We have a very good working relationship with the local Department of Fish and Game and Forest Service Rangers. Please treat these people with politeness and respect. Keep in mind you are reflecting an image of the entire Club when you deal with them and the other local people.
Our members enjoy a great deal of privilege and freedom to operate on our mining properties. This is because we are a well organized and responsible group. We will be able to continue this as long as all of us conduct ourselves in a reasonable manner.
These are operation guidelines which we have agreed to with the local agencies. They are very reasonable. This is a general outline. It does not include every single thing a person cannot do. It covers many of the main point’s members and guests should know about. It is up to each individual to keep informed. Important new information is posted on the Club bulletin board at headquarter offices, and on our web site at www.goldgold.com.
Any member, or anyone else conducting mining operations on the forest that is not within these guidelines, is not included as part of our agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, and must negotiate your own program as a separate activity.
Please keep a clean, orderly, organized camp. Make it look nice at all times! The local population and Forest Service know us by our appearance. Remember, your camp is a reflection upon the whole Club. It should not only look good by your standards, but also by anyone else’s standards. This includes having no cigarette butts, aluminum can tabs, bottle tops or trash lying on the ground around your camp. If you decide to use a camp spot, it is your responsibility to clean it up-even if it was messy before you arrived. Messy campers will not be allowed to camp on Club property.
Please do not allow your garbage to build up. This causes a rodent and bear problem for you and other members-it also looks bad. Each member, guest or group is responsible for removal of all trash and garbage from the forest. Please do not dump your trash in the trash container at Club headquarters. There is a dump site located about one mile downstream from Happy Camp off of Highway 96.
Please keep garbage and trash picked up from the surrounding area, even if it isn’t yours. Even if it is not the Club’s trash, because of our high visibility, we are going to be blamed for it. Please do your part to help keep our image clean.
You cannot have campfires unless you have obtained a campfire permit from the Forest Service. Outside use of charcoal, fuel or gas stoves do require a campfire permit. Please adhere to all Forestry fire regulations. Stay informed, because fire danger levels can change daily during the summer months. Campfires may be prohibited in some camping areas, and during high-fire danger periods.
Do not ever leave your camp with a campfire still smoking, or with any hot coals left (warm to touch with your hand).
Smoking is allowed only in established campgrounds, in vehicles, on roads, on the river, or in the forest only if there is a 3-foot area cleaned all around. It is a must that you keep all cigarette butts picked up!
Each and every individual person or group on our claims is responsible for the safety of the forest. If you start a forest fire, the authorities will require you to pay for ALL costs of putting the fire out, cleaning up afterwards, and the penalty for starting the fire in the first place. A big forest fire costs millions!
Dead wood on the ground may be used as fuel for campfires. Trees cannot be cut down without a firewood use permit from the Forest Service.
Any and all gasoline engines being run in the forest must have a Forestry-approved spark arrestor. This includes chain saws, electric generators, dredging and mining equipment. Some spark arrestors are available at our headquarters, but it is a good idea to make sure you have your spark arrestors before you arrive.
Keep your gasoline in a safe place, where fire or cigarettes have no chance of setting it off. Please do not store an excessive amount of gasoline on Club mining properties.
All sewage must be disposed of in enclosed containers and dumped in town at approved dump stations ( RV parks usually provide the service). Latrines and holes, for sewage of any kind, are not allowed. Portapotties and portable storage tanks are acceptable. The Club provides chemical toilets in heavily used camping areas only. You are required to provide your own toilet paper. Please do not dump your own portapotties or storage tanks or any garbage into the chemical toilets.
Used bags from portapotties must not be dumped in our chemical toilets, as they plug the sewer hose on the pumping truck. These bags should be disposed of at the approved dumping stations in town.
There are approved dump stations available in Seiad, Happy Camp and Orleans.
Gray water must also be disposed of at an approved dumping station.
MEMBERSHIP PAYMENTS must be paid current with the Club at any time any member wishes to conduct any mining activity on property administered by the Club. If you are behind, the girls in the office will work out a program with you to bring you current again.
CAMPING AND PARKING Should not be done where any access roads will be blocked. Extended camping should be done only in designated campgrounds. Our campgrounds are marked on our maps and on site. No camping at Club headquarters. Members are allowed to camp in our long-term campgrounds if you are actively mining or prospecting and keep it clean. Forestry campgrounds and other places in the National Forest have a two-week limitation.
Parking along the highway must be done as far off the road as possible, and always with the flow of traffic. Please do not park so as to block someone else in. All vehicles, when parked along Highway 96, must be parked at least 5 feet away from the white line on the side of the road.
Be extra careful when loading or unloading vehicles, or when walking along the roadside, to give traffic plenty of space. The roads are narrow and mostly 55 mph. Please do not make drivers nervous by being careless.
Please do not mine or dredge in any location where your holes or tailings will block or interfere with river rafters or boaters, river access ramps, or beaches used by the general public.
RIVER ACCESS RAMPS: No motorized mining should take place within 100 feet of any river access ramp. Most of these river access points are well marked on the road with U.S. Forestry signs.
LOCAL SWIMMING HOLES: There are popular local swimming holes on several of our Club claims. Several exist on the Salmon River, one exists on the South Fork of Indian Creek, and there may be others. Please do not prospect or mine within 200 feet of an established local swimming hole or beach.
INSURANCE: All members and guests are encouraged to have an accident insurance policy in effect and on file with the office prior to participating in any mining operations on the Club’s mining property. We have a low-cost group policy available to members, if you do not already have an insurance policy of your own.
Since members are legally responsible for your own operations and activities, we recommend that you also obtain a liability insurance policy to protect yourselves.
All members and guests must sign and return the Club’s Membership Agreement before participating in any mining or prospecting activity on properties administered by the Club.
REGISTRATION: All members and guests actively mining on Club properties must register with the office, and keep the office informed of your mining and camping locations. In addition to our tracking of assessment work to maintain the claims, we can also find you in case of an emergency, or should we need to reach you for any other reason.
All members and guests engaging in activities on Club properties must have a membership card or guest pass in their possession. These cards are issued by our office in Happy Camp at the time that members and guests register.
All vehicles being used by members on claims must have a Club membership decal on the front windshield. This especially includes camping trailers and motor homes being parked on Club claims and inside of Club extended camping areas. These stickers are freely available at the office in Happy Camp. Guests must display a guest pass on the dashboard of any vehicles they are using on claims managed by the Club.
MINING & DREDGING SEASONS IN CALIFORNIA: Please refer to the New 49’er Rules concerning suction dredging. You will find details on mining seasons and dredge size limitations outlined there.
Just in case you do not know, this new law only stops suction dredging within 100 yards of California’s active waterways. It does not have anything to do with the other types of prospecting or mining that we do in California. Unaffected prospecting activities include panning, sniping & vack-mining, sluicing & high-banking, electronic prospecting and other types of prospecting that do not use a suction system designed to excavate material off the bottom of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our group weekend projects.
There are no seasons imposed upon other types of mining activity which take place outside of the active waterway. In other words, you can do them at any time of the year.
As the suction dredging seasons in California have been suspended, we have identified some fantastic suction dredging opportunities for our members in Southern Oregon.
OPERATING MOTORS IN RESIDENTIAL AREAS: Some of our claims are located near residential areas along the river. Members must yield to the requests of local residents to stop motorized mining operations at a reasonable hour.
NEGOTIATING WITH OFFICIALS: Staying within these operation guidelines along with any limits outlined within our claims guide should allow members to be included with our formal Notice of Operations with the U.S. Forest Service when mining or camping on our mining properties located on the Klamath, Salmon and Scott Rivers, and Elk, Indian and Thompson Creeks.
Anyone operating outside of these guidelines will be required to make your own arrangements (if necessary) along these waterways.
Please be polite and courteous with local agencies and officials. We have invested a great deal of time establishing a mutual cooperative relationship; and we, as a group, have no problems or disagreements with them.
If you have disagreements or dislikes for authority, please keep it to yourself or bring it to our Director of Internal Affairs.
BOULDER REMOVAL: Please refer to the New 49’er Rules concerning suction dredging. You will find details on winching restrictions there.
The Forest Service has placed fish weirs on our Thompson Creek claims near the lower bridge, and on our Elk Creek claims upriver from the 5-mile bridge. Please do not conduct any mining activity in or around these fish weirs.
DREDGE DENSITY LEVELS: This is also addressed in the New 49’er Rules concerning suction dredging. Our agreement with local agencies is that no more than 10 dredges per mile of Club claims were allowed to operate along the Klamath River, or 5 dredges per mile on the Salmon and Scott Rivers. No more than 3 dredges per mile of Club claims are allowed on Elk, Indian and Thompson Creeks. Dredges are allowed on a first come, first served basis, but they must be operated to maintain a position along our claims.
NO ABANDONED EQUIPMENT: Members may not leave mining gear, vehicles, camping gear or any other belongings on Club properties unattended for more than one week without prior written approval from the Club.
SURFACE MINING GUIDELINES:
- Dry mining activities are allowed to the high water line. This is where the line of permanent vegetation (trees) begins.
- No hose larger than 3/4 of an inch (garden hose) shall be used to clean bedrock cracks outside of the active waterway.
- Our understanding is that a dredging permit is not required to use the suction assembly of a concentrator when working up on the bank some distance away from the existing waterway. However, if a sluice box is attached to the suction assembly, the device is classed as a “suction dredge” by the California regulations, and cannot be within 100 yards of an active waterway. Please see Special Rules for Underwater Suction Mining below.
- When using water up on the bank, you must prevent water runoff to erode the bank away. If you are not sure if you are operating within acceptable guidelines, ask for assistance from Club management or the local Fish and Game representative. Play it safe!
- No amounts of sand, silt, gravel or other materials may be washed from (using water from a motorized pump) the bank into the active waterway.
- No surface mining activity is allowed that will erode or damage the existing bank of the waterway or cause a widening of the existing waterline of the existing waterway.
- Vegetation along the edge of an active waterway may not be removed, except to make a path or clear a little room for equipment and mobility where absolutely necessary. Vegetation which creates shade on the edge of the waterway cannot be removed to facilitate mining activities.
- Sample holes should not be excessive in size. The hole should be filled in with cobbles and tailings as it is moved in any direction, to avoid allowing the hole to become excessive in size.
- All sample holes must be filled in when you have completed your prospecting activity. This means that cobbles should be moved back into the hole, and tailings should be shoveled back on top of the cobbles.
- To avoid washing sand, silt or gravel into the active waterway, natural contours of the area out of the water can be used to slow or contain the water to allow setament to drop out.
- Anyone wishing to operate in excess of these rules may require consultation with the U.S. Forest Service and/or Department of Fish and Game.
ROPES AND CABLES ACROSS RIVER: Anyone stretching ropes or cables across the river must insure they are no less than ten feet above the water at all times. Eight feet on the creek claims. This is an important safety rule, especially on the Klamath and Salmon Rivers, where rafters, drift-boaters or jet boats are moving through on a regular basis. Please do not allow your cross lines to stretch and sag below this acceptable height above the water.
If ropes are seen below the acceptable limit, and the owner is not present to raise them, please be advised in advance that the ropes will be cut to eliminate the danger to boating traffic.
All cross lines (ropes or cables across the river) must be of a bright colored line. Yellow and/or white rope is preferred. This is so helicopter fire fighting equipment can see the cross lines. Dark colored rope cannot be used to string across the river. Steel cables must have bright colored rope along side, to show visibility of the cable. Because there are so many lines on the river, surveyors flagging is not permitted to show visibility of cables and rope (Wild and Scenic River).
If a cable is to be attached to trees, pieces of wood or other material should be placed between the cable and tree, to prevent damage to the tree.
Sometimes, when trees are not available on the bank to tie lines off to, some dredgers locate submerged rocks or obstacles to anchor their dredges out into the river. If underwater ropes are used, it must be done in a manner that your dredge floats directly behind the obstacle. Please do not tie off underwater ropes which extend diagonal or perpendicular to the river’s flow. Underwater ropes cannot extend out to the side of your dredge into the river. This poses a serious safety hazard to boaters, swimmers and other river users.
FUEL: You must be extra careful to not spill any fuel into the active waterway from your gasoline engines when you are refueling them. Please do not bring any more fuel to your worksite than you need to use on any day of mining. Once your engine is refueled, you must secure the seal firmly on your fuel container, and place it well away from the waterway on a level area where there is no chance that the container can be knocked over. Please do not leave your fuel containers down along the edge of the waterway!
No more than 25 gallons per motorized pump should be stored along any of the mining properties administered by the Club.
All fuel should be packed around any set of river rapids, rather than floated through on a dredge, boat or raft.
TOXIC MATERIALS: Any such materials must be neutralized and disposed of in the proper manner.
OTHER TYPES OF LAND OR RIVER USERS are allowed to use the public lands as well. Be friendly to the rafters and fishermen. Their complaints to the local agencies cause us difficulty. Let’s please be hospitable.
ORDERLY WORKSITES: Please keep your work areas orderly and free of excess equipment or other materials at all times. We are regularly inspected by the Forest Service, and are continuously observed by the hundreds of rafters along the river. Please make it look neat and professional!
Do not cut trees or remove a significant amount of shade-causing vegetation from the banks of the creeks or river, without prior approval from the Department of Fish and Game.
A minimum amount of brushing-removing underbrush-is allowed to improve a campsite or mining work area. It must be kept to a minimum.
All mining equipment and support gear must be removed from the forest immediately upon the completion of a mining season.
ACCESS TO WORK SITES: Please use existing pathways and trails wherever possible. Creation of any new trail that requires the cutting of brush must be approved by the USFS beforehand.
Please do not rope or winch mining equipment up or down a hillside in anyway that will create erosion problems later.
CLAIMING DEPOSITS: You must be actively mining in order to claim a deposit. Members and guests mining out of the water are allowed to claim a 60-foot diameter circle around the work site area. Each (actively mining) membership is able to claim 60 linear feet of the Klamath, Scott or Salmon River from one bank out to the middle when doing underwater mining, or 60 linear feet of Indian, Elk or Thompson Creeks. Claim boundaries should be neatly marked with flags or buoys. First come, first served. Please see the Club’s Information Booklet for more information on claiming deposits.
No person is allowed to start an operation which will seriously hamper another prior existing operation.
BOATS with engines must have the proper number of life preservers aboard, and must adhere to all other Coast Guard and law enforcement regulations.
Members and guests may operate boats only in such a way as to not become a safety hazard to any other members or guests, or to any other river users or their equipment.
No engine-powered boats with open propellers may be operated in such a way to endanger any swimmers or active dredgers.
MINING EQUIPMENT, winches and other gear must be operated only in such a way as to not become a safety hazard to any other people or their equipment.
CLAIM JUMPING: Our Club claim boundaries are well defined on our maps, with signs posted on each claim. If you cannot find our boundary sign, please inquire as to where the boundaries are located. It is fine to mine on property owned by others with their permission. Mining on property belonging to others without permission, or filing mining claims over top of others, causes the Club a serious public relations problem.
STRUCTURES are not to be built on Club administered property.
SPECIAL GUIDELINES FOR COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS
Anyone operating mechanized earth-moving equipment (like a backhoe) is considered a commercial operation.
No members are allowed to conduct a commercial operation on Club claims without first signing the Club’s Commercial Contract.
Commercial operations pay 10% of the total amount of gold recovered to the Club. This payment must be made at the Happy Camp office on or before each Wednesday for any and all gold recovered during the preceding week from claims managed by the Club. This payment, and report, must be made weekly, no matter how much or how little gold has been recovered on the operation.
Commercial operators must keep accurate production records which will substantiate their 10 percent royalty payments to the Club.
Floating memberships are strictly a working permit for crew members, and carry no other membership privileges-unless the membership is actually transferred to another person by paying the transfer fee and completing a membership form.
The members in charge of a commercial operation must be present on the operation on a daily basis-not leaving the operation under the responsibility of crew who are not active members of the Club. Commercial members must take full responsibility of all crew and guests associated with the operation, making sure they are registered with the office, and making sure that crew and guests understand and adhere to the Club’s Operation Guidelines and Rules.
CAMPING IN EXTENDED CLUB CAMPGROUNDS is a privilege that is earned by members who are actively mining, who keep a clean and organized campsite, who are not a burden to other members, and who follow all of the other operation rules of the Club. Extended camping on Club claims is by continuing permission of Club management. All members will sign an agreement with the Club that acknowledges the member will leave any Club campground, and remove all of the member’s belongings from the campground within 24 hours of being asked to do so by Club management.
DRIVING ON DIRT ROADS: Drive slow and easy on dirt access roads to our claims. Some of these roads are narrow. Watch for traffic coming from the other direction. Dust control is a Forestry concern.
USING EXISTING ROADS & TRAILS: Motor vehicles must remain on established road-ways. ATV’s must be kept upon established roads and trails, according to USFS regulations.
MARIJUANA: Please do not grow any marijuana while participating as a member or guest of our Club. We do not want our mining Club associated in any way with the criminal element. If you spot marijuana plants, please leave them alone. Bring them to the attention of Club management and the local law enforcement.
BREAKING THE LAW: Do not break any other laws while participating as a Club member. We do not want law enforcement agencies associating our Club as a problem source. This includes speeding, drinking and driving, fighting, poaching, etc.
DOGS: All dogs are to be kept supervised at all times when on property managed by the Club. Continuous loud barking dogs, or mean dogs, in the designated campgrounds, will be required to be removed if they are bothering other members or guests. Problem dogs will not be allowed on Club property. If your dog bites someone, your membership will probably be terminated. Fish and Game regulations prohibit any dog from chasing any mammal in the National Forest.
No dogs are permitted outside of vehicles at the potlucks, or onto the headquarter property in Happy Camp.
CHILDREN: Children must be supervised at all times.
FINANCIAL: Members participating in mining activity on Club claims must be financially able to support their operations. People who are constantly “broke and borrowing” will be asked to leave until they are more financially stable.
FISHING: All members must obtain a fishing license prior to doing any fishing. The Game Warden will be looking in on members. He always checks people who are fishing.
NOISE: Keep noise down before 8:00 a.m. and after 10:00 p.m. This includes operating dredges, generators, radios, loud meetings, etc., if it disturbs anyone else in the area.
All engines being run in the forest should have proper noise suppression mufflers to prevent excessive noise.
FIREARMS: No show of firearms permitted! Do not be strutting around with a gun at your side. Keep your guns inside and out of sight. No shooting within at least a half-mile of any mining or camping area or private property.
Please do not shoot or harm the local animals! If you have a bear problem, clean up your camp first. If this does not work, notify the Club management or the Game Warden. The Game Warden probably will want to trap the bear and take it elsewhere.
PRESERVING CULTURAL RESOURCES: Members and guests should be aware that there are numerous laws that prevent people from disturbing or taking items from Native American burial grounds, or other sites where significant cultural or historical resources are located. You must be very careful when digging or excavating in any area to avoid disturbing ancient human remains, or old items which may be of historical significance.
It is legal to excavate and use electronic detectors in a prospecting operation while looking for precious metals. It may not be legal to excavate and use electronic equipment to find old items (junk or treasure) in the National Forest. Please keep your focus to prospecting. If your focus becomes distracted by other valuable items (like old bottles), know that you are treading in a gray area which is covered by antiquities laws that are not nearly as forgiving as the mining law. If in doubt, please talk with the Club’s Internal Affairs Officer or the U.S. Forest Service.
PRESERVING WATER SUPPLIES: Please do not bathe in the creeks or river with soap or shampoo. Do not urinate in the active waterway while dredging. The creeks are domestic water supplies for people downstream! Please keep your animals-especially dogs-out of the creeks.
POLITENESS: Please be polite and courteous to all locals, guests and tourists at all times. Remember, you are presenting an image of the Club when you speak to others. We would appreciate it very much if you do not engage in arguments on the Club’s behalf. This causes public relations problems that we will have to repair afterwards.
Also, be polite and helpful to other Club members. Please do not lie about the gold you are recovering to keep other members out of the general area you are working! You already have the right to claim your deposit for yourself. This is a mining Club. As long as we are willing to help each other, we will all do better. Unfriendly members, who are discourteous to other members or guests, or who deliberately mislead other members or guests about the gold potential in Club areas, will be called in front of Club management.
If you do not like being around other people, please go up into the more inaccessible areas of our claims and do your own thing.
If you are not able to solve disputes or problems in a quiet, peaceful manner, please do not spread the problem to others. Bring the problem to the Club’s Director of Internal Affairs and he will help resolve it.
No drunk, loud or disorderly conduct at the potlucks-or in our designated Club campgrounds.
No member shall conduct him or herself in any way so as to be an embarrassment to the Club or other members.
CLUB BUSINESS HOURS are marked on the office door. Please keep in mind that Club managers have personal lives and other business to take care of before and after normal working hours. We appreciate your consideration.
No building or modifying equipment on office property, especially with the use of electrical tools (for liability reasons). Please do not get into equipment-building activity or extensive repairs on mining properties administered by the Club.
PRIVATE PROPERTY: Some of our claims are located adjacent to private property. We have these areas marked as well as possible on our maps and on site. Do not trespass!
DISAGREEMENTS: If you have disagreements or problems with management or the Club in general, rather than upset the office staff, write your problems up and forward them to Club management, or go over them with the Director of Internal Affairs. This Director can be reached through our headquarters (office) in Happy Camp. You can also find him on our Contact page.
Be effective. If you have a problem, please help come up with a solution to fix it! People who are spreading rumors or problems around the membership, who have not made an honest attempt through Ray Koons or Club management to get their information straight or solve the problem, will be called upon by the Director of Internal Affairs.
Compared to most other mining areas in the United States, mining rights in our areas of operation are still reasonably unhindered. Our members are generally able to camp and mine in a hassle-free environment.
Basically, the reason for this is that we as a group have proven to local communities and agencies that we operate responsibly within acceptable guidelines.
Please understand, as long as we are a large group, many eyes will be upon us. Just a few uncaring or unknowing members or guests can give us all a bad name-even when the rest of us are doing things the right way.
Public outcry really picks up when just one person in our group is trespassing, creates unsanitary conditions or fire danger in the forest, or is violating many of the other guidelines laid out above-especially the sanitation rules. When one person is seen doing it, they believe we are all doing it!
On the long term, if we allow it to happen, just a few could ruin this fantastic opportunity for all the rest of us. So, if you see someone out of line, please take the time to mention it to the person. If that doesn’t straighten it out, bring it to the attention of the Internal Affairs Director so he can fix it.
Our entire future as small-scale miners depends upon our willingness to pull together and make the effort to do things the right way. Let’s all contribute to making this a long-lasting relationship and great Club.
Director of Internal Affairs
Approved by the Board of Directors
THE NEW 49’ers, Inc.