SISKIYOU COUNTY in California.

We have not yet raised enough money to fully pay for the services of FISHERBROYALS. There will also be more legal and political challenges as we, the Trump Team and all or most freedom-loving Americans attempt to free up productive activity for Americans again. I’m sure your financial contributions to any of the prospecting organizations listed above will be going to the right places. As to our Legal Fund, there is still time to buy tickets for our ongoing fund-raiser that will come to an end on February 14, just a few weeks from now (please see just below).

All I can do is give a deeply felt thank you to everyone who continues to support the cause for freedom!

The New 49’ers Legal Fund-raiser!

There will be 26 prizes in all:
Two Grand Prizes: 1/2-ounce American Gold Eagles
Four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles
Ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets).

This drawing will take place at 2 pm on Friday, 14 February 2020, at our headquarters in Happy Camp. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online:

$10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

The New 49’ers Legal Fund

2020 Schedule of Events 

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting. One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who more experienced than you are.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members. All participants share equally in the gold we recover.

Group projects are limited to a certain number of participants. Scheduling in advance is strongly advised to ensure a position on any specific weekend project: 530 493-2012  

2020 Schedule of Events: June 20 & 21; July 18 & 19; August 22 & 23. 

Planned Office Hours for the Time Being

The upcoming holidays will have our offices closed on December 23, 24 & 25 for Christmas, and January 1 for New Year’s Day.

Until further notice, we will continue opening the doors between 9 AM and 4 PM on weekdays.  The office will be closed on weekends, except for the morning hours during the Saturdays when we are sponsoring the coming season’s Weekend Group Projects.

Members are invited to sign in your whereabouts on our properties over the phone in case there is some reason we need to find you.

Our mining properties are freely available to all members in good standing 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, unless the Klamath National Forest is closed due to wildfires.

For any problems, our Internal Affairs is available over the phone: Richard Krimm is our Director of Internal Affairs, email or call (510) 681 8066 (also available after hours and on weekends). 



New 49’er Gold Prospecting Association
27 Davis Road P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012

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