By Dave McCracken General Manager




California Senate Bill 670 (anti-suction dredging legislation) arrived on Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk early this week. Now he will have only 12 days to decide what to do about the bill.

We have done our absolute best to defeat SB 670. But with big Indian casino money behind it, our efforts did not count for much in the California legislature. So we have focused all of our remaining efforts upon a post card campaign to the governor (more than 50,000 bright orange cards were printed and distributed in a nation-wide program), email messages (to thousands of prospectors over our Internet Action program) and through other diplomatic channels to the governor with some aggressive help from a few very friendly (to our side) California legislators.

If you have not yet sent the governor a message, here is the link to our Action Alert.

If the governor signs the bill, unless we are able to get it overturned in federal court, there will be a moratorium upon suction dredging for gold within California’s active waterways until the Court-ordered environmental impact report is completed. That might take two years.

We have done all that we can do. Now we wait nervously to see what Governor Schwarzenegger will do.

The latest news will always be present on our message forum. The gals in our office will also know the news: (530) 493-2012.

SB 670 Does Not Affect Other Types of Gold Prospecting

Just in case you didn’t know, these battles we are fighting only

concern suction dredging within California’s active waterways. The other types of prospecting or mining that we do are not being challenged. These include panning, sniping & Vack-mining, sluicing & high-banking, booming, electronic prospecting and other types of prospecting that do not use a suction nozzle within an active stream, river or creek. So SB 670 does not affect most of the activity which we do, including our group weekend projects.

2009 Annual Dues Billed This Month

We bill $50 in annual dues to all Full Members in August. This is because most of the costs (especially property taxes) associated with maintaining our extensive mining properties come due before September. Thank you for your support on this!

Seasonal Updates

The 2009 season is well underway along our properties. Quite a few members have arrived. Dredging season has opened along all the waterways. The Klamath River has dropped to low summer levels. We are having a great season so far!

We had 45 participants in the third high-banking weekend a few weeks ago. Our remaining weekend prospecting projects for the 2009 season are scheduled for August 8 & 9 and August 29 & 30. All members are invited to attend at no cost. Please register in the office in advance at (530) 493-2012.

Potlucks are happening every Saturday evening at 6:30 PM at the Happy Camp Lions Hall. Everyone is invited. Bring a dish and what you like to drink.

Our office and store in Happy Camp are now open for summer hours. That’s 8 AM – 5 PM on weekdays, and 8 AM – 12 PM on Saturdays.

Member Mail: If you are going to have mail delivered to you at our office in Happy Camp, please come in and check for it. I gather that there is quite a pile building up!