New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD  QUARTER, SEPTEMBER 2012                                VOLUME 26, NUMBER  9

Dave Mack

By Dave McCracken


Longtime supportive New 49’er members, James and Denise McCarville, discovered a beautiful gold nugget weighing just short of four ounces just a few weeks before the end of this year’s dredging season on the Rogue River in Southern Oregon.  By all accounts, this is the largest gold nugget ever recovered out of the upper Rogue River.


New 49’er members, James and Denise McCarville

James says he came close to missing the beautiful piece of gold altogether because it was initially covered by a thin film of mud. The nugget was so large, it didn’t even occur to him that it was gold until he picked it up off the bottom of the river and felt the weight of it.  He says he is still coming to terms with the reality that he recovered such a large nugget of pure wealth.  We captured James’ personal account of finding the nugget in the following video sequence:

This incredible gold nugget is so precious, just holding it in your hands is enough to make your hands start sweating!  Together, with the rest of the gold James found, he and Denise have had a great season.  They are already making plans for next year.

Rogue River - 4oz. Gold Nugget

You might find it interesting that one of my own dredging buddies and longtime New 49’er supporter, Jim Yerby, had intended to dredge in the very same location this season where the nugget was discovered.  But when other life-situations delayed Jim’s dredging program, he decided to turn his idea over to James, and helped him move his dredge to the location.  Mark Chestnut and Alan Mash also helped James get his dredge tied off and into position.  One thing that stands out very clearly along the Rogue River is how strongly New 49’er members go out of their way to help each other!  Here follows Jim Yerby’s account of how he turned his own “secret place” over to James:

James McCarville

The rest, according to James, was mostly a matter of spending the hours out on the river and getting the work done. While the streambed material was mostly less than a foot in depth over bedrock, James says his main struggle was with the water movement in the river. The water was mostly about waste deep, perhaps neck-deep in some places. Here follows an explanation given by James right out where he found the nugget:

I want to acknowledge that James and Denise have believed in the Rogue River from the very beginning.  They were part of our original sampling team to the Rogue several years ago when The New 49’ers decided we needed to find a place to dredge in Southern Oregon due to California’s temporary moratorium on suction dredging.  Here is a link to that video-enhanced story. Note that James and Denise were finding nuggets back in those days, also.

In addition to performing my routine New 49’er business, I personally devoted a big part of this season to completing my best work ever, an adventure book, in time for Animal Planet’s release of  “Lost Treasure Hunters,” a new reality show which will feature several prospecting buddies and me looking for riches in exotic and dangerous places around the world. I will announce the play schedule for the first five episodes of the reality show as soon as I have them.  I’ll talk a little more about my adventure book below.

However, I did make time to visit the Rogue River with my boat several times this season and spend some time with members who were dredging out there.  There was a lot of activity.  We counted 36 dredges within direct view of  just one location during mid-summer!  Most New 49’er members we spoke with were doing pretty well.  I captured enough video from those conversations to keep our newsletters interesting through the winter months.  Please stay tuned in!

Hello to the U.S. Supreme Court!

Supreme Court PapersMany of you will be aware that we have been engaged in litigation with anti-mining activists that have been attacking us through the Karuk Tribe of California since 2003. It all started with their lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), challenging that District Rangers do not have the authority to allow small-scale mining activities under a Notice of Intent (NOI) when the Ranger concludes that the mining activity is not likely to create a substantial surface disturbance.

This entire case was upside down from the beginning, because it presumed the USFS is providing some kind of “approval” for small-scale mining activity to proceed in the first place – which is not true.  All of the laws which congress has passed concerning mining on the public lands provide free access for all Americans to pursue mining activity.  The USFS is only granted authority to become involved once the mining activity creates a substantial impact upon surface resources.  And even then, USFS does not have authority to disapprove the mining activity.  They are only allowed to work with the mining program in an attempt to minimize unnecessary disturbance.  If they don’t have the authority to disapprove mining activity, then it only seems logical that there is no authority to “approve” it, either!

Our anti-mining adversaries have based their objections on a misperception that when USFS reviews the kind of small-scale mining activities that we do, and they make an internal assessment that no substantial surface impact is being created, the internal process amounts to an “approval” process – which would require them to first consult with multiple other government agencies. In other words, anti-mining activists are insisting upon a multi-agency approval process upon insignificant private activities when no approval process is allowed within the law in the first place. The final result of this case will affect small-scale mining on every national forest in America.  It also has much further consequences that reach out to every part of America where federal agencies review private activity.

Believing that it was a bad idea to allow USFS and anti-mining activists to fight between themselves over the rights of small-scale miners, The New 49’ers intervened in the litigation from the very beginning. The history of this case can be found here:  We defeated the Karuks in Circuit Court, and then we defeated them again in the first round of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Unfortunately, several months ago, the Karuks succeeded in having the full Ninth Circuit overturn our wins. Here is the full Decision. Here is also a short summary from our attorneys about the Decision.

All I can say is that it was a good thing that we intervened in this litigation; because after all this way, the USFS has decided to not Petition the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Ninth Circuit’s misguided Decision.  So much for depending upon government to protect the rights of Americans!  If anyone is wondering why less than 90% of Americans trust our government, you would not have to look any further than the way they have managed this case!

In any event, our Petition for the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the misguided Ninth Circuit Decision was filed several days ago.  You can read our Petition by going here:  I’ll keep you informed as things move along.

We pay for all this through contributions from our supporters.  Our supporters mostly are people who read these newsletters.  Winning this case is so important that I have consented to allow three ounces of my own beautiful gold nuggets to be given away in a prize drawing.  I am hoping you guys will join in and help us pay the lawyers.

Giving Away Dave Mack’s Gold Nuggets!
Dave Mack's Gold
Twenty-five prizes in all:

Grand Prize: 1-Ounce of Dave’s Gold Nuggets
Four ¼-Ounce Bags of Dave’s Gold Nuggets
Twenty 1-Pennyweight Bags of Dave’s Gold Nuggets

The drawing will take place at our offices in Happy Camp on Friday afternoon, 9 November 2012. You need not be present to win.  Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). 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, P.O. Box47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or you can do it online by clicking here:

“Extreme Prospector” is now Available!

Extreme-Prospector by Dave Mack

At long last, my new 512-page book “Extreme Prospector” is at the printer. It is still a while before we will be delivering in conventional book format. I’ll make that announcement when we are ready to start taking orders.

Meanwhile, a lot of people these days are downloading new books from the Internet and reading them on special electronic readers or their personal computers. My new book, “Extreme Prospector,” reads really well as an ebook from Amazon, because all the color images come through in color (about 250 of them), the hyperlinks work, and it sells for half price as an ebook ($9.95). “Extreme Prospector” as an ebook can be found right here.

You do not need to buy anything new to read an ebook. Amazon has a free download that will allow you to read the book on your personal computer. You can find that right here.

There is also a download right here for Apple devices and computers.

I have devoted a full year of my creative energy into “Extreme Prospector.” The book includes my very best adventures, all rewritten to include plenty of detail and some of my best-kept secrets, including several adventures during my time in the SEAL Team. I have weaved in lessons about the importance of hard work, risk taking and personal integrity — and how success is built upon the foundations of honorable behavior. I have included some thoughts about whom and what institutions we owe our loyalty to during these troubled times.

I have tied these important concepts together with a compelling explanation of why America and the West are failing, and I have outlined the only solution that will get us back on track. There is only one solution. It is not all that complicated, though the impending consequences hanging over America are deadly serious. This is all from a perspective that I am not hearing from people in the news or on the campaign trail.  It is time we looked beyond the sound bites of the day and take an honest and realistic look at where things are going if we do not step hard on the brakes!

While I don’t have all the answers, I am not running for political office, and I am not trying to win any popularity contests.  Political parties are more interested in winning elections than fixing the country. I have no agenda other than hoping America will start winning again.  It is only the truth that is going to get us back on the right track; something politicians have to dance around (at best) if they expect to win an election.  I do my best to tell the truth in this book.  I’ll warn you in advance that facing the truth is not very comfortable.  Most of the adventures in my book are not comfortable.  But I’ll bet you find them interesting!

I started working hard on this book as soon as Discovery Network confirmed that several of my adventure buddies and I are going to cast in a reality show (coming soon). I view the expanded exposure as an opportunity to raise interest in small-scale prospecting, and to raise awareness that it is big government in concert with widespread financial shenanigans that are suffocating all the life out of the American Dream.

While we continue to fight, my bet is that the only lasting solution to resolving the legal and political problems our industry is facing is to fix the bigger problems which are destroying our whole country. “Extreme Prospector” is my shot across the bow of the voracious machine that is eating away the last of America’s freedom and prosperity. This shot is the absolute best I can do from my position in the world. I hope the message will resonate with you guys, and I especially hope you will spread the word on all of the social networks – and especially place reviews on Amazon.

I have been telling you guys for years that I would let you know when I was ready to start making big noise. Now is the time! “Extreme Prospector” is the beginning of that! Now we will see what the bigger world does with my message. The bigger world begins with you guys, my friends.

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The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012