New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD QUARTER, SEPTEMBER 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 9

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

 

Opening image
Image by Music Lee Adame

This has been a really good season for us along the Klamath River.  I’m guessing we have seen more members around Happy Camp than during at least the past 10 years or longer. Each of our Weekend Group Mining Projects have had in the neighborhood of 100 or more participants  out enjoying exciting rafting trips to reach probably the largest and richest surface gold mining deposit we have found in 30 years.  Our Saturday evening potlucks have been well attended, sometimes filling the Happy Camp Grange hall to capacity.  We have had a lot of fun; and we have sent hundreds of beginning-gold prospectors away with the first gold they ever found.

Relaxing in the sun Girls in the boat
“John Rose’s family enjoyed some time on the river with us, and made my boat look more desirable than ever!”

While California State officials have hassled a few of our members who have been suction dredging, in the wake of several ground-breaking court Decisions in favor of our industry, the State has not filed a single case against any of our members along the Klamath River or its tributaries until the end of our season (please see more below).  Most members who were dredging for gold were not bothered by State officials.

Something that we have not seen in a long time is members taking an interest in our more remote properties; the ones you need to hike into.  Here’s another new thing:  Some of our members and their friends are hiking and camping way out into the wildland areas in the headwaters of the Scott River, Elk and Indian Creeks; places where nobody has set foot in many years, if ever.

GabeSome of these guys are coming back with stories which border on unbelievable, or at least unexplainable, encounters with Bigfoot.  The encounters are happening too often, and in too many places, to just discount as wild imagination.  For example, Gabe Garrison was recently on an extended hiking/camping trip with two New 49’er members into the headwaters of Indian Creek in search of an old historical gold mine. They were way out in the wildlands just a mile or two from the Oregon Border. Shortly after setting up camp one evening, something started a landslide from the high peaks just across the canyon.  They didn’t think much about it until a little while later when they heard a distinct signal just out of sight a short distance away.  The signal was unmistakingly from two sizable pieces of wood being banged together; a noise that was clearly not from natural causes.  Just a little while later, a similar banging signal came from just out of sight on the other side of their camp.

Each of the guys agreed the signals were originating from an intelligent source.  Yet they were in a place so far away from civilization that they were completely certain there were no other human beings around.  Beside the signals, they heard no other unusual noise.  Just after dark, another dramatic landslide was triggered from the other side of the canyon.  They all had the uncomfortable perception that they were being watched and warned to leave.  Heavily armed (which is always a good idea when venturing into the wildlands); they spent that night in camp and returned home the following day.  While they did not find the historical gold mine, they found enough mysterious adventure to last a lifetime!

Longtime New 49’er member and resident of Happy Camp, Doug Robinson was one of the guys with Gabe on that hike.  But Doug has had other mysterious encounters while gold prospecting in a remote canyon in a location which he would prefer not to disclose.  This is a sure sign that he has found a good gold strike up there! 

Doug says the encounters have been with intelligent forces that never allow themselves to be seen.  One time, he was rushed from behind by something alarming enough to spin around and draw his gun.  He found himself yelling out to whatever it was that he was prepared to use his weapon.  Going back to investigate, he could not find any sign that anything even made the noise.  Doug says he has heard the bang, bang, bang signal in his secret canyon.  He says there is no doubt that it is a signal coming from an intelligent life form, but he can never find the source.

Dicky Broken tree

Dickey Melton, also a longtime New 49’er member and Happy Camp resident, is yet another prospector who enjoys prospecting in the more remote areas.  He says he has had several encounters in different locations with some kind of very powerful intelligent sources that seemed to be trying to scare him away.  In one place, up on our extensive East Fork of Elk Creek property,  just after the gate was opened for summer access this spring, Dickey and his wife, Cherie, took a drive up there to prospect around – only to find the road blocked in several places by some form of intelligence.  In one place, the top of a tree had been ripped off and thrown across the road.  Dickey didn’t think much about it until he realized there was no possible way the treetop could have landed on the road by any natural cause.  Upon further inspection, he found claw marks on the tree stem; similar markings that a bear would leave to mark its territory.  But no bear dragged this treetop up the slope and onto the road!  There were other barriers engineered by some intelligence further up the road.  Yet there were no tire tracks and no foot prints.  How do you explain this?

Here is some video that we put together which captures all three of their close encounter adventures:

Big FootPerhaps Dickie’s most compelling encounter is when he was prospecting up on our Indian Creek Claim near West Branch Campground.  He was not satisfied with the way the creek was flowing over his sluice box, so he walked a ways upstream looking for a more favorable location.  Then he heard a huge crash just behind him.  Spinning around and startled, he saw that a sizable tree had fallen across the creek.   Cautiously going back to investigate, he could not see any reason why the tree had fallen over.  It was well away from the creek.  The tree was healthy.  The only plausible answer was that something very powerful had pushed it over.  While there was no sign that any physical presence had been there, Dickey says there was an odor in the air that he had never encountered before.  A distinct odor has been acknowledged in many Bigfoot encounters around the world.

It is not by accident that a large statue of Bigfoot is the center piece attraction in uptown Happy Camp, just down the street from our headquarters.  Bigfoot sightings and encounters near Happy Camp go way back in time.  Even local Indian tribal history makes reference to encounters with this strange, intelligent, powerful creature that seems to have the ability to appear and disappear at will.  While the creature clearly attempts to frighten human beings away from its territory, to my own knowledge, fortunately, there is no history of Bigfoot attacking, harming or killing people around Happy Camp.  This is a good thing!

There is something very mysterious in all this.  On the one hand, there have been Bigfoot sightings all over the world, even in the arctic.  But no bones have ever been found to confirm its existence.  No Bigfoot has ever been captured.  How do we account for this?  I suggest we should not be so bold as to discount things that we do not yet understand.  In closing, here is a video that captured a Bigfoot sighting not very far from Happy Camp.

If you are not up for wild adventure, I suggest you contain your prospecting activities to our extensive properties which remain on the more beaten path.

Happy prospecting!

Part Time Office Management Position Available

A new office management position is opening in our administrative office.  This is largely because of the growth we have experienced during this past year, along with anticipated growth during the coming year.  Note that we have never hired a person on a part time basis that did not quickly evolve into full time work.

The position is perfect for someone who would like to settle in Happy Camp.

The person should have some office management experience, should have an understanding of business accounting principles, and should have a good working knowledge of Microsoft’s Excel program.

For more information, please contact either John Rose or Montine Blevins in our office at 530 493-2012.

New Adventure Book puts us in a Good Light!

Gold Fever Book Cover

We met British journalist Steve Boggan on the Klamath River a few years ago, shortly after the price of gold had peaked at $1,900 per ounce.

Excited by the opportunity of striking it rich – and maybe because he had just turned 50 – Steve simply packed his bag, got on a plane from England and flew to California to find some gold for himself.  Steve’s gold mining adventures found him traveling through some of the most interesting, historical gold prospecting locations in California, eventually to arrive in Happy Camp.

This all happened a few years ago when we came up with a whole new method of motorized underwater suction mining which was not restricted by California’s dredging regulations at the time.  In fact, Steve’s first exposure to The New 49’ers was in Siskiyou County Superior Court, overflowing onto the street with our members and nearly the entire business community of Happy Camp, at the very moment the judge issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against the State which pretty much allowed us the remainder of the season to suction mine within the waterways along our extensive mining properties.

Steve Boggan with Dave Mack and Rich Krimm

“We were all pretty excited about the gold we were finding!”

Rich Krimm and I devoted a big part of that season sucking up gold nuggets on our K-25A property.  Rich and I agreed to take Steve under our wing while secretly plotting to scare the dickens out of him every step of the way.  He writes fondly in his book about those fun and exciting adventures, along with interesting tales of his other gold mining adventures in California in a way which places a very positive outlook on our industry. The book is called, GOLD FEVER: One Man’s Adventures on the Trail of the Gold Rush. The book has just been published in the United States and is getting great attention. GOLD FEVER was chosen as a BBC Book of the Week and Steve has been interviewed by USA Today, NPR, and National Geographic talking about his time prospecting in California, and especially his time at Happy Camp and with The New 49ers.  In all or most of these interviews, which are circulating amongst millions of viewers and readers, Steve puts our New 49’er program as the Number One small-scale gold mining opportunity in California.

Since Steve has given us so much positive coverage, I suggest we should all read his tales about the modern-day gold rush.

EXCLUSIVE FOR SUBSCRIBERS TO THE NEW 49’ER NEWSLETTER:  Steve’s publisher has agreed to offer an exclusive giveaway of  Steve’s book – GOLD FEVER (Hardcover, $24.99 retail) – to our first 10 newsletter subscribers (US residents only) who send an email to marketing@oneworld-publications.com.  Please enter the giveaway!

You can check out Steve’s book on amazon for more information.

Legal Updates

The Rinehart case is waiting for a Decision by the California Supreme Court.  You may recall that the California Third Appellate Court found unanimously for suction dredgers in Rinehart.  Several large-scale conservative natural resource advocate associations have supported our arguments to the California Supreme Court.  At the same time, several prominent anti-resource development organizations and individuals have weighed in against small-scale mining. Just to give you an idea how important this case is, even the Obama Administration just filed a brief opposing the rights of small-scale gold miners on the public lands! Our attorneys are busy rebutting those briefings.  We will just have to wait until the California Supreme Court weighs in.  My sources tell me that the California Supreme Court bases its rulings mostly upon U.S. Supreme Court controlling Decisions.  If this is true, we are likely to win.  From that, we should be able to roll back the State’s determination to impose unreasonable overregulation upon suction gold dredgers.  Stay tuned!

In a separate set of cases, we have switched gears into appealing San Bernardino Superior Court’s recent Ruling to deny any meaningful relief to suction dredgers even after the court has Ruled and Ordered that California’s suction dredge moratorium is unconstitutional — which State authorities continue to enforce by seizing dredging equipment they find on the river.

As you may recall, our initial Motion for a Statewide Injunction to prohibit California from enforcing the unconstitutional moratorium and return us to the earlier set of regulations that were legal was recently denied by the Superior Court of San Bernardino.  We believe that Ruling was flawed, and have now appealed to California’s Forth Appellate Court to get our motion approved.  As you will see from the link just above, our appeal is being bitterly contested by anti-mining activists.

There is a legal provision in California which requires appeals of denied injunctions to be expedited when ongoing circumstances are causing irreparable harm to people who are 70 years or older. A bunch of our 70+ year old members have come forward with Declarations in support of this appeal.

The previous set of legal suction dredge regulations (2009) allowed year-round suction dredging on the Klamath and multiple other rivers in California.  So there is still reason for hope.  In my own experience, the best time to dredge the Klamath River is during the fall when the water is most clear and low…

And in a more recent, surprising development, New 49’er members, Derek Eimer and Dyton Gilliland were both notified last week that the State will attempt to criminally prosecute them in Siskiyou Superior Court (suction dredging in California without a permit).  The first hearing date is set for 22 September, but it will just be a formality.  Both members are being defended by our attorney, James Buchal.  I believe he will file a motion to dismiss the charges, since the Decision has already been established in the California Courts that California’s “scheme” of first requiring suction dredgers to acquire a permit, and then refusing to issue them, is preempted by federal law, is illegal and unenforceable.

We were hoping for this criminal contest in Siskiyou County during the spring; but we will take what we can get.  In view of recent California Decisions on these matters, I predict the possibility of a conviction (guilty beyond a reasonable doubt) is about zero.  With just a little luck on our side, the judge will dismiss the charges and tell the State to not bring any more.  Notwithstanding the other ongoing cases, this might open the door to hassle-free suction dredging in California.

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with California only affects motorized suction mining 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 nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our Group Weekend Projects.

To continue prospecting the bottom of active waterways, some members have converted to underwater crevicing, using the hookah and pump from their 5 and 6 HP motors on floating platforms to provide air for breathing and a jet of water to help move material out of the way, thus coining the new method as “underwater blow mining.”

There are no seasons imposed upon these other types of mining activity. In other words, you can do them at any time of the year.

New Legal Fund-Raiser!

Gold Nuggets for FundraiserThe new drawing will be for two ounces of beautiful gold nuggets.  Those will be split into a 1-once grand prize and four quarter-ounce prizes.  There will also be 10 tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles and 10 American Silver Eagles. That’s 25 prizes worth winning!

The drawing will take place at the close of business at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday, 30 October. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 will generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Look for our new Paypal contribution link here.

Remember, all contributions to The New 49’ers Legal Fund are tax deductible.

Once again; thank you guys very much for standing behind us!

Other announcements:

Fire Restrictions:  Because of exceptionally dry conditions, the U.S. Forest Service has imposed fire restrictions in the Klamath National Forest.  This means internal combustion engines (like water pumps) cannot be operated on our mining properties unless you are floating them out on the waterway.  Since the fire restrictions are likely to continue for the remaining part of this season, you might give some thought to how you can rig up something to float your motor(s). In case you are interested, there are special floats made specifically for this purpose. Please contact Montine for more details: 530 493-2062. You can find out more about what is and is not allowed under these restrictions right here:

Annual Dues:  As many of you noticed, we bill all Full Members for $50 annual dues in August.  September through the end of the year is when we must shoulder the load of substantial property tax and filing fees to the County and Bureau of Land Management in order to maintain control over a very substantial number of federal mining claims (60 miles of gold-rich river and creek properties).  Thank you very much to those of you who responded immediately.  Thank you also to those of you who will help us maintain our extensive properties, which provide the backbone of our Association!

Winter hours:  As of the 1st of September, we will switch to winter hours at our headquarters in Happy Camp.  This means the office and store will remain open between 8 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday, except for normal national holidays.  Our Saturday evening potlucks ended this season on 29 August.  They will resume next season on the 4th of June.  Check out this video as we ended the organized part of our 2015 season with some song and dance:

Just because the office is on winter hours does not mean that members cannot actively prospect on our properties.  There is a 24-hour emergency number on our Contact page to reach our Internal Affairs in the event of a serious problem or emergency:  (510) 681 8066.

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than I can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

Print This Post Print This Post

 
Dave Mack

“Now we are Appealing to California’s Forth Appellate Court to reverse the recent denial by the San Bernardino Court to Grant Suction Dredgers Relief from the Unconstitutional Actions of State Officials.”

Please make a donation to our Legal Fund.

We have switched gears into appealing San Bernardino’s recent Ruling to deny any meaningful relief to suction dredgers even after the court has Ruled and Ordered that California’s suction dredge moratorium is unconstitutional — which State authorities continue to enforce (by seizing dredging equipment they find on the river).

As you may recall, our initial Motion for a Statewide Injunction to prohibit California from enforcing the unconstitutional moratorium and return us to the earlier set of regulations that were legal was recently denied by the Superior Court of San Bernardino. We believe that Ruling was flawed, and have filed an appeal with California’s Forth Appellate Court to get our motion approved.
There is a legal provision in California which requires appeals of denied injunctions to be expedited when ongoing circumstances are causing irreparable harm to people who are 70 years or older. A bunch of our 70+ year old members have come forward with Declarations in support of this appeal.

You can find the Appeal, along with supporting Declarations, at the bottom of this page.

Motion for Summary Reversal

Declaration of Rip Ripple

Declaration of Charles Montgomery

Declaration of William Christensen

Declaration of Ray Derrek

Declaration of George Kendall

Declaration of Judy Shirey

Declaration of Myrna Karns

 

State’s Counter Motion for Dismissal

State’s Oppositian to Motion for Summary Reversal

 

Opposition to Summary Reversal by the Center For Biological Diversity

 

New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD QUARTER, AUGUST 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 8

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

People working Good Gold in the pan

This has really been a good season for us along the Klamath River in northern California.  While we have members scattered all over our extensive properties actively prospecting and mining, we have been doing our Weekend Group Mining Projects on an extensive virgin gold deposit that was discovered late last season on one of our newer properties, K23AA, about 7 miles downstream of Happy Camp.

K-23AA is an extensive mining property that reaches down and nearly touches our Wingate Claim (K-23A). Wingate is another popular and very large property that includes a US Forest Service river access (boat ramp into the river) and a rather extensive free camping area which includes toilet facilities.

We devoted all of last season’s Group Mining Projects to another high-banking area located up towards the upper end of K-23AA.  Since that gold-rich discovery was on the far side of the river from Highway 96, we pulled one of our very large Colorado River Rafts out of storage and used it to transport project participants directly across the river to the worksite.  A small outboard motor mounted on the raft made those boat transfers rather easy.

But this new much larger gold discovery about a mile downstream on K-23AA is a whole different story.  It is located in a more remote reach of the river.  While there is a good trail from the nearest easy boat crossing, we know there would be some project participants that would not be prepared to make the hike back and forth two days in a row.

Ground zero Ground zero

This is one of only two virgin gold deposits we have found up out of the water during the past 30 years!

The gold deposit is quite rich; so there has never been any doubt that we are going to work it.  The challenge has been in coming up with ways to deliver large numbers of participants to and from the worksite with the use of boats.  Ultimately, through trial and error, we worked out a way to use my jet boat to tow the river raft, which was also making use of its own, smaller outboard engine.  Participants parked their vehicles down at our Wingate property and then were carpooled about a mile upriver where they boarded the boats.  Then we towed them about a half-mile downstream to the worksite through a pretty aggressive set of rapids.  Then later in the day, we used the same boats to tow them about another half-mile downstream through another set of rapids to Wingate where they could offload near to where their cars were parked.

This is all something we have never attempted before with large numbers of people. But we knew at the beginning of the season that the new gold discovery is so rich, we had no alternative but to give it a try.

Thumbs up Dicky

As it turns out, towing large groups of people downstream is the easy part.  Not to mention that the boat adventures through the deep, remote canyon adds a white water rafting dimension to the already-exciting program of recovering your own gold.  Our free Group Mining Projects provide the first mining experiences for many of our members.  These Projects are one of the many exciting benefits of being a member of The New 49’ers.

The main challenge of using the boats has been in towing the large rubber raft back upstream through the rapids so that we can pick up more passengers.  Even with twenty passengers at a time, it has been taking 4 to 5 trips each time we move the participants.

During our first attempts, we were mostly flooding the raft with water from standing waves in the rapids that would wash right over the front and swamp the raft.  We finally worked it out with my jet boat on the first project; but repeated trips upstream put so much wear and tear on my jet boat that we almost didn’t make it up the rapids for the final two voyages.  That would have left about 40 participants stranded on the far side of the river – which would have been rather embarrassing.

Extensive deposit

Here is just a glimpse of how extensive this deposit is!

One of our newer members, Dan Baker, arrived this summer with one of the best jet boats I have ever seen for maneuvering the Klamath River.  His boat has about twice as much power as mine.  Dan volunteered his boat during our second Group Project to tow the raft back up through the rapids.  Making this happen also required some trial and error, because the Klamath River had dropped due to the ongoing drought. While you would think that less water would make the river run slower, it actually makes the rapids steeper and faster.  Last month’s newsletter shares some of the fun we had while trying to work that out – which we ultimately accomplished.

But Dan needed to attend to some family business, so his boat was not available for this most recent project.  Fortunately, several days before, Siskiyou County was slammed with a cloud burst of rain – which brought the river level back up a little and turned it brown. You will see the darker-colored water in some of these images and video sequences.

Even still, we were pretty sure that my jet boat was not going to handle the load.  So a bunch of our loyal Project helpers and I were down on K-23AA a few days before this project with it in mind that we were going to need to transport all of our project mining equipment upstream to a point closer to the river access.  That was going to be a lot of work!  It also was going to require us to make a whole new gold discovery further upstream. We were pretty confident about making that happen; but it is very painful to withdraw from an already-established rich gold deposit!

Just on a chance, before starting to move gear, we decided to try different ideas of attaching the raft to my jet boat to see if we could tow it up through rapids without flooding it with water.  Our first attempt involved lifting the bow of the raft all the way up on top of the jet boat’s outboard engine and try towing it.  This technique worked pretty well until the raft slid off the side of the outboard and prevented me from steering the jet boat.  Here was my explanation on video as we were just beginning the exercise:

Dave in rapids

People PanningOur second attempt involved tying the raft as close to my jet boat as possible and allow the raft to ride on the jet blast from, my motor.  This worked best once we removed all passengers from the raft.  Once we had that worked out, we made two flawless passes both up and down the river and came to the fortunate conclusion that we were going to be able to do the weekend project once again in our already-established high-grade pay-streak.  Our joy and relief is reflected in the following video sequences:

We had 85+ enthusiastic participants signed up for this project.  That’s an all-time record for the third project of the season.  We sure have a lot of interest this summer; there are plenty of new faces around!

Saturday morning is always devoted to some classroom theory and organization.  We do this over at the Happy Camp Grange Hall. After lunch, we all parked our vehicles down on the Wingate property.  Two car pools had already been organized to immediately transfer people a mile upriver where the boats were waiting. It took four trips to get everyone down to the worksite. A dozen or so of our most experienced members were already set up at the site to teach beginners how to gold pan.  Teaching people how to pan is really the main objective on Saturday. Gold panning is the essential beginning of the prospecting learning curve.

PotluckParticipants get to keep all the gold they find on Saturday; so there was no holding back this enthusiastic bunch of prospectors.  I saw several nice gold nuggets recovered off the bedrock.  People were pretty jacked up even though it must have been 100 degrees out in the sun.

We normally don’t keep people out there very long on Saturday afternoon.  This is because we want them at their best on early Sunday morning when we pull together to recover as much gold as we can in several hours of hard work.

Saturday night potluck was a full house, as usual.  There was lots and lots of great food to go around. The roar of exciting chatter was like something you would experience at a sporting event. After a short meeting, we sent everyone home early.

There was already a line of eager participants ready to board the boats when I arrived at 6:15 on Sunday morning.  We made short work of ferrying everyone down to the worksite. Here is some video that captured the action (including some from our new video drone):

Loading boats Unloading raft

By the time we secured the boats alongside the river, our experienced team leaders already had the whole crew, somewhere around 80 people, dialed in like a well-oiled production machine.  They were supplying two high-banker recovery systems as fast as the material could be effectively processed.  A lot of the action was caught on video.  I apologize for the vibration in the drone footage.  The machine got bumped while being moved. But we still think the values in the video are worth showing enough that we will now order a video drone that is more durable:

Feeding high-banker Lots of workers

Craig showing gold Gold in blue pan

Craig Colt showing off some mid-day gold.

One of the important benefits to this location is that the sun does not come over the trees until about noon. With the early morning coolness, we usually get in between 3 and 4 hours of good production before people start slowing down.  After about 2 hours, we usually clean up just part of one of the recovery systems and show the gold around.  This always pushes the level of enthusiasm up.  We were doing particularly well on this day. The truth is that these projects are just plain fun! In fact, the human production machine was so tuned in that I captured our management team just goofing off:

John sampling Sample off bedrock

Both John’s and Craig’s sample pans were showing good results!

Actually, both Craig Colt and John Rose had been actively sampling the pay-dirt, and directing people to dig in the more productive areas which are mostly just above bedrock in the orange-colored hard-pack.  I saw Dyton doing quite a lot of physical labor up at ground zero where the original gold strike was made.  Much to the dismay of onlookers, he hefted a 200-pound rock out of the excavation without even breathing hard.  Here was Dyton explaining the nature of this fantastic gold deposit we have discovered:

Guys digging Alex

We don’t push people too hard on these projects.  We figure people will invest as much physical work as they have to give.  We especially like to get younger people involved.  As long as they work, every participant is rewarded with an equal share of the gold.  As we all know, the years go by fast, and it’s today’s children who will be running tomorrow’s show.  Here is a conversation I had with one of our future leaders:

Letrap cleanupSometime around 11 am, we shut everything down, put the gear away, leveled off our tailings piles to reclaim the visible disturbances we made; and then we did a preliminary cleanup out there on the gravel bar.  By this, I mean that we ran the concentrated material from both high-banker recovery systems over our green Le Trap sluice.  This was just the first of several steps we would do to separate all the gold from the other heavy material we had collected, mostly black iron sand.  There were lots of “Ooh’s and Ah’s” as I fed the material into the Le Trap.  It was clear that we were going to have a good day!  Check it out right here on video:

After a final, exciting boat trip down to Wingate, we all agreed to meet back up at the Grange Hall in Happy Camp at 2 pm to finish the cleanup and split the gold.  This involves several steps in which participants are able to watch and help.

As far as I am aware, our Weekend Group Projects are the only program in America, perhaps in the world, where we demonstrate and allow people to actively participate in a successful gold mining program from A-to-Z, from sampling, to discovery, to production, to cleanup – and actually receive an equal share of the gold.

In all, we recovered exactly three-quarters of an ounce of beautiful virgin gold.  There were 16 gold nuggets.  This was all split between 71 very happy participants who stuck with us until the very end.

Join us for our remaining Weekend Group Mining Projects this Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who are more experienced than you.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

Remaining schedule of 2015 Events:  August 8 & 9; and August 29 & 30.

Schedule of Events

Let’s Not Rule out the Last Part of our 2015 Dredging Season Just Yet!

We have switched gears into appealing San Bernardino’s recent Ruling to deny any meaningful relief to suction dredgers even after the court has Ruled and Ordered that California’s suction dredge moratorium is unconstitutional — which State authorities continue to enforce (by seizing dredging equipment they find on the river).

As you may recall, our initial Motion for a Statewide Injunction to prohibit California from enforcing the unconstitutional moratorium and return us to the earlier set of regulations that were legal was recently denied by the Superior Court of San Bernardino.  We believe that Ruling was flawed, and have filed an appeal with California’s Forth Appellate Court to get our motion approved.  There is a legal provision in California which requires appeals of denied injunctions to be expedited when ongoing circumstances are causing irreparable harm to people who are 70 years or older. A bunch of our 70+ year old members have come forward with Declarations in support of this appeal.

You can find the Appeal, along with supporting Declarations, at the bottom of this page.

Our Appeal with the Forth Appellate Court is being filed as we go to press with this newsletter.  You can watch for links to the material either on our Internet Forum, or on the legal page we have specifically set up on our web site to keep you guys informed.

The previous set of legal suction dredge regulations (2009) allowed year-round suction dredging on the Klamath and multiple other rivers in California.  So there is still reason for hope.  In my own experience, the best time to dredge the Klamath River is during the fall when the water is most clear and low…

Let’s not give up yet on 2015!

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with California only affects motorized suction mining 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 nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our Group Weekend Projects.

To continue prospecting the bottom of active waterways, some members have converted to underwater crevicing, using the hookah and pump from their 5 and 6 HP motors on floating platforms to provide air for breathing and a jet of water to help move material out of the way, thus coining the new method as “underwater blow mining.”

There are no seasons imposed upon these other types of mining activity. In other words, you can do them at any time of the year.

 

New Legal Fund-Raiser!

Gold NuggetsThe new drawing will be for two ounces of beautiful gold nuggets.  Those will be split into a 1-once grand prize and four quarter-ounce prizes.  There will also be 10 tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles and 10 American Silver Eagles. That’s 25 prizes worth winning!

The drawing will take place at the close of business at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday, 30 October. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 will generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Look for our new Paypal contribution link here.

Remember, all contributions to The New 49’ers Legal Fund are tax deductible.

Once again; thank you guys very much for standing behind us!

Fire Restrictions

Because of exceptionally dry conditions, the U.S. Forest Service has imposed fire restrictions in the Klamath National Forest as of last week.  This means internal combustion engines (like water pumps) cannot be operated on our mining properties unless you are floating them out on the waterway.  Since the fire restrictions are likely to continue for the remaining part of this season, you might give some thought to how you can rig up something to float your motor(s). In case you are interested, there are special floats made specifically for this purpose. Please contact Montine for more details: 530 493-2062. You can find out more about what is and is not allowed under these restrictions right here:

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than I can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

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New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD QUARTER, JULY 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 7

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

Working in a rowGold in pan

This is turning out to be a very low water year along the Klamath River; the lowest I have seen in a very long time; and we still have several months in front of us before the season is over.  The water has dropped by at least a foot since we did our first weekend group outing of the season several weeks ago.  You guys might recall from last month’s newsletter that we have discovered a massive surface gold deposit on our K-23AA property which is located around 7 miles downstream of Happy Camp.  Since the discovery is a pretty long walk from the nearest easy place to gain access to a boat, a walk that many people might want to make in hundred-degree weather, our biggest challenge this season has been in coming up with creative ways to move large numbers of people to and from the rich gold deposit by boat.

Dave in jet boatDerek driving raft

Gold sample

Typical pan sample out of the new deposit!

We worked out a pretty effective method several weeks ago by towing one of our larger Colorado River rafts behind my jet boat. We were able to transfer around 20 people at a time.  That worked out well.  Surprisingly, it was not the movement of people that was difficult.  The hard part was towing the empty raft back up through two sets of pretty gnarly rapids so that we could pick up another load of people.  All in all, with 120 people, this meant towing the raft up through two sets of rapids 24 times during the first project.  My jet boat was getting so tired, there were a few trips towards the end where I had my doubts we would make it!

As it was, the first project of the season went really well.  This new deposit appears to be the richest and largest surface gold deposit (out of the water) we have ever located.  We recovered 18 pennyweights (9/10ths of an ounce) of beautiful gold in several hours of digging on the first project of the season, which is at least a 5-year record.

The first thing I did after the first project was finished was tow my tired jet boat over to the shop for a full tune-up.  Because it is the mechanic’s busiest time of the year, I did not get the boat returned to me until the Friday morning before the start of the second project (last weekend). By then, John Rose was telling me that the river had already dropped too low, and the rapids were too steep, for us to use boats to move people.  Oh my!

Virgin streambedVirgin stream bed 2

This is only the second time in 30 years that we have found rich, virgin stream bed out of the water!

Dan's boat This gold deposit is too rich to abandon!

Very fortunately for the Club, we have a new member this year, Dan Baker, who brought along the strongest and nicest jet boat I have ever seen for maneuvering the Klamath River in low water.  Dan also brings along other valuable attributes, like being able to capture images and video, and do an excellent job of editing.   You will see a bunch of his good work being put up on our new Facebook page.  All or most of the images and video in this newsletter were produced by Dan and our new office manager, Tony.

In any event, while most of our other project helpers were of the opinion that we were going to need to walk people in for the weekend project, Dan was telling me that his jet boat was easily making it up and down through the section of Klamath River where the project was going to take place. The weatherman said it was going to be 100+ degrees on Saturday afternoon.  So Dan and I, with some of our helpers, were out on the river Friday afternoon, using two jet boats and our large rubber raft working out how we could move people around on the river.

Raft with peopleThe interesting thing about the Klamath is that when the water drops, the rapids get steeper, shallower and faster, and the waves get taller.  So while the slower sections of river get easier to traverse, the faster sections get more difficult as the water drops.  Fortunately, and to my great relief, we discovered on the first trial run that we were going to be able to use my jet boat, once again towing the large raft, to move people to and from the worksite, just like we did during the earlier project.  The ride through the rapids was going to be faster with more splashes; but members were going to be alright with that in the hot weather.

The big challenge was how we were going to move the raft back up through the rapids. Since his jet boat is stronger than mine, Dan offered to tow the raft upriver.

So there we were on the first try with several of us in Dan’s boat and Derek Eimer riding along in the rear of the raft.  Dan’s boat had plenty of power to do the job; and it initially looked as though the raft would go along with no problems.  But about half way through, a very large stationary wave in the rapids came over the front of the raft and caused the front end to dive just like a submarine.  It all happened in a split second. Derek was lucky he was not washed right out of the rubber raft!

I have more experience driving boats on the Klamath River, so Dan insisted that I give it the second try while he filmed the adventure.  Once again, it was going just fine until one of the large stationary waves in the rapids caught the front of the raft and drove it underwater, nearly filling the boat with water. Here is some video that Dan captured during our second try:

These kinds of problems are best worked out in advance of having 100+ members out along a remote section of the river where the only way back to the cars is either by boat or swimming!

For our third attempt, Rich Krimm came up with the idea of rigging a tow harness from further to the rear of the raft and running it underneath to the front so that the pulling would help lift the front of the raft higher above the water.   We had some extra rope in my jet boat and made quick work out of rigging the harness.  And while the front of the raft appeared to be further above the water, that stationary wave in the rapids overwhelmed the raft just like during our earlier attempts.  By now, Derek was looking half drowned.  But he was still laughing and enjoying the adventure.

One of the many reasons I love managing The New 49’ers is that I am able to get out with other very capable guys (and gals) and confront some of Mother Nature’s most difficult challenges, and usually, but not always, find a way to overcome them.  We were all having a blast out there!

Even though we were having fun, not a single one of us ever let our guards down to the dangers involved.  The Klamath River is so powerful; it can snuff the life out of a person in just moments.  When things go wrong in a boat on the river, they go critically wrong; and rather than worrying about saving the boat, the emergency can immediately turn into trying to live through the experience.   The more extreme the conditions, the less margin there is for error; and the worse things are going to turn out if we make a mistake.  Believe me; I have experienced a whole lifetime of making mistakes!

Dan pulling raftDerek waving

After submarining the raft three times, we came up with a whole new idea of tying a harness further forward on Dan’s jet boat, pulling the front of the raft right up onto the backside of the jet boat and securing it so it would piggyback up through the set of rapids.  This plan worked out great, except that the powerful blast out of Dan’s jet boat made for an interesting and challenging ride for Derek.  Several times, it looked like the raft would completely flip over!  Ultimately, we worked out a system where Derek and Dyton Gilliland would shift their weight one way or the other to compensate for which side of the jet blast the raft was riding on. Here is some great video showing how we finally worked out a technique to move the raft upstream.

Piggy backWe did several trial runs up through the rapids just to make sure we could rely on the technique once we had a bunch of New 49’ers to move around on the river.  The technique worked great, and we were all set for another weekend project on the river. Cool!

By Saturday morning, we had 130+ people signed up for the weekend project.  This was an all-time high for the second project of a season.  Always in the past, we have a large group on the first project, once as many as 137 people. Then the numbers drop off dramatically as we progress through the season.  But not this year!

This turned out to be an enthusiastic bunch of New 49’er members who were out to have fun and get some gold!  After going over some theory on Saturday morning, and a break for lunch, our large group arrived down on K-23AA at around 1 pm. This is when the heat of the day really sets in.  Someone measured the temperature at 109 in the shade, and 123 out on the rocks in the direct sun.  That’s hot!

Fortunately, since we have already located the pay-dirt in this massive gold deposit, Saturday’s objective for this season’s projects is mainly to teach beginners how to operate a gold pan.  We take this part very seriously, because panning is the beginning of the prospecting learning curve.  You cannot sample for high-grade gold deposits unless you can effectively work a gold pan.

People in raftsPeople working together

All of our project helpers were waiting for us when we started arriving by boat with 20 people at a time.  Using our new method of moving the raft upriver, it only took us around 30 minutes to get everyone to the worksite.  It went just like clockwork.

By the time Dan and I tied off our jet boats, nearly everyone was already panning up a storm.  Participants get to keep all the gold they can find on Saturday afternoon.  So this bunch was really going at it! Here is some video that captured a lot of the action.

Boy was it hot out there on this Saturday afternoon!  Once people started collecting under the shades we have set up out there, I took it as a sign that it was time to start ferrying people downstream to where they had parked their cars earlier in the day. With some excellent teamwork, it took 5 boatloads to get everybody back across the river through another set of rapids about a half-mile downriver.

Pot luckBig smile

Saturday potluck was a full house; I’m guessing about 180 people.  There was lots of food, and I could barely hear myself think over the enthusiastic chatter of the very large group.  This type of noise is always music to my ears!

Because Sunday is the day we work hard, we always get out there early.  This is so we can get the work finished and be off the gravel bar before the heat of the day sets in.  When I arrived at 6:15 am, there was already a long line of participants putting on life jackets to board the boats.  Once again, it only took our experienced crew around 30 minutes to get everyone on the worksite.

Ground zero actionFeeding high-banker

The mission on Sunday is to process as much of the pay-dirt as possible through our high-banker recovery systems without killing off the participants.  Fortunately, the sky was overcast and rewarding us with a very mild drizzle.  In just a short time, our experienced team members had the whole crew organized into groups performing different functions.  Some were moving rocks out of the way.   Others were using garden picks to drag pay-dirt into piles. Then others were transferring the pay-dirt into plastic buckets. More people were packing the buckets to the recovery systems, where still others were feeding the material.  There was a whole lot of productive activity going on!  Dan captured some of the action, along with my explanation, in the following videos:

Once things were well underway, Dyton and I took the time to show most of the participants how to reach out and carve out “top cuts” to increase the amount of volume a person can process.  This is also something we do to obtain maximum production in gold dredging.  The more pay-dirt you process, the more gold you end up with at the end of the day.  It is as simple as that.   Dan captured some of the demonstration on video:

Vacking bedrockNuggets in pan

Several participants were vacking gold out of the bedrock traps as we uncovered them. 

Craig Colt, who has been helping on these projects for many years, devoted most of Sunday panning samples of the material people were digging.  The purpose of this is to identify the richer-paying areas and direct the digging program into more productive pay-dirt.

As we have worked forward in this deposit, we have discovered that there is an ancient, orange-colored streambed material that is paying the best.  The good thing is that the material in most of this deposit is usually 2 feet or less to reach bedrock.  Bedrock is where we expect to find gold nuggets!

Pointing at ground zeroGold sample, ground zero

This is one pan sample off the bedrock at Ground Zero!

While most of the group was working a long stretch of bedrock we uncovered at the base of the deposit, several others climbed up the hill to where the original gold discovery was made.  We fondly refer to this spot as “ground zero.” The material is a bit deeper over there.  We attempted to reach bedrock at ground zero during the first project, but didn’t quite make it.  Several very determined guys reached bedrock this time in about 5 feet of virgin streambed which was producing gold all the way through.  Then Dyton took a careful sample off the bedrock and produced a very favorable result.  Now we had confirmation that this rich gold deposit is so large, we will be working it for many years to come.  Here was my explanation:

Dave showing goldGold in bottle

We were getting nuggets out there, too!

We were operating three high-bankers on Sunday, feeding material as fast as the machines could process the gold. Once we put a few hours of good production through the high-bankers, we normally take a moment to clean out only the high-grade portion of a single high-banker.  We screen the material to pick out any nuggets. Then we pan the rest down so we can get an idea how well we are doing.  Everybody agreed we were doing really well!  Dan captured the excitement on video:

Showing off the gold always motivates participants in these projects to redouble their efforts, and this time was no exception!  So I was met with some disappointment about an hour later when I went around and told everyone to finish up the final buckets and start reclaiming our excavation back to the normal contour of the bank.  Some just kept on digging, anyway. There were at least 15 full buckets of rich pay-dirt delivered to the high-bankers even after we had shut them down to do final clean-up!  In hindsight, if we had processed those, we likely would have met my target of recovering a full ounce of gold.

Dave running Le TrapGold in Letrap

It was about 11 am when we started winding things up.  This means storing the gear away and performing an initial clean-up to reduce the amount of concentrated heavy material accumulated from the 3 high-bankers.  We usually do this part with a Le Trap Gold Sluice. This is one of the big rewards of the day, because the process reveals to everyone how their hard work has been converted into raw gold.  Every scoop from the buckets of concentrates produced a trail of gold into the Le Trap.  We were going to have a good clean-up!  Dan caught the excitement on video:

Ferrying everyone down through another set of rapids to the boat landing where their cars were parked just added more fun and excitement to an already excellent day.

Dave & CraigWatching Le Trap

Dave and Craig Colt demonstrating the final clean-up steps.  

We all met up at the Grange Hall a few hours later to complete the final clean-up process and split the gold.  In all, we recovered 18.6 pennyweights, which included 27 nice gold nuggets.  Everyone who participated  received an equal share of the gold by weight.  There were a lot of happy faces as we handed the shares out.  For many, it was the first gold they had ever mined.

Final goldHaving fun

Truthfully, before we weighed the gold, it looked to me like it was at least a full ounce.  That’s what I was hoping for.  But we didn’t quite make it. We will just have to take another shot at it on the next project!

By the way, you guys don’t have to wait for the monthly newsletter to see the adventures we are enjoying on the Klamath River.  Our new video team is posting great material on the New 49’er Facebook page nearly every day. Just as one example here is the whole project adventure video which our guys put up on Facebook just a day or so afterwards.

Join us for our remaining Weekend Group Mining Projects this Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who are more experienced than you.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

Remaining Schedule of 2015 Events:  July 18 & 19; August 8 & 9; and August 29 & 30.

Schedule of Events

Legal Fund Winners!

We completed our most recent New 49’ers Legal Fund Drawing for 20 tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles and 2 fantastic Garrett gold detectors at our Saturday evening potluck on the evening of 27 June. There were a lot of members present, though not a single one of them won a prize. Not that anyone was disappointed.  These legal fund raisers are more about pulling together to defend something that is much more important than prizes.  Here follows some video which captured the event:

Here are the winners:

Grand Prize: Garrett ATX Metal Detector: Gerald Fawcett of Anchorage, AK

Second Prize: Garrett AT Gold Detector: Chris Edmondson of Mission Viejo, CA

American Gold Eagles:  Howard Charleboix of Great Falls, MT;  Robert Lake of Brookings, OR;  Michael Ward of West Point, UT;  Edward Murphy of Somes Bar, CA;  Larry Buzzell of Sequim, WA;  Michael McLeod  of Carson City, NV;  Greg A Miller of Coarse Gold, CA;  Eugene Lewis of Gig Harbor, WA;  Daniel Cutshell of Bishop, CA;  David Ames of Silverton, OR;  Joseph Burda of Pacifica, CA;  Dennis Taylor of Sherwood, OR;  Daniel Court  of La Pine, OR;  Michael Dickman of Manteca, CA;  Jerry Keith of Wake Forest, NC;  Greg Miller of Coarse Gold, CA;  Bill Kerr of Klamath Falls, OR;  Randy Watkins of Sparks, NV;  Gerald Hawley of Kalispell, MT;  Floyd Parker of Kannapolis,  NC

Montine in our office (530 493-2062) is making contact with all the winners.

I want to thank Garrett Metal Detectors for their generous support of our efforts to preserve the industry.  When you are considering what kind of equipment to buy for your prospecting activities, I sincerely request that you take a strong look at the products being offered by the industry manufacturers who are supporting all of our combined efforts.

I also need to personally thank all of you who participated in this fund-raiser. We could not play our part to help defend the small-scale mining industry if it were not for your ongoing support.

Gold nugget prizesAny legal contributions which have arrived in our office after this drawing will automatically generate tickets for the next New 49’ers Legal Fund drawing.  The new drawing will be for two ounces of beautiful gold nuggets (image above).  Those will be split into a 1-once grand prize and four quarter-ounce prizes.  There will also be 10 tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles and 10 American Silver Eagles. That’s 25 prizes worth winning!

The drawing will take place at the close of business at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday, 30 October. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 will generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Look for our new Paypal contribution link here. Your legal contributions can also be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012 or by mailing to The New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039.

Remember, all contributions to The New 49’ers Legal Fund are tax deductible.

Once again; thank you guys very much for standing behind us!

We are Not Going to Have a Hassle-Free 2015 Dredging Season

Here is the bad news:  I’m disappointed to announce that our motion in San Bernardino Superior Court for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) to allow suction dredging on our extensive New 49’er properties in conformance with the 2012 regulations was denied by the judge on the 9th of July.

I believe this was likely our final opportunity to obtain hassle-free suction dredging in California during the 2015 season. By “hassle-free,” I mean that we continue to believe California’s moratorium is not legal; and that suction dredgers are not likely to be prosecuted, even if they are written a criminal citation. But suction dredgers do have the risk of their equipment being confiscated until some later time. So you dredge at your own risk for the time being.

We will now switch gears into appealing San Bernardino’s recent Rulings to deny any meaningful relief to suction dredgers even after the court has Ruled and Ordered that the moratorium is unconstitutional — which State authorities continue to enforce. There is also the landmark Rinehart Decision which is being reviewed by the California Supreme Court. It is not an unreasonable expectation that we can have these matters resolved in time for our 2016 season.

All I can say is that we have done our very best to bring about a hassle-free 2015 dredging season. I thank everyone who has supported our efforts. All we can do is keep trying.

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with the State only affects motorized suction mining 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 nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our Group Weekend Projects.

To continue prospecting the bottom of active waterways, some members have converted to underwater crevicing, using the hookah and pump from their 5 and 6 HP motors on floating platforms to provide air for breathing and a jet of water to help move material out of the way, thus coining the new method as “underwater blow mining.”

There are no seasons imposed upon these other types of mining activity. In other words, you can do them at any time of the year.

Now here is the good news:  Just as I am finishing this newsletter, some of our most experienced underwater miners are finishing up a prototype for an entirely new concept in underwater mining with the use of a pressure washer primarily uses a powerful blast of very low-volume water to uncover and free rocks that must be moved out of the way in a submerged streambed.  We believe the process may be nearly as effective as suction mining, but without the discharges which anti-mining activists complain so much about.  We will be testing and developing the new idea over the coming weeks.  Please watch for updates and news on our Facebook page and in next month’s newsletter.

Fire Restrictions

Because of exceptionally dry conditions, the U.S. Forest Service has imposed fire restrictions in the Klamath National Forest as of last week.  This means internal combustion engines (like water pumps) cannot be operated on our mining properties unless you are floating them out on the waterway.  Since the fire restrictions are likely to continue for the remaining part of this season, you might give some thought to how you can rig up something to float your motor(s). In case you are interested, there are special floats made specifically for this purpose. Please contact Montine for more details: 530 493-2062. You can find out more about what is and is not allowed under these restrictions right here:

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than I can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

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Dave Mack

“Motion to the Superior Court of San Bernardino to Allow Suction Dredging on New 49’er-controlled Properties Under the 2012 Regulations until the Regulations can be Updated in a Way That Does Not Break the Law.”

Please make a donation to our Legal Fund.

 

“Sometimes, anything is better than nothing!”

Update as of the 4th of July, 2015:

Judge Ochoa of the Superior Court of San Bernardino recently issued an Order which confirmed his earlier Ruling that California created an unconstitutional “scheme” of first enacting Section 5653 of the DFW Code which requires suction gold dredgers to obtain a permit from the State, and then enacting Section 5653.1 which prevented the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) from issuing any suction dredge permits.  His Order and Ruling declared that the State’s moratorium preventing the issuance of permits is unconstitutional, illegal and unenforceable.

This was a huge win for our industry!

The problem is that the State is continuing to enforce the unlawful moratorium! 

First we attempted to motion the Siskiyou County Superior Court to order State authorities to stop harassing New 49’er members who were dredging along the Klamath River.  But we were prevented from bringing  that motion because the California Judicial Council has decided that all suction dredging-related cases will be consolidated in the Superior Court of San Bernardino.

Because there are multiple dredging cases being heard in San Bernardino, with multiple individuals and other mining associations having a stake in the outcome, The New 49’ers did not believe it would be acceptable to the rest of the industry if we initially filed a motion in San Bernardino for relief only on behalf of our own members and property holdings.  Therefore, we teamed up with the others in the ongoing litigation to file a joint motion for statewide relief.  Please go to this page for more background explanation, along with the very substantial attempt we made to try and get all California dredgers back into the water this season.

However, on the 23rd of June, Judge Ochoa denied our motion for statewide relief. If you want to get a good feel for how definite his denial was, you can read the hearing transcript right here.  Perhaps we tried to bite off more than the court was willing to allow.

Now that we have made our absolute best effort to bring about relief for the entire state and failed, we have received consent from all parties within the litigation to motion the court for much narrower relief on behalf of New 49’er members on New 49’er properties in Siskiyou County.  This was what we originally intended to do in Siskiyou County several months ago.  Our motion for a Temporary Restraining Order will be filed in San Bernardino on 6 July; and we hope it will be decided this coming Thursday, 9 July.  To save on travel costs, we have requested the hearing to take place by telephone conference.

Our key moving documents, proposed Order and supporting Declarations can be found just below.  You will see that we are challenging the ongoing moratorium under an entirely different legal theory which does not rely upon the Third Appellate Rinehart Decision.  My understanding is that the San Bernardino Court was not willing to grant statewide relief because of the possibility that the Rinehart Decision could be overturned by the California Supreme Court.

While we strenuously believe the 2012 regulations are overly restrictive, and we will continue the ongoing effort to obtain much more reasonable regulations, we have already completely lost 5+ dredging seasons because of the unlawful moratorium; and we believe it is better to get people back in the water while we continue the fight. This is a beginning.

Said another way, since the State certified that dredging under the 2012 regulations will not harm fish, we should at least be able to dredge within those regulations while we continue to challenge them as overly restrictive.  In the event that we succeed, there is nothing preventing others from seeking similar relief:

 

New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, JUNE 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 6

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

virgin streambed chunky gold in sample pan

Not to get overly religious on you guys; but I have realized time after time in my own life experience that if your heart is in the right place, and you really need something important, and you put out just the right kind of hope and patience, the universe that we all share will reorganize itself and bring what you need right to you.  Sometimes it takes a while.  Sometimes my hopes come through almost immediately.  This is especially true in gold prospecting.

This story actually started late last season as we were going into our final Group Mining Project.  Early in the season, we had discovered a fantastic surface gold deposit on one of our newer mining properties, K-23AA, which is about nine miles downriver from Happy Camp.  The gold discovery was on the far side of the river.  You have to go to the places where you find the best gold.  So after many years of not using boats to support these projects, we pulled one of our large rubber rafts out of storage and got back into the business of transporting large numbers of members across the river.  The season worked out really well.  All of the participants seemed to enjoy the added adventure of a few rafting trips, in addition to working the high-grade gold deposit across the river.

That deposit sustained all of our weekend projects last season, in addition to all of the members who went over there to recover gold on their own.  But as the season was winding down, all of our loyal project helpers and I agreed that, while there was still plenty of gold there to support individual mining programs, we were going to need to find an entirely new gold deposit to support the weekend projects for this coming season.  We had no idea where we were going to turn that up.  I’m not sure about the others, but I put out a strong hope (some might call it a prayer) that something would turn up.

Dave & Alice

“Dave and Alice”

It was with that hope in mind during our final project last season that I spotted a man and woman couple excitedly showing off some gold in a bucket to others on the project.  I could see that something good was happening by the way others were gathering around.  I zoom right in on this sort of thing!  If somebody has discovered something good, I want to know about it.  Sometimes I refer to this as dialing in on the right frequency.

The members showing off the gold in their bucket were Dave Mackenzie and Alice Leverenz, both from Oregon.  They said the gold came from panning a single bucket of material from a new gold deposit they had located a little more than half-mile downriver on the very same claim. It was a lot more gold than the average material we were working during the project. They said the deposit appeared to be absolutely huge, and there was room there for everyone.  To top off the excitement, Dave pulled out of his pocket a bottle of beautiful nuggets they had found down there in their first sample hole near the river.

This is one thing about The New 49’ers that sets us apart from any other mining organization I have ever seen.  With very few exceptions, when our members make a new gold discovery, they share the news with others and excitement levels go through the roof.  I cannot even count the number of mini gold rushes we have generated over the years!  Perhaps this is because we have so much gold-rich property, members are confident that there is plenty of gold to go around.  Perhaps it’s the nature of our members and the combined culture we have developed to help each other out.  Our motto is “Miners helping miners.”

Assuming this was the answer to our hopes for a new location to do our Weekend Group Mining Projects in 2015, several of our project helpers and I made an appointment to meet Dave and Alice on the following day. Their deposit is also on the far side of the river from Highway 96.  The only way over there with gear is by boat or raft or some other floating platform.  We launched my jet boat from the developed river access on our Wingate property about a half-mile downstream from the new discovery.

Vack mining dreamAs they took the time to show us what they had found, they also told us of their personal story; a story which could prompt you to ponder the larger mysteries of fate and hope that affect each of our personal destinies. It turned out that they actually did not intend to sample in this new location at all.  Their vehicle had broken down alongside the highway. It was going to take a week for the parts to arrive.  Since they were not going anywhere, Dave lowered his raft and prospecting gear down the embankment and decided to make the best use of his time prospecting on the far side of the river.  He was rewarded with good gold in his very first pan!  Then he just kept on going, only to realize they had discovered a rich gold deposit by accident – and already arrive at the place they really wanted to be!

There is a good lesson in this.   No matter how big the problems are that you are confronted with, there is usually a good opportunity in there somewhere if you just look for it.  I can look back at the most difficult times I have experienced in my life; and now that I am beyond them, I realize how lucky I am that things happened the way they did.

Here are some video segments that I captured while Dave and Alice were showing us their discovery:

“This is gold Alice panned out of the leaves on the ground!”

“This is gold Alice panned out of the leaves on the ground!”

Just as Dave and Alice had told us, the size of this gold deposit is enormous.  There is a very wide section of mostly exposed bedrock that extends from the river about a hundred feet or more to a very long section of what appears to be original streambed.  By that, I mean streambed material which has never been mined before.  Samples from the cracks and irregularities in the bedrock are producing excellent panning results.  This place is a vack-mining heaven!  There are also places down closer to the river where shallow layers of hard-packed streambed are overtop of cracks in the bedrock that contain very exciting gold nuggets.

I am personally experiencing a lot of enthusiasm over the virgin streambed material.  That’s where Dave and Alice were recovering the most gold for their effort.  I could see a distinct layer change there which is certain to concentrate gold.  Alice showed us a single pan with a nice display of gold she said she panned just out of the debris on top of the ground!

Dave and Alice made it very clear that they had no problem with us running the group projects in this new discovery.  So our prayers had been answered this time with almost no delay.  Is that cool or what?

Virgin streambed (2)The problem is that this new discovery is in a rather difficult location to gain access with large numbers of people.  There is plenty of parking and a rather easy trail from Highway 96 located about a quarter-mile upriver from the deposit.  There is a set of rapids between the trail and this new discovery.  So while we could transfer people down to the deposit with our large rubber raft, we were not going to be able to get the raft back up through the rapids using its own small outboard motor, even without passengers.  There is a trail on the far side of the river.  But it’s a long way to walk at the end of a hard day of mining.  Anyone who has participated in these projects will tell you that we work pretty hard on Sunday morning, especially when we see how the gold is adding up!  So walking out of there is not a great option.

We have learned over the many years that it is better to find the balance between working hard to recover as much gold as possible, while not killing off the participants.  My helpers all agreed that the long trail on the far side of the river was going to be asking too much for some people.  So we put our heads together on coming up with a plan to move everyone by rubber raft through two sets of rapids on both days of the project.  This is something we have never attempted before.

Before I go further into the story, I want to introduce an important new member of our team, Shawn Tilton.  Shawn has a vast background in many areas, but he actually arrived in Happy Camp with the purpose of creating a New 49’er Facebook page to capture the day-to-day excitement for the whole world to see.  Shawn has a lot of filming and editing experience.  He is working closely with our new office manager, Tony Balderrama, who also has a very strong background in the ever-changing developments in the high tech world of social media.  You can find our New 49’er Facebook page right here:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-New-49ers-Prospecting-Association/1396597950668824   Please take a look.  This new program was only started about two weeks ago, and we believe you will be impressed at our progress.  We hope you will “like” the page and help us spread it around. Once we gain some steam, Shawn intends to put fresh material up every day; gold prospecting developments and adventures you would never know about unless you were part of the ongoing action.

Shawn

Shawn

Here is a video segment I captured with a short introduction to Shawn, since you will probably be seeing him on the scene if you visit Happy Camp this season.  Shawn was present last week while we were out reconfirming the gold deposit on K-23AA.  We were also working out how to move large numbers of people on the river without it taking too much time away from our mining project.  All video as we go forward will be material which Shawn captured and edited together. Note that Shawn increases the video speed in places to allow more emphasis on the important parts without taking up too much time. It’s pretty cool!

Before we even began working out the transportation challenges, John Rose, Rich Krimm, Derek Eimer, me and several others returned to the new discovery point on K-23AA.  Other members were in the area, but nobody was working the place where Dave and Alice left off last year.  Just to be certain the gold was there, Rich took one pan of material from the deeper, darker brown layer, and I took one pan from the lighter brown contact zone just above.  The pans were not full.  But they had enough material to confirm (or not) what Dave and Alice had showed us last season.

Rich was first to finish his pan.  The gold he found surprised Rich so much that he ordered Shawn to turn the video camera off.  Ladies and gentlemen, that’s called gold fever!  Shawn complied with Rich’s demand, so unfortunately we did not capture Rich’s pan to show you.  All I can say is the result was outstanding.  My smaller pan result was just as good as Rich’s in proportion to the smaller volume of material that I sampled.

Craig Colt

Craig Colt has returned!

That’s all we needed to see.  This new gold deposit is a huge gift that we never expected.  The area is so large, as far as I was concerned; all of this year’s Weekend Group Projects are going to be a success.  Everyone out there agreed.  The following video sequence captured a lot of the action:

A few days later, I got the word that one of our more experienced members went down to our discovery and only found very little gold out of a full bucket of material.  That was quite a shocking report!  There have been times in the past where I made an initial discovery of really good gold, only to realize after I moved all my gear there that the gold in my initial sample was the only gold present. It’s one thing if I make this kind of mistake on my own.  It’s quite another thing to bring a large group of people to a place where we are not going to recover much gold — especially since I am the one who has to split the gold up at the end of the project!

So as to not take any chances, me and our sampling crew found ourselves back out on the river to reconfirm the gold deposit once again.  This time, we were joined by Craig Colt.  Craig was one of the key players in all of our weekend and weeklong projects for many years.  He is a very well-respected gold prospector who is now coming out of self-imposed retirement in hopes that we will have a dredging season this year.  I expect we will be seeing more and more of our longtime, experienced members on the river if we get dredging back.  I even heard Otto Gaither may return. Oh my! 

Craig and I both took a pan of material from the contact zone at the initial discovery point, and all I can say is that the gold is fantastic!  My pan had nine nice-sized flakes of gold and at least 100 colors.  Craig’s pan produced a similar result.  Here it is on video:

Dave's sample from a single pan

This is from a single pan of the pay-dirt!

When we returned to the boat, John Rose was relaxing there in the warm summer sun with a big grin on his face.  We were all excited to show him what we found.  Without even looking at our pan, he laughed and said, “I’ll bet I got more than you did!”  And he was right; he had a lot more gold than Craig and I recovered combined.  And that was just out of a third of a pan of unscreened material that he dug out of a bedrock crack next to the boat.  Man, this K-23AA is rich!  Shawn captured the moment on video:

Sampling team

“This deposit is rich!”

Now, with 100% certainty about the gold deposit, we switched gears into the challenge of moving large numbers of people on the river.  By large numbers, I mean we are expecting at least a hundred members to participate in this weekend’s project.  That’s a whole lot of people to move around on the water!

So we came up with the idea of using my jet boat to tow one of our large rubber rafts.  We needed to see if we could pull it fast enough to get it up on a plane and through a set of pretty fast rapids.  We have never tried this before.  My first idea was to tie the raft as close as possible to the jet boat so we could direct the jet blast under the raft to help pick it up.  This first experiment worked. Getting up through the rapids was easy, even with two guys riding in the raft.  The problem was when I needed to turn the boat; the jet blast was directed right over the side of the raft and almost filled it with water in just a few seconds.  We all got a good laugh out of that.  Shawn caught it all on video:

From there, we did several experiments pulling the raft further and further behind the jet boat.  We finally discovered the right distance and realized that not only could we pull the boat up through a set of rapids, but we could do it with passengers aboard.  So we took it to the next step and added the smaller outboard motor to the raft; the one we normally use to maneuver the raft around on the river.  That improved our new ferry system so much that we scattered out across K-23AA to find all the members who were working out there for a test run on the river.  The idea was to use the large raft to launch and recover people without disconnecting the jet boat.  We got it right on the first try!  Shawn was right there with the video camera:

Dave Mack in the boatAfterwards, we realized that with a little creative carpooling at the beginning of the day, we can park most of the vehicles down at the Wingate River Access and ferry people downstream from the work site at the end of our day.  That will make the process go faster.

There is a longer video segment Shawn put together on our facebook page that shows all the action spliced together with interesting parts which were not included above.  Please remember to “like” our page so we can spread our adventures around to others who might take an interest.

This is all something new:  We have worked out a system of moving large numbers of people through difficult river conditions to gain access to and from perhaps the largest and richest gold deposit we have ever discovered during thirty continuous years of prospecting along the Klamath River in northern California.  The proof will be this coming weekend during our first project of 2015.  Watch for how it turns out on our Facebook page and in next month’s newsletter.

Suction Dredging Situation for 2015 Season Should be Decided on June 23rd!

Superior Court Judge Ochoa has set a hearing date for 23 June in San Bernardino for our motion for relief from the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s (DFW’s) continued enforcement of the unlawful moratorium on suction dredging for gold in California.

In an effort to get the matter resolved more quickly, several suction dredgers on the Klamath River refused to sign the promise to appear portion of the criminal citations they were being issued (“unlawful dredging”), opting instead to be arrested.  Ultimately, one of those very courageous guys ended up in jail with The New 49’ers Legal Fund hiring James Buchal to represent him.  That hearing in front of a Siskiyou County judge was to take place within 48 hours.  Mr. Buchal was motioning the Court to dismiss all charges, order a return of all seized equipment, and order DFW to not bring any further dredging cases in Siskiyou County.  Had we got our day in court, this seemed like it would have been a slam-dunk for our side.

What we had not planned on was that the Siskiyou County jail is completely full of people either arrested or serving time for felony convictions.  Our local sheriff Lopey was objecting strenuously that in order to incarcerate a suction dredger for a rather minor misdemeanor, he was going to have to release a hardened criminal back onto the streets.  This all caused quite a stir at the jailhouse in Yreka while all the key players were trying to figure out what to do.  Ultimately, according to my limited understanding, the District Attorney decided to defer the charges (or something like that) and let the dredger out of jail with no agreement that he appear in court at any later time.  Once the dredger was released, the required 48-hour hearing in front of a judge was lost.  So it was kind of like being arrested and let go.  What can I say; it’s California.

Therefore, it appears that the earliest chance we will have to get hassle-free suction dredging restored in California is on June 23rd.  Yes; I know there are some very important due process issues in play here.  We have considered all possible options, and have decided that our best course of action is to wait it out a little longer and place our hope for a 2015 dredging season with Judge Ochoa.  He knows more about our plight than any other judge in the country.

Several dredgers have signed a promise to appear (for “unlawful dredging”) in Siskiyou County on 9 June.  I’ll be surprised if the State moves ahead with that, but we shall see.

Update note: We went to court on June 9th, and the names of the two dredgers were not even on the docket, so the court clerk wrote them in by hand. When it was their turn in front of the judge, they were informed that no criminal case against them had been filed with the court. The dredgers asked if the judge could help them with a return of equipment which the wardens took from them. The judge’s answer was that his hands are tied until a case is brought in front of him, which he did not believe was likely to happen. The judge explained that the State has up to a year to file a criminal case on a misdemeanor. So it would appear as though the State can rob you of your possessions with impunity for up to a year if they suspect you are guilty of a misdemeanor — or they just want to punish you!

You would not have to look much further than this to wonder why rioting in the streets is on the increase!

The only remedy is to file a civil lawsuit; but judge Ochoa has instructed us to not do that. So we are crossing our fingers for June 23rd in San Bernardino.

We filed our opening salvo in San Bernardino on May 18th.  The relief we are asking for is to return to the 2009 suction dredge regulations which were in affect at the time that the unconstitutional moratorium was imposed upon our industry – and stick with those until they can be updated in a way that does not break the law.  You can find the documents we filed right here:

Shortly after we filed these documents, the State filed something with the Court that appeared to argue that judge Ochoa could not return us to the 2009 regulations because the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) process they used to enact the (illegal) 2012 regulations was followed properly. In turn, The New 49’ers and PLP filed a joint response demonstrating conclusively that the State’s process did not even come close to following the law. I suggest you read this document, because it is very reveling about who and what we are up against.

Since the Court in San Bernardino will likely decide the immediate fate of suction dredging in California on 23 June, and we will not publish another newsletter until a few weeks later, for updated news, I suggest you “like” our Facebook page (link above) and/or join our free Internet chat forum.

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with the State only affects motorized suction mining 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 nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our Group Weekend Projects.

To continue prospecting the bottom of active waterways, some members have converted to underwater crevicing, using the hookah and pump from their 5 and 6 HP motors on floating platforms to provide air for breathing and a jet of water to help move material out of the way, thus coining the new method as “underwater blow mining.”

There are no seasons imposed upon these other types of mining activity. In other words, you can do them at any time of the year.

Don’t Forget About Our Ongoing Legal Fund-raiser!

I am very pleased to announce that Garrett Metal Detectors is generously supporting this next fund-raiser with their brand new top-of-the-line ATX pulse induction gold detector.  That is a $2,500 machine!

Garrett is also donating a refurbished AT Gold metal detector as a second prize (“refurbished” means the unit was used as a demo at a trade show, but never used in the field, and then put back through quality control and repackaged in new condition). This is an $800 machine!

These are both fantastic gold machines which can actually be taken underwater to shallow depths!

The drawing will also include 20 American tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles.

The drawing will take place at our Saturday evening potluck on June 27. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Having said all that, I am starting to get concerned that the drawing date is fast approaching, and The New 49’er Legal Fund has only brought in enough contributions so far to about equal the value of the prizes. It is less than a third of what the Fund brought in on the previous legal fund-raiser.  We know you guys out there support our efforts or we would have not been able to get as far as we have on the legal front.  Right now, we are closer than we have been since 2009 to getting legalized gold dredging returned to us in California.  This is just a reminder that the very hard push we are making at the moment is costing a lot of money.  Please get behind us on this as much as you are able.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Look for our new Paypal contribution link here.

Remember, all contributions to The New 49’ers Legal Fund are tax deductible.

You can find out more about The Legal Fund’s ongoing fund-raiser by going right here.

Once again; thank you guys very much for standing behind our efforts!

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects This Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who are more experienced than you.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

Schedule of 2015 Events: June 6 & 7; June 27 & 28; July 18 & 19; August 8 & 9; and August 29 & 30.

Schedule of Events

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The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

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Dave Mack

“Motion to the Superior Court of San Bernardino to Prevent California from Enforcing its Unconstitutional Moratorium upon Suction Dredging and Return to the 2009 Regulations until they can be Updated in a Way That Does Not Break the Law.”

Please make a donation to our Legal Fund.

Update as of 19 May:

Judge Ochoa of the Superior Court of San Bernardino has now issued an Order which confirmed his earlier Ruling that California created an unconstitutional “scheme” of first enacting Section 5653 of the DFW Code which requires suction gold dredgers to obtain a permit from the State, and then enacting Section 5653.1 which prevented DFW from issuing any suction dredge permits.  His Order and Ruling declared that both the State’s recently-adopted 2012 dredge regulations and the moratorium preventing the issuance of permits are unconstitutional, illegal and unenforceable.

This was a huge win for our industry!

This Ruling has prompted some people, particularly along the Klamath River in northern California, but also in other places, to resume gold dredging operations.  But the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) has continued to enforce the unconstitutional moratorium.  DFW wardens initially were out on the river generally harassing dredgers about breaking the law. They have written some criminal citations.  They even seized some equipment.  That prompted The New 49’ers a few weeks ago to file for an immediate injunction in Siskiyou County Superior Court to force DFW to stop enforcing a moratorium that has already been found unconstitutional by the California court system.  Had we got our day in court, this seemed like it would have been a slam-dunk for our side!

But the State’s attorneys scheduled an immediate hearing in front of the San Bernardino Court, requesting that our motion for an injunction be stopped in Siskiyou County because the California Judicial Council has decided that all suction dredging cases be consolidated and resolved in front of Judge Ochoa.  Judge Ochoa agreed, and a hearing date for our motion for relief from DFW’s unlawful actions has been set for 23 June in San Bernardino.

Meanwhile, in an effort to get the matter resolved more quickly, several suction dredgers on the Klamath River refused to sign the promise to appear portion of the criminal citations they were being issued (unlawful dredging), opting instead to be arrested.  Ultimately, one of those very courageous guys ended up in jail with The New 49’ers Legal Fund hiring James Buchal to represent him.  That hearing in front of a Siskiyou County judge was to take place within 48 hours.  Mr. Buchal was motioning the Court to dismiss all charges, order a return of all seized equipment, and order DFW to not bring any further dredging cases in Siskiyou County.  Had we got our day in court, this also seemed like it would have been a slam-dunk for our side!

What we had not planned on was that the Siskiyou County jail is completely full of people serving time for felony convictions.  Our local sheriff Lopey was objecting strenuously that in order to incarcerate a suction dredger for a rather minor misdemeanor charge, he was going to have to release a hardened criminal back onto the streets.  This all caused quite a stir at the jailhouse in Yreka while all the key players were trying to figure out what to do.  Ultimately, according to my limited understanding, the District Attorney decided to defer the charges (or something like that) and let the dredger out of jail with no agreement that he appear in court at some later time.  Once the dredger was released, the required 48-hour hearing in front of a judge was lost.  So it was kind of like being arrested and let go.  What can I say; it’s California!

Therefore, as it is now, it does not look like there are any civil or expedited criminal remedies available to us in Siskiyou County to get this rogue agency off our backs.

Yes; I know there are some very important due process issues in play here.  We have considered all possible options, and have decided that our best course of action is to wait it out a little longer and place our hope for a 2015 dredging season with Judge Ochoa – who knows more about our plight than any other judge in the country.

Several dredgers have signed a promise to appear (for unlawful dredging) in Siskiyou County on 9 June.  I’ll be surprised if the State moves ahead with that, but we shall see.

We filed our opening salvo in San Bernardino yesterday (May 18th).  The relief we are asking for is to return to the 2009 suction dredge regulations which were in affect at the time that the unconstitutional moratorium was imposed upon our industry – and stick with those until they can be updated in a way that does not break the law.

I am following with the key moving documents, the proposed Order, supporting Declarations, including several which provide an abundance of science to support our position.  The links begin with a letter to the judge explaining that his decision to prevent civil relief in Siskiyou County has prevented suction dredgers from access to any timely due process to prevent the continuing unlawful conduct of DFW. You can see that we are really making our strongest effort to regain hassle-free suction dredging in California this year:

Letter to Court from James Buchal

 

Notice of Motion for Injunction

Memorandum in Support of Motion for Injunction

Request for Judicial Notice

Declaration of James Buchal

Petition for Administrative Rulemaking

 

Proposed Order from the Court

 

Declaration of Dave McCracken

Declaration of Richard Krimm

Declaration of Claudia Wise

Claudia Wise Summary of Experience

Declaration of Joseph Greene

Joseph Greene Summary of Experience

Siskiyou National Forest Suction Dredge Study

Declaration of Thom Seal

Declaration of Eric Maksymyk

Declaration of Derek Eimer

Declaration of Steve Kleszyk

Declaration of Chad Stanford

Declaration of Robert & Anna Sonnenburg

Declaration of Mark & Elizabeth Cutler

 

Here follow the State’s primary Opposition documents to our motion for an injunction:

Defendant’s Opposition to Injunction

Defendant’s Objections to Miners’ Evidence

Declaration of Stafford Lehr

 

Here follows a link to the very substantial Opposition filed by the Karuk Tribe and their anti-mining allies. Note that the actual Opposition brief is the 28-page document towards the bottom.

 

Here follows the New 49’er and PLP Joint Reply documents to the State’s Opposition:

Reply to DFW Opposition to Injunction

Reply to Karuk Opposition to Injunction

[Proposed] Order Granting Injunction

Scientific support:

Declaration of Joe Greene

Declaration of Claudia Wise

Declaration of Thom Seal

Declaration of Eric Maksymy

Situation on the ground:

Declaration of Dave McCracken

Declaration of Dyton Gilliland

Declaration of Stephen Jones

Declaration of David Guidero

 

Transcript of Injunction Denial

 

 

New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, MAY 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 5

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

.

Dredging Gold 2015

Here is a day’s production by two guys dredging on the Klamath River last week when
they were arrested by game wardens.  The whole interesting story can be found below:

Here is some news to bring you guys up to date on what has turned into a fast-moving series of events along the Klamath River in Northern California:

Suction dredgers have been arriving by the day to start the season. California wardens initially came out and harassed some of them, insisting upon enforcing California’s moratorium on suction dredging, which has been struck down as illegal and unenforceable by the San Bernardino Court. The wardens were refusing to take any dredger into Siskiyou County Court for an immediate hearing on the matter (which would involve making an arrest).

Therefore, our attorney, James Buchal, drafted a civil lawsuit to be filed in Siskiyou County on behalf of several dredgers who were being harassed by the wardens. The lawsuit was only going to ask the judge to issue an Order restraining the wardens from enforcing the unlawful moratorium.

In turn, the State immediately filed an objection with the San Bernardino Court on the grounds that these suction dredgers cannot file a lawsuit in Siskiyou County, because all dredging-related cases have been coordinated in San Bernardino. Here follows the Reply that James Buchal filed with the San Bernardino Court. Note that the main moving documents for the planned Siskiyou County lawsuit are also there as an exhibit.

In a surprising oral ruling on 30 April in San Bernardino, Judge Ochoa instructed our attorney, James Buchal, that he could not file for injunctive relief in Siskiyou County to prevent California Department of Wildlife (DFW) wardens from enforcing the suction dredge moratorium (which Judge Ochoa decided is illegal, unconstitutional and unenforceable several months ago). The judge instructed that our motion for injunctive relief should be decided in his own courtroom. Here is a short update from our attorney.

The hearing on Injunctive Relief has been set for 8:30 am on the 23rd of June. The good news is that this particular hearing will be in front of Judge Ochoa who undoubtedly has more knowledge about California’s suction dredging situation than any other judge in California. He has already ruled that California’s moratorium on suction dredging is an unlawful scheme to thwart the will of congress. He also suggested on 30 April that he is inclined to grant us the relief we are asking for — but for due process purposes, would like to conduct a hearing on the matter with all parties present.

Therefore, the existing status quo has not changed. Prospectors believe Judge Ochoa’s Ruling allows us the right to operate our dredges. DFW wardens warn that they will be out seizing dredging gear that is in violation of the unconstitutional moratorium. And Judge Ochoa ruled that there will be no civil remedy available for dredgers to stop the unlawful conduct of DFW wardens for another 8 weeks or so. This situation is like something out of a science fiction story!

Here is an opinion I voiced on our Internet forum soon after Judge Ochoa stopped us from filing for relief in Siskiyou County:

“I am not a licensed attorney, so I cannot provide legal advice. All I can do is present my own opinion based upon my personal observations from following the chain of events: Since the State clearly does not want the enforcement of an unlawful moratorium issue in front of our local Superior court, my best guess is that the wardens will not issue criminal citations if dredgers refuse to sign them — because that would trigger an arrest which I believe requires a hearing in front of a local judge within 48 hours. To date, my understanding is that the wardens have not issued a single citation to dredgers who made it clear they would not sign them.

If they issue a citation which the prospector is willing to sign, I seriously doubt the citation will ever be prosecuted, since the moratorium has already been found illegal.

So my own opinion is that the likelihood of criminal liability for operating a suction dredge in California is very low at the moment, even though the State authorities may come out and make it sound like you are in a lot of trouble.

If the relief we are requesting is granted, the court will order all seized equipment to be delivered back to the dredgers it was taken from.”

Two dredgers arrested!  But in a surprising turn of events on the first of May, California Fish & Wildlife (DFW) wardens arrested two suction dredgers on the Klamath River because they refused to sign the promise to appear portion of the citations they were being issued. The citations were for suction dredging-related issues, namely for violating the unlawful moratorium and 2012 regulations, both which have been struck down by Judge Ochoa in San Bernardino County.

Since it is taking so long to obtain helpful relief in the civil litigation in San Bernardino, these dredgers believed that if they could be arrested for dredging violations, the question about DFW authority to enforce the unconstitutional moratorium could be resolved on a fast track in front of a local judge, and maybe we could immediately get this rogue agency off our backs.

My own understanding is that once someone is booked into the county jail, California law requires that the person be brought in front of a judge within 48 hours, Sundays and holidays excluded. Since the moratorium has already been ruled unconstitutional in settled law, it would seem the chances are reasonable that the judge would dismiss the case, order immediate return of equipment, and order DFW to not bring in any more dredging cases. That would immediately free up our 2015 dredging season.

The problem is that once the two dredgers were processed at the county jail, they waived their right to the 48-hour hearing by signing a promise to appear in June! That’s pretty disappointing, because we might have had the relief we all have been asking for as soon as last week. I gather the dredgers didn’t really understand that signing the document was going to push back the resolution. Even if they made a mistake, we must give them credit for their courage for standing up in the first place.  To their credit, these two dredgers had made an important gold discovery on our new Ukonom Gold Claim at K-25AA. Here is just a single day of their gold production captured on video:

Until this ongoing conflict with the wardens is settled, if you decide to suction dredge in California, I would suggest that unless you are prepared to sit in jail for a few days, you might just as well sign the promise to appear at a later time out alongside the river and save yourself from the entire arrest routine.

Said another way, the only reason I can think of to insist upon your right to a speedy hearing in front of a judge is that you are willing to see it through all the way behind bars for a few days, where, by the way, I hear they have fairly good food, good TV, a library, maybe even a basketball court, and a clean bed.

This exercise had us so close to an important resolution if front of a local judge! Since that didn’t happen, but the arrests were made, our attorney is now attempting to coordinate with the District Attorney to get the moratorium enforcement question decided as soon as possible to save everybody more hardship, including the Siskiyou County jail and court system.

Our Internal Affairs made sure that the two dredgers made it safely home; and it is my own bet that their cases will eventually be dropped or dismissed. One of the guys has already resumed dredging.  When asked, his explanation was that the present situation is about much more than our right to dredge for gold.  It is about our right to be free from the unlawful conduct of State officials.  And, of course, he is absolutely right!

Having said that, I will also say that despite our differences, all of the contact between suction dredgers and DFW wardens has been polite and professional.

Please be mindful that, since it appears as though the State does not presently have any lawful authority to regulate suction dredging in California, we have adopted our own set of Emergency Dredging Rules which apply to the extensive properties which we control in northern California.

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with the State only affects 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 nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our group weekend projects.

To continue prospecting the bottom of active waterways, some members have converted to underwater crevicing, using the hookah and pump from their 5 and 6 HP motors on floating platforms to provide air for breathing and a jet of water to help move material out of the way, thus coining the new method as “underwater blow mining.”

There are no seasons imposed upon these other types of mining activity. In other words, you can do them at any time of the year. 

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects This Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who are more experienced than you.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

Schedule of 2015 Events: June 6 & 7; June 27 & 28; July 18 & 19; August 8 & 9; and August 29 & 30.

Schedule of Events

Don’t Forget About Our Ongoing Legal Fund-raiser!

I am very pleased to announce that Garrett Metal Detectors is generously supporting this next fund-raiser with their brand new top-of-the-line ATX pulse induction gold detector.  That is a $2,500 machine!

Garrett is also donating a refurbished AT Gold metal detector as a second prize (“refurbished” means the unit was used as a demo at a trade show, but never used in the field, and then put back through quality control and repackaged in new condition). This is an $800 machine!

These are both fantastic gold machines which can actually be taken underwater to shallow depths!

The drawing will also include 20 American tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles.

The drawing will take place at our Saturday evening potluck in Happy Camp on June 27. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Look for our new Paypal contribution link here.

Remember, all contributions to The New 49’ers Legal Fund are tax deductible.

You can find out more about The Legal Fund’s ongoing fund-raiser by going right here.

Once again; thank you guys very much for standing behind our efforts!

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than I can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

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New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, APRIL 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 4

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

Most prospectors by now are aware that on 12 January 2015, the San Bernardino Superior Court issued an opinion that both the Legislature’s moratorium against suction dredging, along with the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s (DFW) recent adoption of 2012 dredge regulations are illegal and not enforceable as a matter of law. Here is the court’s Decision.

It is a sign of the times that employees of administrative agencies only believe the law should apply to the public, not to themselves. So we should not be surprised that DFW is now acting as if the Superior Court never ruled. They have been informing the public that they intend to continue enforcing the State’s illegal moratorium. This is quite clear on DFW’s web page which was updated as recently as the 2nd of March.

Derek dredging 2015 dredged gold 2015

However, encouraged by the San Bernardino Ruling, suction dredgers statewide have been preparing for the upcoming mining season, which we believe has already begun on those waterways which have historically been open to dredging year-round within all previous California regulations. Suction dredging is already taking place along the mid-Klamath and Lower-Klamath River near Happy Camp!

New 49’er policy concerning suction dredging is that we will not interfere with members who also interpret the San Bernardino Ruling to allow dredging.  But our Internal Affairs staff will enforce some self-imposed dredging Rules in light of the legal uncertainties surrounding suction dredge mining.  These emergency Rules concerning suction dredging are attached as the final pages of this newsletter.

We are also aware that the New 49’ers Legal Fund has received financial contributions that may be available to defend members or others who are harassed or prosecuted by State authorities that attempt to enforce regulations which have already been deemed illegal by the California court system.

Let’s all hope that this will be one of our most productive suction dredge seasons on the Klamath River!

DFW Wardens Back Off During First Contact With Suction Dredgers!

Story by Derek Eimer & John Rose

Derek:  On the 3rd of April, I set up a 2 ½-inch sampling dredge on the Klamath River downstream of Happy Camp near to where I made an incredibly rich gold strike a few years ago.  It is still early in the season, so I was just sucking up small samples to process with my gold pan.  Shortly after getting started, I looked up and saw that there were two DFW wardens watching me from up on the road.  John Rose was up there talking with them.  So I shut my machine down and crossed the river to see if they wanted to talk to me. 

CA DFW Wardens reading Judge Ochoa's ruling

The wardens seemed genuinely surprised as they read Judge Ochoa’s Ruling

John:  Someone had reported to the office that there was a dredge in the river down on our newer K-23AA property, so I went down for a look. Sure enough, Derek was over on the other side of the river operating a suction dredge.  As I was standing there watching, the two DFW wardens arrived in their patrol vehicle.  I went over and introduced myself as Deputy Director of Internal Affairs for The New 49’ers.  The officers were polite and cordial.  My impression is that they were somewhat sympathetic and perhaps a little embarrassed to be caught in the middle of a silly struggle over small suction dredges; and would rather have been out chasing poachers or real criminals.

Derek:  The wardens were also polite to me when I walked over to my truck and started changing out of my wet boots.  When they asked what I was doing across the river, I told them I was sucking up small samples off the bottom of the river.  They replied by asking if I was aware that my activity was in violation of Section 5653 of the Fish & Wildlife Code.  I responded by handing them the portion of Judge Ochoa’s Decision that explains Section 5653 in its present form is not enforceable by DFW.  They seemed genuinely surprised as they read the final part of Judge Ochoa’s Ruling. 

John:  The wardens told Derek they were going to take his suction hose and nozzle for evidence, write up a report and submit it to their superior, who might or might not forward it to the Siskiyou County District Attorney for prosecution.  When I asked how long all that would take, the warden answered that it could take several months or longer. 

Derek:  I just told them that I would be back out on the river with another hose and nozzle on the following day! 

John: The wardens responded that they would just keep on coming out and taking the hoses and nozzles away, or perhaps at some point arrest Derek.  So I suggested if it were going to eventually result in an arrest, why not just arrest Derek on the spot? 

Derek:  That’s when I told the wardens that I would fully cooperate with being arrested just so we could get the whole matter in front of a judge without further delay. My suggestion prompted one of the wardens to get on the radio in their patrol car. 

Derek back at itJohn:  Our office manager, Tony Balderrama, is a dedicated amateur radio operator. He uses the New 49’er radio system to regularly monitor all of the Siskiyou County emergency frequencies.  This is because we have so many active members, if there is ever an emergency; we are more likely to find out about it faster over the emergency channels.  Later, when I returned to the office, Tony told me he that he took notes of the entire exchange between the warden and his dispatcher.  The conversation began at 2:10 pm.  “The subject is requesting to be arrested,” said the warden.  At 2:20, the dispatcher answered “The Watch Commander says that’s a negative on making an arrest or issuing a citation.” 

Derek:  The warden returned and said he would issue me a receipt for my nozzle and suction hose.  Then he asked if I would mind going across the river to fetch them.  I answered that I was not going to help them confiscate my own equipment when I did not believe I was doing anything wrong in the first place.

John:  Since the wardens had no safe way to cross the river, they must have come back the following day with a boat, because Support from localsDerek’s nozzle and hose were gone.  True to his convictions, Derek returned with another hose and nozzle and is now back out on the river continuing his sampling program. Here is some video which captures Derek back out there on a beautiful spring day:

 

Quite a few other members and locals have been coming out and giving Derek encouragement.  I captured this moment on video:

Other dredgers are also arriving in Happy Camp. Two members dredging elsewhere on the river brought more than an ounce of gold into the office yesterday that they dredged up in a single day! That’s an image of their gold at the top of this newsletter. 

The Legal Fund is Giving Away 2 Fantastic Gold Detectors!

We are very pleased to announce that Garrett Metal Detectors is generously supporting The New 49’er Legal Fund’s new fund-raiser with their brand new top-of-the-line ATX pulse induction gold detector. That is a $2,500 machine!

Garrett is also donating a refurbished AT Gold metal detector as a second prize (“refurbished” means the unit was used as a demo at a trade show, but never used in the field, and then put back through quality control and repackaged in new condition). This is an $800 machine!

These are both fantastic gold machines which can actually be taken underwater to shallow depths!

The drawing will also include 20 American tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles.

You can find out more right here.

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects This Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who more experienced than you are.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

Schedule of 2015 Events: June 6 & 7; June 27 & 28; July 18 & 19; August 8 & 9; and August 29 & 30.

Schedule of Events

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

We strongly encourage you to sign up for the free on line version of this newsletter.  The Internet version is better. This is because you can immediately click directly to many of the subjects which we discuss; because the on line version is in full color; because we link you directly to locations through GPS and Google Earth technology; and because you can watch the free video segments which we incorporate into our stories.  Actually, the video segments show the adventures better than I can write them!

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

Note: You are free to unsubscribe anytime just by clicking a link if you decide to do so.

Please take notice of the following Emergency Rules that are effective immediately: 

A recent Court opinion declaring § 5356.1 of the California Fish and Wildlife Code unconstitutional, together with the 2012 dredging regulations that were adopted by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) but never made effective, has prompted some members to begin suction dredging on New 49’er properties. According to its web site, DFW appears to be taking the position that the agency does not accept the Court’s ruling; although since the ruling, they have not issued citations to any active suction dredgers as far as we know.

Since the Court ruled that California’s dredge permitting moratorium is unconstitutional, making it unenforceable as a matter of law, The New 49’ers are not going to prohibit suction dredging on our mining properties. But members who choose to dredge should be aware that they may be hassled by the authorities, and even face the possibility criminal prosecution.

With the Moratorium and 2012 dredge regulations invalidated by the Court, it is difficult to assess which, if any, state regulations remain in effect, though federal rules and regulations do apply.

Unregulated suction dredge activity is unacceptable on New 49’er properties. Therefore we are hereby adopting the following Emergency Rules for the duration of this period of uncertainty. Please note that we have carefully crafted these Rules from the DFW suction dredge regulations which applied to our properties during the 2009 season when the illegal moratorium was imposed. We have modified them in consideration of concerns voiced during the San Bernardino proceedings, along with the ongoing drought situation in California.

Being that we have been in active litigation with DFW and anti-mining activists over the validity of suction dredge regulations for more than 10 years, we consider this matter very serious, and will therefore immediately suspend the mining privileges of any member who does not conform to these Rules on New 49’er properties. No exceptions! 

Suction Dredge Use Classifications and Rules

(a) Suction Dredge Use Classifications. For purposes of these Rules, the following classes of suction dredge use restrictions apply in streams and rivers on New 49’er properties as specified:

(1) Class A: No dredging permitted at anytime

(2) Class B: Open to dredging from July 1 through August 31

(3) Class C: Open to dredging from the fourth Saturday in May through October 15

(4) Class D: Open to dredging from July 1 through September 15

(5) Class E: Open to dredging from July 1 through September 30

(6) Class F: Open to dredging from December 1 through June 30

(7) Class G: Open to dredging from the fourth Saturday in May through September 30

(8) Class H: Open to dredging throughout the year

(b) Except as specified in subsections (c) and (d) below, the suction dredge class restrictions for Siskiyou County is Class E. This will apply to our properties located on Indian, Elk and Thompson Creeks.

(c) A six-inch diameter intake nozzle size is permitted on the Klamath River in Siskiyou County.

(d) In addition to the classifications listed in (b) and (c) just above, these special Rules apply to the following waters:

Klamath River, Main Stem in Siskiyou County: The main stem Klamath River from the Salmon River upstream to 500 feet downstream of the Scott River is Class H.  This applies to all of our properties along the mid-Klamath and Lower-Klamath.  From 500 feet downstream of the Scott River upstream to Iron Gate Dam is Class G. This applies to our properties on the Upper-Klamath and Upper mid-Klamath River. 

Salmon River in Siskiyou County: The main stem Salmon River is Class D; the North Fork of the Salmon River from the South Fork Salmon River upstream to the Marble Mountain Wilderness boundary is Class D. 

Scott River and Tributaries in Siskiyou County are Class G.

(e) Equipment Requirements.

(1) Nozzle Restriction: No suction dredge having an intake nozzle with an inside diameter larger than four inches may be used except for use on the Klamath River as outlined in (c) above unless a constricting ring with an inside diameter not larger than four inches has been attached to the intake nozzle. This constricting ring must be of solid, one-piece construction with no openings other than the intake and openings not greater than one inch between the constricting ring and nozzle. It must be welded or otherwise permanently attached over the end of the intake nozzle. No quick-release devices are permitted.

(2) Hose Restriction: The inside diameter of the intake hose may not be more than two inches larger than the permitted intake nozzle size.

(f) Restrictions on Methods of Operation.

(1) Winching is permitted under the following provisions:

(A) Boulders and other material may only be moved within the existing water line. No boulders or other material shall be moved outside the water line.

(B) Winching of any material embedded on banks of streams or rivers is prohibited.

(C) Winching of any material into a location which deflects water into the bank is prohibited.

(D) No power-winch activated shovels, buckets or rakes may be used to excavate materials in the stream course.

Nets and other devices may be used to collect cobbles and boulders by hand for removal from dredge holes providing the materials are not removed from within the water line.

(E) No woody streamside vegetation shall be removed or damaged. Trees may be used as winch and pulley anchor points provided that precautions are taken to ensure that trunk surfaces are protected from cutting or abrasions.

(2) No person may suction dredge into the bank of any stream, lake or river.

(3) No person shall remove or damage woody riparian vegetation during suction dredge operations.

(4) No person shall move any anchored, exposed woody debris such as root wads, stumps or logs.

(5) No person shall divert a stream or river into the bank.

(6) No person shall dam or otherwise obstruct a stream, river or lake in such a manner that fish passage is impeded.

(7) No person shall import any earthen material into a stream, river or lake

(g) Dredge concentrations:  No more than 10 dredges per mile may operate along New 49’er properties at the same time along the Klamath River; no more than 5 dredges per mile along the Scott or Salmon Rivers, and no more than 3 dredges per mile along Indian, Elk or Thompson Creeks.

(h) Additional restrictions:  Please note that the New 49’er published Claims Guide has listed some specific areas along our properties which are off limits to suction dredging because of the location of cold water refugias that fish are alleged to rely upon during the warm water months. There are also some off-limit areas that are claimed to be of cultural significance to the Karuk Tribe. This subsection, along with subsection (g) remains enforced due to agreements we made with the Tribe and U.S. Forest Service many years ago, agreements which we will continue to honor.

These Rules are effective as of 1 April 2015

Rich Krimm, Director of Internal Affairs, 

The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

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New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST  QUARTER, MARCH 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 3

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

 

k-26 river view

K-26 Three Creeks Gold Claim is located 20.4 miles downriver from Happy Camp, or about a quarter-mile upriver from the USFS Dillon Creek Campground. The property takes in just under a half-mile of the Klamath River.  The upriver boundary can be found at Highway 96 mile marker 20.06. The nearest mile marker to the downriver boundary is 19.64.

K-26 Three Creeks topo

There are two roadside pull-offs located on this claim.  At the larger pull-off, on the upstream side of the bend in the middle of the claim, there is about 50-yards-long path that has a gentle slope all the way to the river. There is a gravel bar directly across the river at the upper end of the property.

Please do not set up camp on the side of the road in front of the path.  There is quite a large road-side pull-off just a short distance upriver where there is plenty of room for camping.

Click on thumbnail for larger image.
Lorado claim 002 Lorado claim 005 john-new-claim-12 Lorado claim 009

Here follow some video segments to give you a better idea of what the property looks like.  Please note that the video was captured in the rain during mid-winter when water levels are much higher than during summer flows:

The Dillon creek campground just downstream (closed during the winter months) is a fee campground with toilets and water.

Here it is on Google Earth

john on the new claim 2-4-15 015 john on the new claim 2-4-15 017

PROSPECTS: Here is another very proven section of the Klamath River. The first high-grade pay-streak that me and my partners found on the Klamath River was located about a mile downstream. One of my original dredging students claimed this same portion of river during our first year on the Klamath in 1984. He was recovering half ounce of gold per day using a 4-inch dredge on the roadside of the river not far downstream from the rapids (easy to see where the water slows down in the video).  Something happened in the person’s personal life that forced him to return home, and he never returned. To my knowledge, nobody has dredged in this section of river since that time. Don’t be surprised to see my personal dredge parked on this claim during the upcoming season!

There is extensive bedrock showing on both sides of the river for the entire length of this claim.  Images here display gold which was recovered by our advanced sampling team along the roadside of the river up near the pathway.  We have John Rose to thank for the following sampling report:

The forecast was for a break in the weather Wednesday so six of us went down to the new claim just above Dillon creek to do some sampling and enjoy a day on the river.  The six of us were Mark Wayerski, Dyton Gilliland, Sandy Jones, Dickey Melton, Gary Wright and myself.  It was a nice warm day even though it was overcast and we really lucked out because it has rained steady for 4 days since then and the river has risen about 12 feet above were we did our sampling.

We found varying areas to sample so we split up and covered the entire claim from top to bottom.  Everyone found gold in their pans, even in the sand.  Gary and Dyton sampled in the bedrock at the top of the claim and found really good gold.  Dyton is from Alaska and commented that they never showed this much gold in their pans when out sampling in Alaska. That’s pretty cool!  Sandy, Mark and Dickey sampled the gravel and sand along the middle part of the claim and were happy with what they recovered.  They were only digging down less than a foot where they were finding hard-packed streambed and larger boulders.

The trail down to the river was very open and easy going.  When we reached the river there was a good trail though the willows and then it opened up to some good mining areas.  The willows are covered by the river since we were down there, so hopefully the flood will clear some of them out.

Altogether we sampled maybe 3-4 buckets of material. We were just digging single pans at a time then taking them to the river and panning them out.  The river was higher than normal so we ran into groundwater close to the surface. But that should not be a problem during summer flows because the river was flowing about 3-4 feet above normal.

Along Highway 96 by the trail into the claim, there is a good-sized pull-out that would easily handle 6-7 rigs.  Just up from the claim is a large pull-out off the highway.

I predict this is going to be a very popular place with our members amongst our already extensive inventory of mining properties!

Drawing Results from The New 49’ers Legal Fund-Raiser

drawing 2 1drawing

On Friday evening, 27 February, we completed our most recent New 49’ers Legal Fund Drawing for 20 tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles and a brand new 4-inch Proline dredge. Tickets were mixed up really well, and mixed again between each draw. The draws were done by Meranda Rasmussen from the Marble Mountain Gift store. She had no personal interest in the outcome. All of our staff were present to observe the drawing, along with around 8 members and others from Happy Camp. Here follows some video which captured the event:

Here are the winners:

American Gold Eagles: Justin Nash of Kansas City, KS; Robin Peacock of Colorado City, TX; Ken Wilson of Queensland Australia; Michael Di Chiera of Good year, AZ; Gerald Fawcett of Anchorage, AK; Leroy Niemeyer of Columbia, MO; Les Martin of Klamath Falls, OR; Donald Pucllowski of La Grange, CA; Jimmy Urrutia of Clovis, CA; Kurt Bangart of Bremerton, WA; Dennis Taylor of Sherwood, OR; Kevin Perry of Silver Spring, NV; Randy Peacock of Colorado City, TX; Joe Ford of W. Yarmouth, MA; G E M S/(Steve Rive) of La Quenta, CA; Doug Albercht of Tucson, AZ; Don & Judy Brady of Happy Camp, CA; Jack Braucht of Meridian, ID; George Haymans of Natchez, MS & Chris Saunders of Moore, OK

Four-inch Proline dredge: Rod Schultz of Wichita, KS

Montine in our office (530 493-2062) will be attempting to make contact with all the winners.

First, I want to thank Jeff Kuykendall at Proline Mining Equipment for his generous support of our efforts to preserve the industry.

Secondly, I have to shout out my greatest appreciation to all of you who participated in this fund-raiser. While it seems wise to not disclose important details to our adversaries, let me just say that the results shattered all of the previous fund-raising records we have ever done — perhaps any previous legal fund-raising record in the history of our industry!

We are really on a roll. This is all because of you guys!

Any legal contributions which arrive in our office after this drawing will automatically generate tickets for the next New 49’ers Legal Fund drawing.

ATX1     ATX2

I am very pleased to announce that Garrett Metal Detectors is generously supporting this next fund-raiser with their brand new top-of-the-line ATX pulse induction gold detector.  That is a $2,500 machine!

AT Gold1     AT Gold 2

Garrett is also donating a refurbished AT Gold metal detector as a second prize (“refurbished” means the unit was used as a demo at a trade show, but never used in the field, and then put back through quality control and repackaged in new condition). This is an $800 machine!

These are both fantastic gold machines which can actually be taken underwater to shallow depths!

The drawing will also include 20 tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles.

Gold Eagles

The drawing will take place at our Saturday evening potluck on June 27. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Look for our new Paypal contribution link here.

Remember, all contributions to The New 49’ers Legal Fund are tax deductible.

When you are considering what kind of equipment to buy for your prospecting activities, I sincerely request that you take a strong look at the products being offered by the industry manufacturers who are supporting all of our combined efforts.

Once again; thank you guys very much for standing behind us!

We are Stepping in on Another Legal Challenge

The District Court For The Eastern District of California has consented to allow The New 49’ers Legal Fund to file an Amicus Brief in the appeal of a recent case where the U.S. Forest Service criminally prosecuted a small-scale miner, John Godfrey, for hand mining with the use of a sluice box.

We believe the government and magistrate made a serious error by not allowing proper consideration to the Section 228 regulations which expressly state that hand mining and sluicing is completely exempt from the requirement to provide any Notice or Plan to the USFS.

As long as politics don’t get involved, this one should be a slam dunk for our side. Here is the brief for your reading pleasure.

We are Still Waiting for the Judge’s Order!

Most of you will recall that Superior Court Judge Ochoa awarded California suction dredgers a huge win on January 12th by declaring the State of California’s “scheme” of first passing a law that requires us to obtain a permit, and then passing another law making permits unavailable, as an unlawful, un-enforceable interference with the intention of congress. This is a HUGE win for all gold miners!  

If you have not read it yet, I strongly encourage you to read the decision.

Here is a shorter summary from our attorney.

We do not expect it to alter his initial Decision, but we are waiting for a final signed Order from the judge so we can figure out how the Judgment will affect our fast-approaching 2015 suction dredging season in California! 

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects Next Season!

There is a learning curve to successful gold prospecting.  One of the most effective methods of progressing through the learning curve is to go on prospecting adventures with others who more experienced than you are.

Our 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  All weekend events are free to Full & Associate Members.

Schedule of 2015 Events: June 6 & 7; June 27 & 28; July 18 & 19; August 8 & 9; and August 29 & 30.

Schedule of Events

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Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, by contacting our supporters this way, in a matter of hours, we recently generated a large bundle of letters to the California Supreme Court. All of these future battles will be organized over the Internet since it is so much faster.  Please join us in the battle to maintain our remaining freedoms!

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The New 49’ers Prospecting Association, 27 Davis Road, Happy Camp, California 96039 (530) 493-2012  www.goldgold.com

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