Dave Mack

“Assembly Bill 1032 is a bill that is intended to modify Section 5353 of the California Fish & Game Code to prevent or curtail suction dredging on numerous waterways within California.”

 
Dave Mack

We need You to Comment on DFG’s Proposed Dredge Regulations in California!

Please make a donation to our legal Fund.

The California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) released its long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIR) and Proposed new Suction Dredging Regulations just as we were putting out our March newsletter. These, along with other information, can be found at DFG’s web site.

Now it is time for all of us to follow up with written comments. The deadline for public comment has been extended to 10 May 2011. Written comments should be submitted to Mark Stopher, Department of Fish and Game, 601 Locust Street, Redding, CA 96001. Or they can be faxed or emailed: Fax: (530) 225-2391; Email: dfgsuctiondredge@dfg.ca.gov.

Brief Analysis of Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (SEIR): I personally invested a healthy portion of the last month reviewing the massive SEIR and relevant portions of the California Fish & Game Code, the Resources Code and the Government Code. With the collaborative efforts of our staff and numerous responsible members that also have substantial experience in dredging matters, I have authored 38 pages of comments on behalf of The New 49’ers. This very comprehensive response can be found here in a format which allows text to be copied & pasted to help with your own written comments.

The naked truth is that DFG is attempting to impose substantial additional restrictions upon our existing suction dredge regulations (adopted in 1994). They are not doing this by providing any evidence in the SEIR that a single fish has ever been harmed by suction dredgers; but by adopting an entirely new baseline to which the affects of suction dredging are being measured.

During 1994, the impacts of suction dredging were measured against the baseline of ongoing dredging activity dating back to the 1960’s. But this Subsequent EIR is measuring the effects of suction dredging to a new arbitrary baseline of “no dredging activity” in order to make them appear to be substantial. This is because of the existing moratorium on suction dredging, according to the SEIR. But the moratorium was Ordered because DFG made Declarations in recent litigation that they had evidence to show a potential deleterious impact upon fish from ongoing dredging activity under the 1994 regulations. However, DFG’s “evidence of harm” has not materialized in their SEIR. Rather, they have decided to reevaluate all of the previous information (that was addressed in the 1994 EIR) against a “no dredging” baseline.

As if that is not bad enough; DFG has even taken it a step further in this SEIR by evaluating the negative economic and social consequences resulting from drastic reductions in our existing regulations as a “beneficial impact upon mineral development and economics.” The truth is that the burdensome additional restrictions they seek to impose upon us would eliminate dredging (in places where existing regulations allow it) across vast areas of California, and would reduce nozzle sizes along the remaining open areas to the point where it will be difficult to make money with a suction dredge. This will undermine millions of dollars worth of property values and, to a large degree, undermine dredge-mining as a small business activity in California. But rather than acknowledge the real consequences, this SEIR is measuring the economic impacts against an arbitrary “no dredging” baseline and making the case that lifting the moratorium would be a positive gain!

There are numerous mandates from the California legislature which require state agencies to measure real environmental impacts against the cost to Americans of implementing more restrictive regulations, especially upon small business. My own impression is that DFG officials have made a deliberate and underhanded attempt to corrupt this process. If you take the time to read my formal comments, I believe all of you will agree with my assessment.

It is a real awakening to discover that some government agencies are actively working to subvert the legal processes which they are supposed to follow, all in an attempt to eliminate economic opportunity that belongs to the public which they are supposed to serve.

Because DFG has overreached their legal authority with this SEIR, we have an excellent opportunity to push them back where they belong. But we are all going to have to help with this, because California is larger than Oregon and therefore requires a stronger push. It is not enough that we have figured out what is wrong with the SEIR and Proposed Regulations. We also need to generate a very loud cumulative objection! That’s where you guys come in.

Here is a sample letter or email which provides our main talking points. The addresses where the comments should be sent are at the top. It is better if you cut and paste from my sample to create your own comments, because form-comments are not as effective. However, if you are not able to do your own, you should at least add a date and send the form-comments in with your signature and address. This is a lot better than doing nothing at all. It proves that you are concerned!

It looks like we will be dredging again in California at the beginning of the 2012 season. As we will be held to the Final EIR and regulations that come out of the ongoing process, we should all work hard to make it come out as best we can right now!

Our Legal Fund Needs Your Help, Again!

All of this legal and political activity has been placing a substantial strain on our legal resources. So it is a good thing that we were out in front of ourselves pulling a new fund-raiser together.

Our existing drawing will be for three ounces of beautiful Rogue River gold that I personally mined last season. We could really use your help!

Make a Donation

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

www.goldgold.com

 

Please take a moment to contact the five Senators below…

Please make a donation to our legal Fund.

Oregon State Senators Atkinson, Haas and Bates have introduced SB 765, which would tax suction gold dredgers by charging a $50 annual fee for in-state dredgers and a whopping $2,500 fee for out-of-state dredgers for each county where the miner intends to dredge.

Under emergency status, this bill is now moving on fast-track through the Oregon legislative process. If passed, these unreasonable fees could be in affect for the upcoming season!

Please take a moment to contact the five Senators below to express your disapproval of this bill and remind them of the contributions miners make to the state economy.

Here is the email that we sent, individually directed to each of the Senators. Copy and paste as you see fit. We suggest it is wise to include your full name and address on your email.

Important: Please include that you would like your comments placed in the file regarding SB 765. Remember that you are exercising your right to voice your opposition to these elected officials, and they are charged with reviewing the bills brought before them-please be civil and polite. Just let them know that you oppose SB765, and you want to make sure your voice is counted on the record! The bill is presently in the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee. You should direct your comments to the following 5 senators quickly, before the bill moves on:

Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee
1 – Chair
Senator Floyd Prozanski (D)
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4
sen.floydprozanski@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1704
District # (541) 342-2447

2 – Co-Chair
Senator Jeff Kruse (R)
Roseburg
District 1
sen.jeffkruse@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1701
District # (541) 580-3276

3 – Committee Member
Senator Doug Whitsett (R)
Klamath Falls
District 28
sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1728
District # (541) 883-4006

4 – Committee Member
Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D)
Portland/Beaverton
District 17
sen.suzannebonamici@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1717
District # (503) 627-0246

5 – Committee Member
Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D)
Portland
District 23
sen.jackiedingfelder@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1723
District # (503) 493-2804

Thank you!

Dave McCracken,
President, New 49’er Prospecting Association

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

www.goldgold.com

 

Please take a moment to contact the five Senators below…

Please make a donation to our legal Fund.

Oregon State Senators Atkinson, Haas and Bates have introduced SB 765, which would tax suction gold dredgers by charging a $50 annual fee for in-state dredgers and a whopping $2,500 fee for out-of-state dredgers for each county where the miner intends to dredge.

Under emergency status, this bill is now moving on fast-track through the Oregon legislative process. If passed, these unreasonable fees could be in affect for the upcoming season!

Please take a moment to contact the five Senators below to express your disapproval of this bill and remind them of the contributions miners make to the state economy.

Here is the email that we sent, individually directed to each of the Senators. Copy and paste as you see fit. We suggest it is wise to include your full name and address on your email.

Important: Please include that you would like your comments placed in the file regarding SB 765. Remember that you are exercising your right to voice your opposition to these elected officials, and they are charged with reviewing the bills brought before them-please be civil and polite. Just let them know that you oppose SB765, and you want to make sure your voice is counted on the record! The bill is presently in the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee. You should direct your comments to the following 5 senators quickly, before the bill moves on:

Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee
1 – Chair
Senator Floyd Prozanski (D)
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4
sen.floydprozanski@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1704
District # (541) 342-2447

2 – Co-Chair
Senator Jeff Kruse (R)
Roseburg
District 1
sen.jeffkruse@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1701
District # (541) 580-3276

3 – Committee Member
Senator Doug Whitsett (R)
Klamath Falls
District 28
sen.dougwhitsett@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1728
District # (541) 883-4006

4 – Committee Member
Senator Suzanne Bonamici (D)
Portland/Beaverton
District 17
sen.suzannebonamici@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1717
District # (503) 627-0246

5 – Committee Member
Senator Jackie Dingfelder (D)
Portland
District 23
sen.jackiedingfelder@state.or.us
Capitol # (503) 986-1723
District # (503) 493-2804

Thank you!

Dave McCracken,
President, New 49’er Prospecting Association

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

www.goldgold.com

 

Subject: Oppose SB 765

New 49’er Prospecting Association

27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, CA 96039 www.goldgold.com

Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee, Chair
Senator Floyd Prozanski (D)
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

Dear Sir,

Our organization represents more than 2,000 active members who participate in small-scale mining activities. Our members come from many States, and also from international locations.

As you may be aware, California has issued a moratorium on suction dredging until the environmental impact report which supports our regulations can be updated. The process is ongoing, but newly-issued regulations will not happen in time for the upcoming summer season.

Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) updated its own Administrative Process and issued new recreational-scale dredging regulations last year. My understanding is that 85 State-wide permits (out of about 1,200) were issued to people from California last season.

Senator Atkinson has made no secret that his intention behind SB 765 is to prevent non-resident prospectors from going to Oregon. And with a $2,500 fee for each permit, he will succeed in doing just that!

Many of our active members continue to prospect along our properties along the Klamath River in northern California. Since dredging is not allowed at the moment, they are engaging in surface mining activities (outside of the active waterway). This is all in conformance with California’s regulations and our ongoing Agreements with the U. S. Forest Service.

But to those who prefer to dredge, we have been encouraging them towards Oregon. Here is a link with several stories which we have published that promote Oregon as a friendly place to go.

Our members are made up mostly of normal middle class people (average age 62) who enjoy the outdoors and prospecting for gold. They arrive in RV’s which they place in local private parks. They eat at local restaurants, shop in local stores, buy fuel, get their hair cuts, and do all the normal things which Americans do. Wherever they set up on their vacations, or for the whole summer, you cannot find a better bunch of visitors who are helping to support the local economy.

The communities along the Klamath River in California lost millions of dollars last season because of the dredging moratorium.

We are all aware that Oregon has its own challenges in balancing its budget. I submit that the answer is to encourage more tourism to your State, rather than keep it away! All of us in the private sector know that the answer to fixing the economy is to provide more valuable goods and services, not less!

While Senator Atkinson may have his own issues with suction dredgers (issues which he has made in public statements), I can tell you from personal experience along the Rogue River last season that local businesses are quite happy to take any and all visitors who come their way!

This is not about the environment. Oregon DEQ and Department of State Lands have issued a State-wide dredging permit after studying the potential impacts.

This is about keeping non-residents from coming to Oregon! Otherwise, the non-resident permit asked for in SB 765 would not cost 50 times more than the resident permit!

This SB 765 is a crossroads for how Oregon is going to treat out-of-state visitors. The message to small-scale gold hunters is that Oregon does not want you! Is that really true?

Some of us have already purchased the existing permit from DEQ ($90 for a 4-year permit) in advance. Adding to our annual permit fee by more than100 times is a clear message. No couple will spend $5,000 on permits so they can spend a few weeks, or even a whole summer, enjoying what Oregon has to offer! Who could afford that?

With projected (perhaps much) higher gas prices by summer, it is already going to be difficult for Oregon to attract out-of-state visitors.

I encourage you to not allow this harmful bill to prevent out-of-state Americans to enjoy Oregon’s waterways.

Respectfully,

Dave McCracken
President, New 49’er Prospecting Association

 

“We must kill California Senate Bill 670!”

Dear Fellow Gold Prospector,

Our lobbyists in Sacramento have been working aggressively on our behalf to overcome California Senate Bill 670 which was introduced by Senator Wiggins on February 27. If passed into law, the bill would prohibit the State of California from issuing any further suction dredging permits until the Department of Fish & Game (DFG) has adopted new regulations pursuant to a full update of the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that was completed in 1994.

The earlier EIR is what has supported our existing regulations for the past 14 years. This was completed after a very long and contentious process in which every potential impact upon fish from suction dredging was carefully considered. While they have refused to present any evidence showing that suction dredging under our existing regulations has ever harmed a single fish in California, the Karuks have been challenging the earlier EIR because it has not been updated since 1994.

During earlier litigation which we Intervened in, the Alameda Superior Court in California Ruled against the Karuk Tribe and DFG, deciding that DFG could not change our suction dredge regulations without first reviewing the existing EIR through the proper administrative process (which requires the least-restrictive regulations to be imposed upon private industry to resolve problems which must be demonstrated by best available science).

Ultimately, the Court Ordered DFG to conduct a proper review of our EIR. But the review process has basically been stalled because California is having serious financial difficulties (which are likely to continue).

If the Karuks have their way, this legislation will prevent further suction dredging in California until the full environmental review is completed. Then they will continue to do everything within their power, as they have already been doing, to make sure the review process is never completed! You guys see how this works?

Our lobbyists are right on top of this as the legislative process is underway in Sacramento. They are now asking for us to encourage all of our supporters to immediately send a letter, fax or email to Senator Wiggins which opposes SB 670, with copies to 2 other senators and Governor Schwarzenegger.

Here is a ready-made message (email, fax or letter) in opposition to SB 670. It is better if you just use this sample to write your own message. But if you do not have time to do that, please at least copy the text from our sample message over to create your own fax, letter or email to the Senator.

If you don’t know how to copy and paste material off the Internet, please click  here.

To make certain your message actually makes it to the Senator’s desk and to the other lawmakers, our lobbyists are asking that you please direct them to one of the following addresses:

The New 49’ers, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039

Or Fax your message to: (530) 493-2095

Or email your message to:

The girls in our office, along with our lobbyists in Sacramento, will then make certain that your message is delivered to the office of Senator Wiggins and to the other key lawmakers on the list!

Important: Even though you send your message to our office, the heading of the message should be addressed to Senator Wiggins as shown in our sample message.

Very important: You must include your own full name and return postal address on whatever letter, fax or email that you send to the Senator. That is the only way that these lawmakers can recognize and weigh the importance of your communication!

Thank you very much for your help in this very important matter!

Please Help to Support our Legal Fund!

Because our need to raise funds is immediate, once again, we have our ever-vigilant member, Jim Yerby, to thank for organizing yet another set of very valuable prizes for a prize drawing – which is already in progress. In addition to 53 very nice prizes which have been donated by 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!

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

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.

Important note: The legacy of small-scale mining for precious metals in America is in our hands. This represents one of the last true freedoms remaining; we still have the right to freely explore for rich gold deposits and claim them for ourselves once found. We really ought to hold onto that one! Don’t you agree?

Please send financial contributions to: The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039. Or, you can call in a donation at (530) 493-2012 .

Thanks very much for whatever you can do to help with the immediate matters at hand!

Dave McCracken

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

www.goldgold.com

 

“We must kill SB 670!”

Senate Bill 670 (anti suction dredging legislation) will come up for a vote on Tuesday, June 16th in the Assembly Water, Parks & Wildlife Committee.

Our lobbyists are asking our supporters to send as many emails as possible to the following 13 Committee Members before Tuesday of next week.

Even though you may get auto-return email messages from some of the Committee Members stating that they don’t normally respond to messages from outside their districts, our lobbyists say that your messages will still get through.

Please put the following phrase in the subject line of your emails:

Please vote “No” on SB 670!

Here are some talking points which you can cut & paste for your own fax message or email.

California Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee:

Asm. Jared Huffman (D) [Chair] San Rafael
Assemblymember.huffman@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Jean Fuller (R) [Vice-Chair] Bakersfield
Assemblymember.fuller@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Joel Anderson (R) San Diego
Assemblymember.anderson@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Juan Arambula (D) Fresno
Assemblymember.arambula@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Tom Berryhill (R) Modesto
Assemblymember.berryhill@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Bob Blumenfield (D) Van Nuys
Assemblymember..blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Anna Caballero (D) Salinas
Assemblymember.caballero@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Nathan Fletcher (R) San Diego
Assemblymember.fletcher@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Paul Krekorian (D) Glendale
Assemblymember.krekorian@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Bonnie Lowenthal (D) Long Beach
Assemblymember.lowenthal@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. John A. Perez (D) Los Angeles
assemblymember.john.perez@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Mary Salas (D) Chula Vista
Assemblymember.salas@assembly.ca.gov

Asm. Mariko Yamada (D) Vacaville
Assemblymember.yamada@assembly.ca.gov

PLEASE REMEMBER: you must include your name and address on any message you send.

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

www.goldgold.com

 
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 days ago. The bill will now go to the California Assembly. Our staggering defeat in the Senate has our lobbyists in a full regroup mode, and I have asked them to perform a very careful evaluation of our prospects for success in the Assembly. This, so that we can decide if we still have a reasonable chance of killing this harmful bill there, or will only be wasting our time and limited resources.

If SB 670 passes in the Assembly, we will have one remaining opportunity to kill the harmful legislation by asking governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to veto the bill.

In the event that SB 670 is passed into law (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.

Since our financial resources are limited, and because we are up against what appears to be overwhelming support for the legislation, we need to carefully weigh our prospects for success (at killing the legislation) with perhaps a more effective solution of challenging the new law (once passed) in federal court 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).

To help you become more informed of ongoing developments, I have asked our lobbyists to provide an Update Memo.

Update Concerning Ongoing Litigation

All of this recent legislative activity (which will affect future dredging seasons) is happening under the darker cloud of ongoing litigation against suction dredging (which could have an impact upon our present season) in California. This is taking place in Alameda Superior Court (San Francisco Bay area).

Our adversaries recently filed a Motion with the Court for Injunctive Relief. They are asking the Court to prevent the Department of Fish & Game “from spending any funds allocated from the State of California’s General Fund on any activities which allow suction dredging to occur under the Department’s current regulations.”

Here follow the important moving Documents our adversaries have filed in support of this Motion:

Now; here follow our key responsive documents to the Motion for Injunctive Relief:

For those of you who have the time to review these documents, I believe you will understand and agree why I keep repeating that we have hired the best legal representation that money can buy! We are sooooo lucky to have James Buchal on our side!

While nobody can predict what a judge will do, I can tell you with complete certainty that we as an industry have done our absolute best at defending the rights of small-scale gold miners. We could not do it any better than we have!

There has been an enormous amount of legal activity during the past month, of which the briefs listed above are just a few. Basically, our adversaries are wasting no effort in an attempt to take away our mining rights without having to show that we have ever harmed a single fish!

Rather than go into all the details here, I have asked James Buchal to provide you with a short Litigation Summary from his own perspective.

Mr. Buchal’s opening statement about “fast and furious developments” in the litigation is truly an understatement. Since my job is to manage the ongoing legal defense and political activity on your behalf, I make it a personal responsibility to read all of the legal briefs and provide technical support and encouragement to the specialists who we are paying to defend our industry. And let me just tell you that we are really up against an awesome opposing force within the litigation. It is all I can do to keep up with the ongoing exchange of legal briefs and telephonic hearings!

In fact, there has been so much activity during recent weeks, our attorney was forced to devote an entire sleepless night just to meet filing deadlines with the Court on one round of opposing briefs. The Litigation Summary provided above was sent to me at 4 am on Saturday morning on Memorial Day weekend! We certainly have the right kind of guys on our side!

While the opposing briefs are ongoing, for our part, we will just have to see where the chips fall on June 9th. And then we will pick up from there and move forward as necessary. I’m sure you guys and gals will all stay tuned in!

Yes, I know there will be a million questions about what the Proposed Order means. And I can tell you with certainty that your guess would be as good as mine or anyone else’s at the moment, including the attorneys who are involved.

On legal matters such as these, I suggest that each of us must make our own individual choices. For me, since DFG is presently selling 2009 suction dredge permits (at least until 9 June), and they have already made a Formal Decision that they have no valid environmental justification to enact Emergency Regulations to stop suction dredging, I have already bought my own 2009 permit — and I fully intend to dredge this summer. It doesn’t sound like anything in this Motion will attempt to prevent me (or you) from doing that.

Our Next Moves

If the Motion for Injunctive Relief is granted by the Court, this would be one more reason for us to conserve our resources, cut our losses in the California legislature, and ask our attorneys to challenge California’s authority (in federal court) to bypass its own Formal Administrative Process and take away our federally-protected mining rights.

Therefore, we are in a holding pattern at the moment until we see what the Alameda Superior Court will decide in less than two weeks. This will allow our lobbyists time to survey our supporters in the California Assembly and provide us with a reality check on our chances of overcoming SB 670 through further political action.

Your Help is Needed Now to Support our Legal Fund!

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. Your help has pretty-much allowed us to stay even (until now) with the increased costs associated with all this additional legal and political activity.

However, I am informed that we just received an April legal billing in the amount of $13,433.50. On top of that, Mr. Buchal told me a few days ago that we should plan on his May billing to be more than April. June is also going to be high, because that’s when Mr. Buchal will need to attend at least one important hearing in Alameda Superior Court (June 9th).

Before you get your hackles up, I want to let you know that Mr. Buchal bills us at a reduced rate, and he does not charge us for all of his time. The existing situation has been taking up nearly all of his productive time. The value of his time billed through nearly any other law firm would cost so much that we would be forced out of the game!

Adding $3,000 for May lobbying expenses to James’ $13,433.50 for April creates a $17,433.50 outstanding liability to our legal fund — which presently has a balance of $ 4,276.98. This leaves us with a deficit of $13,156.52 with another legal billing on its way in just a few days.

This is an emergency!

We are fighting the biggest, hardest battles our industry has ever faced right now. You guys have always been there to help in the past. We need you more than ever right now!

Because our need to raise funds is immediate, once again, we have our ever-vigilant member, Jim Yerby, to thank for organizing yet another set of very valuable prizes for a prize drawing – which is already in progress. In addition to 53 very nice prizes which have been donated by 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!

If anyone would like to contribute a prize towards our legal and political fundraising, please contact Jim at grizzwag@charter.net. What do you have that might be a good prize in our fund-raising?

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

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. That is only about a month away! There is no limit to the number of tickets you can accumulate, or the number of prizes that you can win in this 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

We need your help on this more than ever!

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

www.goldgold.com

 
Dave Mack

“Governor Schwarzenegger needs to hear from us all …”

Senate Bill 670 (anti-suction dredging legislation) was passed by the California Assembly several days ago. It will now reach the governor as soon as tomorrow (13 July). Because this has passed through the legislature as an “urgency bill,” Governor Schwarzenegger will only have 12 days to act on it. He can either sign the bill, or he can send it back to the legislature with a veto.

If he signs the bill, it will immediately become law. The new law would place a moratorium on suction dredging in California until an updated statewide environmental impact is completed concerning the impacts from suction dredging and new regulations are adopted. That is likely to take years.

So, there is a lot at stake right now in California!

What happens with miners in California is likely to follow in the other gold mining states.

We have done our absolute best to stop this bill in the legislature. But the big Indian casino lobby (money) has outmatched us at every turn. This final Action Alert is the last thing I personally can do to stop the bill from becoming law.

Now the fate of SB 670 remains in your hands.

Our lobbyists are telling us that a large volume of messages to Governor Schwarzenegger right now is our last remaining hope of killing this harmful bill. The reason I say “right now,” is because while the governor is only allowed 12 days to act on the bill, there is no assurance he will take that long.

Action Alert

If you have not done so already, please send an email or fax 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!

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

www.goldgold.com

 

Email: patricia.hanson@sen.ca.gov
CC: Steve.McCarthy@sen.ca.gov, Phil.Nails@asm.ca.gov, pconaty@sbcglobal.net

The Honorable Darrell Steinberg
State Capitol, Room 4035
Sacramento, CA 95814

Oppose Assembly Bill 1032

(Date)

Dear Senator:

I am writing to you about a matter that is of great concern to me. Assembly Bill 1032 attempts to circumvent a court ruling (Karuk Tribe of California v. California Department of Fish & Game (DFG), Alameda Superior Court of California) which directed DFG to update its previous Environmental Impact Review (EIR) of existing suction gold dredging regulations in California.

Rather than complete the EIR as instructed by the court, DFG is seeking to arbitrarily eliminate suction dredging from California through legislative designated closures of over 20,000 miles of waterways. As AB 1032 presently is amended, I am quite certain that if it passes, my own mining interests within California will be completely undermined. This will cause hardship to my personal and business interests within California, and also to thousands of others like me.

I believe that this harmful bill was put together for the express purpose of destroying the existing and future small-scale gold mining industry in California, which is an important part of our State’s heritage and economy that has been in existence since before California became a State.

The Order of the court was for DFG to update its EIR on the impacts caused from suction dredging. That is all that is needed to make certain that existing regulations are not allowing harm to the important aquatic resources of this State – and to amend existing regulations where necessary.

It is bad policy to allow DFG to skirt around its responsibilities; and rather, with AB 1032, eliminate small-scale gold miners entirely from California, while not providing the state with any measurable environmental benefit!

Please vote “No” on this measure when it comes before the Natural Resources & Water Committee.

Sincerely,

(Your name and address)

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