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» We Won! Karuk’s Challenge to California Dredging Regulations

SECOND QUARTER, June, 2006 VOLUME 20, NUMBER 6

By Dave McCracken General manager

Dave Mack

Today (June 16th), Alameda Superior Court Judge Sabraw issued a written Order denying Motions from both the Karuk Tribe and Department of Fish & Game (DFG) to enter a Judgment affirming the Stipulated Agreement which would have shortened or eliminated important suction dredge seasons in Siskiyou County, California!

We have devoted a special page to this litigation that can be found on our web site.

Judge Sabraw’s written Decision found that “…the Stipulated Judgment proposed by the Plaintiff and Department is contrary to law and public policy, and denies the motion on those grounds as well.” The Judge’s Decision accepted important arguments made by our attorneys,ruling that “The injunction would essentially operate as promulgation of new regulations on suction dredging, without such regulations having been subjected, as required by law, to the public notice and hearing requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act and the California Administrative Procedures Act.”

According to Department of Fish & Game (DFG) officials in both the Redding and Eureka offices earlier this week, DFG had not intended to enforce the 2006 amended suction dredge regulations upon gold dredgers this season unless the judge endorsed their Stipulated Agreement.

DFG wardens have been telling dredgers along the Scott and Klamath Rivers during this past week that they may dredge according to the original 2005 dredge regulations, as long as they possess a valid 2006 dredging permit. Several people are already dredging. The wardens have checked them for 2006 permits, and have told them they would be allowed 24 hours to conform to the amended regulations in the event that the judge endorsed them. As the Judge has decided that the Stipulated Agreement was contrary to law, we are assuming that the amended regulations are now void. Our attorneys will be contacting DFG attorneys early next week about withdrawing the amended regulations altogether to avoid further confusion.

I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to this magnificent effort. Together, we have won another very important victory! We should all pause for a moment and take a deep breath. Whew!

Our attorneys did a really good job on this. But it never would have happened without all the help that we received from you guys (and gals) and multiple other prospecting organizations who have contributed to the effort!

Hooray for our side!

It looks to me like we are going to have a great season!

Dave McCracken
General Manager

 

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