“Here is a short summary of ongoing legal affairs”
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By Dave McCracken
California recently passed a new water bill (SB 637) which, I believe, goes into affect in January. It says there will be no use of motors to excavate or process material within 100 yards of the active waterway. If allowed to stand, this reduces us down to hand sluices, gold pans, underwater crevicing (with or without hookah systems) and perhaps gravity water systems where possible.
We will be working out a strategy with our attorney to challenge the new law. Since we have not really been getting any meaningful relief in State court, I’ll likely be pushing for a federal challenge.
We are also looking into what is required to submit an application to the Army Corps for a water permit that covers all the properties we control. Such a permit should allow us the use motors to process and even suction dredges, again.
All of the ongoing litigation in State court is in kind of a holding pattern. The next hearing in San Bernardino happens in January.
We are still waiting for the 4th Appellate Court to respond to our Appeal of San Bernardino Superior Court’s refusal to grant us relief from the unconstitutional actions of State officials. We expect this will likely go our way.
The California Supreme Court’s review of the Rinehart case seems to be in a holding pattern. There is more than a reasonable chance this will turn out in our favor.
The California Supreme Court or 4th Appellate Court may hand us a win(s) that will help us overcome the new water bill in California. Any reasonable federal judge would easily see that the State has a long, consistent history (scheme) of trying to eliminate small-scale mining on the public lands. The new water bill is just another example that proves a long period of misconduct.
Two mining associations in Oregon have taken the lead to file a legal challenge in federal court to overcome Oregon’s suction dredge moratorium. The New 49’er Legal Fund has offered to contribute as needed. They have a very strong case.
The Siskiyou County District attorney has decided to prosecute Derek Eimer and Dyton Gilliland for dredging in California without a permit. Both are New 49’er members who were dredging in the wake of San Bernardino Superior Court’s Order that California’s dredge moratorium was not enforceable. The Legal Fund is supporting their defense. I’ll post the briefs as soon as they are filed. We see this as an important test case to determine if others will be prosecuted or equipment will just be returned.
If any of this disappoints you, I advise you to not let your spirits get down too much. We are going to win in the end. All we need is to watch the current national election cycle to see that America is finally starting to wake up.
I can see a lot of members turning towards underwater sniping supported by motorized hookah along our very extensive properties, especially with the use of these newer pulse induction metal detectors that look right past hot rocks as if they are not even present. I was given a demonstration by Whites Detectors about a month ago and was surprised at the capability and the lower costs.
The Legal Fund needs money!! We are giving away 2 ounces of beautiful gold nuggets and a bunch of other goodies in less than 2 weeks. The new Paypal link makes it very easy to contribute. Please check it out right here:
Thanks for anything you guys can do to help!