New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD  QUARTER, AUGUST 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 8

Dave Mack

 
 
 
 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

We have developed a new way to mine surface gold deposits!

 Big smilemid day clean-up

This story actually began early this season when we discovered a high-grade gold deposit on the far side of the river along one of our newer mining properties about nine miles downstream from Happy Camp. The property is numbered K-23AA on our Claims Guide.  The upper end of this property has a gravel bar that is down closer to the Klamath River.  Then there is a gradual slope that rises around 15 feet in elevation to a sizable plateau.  We assumed there was an older streambed on the plateau.  But since we made our gold discovery on the slope, we didn’t initially invest much time up there.  The slope was quite easy to mine because the gold was broadly concentrated in a thin layer of compacted sand on top of shale bedrock.  Full pan samples of the compacted sand, and even the decomposing shale bedrock, could produce more than a hundred colors, sometimes more than 200 colors.  Most of the colors were fine gold. But they added up nicely when the material was processed in volume. So we organized the first three Weekend Group Mining Projects of this season to sampling and processing pay-dirt on the slope.  Those projects produced excellent results. And there still remains a lot of the slope that has not been touched.

All experienced gold prospectors will tell you that there are these occasional moments of important discovery that change everything.  That happened when we first located the pay-dirt on the slope.  At that very moment, everyone on our sampling team knew we were going to pull one of our big rubber rafts out of mothballs and use it to support our weekend projects this season on K-23AA.  It was a magical moment that changed much of what we would do this season.

We started calling these guys the “Alpha Team” after they moved some boulders and uncovered the ancient streambed material that is under their feet.

We started calling these guys the “Alpha Team” after they moved some boulders and uncovered the ancient streambed material that is under their feet.

Important gold discoveries change everything! This happened again during our third weekend project when several participants decided to move a few boulders up on the plateau to see if they could find any gold underneath them.  The rocks were rather large, so I lent them a 5-foot pry-bar.  What we found under the boulders was a layer of orange original Klamath River streambed. Surprise, surprise! This was hard-packed streambed material that had been left behind by earlier generations of gold miners.  Perhaps there was a mining camp or someone’s residence on the plateau during the early days; maybe a recovery system where the old-timers were processing pay-dirt.  Who knows?  For whatever the reason, they did not mine this area.  This was a stroke of luck for us! There have only been a few occasions during my 35 years on the Klamath River where I have uncovered original streambed in the surface deposits alongside the river.  Most of the time, the surface deposits are made up of a more recent streambed that was laid down after the old-timers mined the original deposits; perhaps from the 1964 flood.  There is plenty of gold in these more recent streambeds.  But the original deposits paid much better the few times we found them.

Original material

Original streambed on bedrock. Now that’s what I’m talking about!

I asked the guys to screen a full pan sample of the orange material from under the boulders as soon as we saw it.  Several minutes later, when I uncovered the gold at the bottom of the pan, I knew that everything had changed!  We had made an entirely new discovery on top of the plateau!  This gold was larger and more flakey than what we were recovering on the slope.  Since the discovery was made late in the day, we departed the area without working very much of the original streambed.  But I strongly encouraged the guys who moved the boulders to return there and do more work in their discovery. Several days later, those guys came into the office to show me what they were finding up on the plateau.  They were really excited.  They put the results of just a single pan in a small jar so I could see how rich it was.  It was one of the best pan samples I have seen in quite a while! That prompted me to cross the river for another look at what was happening on the plateau. When I got over there, I found out several more sample holes had confirmed that the original streambed covers an extensive area. Check it out on the following video segment:

Gold from a single pan out of the orange material! A team

Gold from a single pan out of the orange material!

Unfortunately for them, those guys were leaving Happy Camp. They had to go back to their normal lives somewhere far away.  The next morning, our active sampling team and I started brainstorming on how we could more-effectively mine the high-grade material on top of the plateau.  Our hope was to develop a new, more efficient method of mining to support the fourth weekend event of this season.  Our first idea was to place a remote feed-hopper in a hole up on the plateau and connect it through a 3-inch hose down to a high-banker on the lower bar.  The idea was to pump water into the hole up on top, allow water to overflow into the feed hopper, and let gravity carry water and material down into the high-banker. Gold from early testing The system worked really well on our first attempt, though we realized how we could make some improvements.  The gold we recovered was quite encouraging. Here is a video sequence that captured our first try at “gravity mining.”

This story gets better.  But only because of the loyal support and enthusiastic participation of longtime New 49’er members, Rich Krimm, John Rose, Ray Derek, Derek Eimer, Mark Turner and Diane Helgesen. The bunch of us went across the river on three separate occasions to set up this gear and get it dialed in.  I especially want to acknowledge longtime member, Gary Wright, who devoted numerous late hours in our workshop helping to fabricate, and refabricate, the components which made this all possible.  Prototyping new ideas requires a lot of time and effort!  The components have actually turned out to be quite simple now that we have worked it out.

All smiles Recovery system

Our second try at gravity mining involved two motorized pumps down on the river supplying water to our excavation up on the plateau.  We set up two high-bankers on the lower bar, both being fed through 3-inch hoses from the plateau.  We were using our original modified remote hopper to supply pay-dirt to one of the recovery systems.  We had also come up with a new idea to modify a conventional high-banker nozzle into the second feeder.  It occurred to us that a nozzle would serve the same purpose as a hopper, but allow more flexible mobility.  Motorized suction mining is prohibited in California for the moment; so we capped off the threaded input where high-pressure water from a pump would normally provide suction power to the nozzle. Rich with nozzle Said another way, we basically turned the nozzle into a drain for our water-filled hole.  Rather than allow the water from our pumps to overflow out of our hole as it normally would, the water drained out through our hose while supplying excavated gravel to our high-bankers.  Wow; what an idea! Here it is on video:

Just as we thought, the modified nozzle was easier to manage.  So that’s what we decided to use for our Weekend Project the following weekend.

We split all the gold we recover evenly amongst all the participants during our group mining projects.  Therefore we were a bit alarmed when the signups jumped from 40 to 76 people in just the day or so before the project started.  Normally, for that many people, we would set up four high-bankers to process pay-dirt.  But it was too late for us to set up any more of these gravity mining systems.  It takes a lot of gold to satisfy 70 people! What to do; what to do?  We finally decided to move ahead with our two gravity mining systems hoping that the richer material on the plateau in combination with our new, more efficient, method of mining would save the day.

I am the one who splits the gold into shares at the end of our projects. Since I prefer to make people happy, I don’t think there has ever been one of these events that I was not nervous about recovering enough gold, or perhaps getting skunked altogether. This brings to mind projects during earlier years when the individual shares were so small; you had to look close just to see the gold each person got.  Members were always nice about it, agreeing that the learning and experience were worth more than the gold.  And that’s true!  But when you go out there in the mud and the dirt, sweating under the hot sun, it’s a heck of a lot better if you walk away with something valuable to show for it!

Digging  Good production

To get ahead of what was supposed to be a very hot Sunday, we all agreed to meet out at K-23AA at 6:30 AM.  The sun was still below the tree line when I started ferrying about ten people at a time across the river in our rubber raft.  By the time I got everyone over there, Rich and our team helpers already had everything up and running.  There was a heck of a lot of productive activity going on!  We had briefed everyone at our weekly potluck the night before that we were really going to have to pour on the steam if we wanted to make the project pay off.  The following video segments captured some of the action:

Through a little trial and error, the guys in the hole worked out a system of using the pumped water to help wash streambed material around in the hole. We have talked about this method of “blow mining” in an earlier newsletter. Others were using the syphon nozzles to drain water and material out of the hole.  Their biggest challenge was mainly removing rocks that were too large to pass through the nozzles.

Working in the hole workers

Nearly everyone else was screening orange hard-pack into buckets. The buckets were being dumped into the water hole.  The water from the pumps was being used to wash (blow) the pay-dirt into our syphon nozzles.  That material was being transferred through 3-inch hoses and directed across our recovery systems about eighty feet away down on the gravel bar.  It was all running like a well-oiled machine!  Check it out right here:

Said another way, this new system of gravity mining allows you to extend the feed of your high-banker directly to your dig site.  It’s really cool! After about two hours, we shut down one of the systems just long enough to clean out the high-grade portion of its recovery system.  It was only a few moments before that system was up and running, again.  Rich panned down the high-grade material to see what we recovered.  We always do this for two important reasons.  The first is for confirmation that what we are doing is going to produce enough gold to make the project come out well.  There have been times in the past where we were not happy with the results, and then switched gears into a different production plan for the second half of the day.  But we were doing really well with this new process! Check it out in the following video sequence:

Rich with gold mid-day gold

The second reason we do a partial clean-up at mid-day is to show some gold around to all the participants to help keep them motivated.  More often than not, by the time we get half way through the day, the sun is beating down pretty hard, and people start slowing down. The idea is to strike the balance between processing as much pay-dirt as possible without making the experience so miserable that most of the participants will never return to Happy Camp! This was a very enthusiastic crew.  Nobody stopped working even for a moment until Rich started bringing the gold around for everyone to see.  It was quite good!  This original streambed up on the plateau was producing bigger gold than we had been recovering down on the slope during previous projects.  There were even some small nuggets.   It all looked very impressive in the gold pan. Showing the gold around got everyone even more excited. Here it is on video:

Visibility was rather poor the day before because of several wildfires in the area.  But air quality was pretty good on Sunday. It looked like the smoke created some cloud-level haze that was shielding us from the hot sun; a bit of luck!  Everybody went right back to work after seeing the gold from our mid-day clean-up. The guys in the water were having a blast! They were actually seeing gold wash across the bedrock on one side of the hole.  But that was not slowing down production even a little bit.  Here it is on video:

Good production 2 Recovery system

We normally start shutting things down at 11 AM on these Sunday projects. This is because that’s about the time when most people have had enough.  This bunch was still going strong at 12 noon!  I had to go around and order everyone to stop digging and fill in their holes. Otherwise, they might still be out there!  This bunch was so intent on continuing, I ultimately had to jump in the water and wrestle one of the siphon nozzles away from Mark Turner!  He kept saying, “Let me just do a little more…”

Final goldSeveral hours later, we were all back across the river and at the Grange Hall in Happy Camp doing our final gold clean-up and gold split.  There was so much excitement and chatter going on; Rich had to keep reminding everyone that I was still in the teaching mode.  It’s valuable to know how to do the final gold clean-up steps!  A bunch of the participants were just too jacked-up to watch.

In the end, we recovered 10.4 pennyweights of beautiful gold from about four hours of hard work up there on the plateau.  That’s a little more than a half ounce; a seasonal record for this year.  There were 21 nice nuggets, the largest being 8 grains.  That’s pretty big!  We split the gold amongst 64 very happy members.  All of our team helpers agreed this was the most successful and fun project we have done in years. In addition to having a good day, we accomplished two important things:  We have developed a whole new way of surface mining that allows us to get more accomplished for our effort.  This is being called, “gravity mining.”  Through all the effort we invested up on the plateau on upper K-23AA, we have also discovered that the original Klamath River streambed (orange hard-packed material) is quite extensive up there.  Like I said, that discovery changed everything. It means we will be going back for more! 

Join us for our Final Weekend Group Mining Project of 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. The remaining weekend event for the 2014 season will take place on August 23 & 24. These events are free to all members.  Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. We appreciate it if you contact our office in advance to let you know that you will attend: 530 493-2012.

California Legal Update 

Please refer to last month’s newsletter for a comprehensive update on our efforts to get suction dredging opened back up in California.  We have strong hopes that it will happen in time for the 2015 season. daves-gold-nuggetsRich Krimm and I are scheduled to accompany our attorney to San Bernardino to participate in Mandatory Settlement Discussions on the fourth and fifth of September. Superior Court Judge Ochoa has made it clear that he believes there is a chance he can help resolve the outstanding issues between all the parties and settle on reasonable suction dredge regulations for California. Please watch for an update in our September newsletter.

On the subject of legal, to encourage more participation in legal fund-raising, I have authorized three ounces of my own gold nuggets to be split up into 25 prizes that will be drawn on the 31st of October (Halloween).  Check out the gold by clicking here!

2014 Annual Dues are Being Billed this Month 

We bill $50 for annual dues to all Full Members in August. This is because most of the costs, especially property taxes, that are associated with maintaining our extensive mining properties come due before September.  The Bureau of Land Management in recent years has substantially increased annual filing fees to hold mining properties. We thank you in advance for your support on this! 

Part Time Position Filled in our Office 

Thank you very much to those of you who sent in applications for this position.  This is to let you know that we have hired someone.  I have placed all of the applications on file in case another position becomes available. 

We Found a Caretaker

Thanks also to those of you who expressed interest in our caretaker opening. This position has also been filled. 

Thanks to Our Volunteers!
Volunteers

We need to give a big “thank you” to Rich Krimm and his team of helpers who devoted a half day on K-15A filling in holes that others left behind.

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, just a few years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

 

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 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 7

Dave Mack

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 Canyon View Good gold in the pan

The beginnings of this story date all the way back to 1985, the year after I arrived on the Klamath River.  That is the year I bought a jet boat and gained access to the remote canyon on the Klamath River not far downstream from the confluence of Independence Creek.  That’s about 12 miles downriver from Happy Camp in northern California.

In those days, nearly all of my personal income was generated from suction dredging in the rich high-grade river-bottom gold deposits that were pretty consistent along that stretch of the Klamath River (and remain so). We did not devote any meaningful time digging for gold in the surface deposits in those days. This is because we were busy dredging.  But once in a while, someone would dig out a crack in the bedrock up on the side of the river, and we recognized that the very same gold deposits we were dredging under the water extended right up out of the water alongside the river.

CanyonOur first season with The New 49’ers was during the summer of 1986. Since then, for the most part, my responsibilities with the Club did away with my commercial suction dredging career.  I don’t have any regrets about that, except that I would surely love to see cracks full of gold at the bottom of the river once again before my own final chapter is over.  Uncovering rich deposits of gold is one of the most exciting things I have experienced during my time on this earth!

Over the years that followed, we have acquired an extensive amount of mining property, including nearly all of the mining property that extends its way through that entire 3 ½-mile stretch of mostly remote, gold-rich lower Independence Canyon.  I say “remote,” because the river winds its way down through more of a wilderness experience that is further away from the road.  Most of the stretch is not even visible from Highway 96.  There are some old mining trails that go down to the river here and there.  But it is only during these last two mining seasons that any members have even taken very much notice.

Even with the advantage of a jet boat, very dramatic rapids at the upper and lower ends of the canyon prevent deeper motorized access during the low water periods of the year.  If you want to venture into the deeper canyon where almost no prospecting has been done, you either need to float in with a rubber raft, hike in over one of several trails, or use a rope to climb in and out from places where the road is close enough to gain some access.

Paddle boardMy own interest in the surface mining potential down in the Independence Canyon peaked from a series of events which have taken place this season.  First, a group of experienced members and I used my jet boat to gain access to the far side of the river on K-23AA earlier this summer – and in just a matter of an hour or so, we confirmed an abundant surface deposit which we are now mining during the weekend group projects.  In that place, we have set up one of our over-sized rubber rafts with an outboard engine to ferry participants back and forth across the river. Here is the story. Other members have since moved onto K-23AA and are using different types of boats and rafts to gain access to the richer deposits on the far side of the river.

Then about a month ago, two brand new members, John Hughes and Curtis Cox, used a single paddle board (like an over-sized surf board) to cross the river with a metal detector; and they found a beautiful gold nugget within about 15 minutes.  They had only been members in the Club for about two hours!  It was so exciting that I went right down there and captured their success on video:

In almost 30 years of managing The New 49’ers, we have not paid much attention to the far side of the river. This was because we figured it was too difficult for most members to get over there.  This perception changed when I saw how easy it was for John and Curtis to paddle across!

diane Diane's gold nugget

Just about that same time, Diane Helgesen crossed the river in a small rubber raft and dug a fantastic gold nugget out of a bedrock crack.  Diane told me that “crossing the river is a piece of cake!” If I knew that, I would have been encouraging members to access the other side many years ago!  I also went down and captured Diane’s story on video:

Several weeks ago, I received an email from Melissa Pemberton saying that she would be stopping in Happy Camp to introduce her husband, Rex.  Melissa grew up devoting long summers with her extended family and close friends (there were at least 10 children between the Andrzejewski and Kohler families) extensively dredging for gold along the Klamath River.  We all became very close friends.  Children grow up and pursue other interests for a while.  I say “for a while,” because I am amazed at how many kids grow up spending summers mining gold with us, and then return later as grownups and bring their own children to join with us in the great outdoor gold mining experience.

Even though I had not seen Melissa for a number of years, I have remained in touch with her parents, and I have followed her web page.   Talking about extreme adventure, Melissa makes her money these days as an aerobatic pilot. She participates in competitions and puts on shows all over the world.  You guys have probably seen the way they can put these stunt planes into summersault rolls in the air?  That’s what Melissa does, while flying circles around her husband that is in freefall through the air.  Unbelievable stuff!

When Melissa said they were coming to Happy Camp, I invited them for a jet boat ride down into the Independence Canyon where we could provide Rex with his first really good gold prospecting experience.  They were excited about that, and so was I.  For me, the excitement was more about discovering how a close friend as a kid had grown up into an adult 15 years later.

After introductions over some local (great) pizza in Happy Camp, we drove down to Independence and launched my boat.  I took an immediate liking to Rex the moment I met him.  He has this unassuming, natural, friendly way about him, while also giving the impression that he is quite capable of doing his part, no matter how difficult the task. Melissa is the same straight-up, happy personality as I remembered her as a kid.  I was really happy to see that all the good stuff was still there.

jet boat deep canyon

This was going to be a first jet boat adventure on the Klamath River for Rex, so I made sure to pass through the more exciting (and risky) portions of several class-3 rapids on our voyage down into the canyon. I love boating just about as much as I like finding high-grade gold!  Let me say that a different way:  I live for boating!  Here is some video:

We raced about a mile and a half down into the canyon until we reached “Dragon’s Tooth,”a class 4 rapid, which is really about a 10-foot drop in the river (waterfall) with big ugly teeth protruding out in the center that make it nearly impossible to traverse with anything but a rubber raft.  Even the rubber rafts sometimes don’t make it. Check this out!  I say “nearly impossible,” because I have been through Dragon’s Tooth with a jet boat several times.  Never again, though.  You take more risks when you are young and invincible!

Since we were not going to go further downriver, the three of us looked for a stretch of exposed bedrock on the far side of the river where we could dig out a crack in search of gold.  It didn’t take long to find one.  Shortly thereafter, Rex was busy prying rocks free while I was wishing we brought along a pry bar.  The rocks were jammed tight in the crack.  I might have given up on the location; but Rex’s enthusiasm paid off, and pretty soon we were screening material into a gold pan.

Rex kept digging while Melissa watched me pan the material down.  I fully expected to uncover a good showing of fines; but when I swished the material around in the bottom of the pan to see what we got, both Melissa and I lost our breaths as several sizable flakes of beautiful raw gold were uncovered.   It was one of those “too good to be true” moments.  Both Melissa and I looked at each other and burst out in laughter, fully enjoying that moment of excitement and the renewal of long-established friendship.  Rex had piled up another pan’s worth of material by the time we returned.  When we showed him the gold, he let out a yell of exhilaration!  Too bad the gold is not that rich everywhere we dig!

Melessa & Rex good gold

Melissa & Rex, Gold from just 4 pans of material out of a bedrock crack!

It took us the better part of an hour to clean out the bedrock crack.  The material was screened and panned.  I gave Rex a refresher panning lesson on the fourth and final pan.  He took right to it.

I have to say; in all my years of gold prospecting, there have not been many places that turned up that much flake-size gold in just four pans.  We were all feeling really good.  Me especially, because I wanted to treat Rex and Melissa to a good experience. Afterwards, we just relaxed there for a while enjoying the surroundings.  These canyons alongside the Klamath River are about as good as it gets in the Pacific Northwest.  An osprey flew over us screaming out its own success of the moment.  We could see that she had a fish in her claws, probably on its way to feed her babies in a nest high above the river.

That’s when Rex asked me why somebody had not already mined out the exposed bedrock on the far side of the river.  Almost none of the far side on K-24A or K-25 has been touched by modern prospectors.  I explained to Rex that it was too hard to get down the hill and across the river.  We were looking up at Highway 96 just across the river, maybe a hundred feet up a rather steep hillside. Still, we could see that there were visible narrow foot trails which deer and other animals had forged down to the river. Rex suggested that he could park his car up alongside the road, tie off a rope, throw it over the side, and work his way both down and back up to his car without much difficulty.  I agreed it would not be that hard to do. “What about a boat?” I asked.  He said he could lower a kayak or rubber raft down the side; “piece of cake!”

That’s what got me thinking more about the more remote mining properties we have in The New 49’ers.  We have several of these extensive canyons. It is a lot of effort to get into them if you don’t think you are going to find any gold.  But if you knew how much gold we were recovering out of that exposed bedrock, it would be rather easy to get over there!

crossing in the raftI brought the subject up to Rich Krimm and John Rose on the following morning.  Those guys are always up for prospecting adventure.  We started coming up with ideas about lowering rubber rafts and even smaller aluminum boats (with prospecting gear tied inside) down the hillsides into the canyons.  I remember in the early days of The New 49’ers that we had some aggressive members who tied off a pulley on one vehicle. Then they ran a rope down to a small trailer in the canyon up through the pulley and used a second vehicle to pull the gear right up the hill.  It’s not as hard as it would first seem, as long as you know there is a golden prize on the far side of the river!  Rich said, “Heck, I have a portable, plastic kayak I can put on my back while I lower myself down the hillside, and I can be digging on the far side of the river within 30 minutes!”  I’m guessing it would be more like an hour.  But if I made a bet with Rich, he would surely win!

So I suggested we pull a prospecting team together and use one of the Club’s large rubber rafts to run the entire Independence Canyon on a day-trip and see what kind of gold we could find down there.  That was a heck of an idea!  We started organizing right away.  Rich and John lined up a bunch of our more experienced prospectors, adventure lovers and some of our most loyal Club supporters.

We did our first canyon float just a few days ago with Rich and John, Diane Helgesen, Robbie Collum, Connie Krimm, Steve Jones, Josh Collum and Derek Eimer. I went along to steer the boat.  Though I will admit that even though I tried my best, when you put 9 people in a big rubber raft, it pretty much goes where the Klamath River wants to take you!

lunch break fine gold

I believe this was just the first of many more trips to come.  One of my own objectives was to see how difficult this canyon is to travel by rubber raft. It’s not so bad, but life preservers are a must! I wanted to see how long it takes to float the 3+ miles. It’s maybe just two hours if you don’t stop to prospect or enjoy the surroundings. All of us wanted to see how good the prospecting is down there.  I can tell you that the prospecting is really good in some of the areas where we stopped.  The opportunities are so extensive that we could devote the rest of our lives down there and not prospect it all!

Robbie rich's gold

Since this is getting kind of long winded, I’ll allow the following video sequences and the story images to tell the rest of this story.  Let me just say that the ride through the canyon provides as much adventure as the gold prospecting.  One set of rapids after another keeps the adventure alive most of the way.  We had intended to video our drop through Dragon’s Tooth. But the ride was so dramatic, we completely forgot the camera! But we did capture some rapid-adventure further down into the canyon:

 

lots of bedrock working the bedrock

There are long stretches of exposed bedrock on both sides of the river, most which have never been touched by modern gold prospectors.  Some of these places are producing nice, larger flakes of shiny gold, and even some nuggets. I’ll bet we would find large nuggets if we devoted more time, especially to underwater prospecting.  Some places are producing hundreds of colors of fine gold in each pan.  All you have to do is dig out the cracks! Even the place where we stopped for lunch was producing gold right out of a crack alongside the wall where we were sitting.

great outdoors people waving from the raft

All the adventure and gold aside, the part of the experience that impacted me the most on this trip was being surrounded by the wild remoteness of the outdoors once we got deep down into this canyon.  Steep walls tower up out of sight as the river takes you through a place where few people have gone before. The best I can describe my own experience is similar to the majestic and humbling feeling I have when I stand under a mature redwood tree, so large and old, having been alive for more than a thousand years.  This quiet, massive, hidden canyon has been keeping her secrets safe much longer then the oldest redwoods on this planet!  There is not only gold to be found down there.  You can rediscover parts of yourself and internal, almost-magical feelings in places like this that you forgot you even had.  It would be almost spiritual to spend a night or two down in that canyon; something to think about.  As we were floating through this wondrous place, just before we reached the final rapids that would speed us back to civilization; I was feeling so lucky that we have these gold-rich canyons available to us.  Interesting, after all these years, we have just gotten around to them!

Legal Fund Drawing Winners

We performed the prize drawing from the most recent New 49’ers Legal Fund drawing at our July 5th Saturday evening potluck in Happy Camp. The event was fully attended by a very lively bunch.

Myrna and Montine from our office had produced a ticket for every $10 contribution during the previous (approximate) 3 months, until 12 noon on the 5th. These were placed in an open container and mixed well. John Rose drew 25 tickets, one at a time. We started with the silver prizes, and then went to the gold. Here are the winners in the order they were drawn:

1-ounce Silver Eagles:  Timothy Ray McGarry; Francisco Rodriguez Jr.; Ernest Gajdusek; Timothy Ray McGarry; John Berrier Jr.; Tom Chambers; John Barrier Jr.; Ronald White; William Pettigrew & Gerald L. Sciscent

1/10th-ounce Gold Eagles:  Robert H. Franklin; Gary Wright; Tom Chambers; Dennis Henry; Edward Murphy; Craig Hall; Steve Kiesel; Douglas Hurt;  Roy Davis & Randol Thrasher

1/4-ounce American Gold Eagles:  Richard Grady; Gary Zenter; Edward R. Rosemark Jr. & Howard Hutto

1-ounce American Gold Eagle:  Randy Richards

Here is some video of the drawing event:

Winners can make contact with Montine in our office at 530 493-2012.

I want to give a sincere thank you to everyone who has contributed to the New 49′ers Legal Fund during these past several months, and especially to the army of you who responded to our calls during this past week. You guys have never let us down! If it were not for you, we would not have the resources to fight for small-scale gold miners.

Dave's gold nuggets

Next 25 drawing prizes will be made up from these 3 ounces of Dave Mack’s gold nuggets!

Even though we can write it off as a successful legal fundraiser, this one only produced 2/3 of the revenue that The Legal Fund normally brings in on similar legal fund-raisers.  I take this as a sign that maybe you guys are getting bored with gold and silver coins.  We all know that legal fund-raising is less about the prizes, than it is about generating resources to pay the very best specialists to defend small-scale miners against extremists who want us off the public lands. Having said that, we also know that valuable prizes create a fun and interesting incentive for you guys to participate. Therefore, the newest fund-raiser (already in progress) will be for 3 ounces of beautiful gold nuggets that I personally dredged off the bottom of the Klamath River.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).  Any contributions received after noon on July 5th will automatically generate tickets for the new drawing.

This drawing will take place at the close of business on 31 October 2014 (Halloween). You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win. There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49′ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online by clicking Here. 

California Legal Update 

Several other members and I accompanied our attorney on June 24th & 25th for 2 days of Mandatory Settlement Discussions in San Bernardino for the several ongoing cases in front of Superior Court Judge Ochoa. Before I get into this, I need to point out that the discussions were confidential, so I can only discuss this in general terms.

As an important part of this, in case you didn’t know, because of scheduling conflicts, oral arguments in Brandon Rinehart’s appeal to the Third Appellate District have been pushed back to September. In that case, we are petitioning the Court to decide that federal law prevents the State of California from prohibiting suction dredging on the public lands. We are arguing that the law is already well-decided on this issue. One of the State’s primary arguments is that they are only prohibiting suction dredging, and we are still allowed to use our gold pans. Our position is that our mining claims are only valid in the first place because we have made viable gold discoveries at the bottom of waterways which can only be reached through suction dredging. Preventing us from extracting the gold deposits we have discovered is basically a prohibition on the use of any effective method of mining that is available to us. As long as we get a fair hearing, and it appears as though we will, we are pretty confident that we will win the federal preemption case in the Third Appellate Court. The case law we are relying upon says that while the State has the authority to impose “reasonable regulations” upon us, they cannot prohibit mining altogether.

This brings up the subject of what constitutes “reasonable regulation” of suction dredging in California. While maybe everyone does not agree, many of us believe that the regulations we worked so hard for in 1994 were reasonable, except that the Department of Fish & Wildlife (DFW) decided afterward that the Special Permit process was no longer available to us.

Please allow me to put this in perspective: A statewide suction dredge permit scheme is good for our industry. Otherwise, each of us would need to submit separate dredge applications for each different place we want to work. The process of obtaining those permits could be quite lengthy, burdensome and expensive. For example, the previous judge that was presiding over most of this litigation was strongly suggesting that every single suction dredger should be required to do a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR), a requirement which would certainly have been the end of our industry.

Section 5653 of the DFW Code allows the Department to issue dredging permits if there is not going to be “harm” to fish. “Harm” in this respect means a deleterious impact upon an entire species of fish. Rather than require each individual dredger to complete an EIR, the State has developed a statewide EIR with regulations which allow limited suction dredging along numerous waterways at certain times of the year. Since the statewide approach requires DFW to make general assumptions concerning “harm,” the Department believes it must err on the side of caution. This in itself is not unreasonable. But in the exercise of caution, the regulations are sure to restrict or prohibit suction dredging in areas where, if looked at more closely, reasonable people could agree that some suction dredging could take place without endangering a species. This is where the Special Permit process came in during 1994 and before. Said another way, without a Special Permit process in place, suction dredging would be completely prohibited in all areas that are not allowed by the statewide regulations. We believe this would rise to a prohibition in some portions of the state which would likely be preempted by federal law. The recently-adopted 2012 statewide regulations do not allow for a Special Permit Process. This is just one thing (of many) that must be resolved.

You guys probably recall that Brandon Rinehart was cited several years ago for suction dredging without a permit. Our attorney, James Buchal, took Brandon’s case. More or less, our defense is that the state has over-reached its authority by first adopting Section 5653 of the DFW Code which prohibits people from operating suction dredges within California’s waterways without obtaining a permit, and then passing another law which prohibits the state from issuing any suction dredge permits. If Brandon wins this argument in the Third Appellate, it basically means that we can all resume suction dredging without much worry over being prosecuted for not having a permit. I suspect this would prompt the legislature to cancel its moratorium and order DFW to immediately begin issuing dredging permits in conformance with the recently-adopted 2012 suction dredge regulations.

While permits under the 2012 regulations would be an improvement over our existing situation, I believe everyone within the industry would agree that they are not even close to being “reasonable.” At the same time, anti-mining activists are arguing quite strenuously that the 2012 regulations are not restrictive enough. Therefore a big part of the active litigation in Judge Ochoa’s court is over the disagreement on what constitutes “reasonable regulation” of suction dredging in California.

I have read some recent comments made by others which are pushing the notion that Judge Ochoa’s Order for all the parties in the active litigation to participate in mandatory settlement discussions is a bad thing, especially since they will not be continued until September 4th & 5th. That means we will not be dredging this season. The reason for the delay, as I understand it, is the very same scheduling conflicts that delayed Brandon’s case in the Third Appellate. It is basically the same group of attorneys in both cases. People take vacations during the summer months. Yes; I know that does not include suction dredgers. But, since we are not going to resolve this without the attorneys, it is a waste of time to make a big deal over things we cannot change. We are so late in the season already, under the new regulations, there was not going to be much time for anyone to get in the water this summer, anyway. Perhaps it is better that we dwell on the good side of this.

The good side? This is where others might disagree with my perspective. Civilized disagreement and debate amongst us is a good thing. We do this all the time within the industry. It increases all of our awareness on the issues we face and improves our ability to deal with the obstacles we must overcome. When I look back at how much better we are today at managing legal challenges than we were in the 1990′s, I am amazed we actually overcame the very strong push to eliminate suction dredging and came up with a set of regulations that supported our industry for 15 years. We were very divided in our views back in 1994. But we did manage to pull together a united front on the important matters that we had to deal with. I am confident we will do that again this time.

Now to my perspective: Since we expect that the Third Appellate is going to overturn the legislature’s moratorium on suction dredging perhaps sometime around the end of this year, the next big matter to resolve is what constitutes “reasonable regulation” of suction dredging in California. That matter is in front of Judge Ochoa. I believe this is one of the main reasons he has ordered Mandatory Settlement discussions. The beginning of the process this past month involved all the parties and attorneys communicating our views and concerns to the judge on a personal basis. I believe the judge was trying to discover how far apart we are and assess the likelihood that he can bring us together in a negotiated settlement that everyone can live with. I believe he now has a good understanding of the issues we must resolve. Before we closed on the second day, he asked for a list of issues that each party would like to see changed in the 2012 regulations. After reviewing these with all the attorneys, he still had enough confidence to schedule two more days of settlement discussions in early September.

I know some people don’t like this settlement idea. But we should consider the alternative, which is to litigate each and every one of the issues that we do or don’t like, and that anti-mining activists don’t like – all in front of the very same judge. This would involve tens of thousands of pages of reports and comments, expert witness testimony from all sides, all which could take years of hearings, not to mention the costs. This is because many of the issues are scientific and complex. All of this, only to have Judge Ochoa make the final determination in the end, anyway.

Therefore, I see his offer to try and resolve the issues through settlement discussions as an opportunity to shortcut a very timely and expensive process.

The 1994 regulations were not the result of litigation. They were the result of all the parties coming together in discussions, with a very capable negotiator finding the balance that we could all live with. That was not an easy thing to do! My initial impression of Judge Ochoa is that we are very lucky to have him there. I’m sure he is going to give everyone’s view a fair hearing. That is a lot more than we have received since we were shut down in 2009. It is a lot more that we might expect in today’s world.

Therefore, I am suggesting that we should not be too quick to decide mandatory settlement discussions are a bad thing. Without them, even if Brandon wins, we are likely to be stuck with the 2012 regulations until they are fully litigated, which could end us up in the very same place as a settlement degree before the start of next season.

2014 Annual Dues will be Billed in August

We bill $50 for annual dues to all Full Members in August. This is because most of the costs, especially property taxes, that are associated with maintaining our extensive mining properties come due before September.  The Bureau of Land Management in recent years has substantially increased annual filing fees to hold mining properties. We thank you in advance for your support on this! 

Part Time Help Needed in our Office 

We are in need of a part time person in our administrative office (in Happy Camp, California). We need a person that has some background in accounting, particularly on maintaining an electronic balance sheet.  We are using Microsoft Excel.  Part time positions in our office normally evolve into full time positions if the person is interested.  We would prefer to fill the position before the end of this summer if possible.  Anyone interested can please initially contact Montine at 530 493-2012. 

Caretaker Needed

We are in need of a caretaker (night security presence on our office property) who would like to plug in on the back corner of our building in Happy Camp in exchange for free electric, water & sewer connections. The person must have an RV (not much more than 30 feet). There are some minor duties involved. While we can be flexible, we prefer no pets.  We are looking for someone who is not into the after-hours party life. We would prefer to find someone for this position before the end of the summer, who will commit for the upcoming winter months.  Anyone interested can please initially contact Montine at 530 493-2012.

Join Us for our Remaining Weekend Group Mining Projects!

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.

The remaining weekend events for the coming 2014 season are scheduled for August 2 & 3 and August 23 & 24. These events are free to all members.  We appreciate it if you contact our office in advance to let you know that you will attend: 530 493-2012.

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, just a few years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

 

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, JUNE 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 6

Dave Mack

 

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 Waving from boatPointing at gold

We have been on the lookout for a new place to do our Weekend Group Mining Projects for quite some time.  This is because we have done every Weekend Project on the upper bar of our Mega Hole property at K-15A for the past five years.  That amounts to 35 separate projects in just one area, even though we have 80+ miles of good mining property to choose from (It used to be 60 miles, but we have grown).  We kept returning there because the Mega Hole property always produces gold for our projects.

We used boats a lot during our earlier years when there were not so many people on the projects.  The truth is, with an occasional exception, the better gold deposits are always richer in the places that are more difficult to get to; especially those places that are just out of reach.  This is the nature of gold, and is one of the reasons it is so valuable.

The upper gravel bar at the Mega Hole is still producing gold.  All you have to do is dig in the remaining undisturbed areas and the gold will immediately start adding up.  Our Weekend Project team leaders and I are just tired of going back to the same place over and over, again.

So a few weeks ago, Rich Krimm and John Rose, two of our Project team leaders, and I found ourselves looking at the extensive gravel bar on our new Elliot Bar property at K-25AB.  We already know that the bar on the Highway-96 side of the river pays very well in the surface deposits alongside the river.  The problem is that the existing trail down to the gold deposit is perhaps a little too difficult for some members that might arrive for a Weekend Group Project.  We were expecting more than 70 participants on the first project of our season.

As a second alternative, we made plans to organize a small group of experienced members to meet up and make use of my jet boat to do some sampling on the far side of the river on our new A & D # 3 property at K-23AA.  This is the property where a bunch of members did quite well last season, both in and out of the river.  These numbers, by the way, identify each of our many properties on a published Claims Guide along with maps.

 Dave in jet boatClaim A&D #3

Several days later, the day before Memorial Day, I found myself launching the jet boat with longtime supportive members, Rich Krimm, John Rose, Derek Eimer, Steve Jones, Sean Hart and Steve Kleszyk.  Our initial target was the sizable gravel bar on the far side of the river at the top end of A & D #3.  We chose this place because quite a lot of members have been doing well on the far side of the river about a half-mile downstream. John said a small family were prospecting on this upper bar last season. They told John they were pleased with the gold they were recovering. There is a pretty good trail going down to the river from the Highway 96 side of the river directly across from the gravel bar.  There is also a huge pull-off for plenty of parking and camping.  This place is nine miles downriver from Happy Camp.

Once our prospecting team arrived across the river with the jet boat, we scattered across the gravel bar and started sampling.  Initial results were rather poor. Rich and I found a place where some rocks were tightly wedged together just above where we could see some exposed bedrock. We were wishing we brought a pry bar along.  Our progress was moving along slowly. The results in our gold pans were not getting better as we dug deeper, which is also often the case when we are beginning from scratch in a new location.

 John's Gold

We had been out there for perhaps thirty or forty minutes when John came over with a pan with maybe 15 or 20 gold colors in it.  It was a good pan. It was a heck of a lot better than what the rest of us were finding. I felt this huge sigh of relief as soon as I saw the gold.  The first moment of an important gold discovery always takes my wind away just for a moment. This is the moment of magical alchemy, when something of little value is suddenly turned into raw wealth.  There are not very many other experiences in life that are so exhilarating. Derek followed just a few minutes later with about twice as much gold from a single pan.  Eureka!

The rest of us immediately gathered up our prospecting gear and followed Derek and John to where they dug their samples.

It does not take very much gold in a sample pan to signal an important discovery.  This is because the volume of material processed in the sample is very small. We then follow up with more tests to establish exactly where the gold is coming from. Further testing is done along the trail that leads to the richest material.  Then the amount of gold in a single pan, or perhaps even a 5-gallon bucket, needs to be related to how much volume of material we can process once we get into production.

There are a few important lessons here that are worth pointing out:  The first is that your chances of making a good gold discovery in a new place are vastly improved when you go out with a group.  If Rich and I went out there alone, we may never have made the strike.  Perhaps the most important lesson is to keep your ears and eyes open all the time when you belong to an active mining association like The New 49’ers.  The reason Derek and John were sampling in that place was because they had watched where the family was mining last season.  Once the rest of us got over there, we could see where the earlier prospectors had been scraping bedrock. John and Derek had just picked up where they left off, and that’s all it took.

 BedrockBlue pan

More than 100 colors from a single pan out of Rich’s vack machine

The location of the strike is in a transition between the lower gravel bar alongside the river and an elevated older gravel bar from some earlier time.  The transition is mostly exposed bedrock with a thin layer of sand on top.  The sand is loaded with fine gold, sometimes 100 colors or more to the pan.  The bedrock is made up of decomposing shale which is very easy to break apart with a hand-pick (garden tool). Gold is also packed down into the shale about as far as you care to dig.  The bunch of us spread out across several hundred feet of the bedrock transition, and our sample results were about the same wherever we dug the material.  Talking about easy; all we had to do was dig a thin layer of sand and clean up the bedrock underneath. Every pan was producing a handsome showing of gold.  We had arrived on the bar about an hour and a half earlier, and we had discovered a new place to do our Weekend Group Projects!  Here is some video that captured the moment:

It is challenging to separate fine gold from volume-amounts of sand, difficult to accomplish with a normal high-banker.  Ultimately, we pulled together three Le Trap fine gold recovery sluices and connected them to a single water pump down alongside the river.  We normally use these Le Traps to concentrate the material from our high-banking and suction dredge recovery systems at the end of the day.  They are very effective, but a bit slow to keep up with volume amounts of material. Derek also offered up his new Gold Well recovery system, which, I believe, is the most exciting gold processing system on the market at this time.

Then we pulled one of The New 49’er Colorado River rafts out of storage and pumped it up.  We did not expect it to hold air. This was because we have not used the big rafts for about 6 years.   But the quite sizable boat blew up like it was brand new!  Then we added in the floor boards and pulled out the outboard engine.  The outboard had been worked over just a few years ago. Once we got it started and ran it awhile, it sang like a well-oiled machine.  Later that day, our whole prospecting team and some more members loaded everything up and hauled it down to A & D #3.  That Colorado River Raft is so tough; we just slid it down the hillside and into the water.

Sampling team initial test pan

Gold recovered from a single bucket of pay-dirt

70+ membersA few hours later, we had all the recovery gear set up on the far side of the river.  John Rose wanted to do a small production run just to be sure everything was going to work when we arrived with an army of 70+ people.  It is always better to be safe than sorry!  We dug up a bucket of the sandy pay-dirt, directed it through an 8-mesh screen, and ran it across one of the Le Traps.  The amount of gold we recovered gave us solid confirmation that we had made a fantastic gold discovery. Here is some video:

 

There were 78 members signed up for the project on Saturday morning. This was an enthusiastic, friendly bunch.  We met over at the Happy Camp Grange Hall where I introduced our team leaders who would help manage the project. We are so lucky to have a bunch of experienced members that enjoy helping with these Group Projects!

I then provided the group with my talk on how to pursue a sampling program.

 Members on the raftRafting across the river

Once we all arrived out on A & D #3 on Saturday afternoon, it took less than 30 minutes for us to get everyone across the river in the raft.  Our team leaders and I had preplanned how we would get everyone into and out of life jackets with no lost time, and also how we would launch and recover the raft on both sides of the river.  All that went off without a hitch. Here is some video that captured the action:

Since we had already made the gold strike, the only real objective for my team on Saturday afternoon was to teach beginners how to pan for gold.  We consider that as one of our most important responsibilities.  This is because the whole sampling process comes back to effective panning skills.  If you cannot pan, you cannot sample.  If you cannot sample, the only way you are going to find high-grade gold is if someone else gives it to you!

 Young boy having funMembers having fun

Nugget

At least 2 nice nuggets were panned on Saturday afternoon!

We do a New 49’er potluck every Saturday evening during the summer months.  This meant we needed to get all these people back across the river so they would have time to freshen up for the evening event.  Once the beginners were all lined out, me and my team mates were eager to start transferring people back across the river.  But they didn’t want to go!  There was so much fine gold in their pan samples, just about all of them kept saying, “just one more pan.” We literally had to peel the last of them off the gravel bar late Saturday afternoon.  Truthfully, I was worried some of them were going to hide over there so they could continue mining. There was no other way back across the river unless they wanted to swim.  Gold does have that effect on people!

It was a full house at potluck on Saturday evening.  The enthusiasm and excitement was so noisy, it was challenging for me to get the meal started!  After a bunch of great food, we had a short meeting, did our weekly prize drawing, and let everyone go home earlier than normal. This is because we were planning to meet out on A & D #3 at 6:30 the following morning.  We have found over the years that it is better to start early on Sunday so we can get most of the physical work done before the heat of the day sets in.  The whole objective on Sunday is to come together in a well-organized team to process as much pay-dirt as we can.

By the time I finished ferrying everyone across in the boat, our team leaders had already positioned everybody into a well-organized production crew.  Did you ever see the war footage of the American D-Day invasion?  That’s what this reminded me of! This bunch was charging ahead to fill buckets with pay-dirt as fast as they could. There were people picking, digging, screening, vacking, carrying buckets, and feeding the recovery systems.  The noise out there was almost deafening!  The following video sequences captured the different parts of our production program:

I had left word up in the parking lot that I would return with the boat after a while for any stragglers.  Thirty minutes or so later, I was stunned by a very directed shout from across the river. Sure enough, there were enough people over there for another boat load.  It was lucky someone over there had a strong voice.  By then, I was so involved with all the productive activity that I might never have remembered about stragglers!

Le TrapsSmiling

It is a good thing we brought Derek’s Gold Well recovery system to support this project.  The easy digging in the sand and shale, along with the very substantial energy of this group, was producing screened pay-dirt several times faster than the three Le Traps could process the gold out of it.  If you try to process sand too fast, you will overload the recovery system, and the gold will just wash out with the tailings.   This crew was doing it just right.  Excess pay-dirt was being directed to Derek’s crew on the Gold Well.  And even the Gold Well could not keep up.  That’s what happens when you have 70 people filling up buckets as fast as they can!

 Derek's teamGold Well

Derek’s team operating the Gold Well

Mid day clean up gold in pan

Mid-day clean-up!

We cleaned up the Gold Well and one of the Le Traps at about mid-day, just to see how we were doing – and the amount of gold was even shocking to me!  This bunch was so jacked up; at least half of them did not even stop digging to take a look at the gold!  The buckets just kept coming and coming.  Pretty soon, we were filling extra wash tubs because we were running out of buckets!

We stopped the digging at around 11 AM.  This was because we had already dug more pay-dirt than we would have time to process.  The crew went around and filled the few holes we had dug.  There were not many.  This gold discovery is mostly resting on exposed, decomposed bedrock. In most places, after you scrape it off, you are left with clean bedrock and no hole to fill in!  Eventually, we were all down watching the recovery systems struggle with more material than we could feed even if we stayed out there for another hour or two.

Get this: In nearly 30 years of doing these Weekend Group Mining Projects, this is the first time the digging crew ever supplied more pay-dirt than we had time to process!  So I called a meeting to order out there on the gravel bar and made a motion that we split up the remaining pay-dirt into buckets and allow everyone who wanted a share to take it across the river to process at home.   The motion was passed unanimously, and at least 30 buckets of pay-dirt were carried off towards the raft without any delay.  The material disappeared so fast, it was as if it were never there!

 Crew in productionAlan

We met back at the Grange Hall at about 1:30 on Sunday afternoon, and all worked together to complete the final gold separation. Then we split the gold.  It was the most fine gold I have ever seen on one of these projects.   There were 10 small gold nuggets.  In the end, we split off a half-ounce of gold between 70 participants.  There were lots of smiling faces.  That’s the part I like the most.

 Final gold recoveredGold Extractor

Legal Update: Federal Preemption Decision Coming Soon! 

As many of you are aware, our legal specialists have brought a federal preemption challenge in front of the Superior Court of San Bernardino. We also have a similar challenge in front of the Third Appellate District of California.  We are arguing that the Supreme Court has already decided that the State does not possess the jurisdictional authority to prohibit suction dredge mining on the public lands, which is exactly what they have done with the existing Moratorium in California.

All of the briefs have been filed with the Third Appellate District, and they have just scheduled this 28 July for oral arguments concerning the Eighth Circuit’s Decision on federal preemption. This development is a hopeful sign that we are going to get the hearing we have been asking for on this very important matter. Here is how the Eighth Circuit weighed in. And here is a short update memo from our attorney.

If we win this important challenge, we suspect the Appellate District will instruct the State of California that they cannot cite prospectors for using suction dredges unless the activity violates reasonable and lawfully-issued permit regulations.

Meanwhile, in a completely separate case, we are making similar arguments challenging the existing Moratorium in front of the Superior Court of San Bernardino.  If we win that motion, we anticipate that the judge may order the State of California to immediately resume issuing suction dredge permits.  During a motion hearing last month, the judge Ordered that we attempt to settle all of the mining-related issues in front of him on June 24th before he issues a Decision concerning federal preemption.   Here is a short memo from our attorney which provides further explanation.
I will personally attend the mandatory settlement discussions alongside our attorney in San Bernardino in just a few weeks. Cross your fingers that this will lead to the judge deciding for us on the federal preemption motion.

Please take note that we only have 3 more weeks remaining in The New 49’er Legal Fund active fund-raiser.  We will be giving away 25 gold and silver coins  during our weekly potluck in Happy Camp on July 5th.  To date, the Legal Fund has only brought in $2,124 in contributions to support this fundraiser. That’s only somewhere around half the value of the gold and silver prizes that will be given away. Ouch! This will be the last newsletter we send out before the drawing. So I am I encouraging you to send in some contributions. This is how we generate the necessary funds to pay for legal support.

Thanks for all your support, you guys. I know you will all do your best. The fight would have been lost a long time ago if it were not for you!

Join Us This Season on Our Weekend Group Mining Projects!

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.

The remaining weekend events for the coming 2014 season are scheduled for June 21 & 22; July 12 & 13; August 2 & 3; August 23 & 24. These events are free to all members.  We appreciate it if you contact our office in advance to let you know that you will attend: 530 493-2012.

We have free long term (dry) campgrounds available to participants who prefer to enjoy the complete outdoor experience.  There are also private RV and other lodging options in and around Happy Camp for those of you who prefer more accommodations.  The staff in our office will go out of their way to help you with your individual needs. Montine specializes in helping you guys get the most enjoyment from your visits to Happy Camp. Here are our contact details. 

What We Can Do on Our Properties in California 

Members have been calling in wanting to know what we can and cannot do these days for prospecting activity on our extensive property holdings in Siskiyou County.  While I do not have a license to provide legal advice, I will follow with my own understanding of the current state of affairs.

1) We all know that suction dredging in the active waterways is closed until we overcome the existing moratorium in California.  As explained above, this is presently being challenged in two separate legal proceedings. It is possible that either of these two challenges could be decided in our favor during the 2014 season.

2) Surface mining (high-banking) is still alright.You can do that on your own, or you can join in on our Weekend Group Mining Projects.

3)      The State of California has adopted modified regulations which now define “suction dredging” as using any type of motorized vacuum or suction to excavate material off the bottom of a waterway.  Therefore, the underwater suction gravel transfer systems we used last season will no longer be allowed until we overcome the suction dredge moratorium.

4) There is no problem with booming (motorized suction mining) 100 yards or more from the active waterway.  There is also a way to boom using blowing methods (see below) which should not be affected by the 100 yard rule.

Please note that all surface mining activities on New 49’er properties are governed by our internal set of Surface Mining Guidelines.

5)  Underwater crevicing is what most active members were doing within the waterways at the end of last season. Some were 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 blow material out of the way. Our attorney agrees this cannot be classed as “suction dredging” under California’s expanded definition.

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, just a few years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

 

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, MAY 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 5

Dave Mack

 

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

 

Story by Rich Krimm, Director of Internal Affairs

Panning in tubGold in Pan

Lots of members have already arrived in Happy Camp to start the season off early this year.  Our office and store in Happy Camp have been busy each morning even with some members waiting out front before the door is opened.

First time pannerFirst gold

Craig and Alicia Hill finding their first gold last week up on Indian Creek

While more members are around, most people are only just getting started with mining activity.  Jeff Hight and Stuart Allen have been doing pretty well working the bedrock down on the Ukonom Claim K-25AA recovering some very nice course gold.  Jeff enthusiastically shared that he has already recovered as much gold this season as he has accumulated during the past four seasons.  Further down river, I saw Jim Shannon at the Elliot Bar Claim K-25AB doing some diligent sampling out on the gravel bar where very few members have been.  Dennis Turner has been doing very well for the past six weeks working at the Wingate River Claim K-23A.  He has been working large cracks and crevices in the bedrock, classifying material that he takes back to his camp where he processes the material through a small recirculating high-banker.

Panner on riverGold in pan

I have seen members working at a number of claims from K-2A all the way down to K-25AB.  Last week, four members spent several days at our long term camping area at Schutts Gulch K-11. They were high-banking on the gravel bar.  Montine had a chance to talk to them before they left the area to go home. She says they were very pleased with the gold they recovered.

GatheringIndian Creek

Father & sonJohn Rose, one of my Internal Affairs assistants, organized a gold panning outing up on Indian Creek just a few days ago, and at least ten people went along for a day of fun.  John says everyone had a blast.  They finished up the day with a great meal sitting around a campfire.

I talked to Derek Eimer and Dan Collins just a few days ago. They are working on some type of an underwater blowing system that they can use to uncover more of the extremely rich gold discovery they made last year on our new K-23AA property.  Clearly they want to have their equipment ready to take advantage of this year’s low water opportunity.  Other members have been preparing to begin using underwater blowing techniques — and also hand-operated suction devices to recover the gold from underwater cracks and crevices.  This is going to be a great year for crevice mining both above and below the water!

Heightened river sceneLow water

Speaking of low and slow water, I was coming downriver a couple of weeks ago and saw two kayakers paddling ‘up river’ faster than I could drift down river in the current.  The current is now flowing almost 3,000 cubic feet per second slower than the average for this time of the year. The river is over three feet lower than where it should be.  The Forest Service Snow Report for May 1st shows several sites that normally record 28-to-55 inches for snow depth and water content at this time of the year.  The most recent survey reveals there is no snow at these sites, which means there is no water.  My guess is that the current and water level in the creeks and river are going to continue to drop through the summer. This will expose more areas that members can access for our gold prospecting activities.

DemonsrationOver the past couple of years, a few members have shown some interest, and have actually used small boats and kayaks to prospect on the other side of the river.  Lower and slower waters this year have caused several of our members to take that idea more seriously.  A couple of the members are already making plans to coordinate their efforts and work together to place their vehicles in position so they can shuttle their equipment and kayaks after they drift the river sampling our claims on the far side.  Stuart Allen told me that he called his girlfriend and asked her to bring his kayak down on her next trip. Stuart has convinced me to get my kayak out and join him.

We have been doing some concentrate cleanup sessions in front of the store on Friday mornings during the early spring for the past few seasons.  Several pieces of cleanup equipment get set up and operated. This allows members a chance to see demonstrations of the latest innovations in mining gear and the processes.  Quite a few members show up for these events. A couple of weeks ago, John Rose set up a rather large panning station, and even Montine from our office was out there showing off her panning skills!  These Friday morning get-togethers also provide our members a chance to meet each other, drink coffee, eat donuts, and tell stories. Here are some video sequences we captured during the last event:

This coming Friday morning, we will be joined by Steve Herschback. Steve will be present to talk to members and answer questions about using our metal detectors for gold prospecting.  Steve owned and managed Alaska Mining & Diving for many, many years, and is one of the world’s leading experts in electronic prospecting.  Several members who have recently arrived have told me that they have metal detectors with them, and they are looking forward to talking to Steve to get some welcomed tips so they can become more efficient while using their equipment.

We have scheduled the Saturday evening potlucks at the Happy Camp Grange Hall to begin May 31st. They will extend through August 23rd of this year.

Legal Update: Federal Preemption Decision Coming Soon! 

As many of you are aware, our legal specialists have brought a federal preemption challenge in front of the Superior Court of San Bernardino. We also have a similar challenge in front of the Third Appellate District of California.  We are arguing that the Supreme Court has already decided that the State does not possess the jurisdictional authority to prohibit suction dredge mining on the public lands, which is exactly what they have done with the existing Moratorium in California.

All of the briefs have been filed with the Third Appellate District. We are patiently waiting for them to issue a Decision.  If we win this challenge, we suspect the Appellate District will tell the State of California that they cannot cite prospectors for using suction dredges unless the activity violates lawfully-issued permit regulations.

Meanwhile, in a completely separate case, we are making similar arguments challenging the existing Moratorium in front of the Superior Court of San Bernardino.  If we win that motion, we anticipate that the judge may order the State of California to immediately resume issuing suction dredge permits.  During the motion hearing several weeks ago, the judge Ordered that we attempt to settle all of the mining-related issues in front of him on June 24th before he issues a Decision concerning federal  preemption.   Here is a short memo from our attorney which provides further explanation.

My best guess is that any such settlement would require all outstanding issues in front of the Court to be resolved once and for all. This is because they are all connected in one way or another to the preemption motion.

Don’t get your hopes up too high on a successful settlement agreement. I only suggest this because there are many different interests that would have to come together, some whose only interest is to prohibit mining on the public lands. Though the judge has ordered that we should try. So we will. He will preside over the settlement discussions.

I will personally attend the mandatory settlement discussions alongside our attorney in San Bernardino next month. Cross your fingers that this will lead to the judge deciding for us on the federal preemption motion.

Thanks for all your support, you guys. The fight would have been lost a long time ago if it were not for you!

Note that we only have a little more than a month remaining in The New 49’er Legal Fund active fund-raiser.  The Legal Fund will be giving away 25 gold and silver coins  during our weekly potluck in Happy Camp on July 5th.  To date, there has been very little participation.  I encourage you to send in some contributions, since this is how we generate the necessary funds to pay for legal support.

Make a Legal Contribution 

Join Us This Season on Our Weekend Group Mining Projects!

 

 Running high-babkerHappy smile

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 trips with others who are further along on the curve than you are.   We are fortunate in The New 49’ers that we have experienced members who take pleasure in going out and helping on the weekend projects.

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.  We started them during our second season in 1987 with the purpose of helping members to learn how to successfully prospect for gold on their own.  Long since then, the weekend projects have evolved into fun events that many members attend just for the adventure and shared camaraderie with other members.

The weekend events for the coming 2014 season are scheduled for May 31 & June 1; June 21 & 22; July 12 & 13; August 2 & 3; August 23 & 24. These events are free to all members.  We appreciate it if you contact our office in advance to let you know that you will attend: 530 493-2012.

We have free long term (dry) campgrounds available to participants who prefer to enjoy the complete outdoor experience.  There are also private RV and other lodging options in and around Happy Camp for those who prefer more accommodations.  The staff in our office will go out of their way to help you with your individual needs. Montine specializes in helping people get the most enjoyment from their visits to Happy Camp. Here are our contact details. On that note, if you prefer private accommodations, I suggest you don’t wait until the last minute.  Sometimes they fill up! 

What We Can Do on Our Properties in California 

Members have been calling in wanting to know what we can and cannot do these days for prospecting activity on our extensive property holdings in Siskiyou County.  While I do not have a license to provide legal advice, I will follow with my own understanding of the current state of affairs.

1)      We all know that suction dredging in the active waterways is closed until we overcome the existing moratorium in California.  As explained above, this is presently being challenged in two separate legal proceedings. It is possible that either of these two challenges could be decided in our favor during the 2014 season.

2)       Surface mining (high-banking) is still alright.You can do that on your own, or you can join in on our Weekend Group Mining Projects.

3)      The State of California has adopted modified regulations which now define “suction dredging” as using any type of motorized vacuum or suction to excavate material off the bottom of a waterway.  Therefore, the underwater suction gravel transfer systems we used last season will no longer be allowed until we overcome the suction dredge moratorium.

4) There is no problem with booming (motorized suction mining) 100 yards from the active waterway.  There is also a way to boom using blowing methods (see below) that should not be affected by the 100 yard rule.

Please note that all surface mining activities on New 49’er properties are governed by our internal set of Surface Mining Guidelines which are available from the office.

5)  Underwater crevicing is what most active members were doing within the waterways at the end of last season, 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 blow material out of the way. Our attorney agrees this cannot be classed as “suction dredging” under the expanded definition.

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.

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, just two years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

 

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 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 4

Dave Mack

 

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

Story by Lori Meyer & Debra Thewes

highbanking Good gold

Before we came to Happy Camp, we looked all over the Internet hoping to find an affordable gold claim where we could prospect.  This is when we stumbled across the New 49er website, which we found to be such a wealth of valuable information and colorful adventure. Holding nuggetAfter watching the videos and reading about the Club, we decided to join and we are so glad that we did.  We have made friends that we now consider our family, and we have had so much fun hunting for gold out on the Klamath River.  We now spend several months a year in Happy Camp.  The 2013 season was our best ever. We even found a gold nugget weighing just over 1/5th of an ounce! Boy was that exciting!  We actually discovered the nugget on bedrock under only 8 inches of sand. This was just a mile from town!  In fact, all the nuggets we have found were just a short distance from Happy Camp.

When we joined, all we wanted to do was find gold. We had absolutely no prior experience. But with over 60 miles of mining property available to us, it was like a smorgasbord of opportunity! On our first day, Montine (she is Customer Relations in the New 49’er office) took the time to tell us everything we needed to know to get started. She was so helpful!  We met our friend, Rip Ripple, on our first day, too.  Rip took us to his personal dig and showed us exactly how he was finding gold. Boy was he finding some nice stuff! We have watched Rip and other experienced members do the very same thing for many other beginners.  But that’s what you can expect with the New 49ers, “miners helping miners.”  So we bought a vack mining machine, some gold pans, a highbanker, and some digging tools; and we headed out onto the claims to dig for gold – and yes, we found gold.

vackingThe first weekend we were there, we attended one of the weekend outings at the Mega Hole and learned so much. We also got to meet some awesome people.  Dave Mack is such an amazing guy.  You can tell right off that he really cares about his New 49’er members. 

Being members of the New 49’ers has been life-changing for us.  Gold mining has become a passion. This is not only because of gold. It is also becoming friends with so many interesting people. The Klamath River is one of the crown jewels of the Pacific Northwest. The place is breathtaking!  The New 49ers program has provided us the opportunity to not only find gold, but also to make great friends and experience the outdoors like never before.  With so many mining properties, we get to choose where we want to prospect and there are simply unlimited opportunities to find gold.

Deb gold nugget

LoriSo many of our friends have asked us “Did you find gold?” and we always tell them that we do!  Then they ask, “Did you get rich?” and we always answer that we have gotten rich in so many wonderful ways.  Then they want to know if we have gotten wealthy with gold, and we answer that we have found more gold than we expected, so far – but we are not finished, yet!  The New 49’er program has been, without a doubt, the most exciting outdoor adventure we have ever experienced in our lives.  We are living the dream!

When we joined, we had no idea that our lives would change in so many wonderful and profound ways. Now we can’t wait to get back to the Klamath and our friends, and the great outdoor adventure that waits for us.  Watch for us out there.  We are the Jersey Girls!

This is Going to be a Low Water Year! 

By Rich Krimm, Director of Internal Affairs

The Klamath River and its tributaries are presently experiencing historic lows for both current flow, and gauge height.  Today (April 6) at the Seiad Valley station along the Klamath River, the current is flowing at 2,350 cubic feet per second, which is more than  3,000 cubic feet per second lower than the average for this time of the year.  The gauge height is 3.54 feet and that is about three feet lower than where it should be.

We are expecting a few days of extremely warm spring weather (80 degrees plus) that will cause the insignificant amount of snow in the area to melt and possibly cause the river to rise slightly only for a short period of time.

I made the trip from the Scott River down to our lower claims at Elliot Bar, a distance of almost fifty miles, and conditions looked similar to the low water we were experiencing last year in early July.  If these conditions persist, then more locations along the river and creeks will be exposing bedrock areas that are traditionally underwater year round.  Access to submerged areas along the side of the rivers and creeks will also improve.

Several of my neighbors, who I will describe their age as being life-long residents and senior citizens, have told me they have not seen conditions like this in all the years they have lived on the river.

We already have more members arriving in Happy Camp than normal for this time of year. Looking into this coming season, I can already see and hear the Vack machines running as the newly exposed material in bedrock cracks and crevices are drying out. So they can hopefully take advantage of the low water conditions, I know that at least several members are putting together blow-mining gear to help facilitate the underwater crevicing activity which Dave Mack described in our March newsletter. This is lining up to be a very productive season along the Klamath and its tributaries! 

Join Us This Season on Our Weekend Group Mining Projects! 

 Running high-babker Happy smile

More smilesOur 2-day Group Mining Projects are one of the primary benefits of New 49’er membership which set us apart from other mining associations.  We started them during our second season in 1987 with the purpose of helping members to learn how to successfully prospect for gold on their own.  Long since then, the weekend projects have evolved into fun events that many members attend just for the adventure and shared camaraderie with other members.

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 trips with others who are further along on the curve than you are.   We are fortunate in The New 49’ers that we have a bunch of experienced members who take pleasure in going out and helping on the weekend projects.

The weekend events for the coming 2014 season are scheduled for May 31 & June 1; June 21 & 22; July 12 & 13; August 2 & 3; August 23 & 24. These events are free to all members.  We appreciate it if you contact our office in advance to let you know that you will attend: 530 493-2012.

Schedule of Events

Panning Pointing at gold

The events begin with a few hours of theory, normally presented by me, on Saturday morning at the local Grange Hall in Happy Camp.  After lunch, we all go out on one of our more productive properties and put the theory to practice.  Our mission on Saturday afternoon is to make sure everyone knows how to sample for gold deposits with the use of a gold pan.  We also need to find one or two gold deposits to work on the following day.  All the gold that you recover on Saturday is yours to keep.

If you are not too tired, we encourage everyone to attend our Saturday evening potluck at the Grange Hall.  This is a relaxed, somewhat-informal social affair where we all share some great food and camaraderie.  We take the opportunity to pass on any important information, and we end the evening with a prize drawing.

Group mining Kid having smiling

We normally start early on Sunday morning so that we can get off the gravel bar before the heat of the day sets in.  Sunday is where we pull everyone together into a cooperative production program, devoting three or four hours to processing as much pay-dirt as possible through a few portable gold recovery machines.  Rich Krimm normally heads this part up with the help of several other experienced members.  Everyone is organized into activity which fits their physical capabilities.  Even most disabled participants can contribute in some meaningful way.  Sunday is an exercise in teamwork where we try to recover as much gold as we can.  Having said that, we also caution everyone to not push beyond your personal limit.  We are also trying to keep the project as fun as possible for everyone.

High-grade Looking at gold

Happy kid

Once we feel we have processed enough pay-dirt, we fill in the excavations that we made out on the gravel bar, put our gear away, and do some initial gravity concentration of the material that has accumulated in our gold recovery machines.  Then we allow everybody a break to get refreshed, and meet back at the Grange Hall for final separation of the gold.  Everyone is invited to watch and participate in the final steps. Usually, sometime before 4 or 5 PM on Sunday afternoon, we have split up the gold evenly amongst everyone who actively participated on Sunday. Even children receive a share if they worked.  Sometimes the kids out-work the adults!

These weekend events cover the fundamentals of successful gold prospecting from A-to-Z. If you are paying attention and stay involved, even a raw beginner will have a substantial grasp of the important fundamentals by the time a project is over on Sunday afternoon.  As far as I know, we are the only outfit in the world that is providing this service.  Most prospectors have to go out and learn through the school of hard knocks.  Our weekend projects shorten the process by a large margin.

Most of these images were captured during our August 3 & 4 event last season. To get a better idea of what we do on these projects, and how much fun we have, I encourage you to read the video-enhanced story we published in our October newsletter about our final weekend event of 2013. Even though it was raining that day, which almost never happens in August, everybody participated with enthusiasm and we recovered a bunch of gold. Better yet, here are some more video sequences that we did not publish in the story:

Nice gold in the pan

We have free long term (dry) campgrounds available to participants who prefer to enjoy the complete outdoor experience.  There are also private RV and other lodging options in and around Happy Camp for those who prefer more accommodations.  The staff in our office will go out of their way to help you with your individual needs, for example, if you are flying in from some longer distance away or even from another country.  Montine specializes in helping people get the most enjoyment from their visits to Happy Camp. Here are our contact details. On that note, if you prefer private accommodations, I suggest you don’t wait until the last minute.  Sometimes they fill up! 

What We Can Do on Our Properties in California 

Members have been calling in wanting to know what we can and cannot do these days for prospecting activity on our extensive property holdings in Siskiyou County.  While I do not have a license to provide legal advice, I will follow with my own understanding of the current state of affairs.

1)      We all know that suction dredging in the active waterways is closed until we overcome the existing moratorium in California.  This is presently being challenged in two separate legal proceedings.  Let’s just keep our fingers crossed on this turning out in our favor. On that note, The New 49’er Legal Fund is giving away 25 gold and silver coins in our ongoing legal fund raiser.

2)       Surface mining (high-banking) is still alright. You can do that on your own, or you can join in on our Weekend Group Mining Projects.

3)      The State of California has adopted modified regulations which now define “suction dredging” as using any type of motorized vacuum or suction to excavate material off the bottom of a waterway.  Therefore, the underwater suction gravel transfer systems we used last season will no longer be allowed until we overcome the suction dredge moratorium.

4) There is no problem with booming (motorized suction mining) 100 yards from the active waterway.  There is also a way to boom using blowing methods (see below) that should not be affected by the 100 yard rule.

Please note that all surface mining activities on New 49’er properties are governed by our internal set of Surface Mining Guidelines which are available from the office.

5)  Underwater crevicing is what most active members were doing within the waterways at the end of last season, 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. Most of our March newsletter focused upon this new method of moving material around by blowing, rather than sucking. Our attorney agrees this cannot be classed as “suction dredging” under the expanded definition.

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.

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, just two years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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! 

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

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Story, video and images by Alan Mash & John Rose

Two guys mining

Early March is a heck of a time to do underwater mining.  The water is cold, and on this particular day, the creek was running higher and faster than normal because of a rain storm just a few days before.

I wanted to experiment with this new method of underwater blow mining in California before the warmer weather gets started. So I decided to visit Happy Camp to try it out on the New 49er South Fork of Indian Creek property. This is a place which is well known for producing nice gold nuggets.  I once recovered quite a large gold nugget using a metal detector along the bank of the stream on this property.  Bedrock is very close to the surface in most places.  So you don’t have to work that hard to get down to the cracks where gold can be found.  I was doing quite well there using a suction dredge several years ago.

Before going down, I lined up Steve Jones and John Rose to come on out and join me for an adventure.  Those guys are always ready to go!  Several other New 49’er members also came along.  Since I have the most experience doing underwater video, Steve jumped right in there with the nozzle and did a lot of the mining work.  This is Steve’s second winter supporting himself from the gold that he mines along the Klamath River.  He’s a hardy guy!

Using the blow mining method is the same thing as using a blaster nozzle on a suction dredge to cut through and break up hard-packed layers and bedrock that a dredge nozzle won’t take apart.  But in this case, we were mainly using the blow nozzle to help move material out of the way and help us get down to the bedrock cracks faster.  Really, this is just a step further than raking and fanning material out of the way with your hands.

underwater blowing setup

Steve and John suggested we could take the process one step further and blow the material into a second blowing device with a hopper that can be used to direct material through a hose to a sluice box (see next section below). But since South Fork mostly has bigger gold, we decided to just use the primary blower nozzle to see what we might find by uncovering some cracks on the edge of the creek.

We were using a 6.5 HP motor, mostly running on idle, with a standard mining pump and hookah compressor to supply underwater breathing air.  You could also use a normal trash pump for underwater blow mining in shallow water. It’s pretty easy to adapt some ABS or PVC fittings to a pressure hose coming off the pump. Any motor that otherwise might be used to power a dredge or high-banker can be easily adapted to this kind of mining. My own dredge uses a Keene 1-inch high pressure hose going to a blaster nozzle tip. That provides plenty of power to push material around underwater!

John captured this video afterwards, while we explained what we were doing:

The gravel and overburden on the edge of the creek was only about a foot thick when we started. Sometimes it takes more effort to strap on divers weights when working in shallow water. We decided to tough it out without them. John explained what we were doing in the following video sequences:

Using hose

A larger 1 ½-inch blaster hose and nozzle was connected to the pump which certainly would have moved the overburden off faster.  But since that would have made the underwater filming more difficult to capture, and there was only about a foot of material to move out of the way, we decided to just use a garden hose without the blaster nozzle tip at first to help move most of the top material off. Once we got down to bedrock, we attached the narrower-tipped blaster nozzle to help take apart decomposed bedrock. We were hoping to find some gold underneath.  Here is some of the underwater action:

Gold nugget next to a quarter

We were all pleasantly surprised to discover that it is quite easy using this method of underwater blowing to gain access to shallow gold deposits.  By this, I mean shallow material.  You can use this method in deeper water with the use of hookah gear.  I’m looking forward to using this method along the banks of the extensive new mining properties The New 49’ers have acquired downstream of Happy Camp during the past few months.  I’m sure those areas have not been mined during the modern age!

Shortly after reaching bedrock, we found a beautiful Indian Creek nugget stuck in a crack in the bedrock. I’m pretty sure I saw the nugget first because I was upstream with the camera from the slight cloud Steve was stirring up with the nozzle.  For just a moment, I thought Steve was going to blow the nugget away!  But, of course, gold is too heavy for that.  Fortunately, I had the video camera on at the moment of discovery:

Guys talking on the river bank

We wanted to do more prospecting; but after getting out of the water to congratulate ourselves, we found ourselves shivering up on the bank. We had such a great time exploring this new method of mining, we finally decided to call it a day and start making plans for the next time.

There seem to be more New 49’er members around Happy Camp this year than during prior winters that I have spent down there.  It’s always a great time visiting with other members! Maybe next time I will use a wet-suit heater so I can devote more time recovering those easy nuggets.  Or better yet, spring is only about a month away!

Taking Blow Mining to the Next Level!

By Dave McCracken

  Hopper without hoses View of creek

Last season, when the State of California decided to redefine “suction dredging” as “…the use of a suction system to vacuum material from a river, stream or lake for the extraction of minerals,” we immediately went to work on creating a new system which relies completely on water blowing to move streambed material to a hopper either above or below the water, and then through a hose to either a container or recovery system.

While the new system relies upon the same types of engines, pumps and underwater breathing systems we have historically used in most of our small scale mining activities, there is no suction or vacuum employed to excavate material off the bottom of the waterway.  We only use blowing, thus the new term “blow mining.”

Blow mining hopper Blow nozzle

To my knowledge, you cannot buy these blow mining hoppers as ready-made devices.  But they are not hard to fabricate at home.  We glued our prototypes together with ABS plastic materials.  We reduced the jetting down to ¾-inch tubing from the traditional 1 ½-inch pressure hose that extends from a 6.5 HP motor and pump.  As you can see from the images, we added in a garden hose and valve so we can blow material into the hopper.  You can also feed material into the hopper by hand.  Through testing, we found that a 6.5 HP Honda will supply enough power to deliver material to either a 3-inch or 4-inch recovery system (sluice box) that can float on pontoons out on the waterway.

Feeding by hand Discharge from hose

Several of our members began using these blow mining techniques late last season when the wardens started coming around to inform miners that the definition of suction dredging had been expanded to include any type of suction or vacuum mining on the bottom of the waterway.  When the wardens were informed that these prospectors were only using blowing techniques to move stream-bottom materials, the wardens went away and that was the end of it.

We will leave one of the prototypes at the office so everyone can get a look at it.  When constructing your own, I caution you to be mindful that no suction or vacuum can be used to excavate material off the bottom of the waterway.  This is largely a matter of placing the pressure jet so that it blows material through a delivery hose. It is also a matter of creating a feed hopper which is large enough that it will catch materials directed its way without creating even a fraction of suction strong enough to perform excavation on its own.  Some of our members are calling this an “underwater high-banker,” though I point out that the very same system is also effective above the water.

Here are some very helpful video sequences to demonstrate the system:

 

 

 

New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST  QUARTER, MARCH 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 3

Dave Mack

 

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

Story, video and images by Alan Mash & John Rose

Two guys mining

Early March is a heck of a time to do underwater mining.  The water is cold, and on this particular day, the creek was running higher and faster than normal because of a rain storm just a few days before.

I wanted to experiment with this new method of underwater blow mining in California before the warmer weather gets started. So I decided to visit Happy Camp to try it out on the New 49er South Fork of Indian Creek property. This is a place which is well known for producing nice gold nuggets.  I once recovered quite a large gold nugget using a metal detector along the bank of the stream on this property.  Bedrock is very close to the surface in most places.  So you don’t have to work that hard to get down to the cracks where gold can be found.  I was doing quite well there using a suction dredge several years ago.

Before going down, I lined up Steve Jones and John Rose to come on out and join me for an adventure.  Those guys are always ready to go!  Several other New 49’er members also came along.  Since I have the most experience doing underwater video, Steve jumped right in there with the nozzle and did a lot of the mining work.  This is Steve’s second winter supporting himself from the gold that he mines along the Klamath River.  He’s a hardy guy!

Using the blow mining method is the same thing as using a blaster nozzle on a suction dredge to cut through and break up hard-packed layers and bedrock that a dredge nozzle won’t take apart.  But in this case, we were mainly using the blow nozzle to help move material out of the way and help us get down to the bedrock cracks faster.  Really, this is just a step further than raking and fanning material out of the way with your hands.

underwater blowing setup

Steve and John suggested we could take the process one step further and blow the material into a second blowing device with a hopper that can be used to direct material through a hose to a sluice box (see next section below). But since South Fork mostly has bigger gold, we decided to just use the primary blower nozzle to see what we might find by uncovering some cracks on the edge of the creek.

We were using a 6.5 HP motor, mostly running on idle, with a standard mining pump and hookah compressor to supply underwater breathing air.  You could also use a normal trash pump for underwater blow mining in shallow water. It’s pretty easy to adapt some ABS or PVC fittings to a pressure hose coming off the pump. Any motor that otherwise might be used to power a dredge or high-banker can be easily adapted to this kind of mining. My own dredge uses a Keene 1-inch high pressure hose going to a blaster nozzle tip. That provides plenty of power to push material around underwater!

John captured this video afterwards, while we explained what we were doing:

The gravel and overburden on the edge of the creek was only about a foot thick when we started. Sometimes it takes more effort to strap on divers weights when working in shallow water. We decided to tough it out without them. John explained what we were doing in the following video sequences:

Using hose

A larger 1 ½-inch blaster hose and nozzle was connected to the pump which certainly would have moved the overburden off faster.  But since that would have made the underwater filming more difficult to capture, and there was only about a foot of material to move out of the way, we decided to just use a garden hose without the blaster nozzle tip at first to help move most of the top material off. Once we got down to bedrock, we attached the narrower-tipped blaster nozzle to help take apart decomposed bedrock. We were hoping to find some gold underneath.  Here is some of the underwater action:

Gold nugget next to a quarter

We were all pleasantly surprised to discover that it is quite easy using this method of underwater blowing to gain access to shallow gold deposits.  By this, I mean shallow material.  You can use this method in deeper water with the use of hookah gear.  I’m looking forward to using this method along the banks of the extensive new mining properties The New 49’ers have acquired downstream of Happy Camp during the past few months.  I’m sure those areas have not been mined during the modern age!

Shortly after reaching bedrock, we found a beautiful Indian Creek nugget stuck in a crack in the bedrock. I’m pretty sure I saw the nugget first because I was upstream with the camera from the slight cloud Steve was stirring up with the nozzle.  For just a moment, I thought Steve was going to blow the nugget away!  But, of course, gold is too heavy for that.  Fortunately, I had the video camera on at the moment of discovery:

Guys talking on the river bank

We wanted to do more prospecting; but after getting out of the water to congratulate ourselves, we found ourselves shivering up on the bank. We had such a great time exploring this new method of mining, we finally decided to call it a day and start making plans for the next time.

There seem to be more New 49’er members around Happy Camp this year than during prior winters that I have spent down there.  It’s always a great time visiting with other members! Maybe next time I will use a wet-suit heater so I can devote more time recovering those easy nuggets.  Or better yet, spring is only about a month away!

Taking Blow Mining to the Next Level!

  Hopper without hoses View of creek

Last season, when the State of California decided to redefine “suction dredging” as “…the use of a suction system to vacuum material from a river, stream or lake for the extraction of minerals,” we immediately went to work on creating a new system which relies completely on water blowing to move streambed material to a hopper either above or below the water, and then through a hose to either a container or recovery system.

While the new system relies upon the same types of engines, pumps and underwater breathing systems we have historically used in most of our small scale mining activities, there is no suction or vacuum employed to excavate material off the bottom of the waterway.  We only use blowing, thus the new term “blow mining.”

Blow mining hopper Blow nozzle

To my knowledge, you cannot buy these blow mining hoppers as ready-made devices.  But they are not hard to fabricate at home.  We glued our prototypes together with ABS plastic materials.  We reduced the jetting down to ¾-inch tubing from the traditional 1 ½-inch pressure hose that extends from a 6.5 HP motor and pump.  As you can see from the images, we added in a garden hose and valve so we can blow material into the hopper.  You can also feed material into the hopper by hand.  Through testing, we found that a 6.5 HP Honda will supply enough power to deliver material to either a 3-inch or 4-inch recovery system (sluice box) that can float on pontoons out on the waterway.

Feeding by hand Discharge from hose

Several of our members began using these blow mining techniques late last season when the wardens started coming around to inform miners that the definition of suction dredging had been expanded to include any type of suction or vacuum mining on the bottom of the waterway.  When the wardens were informed that these prospectors were only using blowing techniques to move stream-bottom materials, the wardens went away and that was the end of it.

We will leave one of the prototypes at the office so everyone can get a look at it.  When constructing your own, I caution you to be mindful that no suction or vacuum can be used to excavate material off the bottom of the waterway.  This is largely a matter of placing the pressure jet so that it blows material through a delivery hose. It is also a matter of creating a feed hopper which is large enough that it will catch materials directed its way without creating even a fraction of suction strong enough to perform excavation on its own.  Some of our members are calling this an “underwater high-banker,” though I point out that the very same system is also effective above the water.

Here are some very helpful video sequences to demonstrate the system:

Legal Prize Winners!

This drawing was for three ounces in American Gold Eagle coins and ten ounces of Silver Eagles.  The drawing took place just before closing time in our offices in Happy Camp on 28 February.  Because she had no personal interest in the outcome, we asked Connie Rasmussen from the gift store next door to draw the tickets. In addition to our staff, there were a number of others present for the drawing.

1-ounce American Gold Eagle: Paul L Velotta

Quarter-ounce American Gold Eagles: Ray Crum, Larry Buzzell, Brian Cutler & Timothy J Gilbreth

One-tenth ounce American Gold Eagles: Lynn L Bourne, Les Martin, Philip F. Myska, Edward Murphy, Gary Standefer, Stephen Drinovsky, Chester Morris, Joe Sawyers, James A Karl & Fred Fifield.

One ounce American Silver Eagles: Jasper Bishop, Larry L Reiter, Alton Smithart, David Albrecht, Clark Morrison, Janis A Keene, Richard Stroda, Mike Keller, Phillip Sharpe & Joseph Schaberger.

I want to give a heart-felt thank you to everyone who participated in this fund-raiser. We can count this fund-raiser as another big winner for small-scale miners.

Congratulations to all the winners!

Any contributions received after the time of the drawing will automatically generate tickets for the next prize drawing which will be sponsored by The New 49′er Legal Fund. It will be for 15 more American Gold Eagles (3 ounces of gold) and 10 more American Silver Eagles (10 ounces of silver).  The next drawing will take place at the New 49′er Saturday evening potluck in Happy Camp on 5 July 2014. You do not need to be present to win.  You do not need to be a member of The New 49′ers to participate.  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.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49′ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or you can do it online by clicking here: 

What We Can Do on Our Properties in California 

Members have been calling in wanting to know what we can and cannot do these days for prospecting activity on our extensive property holdings in Siskiyou County.  While I do not have a license to provide legal advice, I will follow with my own understanding of the current state of affairs.

1)      We all know that suction dredging in the active waterways is closed until we overcome the existing moratorium in California.  This is presently being challenged in two separate legal proceedings.  Let’s just keep our fingers crossed on this turning out in our favor.

2)       Surface mining (high-banking) is still alright. You can do that on your own, or you can join in on our Weekend Group Mining Projects. They are scheduled in 2014 as follows: May 31 & June 1; June 21 & 22; July 12 & 13; August 2 & 3; August 23 & 24. These events are free to all active Members, and everyone is encouraged to attend.  Please contact our office in advance to let us know you will be there: (530) 493-2012.

3)      Since our last newsletter, the State of California has submitted an application to the Office of Administrative Law to adopt its Emergency Regulations as permanent.  This will do away with using any type of vacuum or suction to excavate material off the bottom of a waterway.  Therefore, the underwater suction gravel transfer systems we used last season will no longer be allowed until we overcome the suction dredge moratorium.

4) There is no problem with booming (motorized suction mining) 100 yards from the active waterway.  There is also a way to boom using blowing methods (see below) that should not be affected by the 100 yard rule.

Please note that all surface mining activities on New 49’er properties are governed by our internal set of Surface Mining Guidelines which are available from the office.

5)  Underwater crevicing is what most active members were doing within the waterways at the end of last season, 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. Most of this newsletter has focused upon this new method of moving material around by blowing, rather than sucking. Our attorney agrees this cannot be classed as “suction dredging” under the expanded definition.

The New 49er Legal Fund

The main briefs have been filed with the Third Appellate District of California in the Brandon Rinehart case. Brandon was cited a while back for operating a suction dredge in California without a permit. Brandon hired our attorney, James Buchal, to defend against the criminal citation.  Brandon’s defense was largely based upon our federal preemption argument in San Bernardino Superior Court that the State does not have the authority to prohibit suction dredging, and that their refusal to issue a permit amounted to a prohibition.  The judge in that case rejected the preemption argument on the presumption that we would appeal to the Appellate Court.

Now that the Appellate Court will consider federal preemption, we are on a fast track to get this very important issue decided.  James Buchal did a fantastic job in presenting opening and closing arguments. We encourage you guys to read them, because they are very enlightening. The State’s argument is basically that congress never meant for the State to be prevented from stopping mining on the public lands.  Anti-mining activists have also weighed in with their own arguments. So that you can more easily follow along in the progress, we have created a special page on the web site that includes all of the important briefs.

In the event that we win the federal preemption argument, our guess is that suction dredge permits will again immediately be available in California.  This, because a judge will have ruled that prospectors can dredge even if California fails to issue permits. It is impossible to predict how long it will take the Court to issue a Decision. But it is possible it could happen before this next season.  The New 49er Legal Fund is providing financial assistance to pursue the preemption argument in the Appellate Court, since that outcome is likely to resolve many of the unsettled matters in San Bernardino Superior Court.

The State of Oregon has passed a similar statewide moratorium (SB 838) on suction dredging (as California’s), except that it does not take full effect until 2016. The new law does affect the 2014 and 2015 seasons in several very important ways:

1)      They are reducing the number of suction dredging permits to 850. This is approximately down to a third of the number of permits issued during the 2013 season.  So the big question is who will get the permits?

2)  The new law only allows the operation of a suction dredge between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.

3)  Suction dredges cannot be operated within 500 feet of each other.

4)  No suction dredges may be left unattended on the waterway.  This is generally being interpreted as a requirement to remove all dredging equipment from the waterway every evening.

At the time this newsletter is being published, Oregon State Lands is not yet processing permit applications.

Fortunately, we have our federal preemption arguments to (hopefully) overcome this nonsense in Oregon.  To a large degree, the very same arguments we are using to try and overcome California’s moratorium will also apply to Oregon.   How can a State promote mining on the public lands (which is a mandate from congress) when they require a miner to remove his mining equipment from his work site every evening? Or when a miner is prohibited from operating a motor at times when anyone else is allowed to do so?

Since we are already making the federal preemption arguments in California, we will likely wait to see how the Appellate Court decides before challenging the new law in Oregon.

Lost Treasure Hunters was Scheduled to Air!

Just as we went to print with the February newsletter, I received notice from the producer that Animal Planet had scheduled the full version of Lost Treasure Hunters (5 episodes) to play, starting at 8 AM on March 6thEpisode 1 can be found here. Then, a week or so before the show was to air; I was informed that the network changed its mind once again. No explanation has been provided, so the mystery continues. Perhaps it has to do with the ancient curse of the Golconda diamonds!  Lost Treasure Hunters is a reality show that was filmed by Discovery Network about several friends and me who went on an extended expedition to India in search of one of the world’s richest diamond mines, a mine that has been lost for several hundred years.  I am not allowed to tell you if we found the mine.  But I can tell you that if you watch the show, you won’t be disappointed in what we found!

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.

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, just two years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

 

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, FEBRUARY 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 2

Dave Mack

 

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

Story, video and images by John Rose

Gold Nuggets

Long time prospector, Scott Hanson, and I recently got together just after we discovered that The New 49’ers have acquired yet another new claim downriver from Happy Camp. Scott suggested that we invest a couple of days sampling the new claim (K-22A) along with a few other places where members have been doing pretty well this winter.

On that note, I will say that it seems like we have more members actively prospecting this winter than during the past few years. There are a lot of friendly faces around Happy Camp!

River View Creek sign

Scott and I first stopped at the Club’s newest claim (more on that below). It is called the “Doolittle Rapids.” This is because the upstream boundary is about where Doolittle creek enters the Klamath River.  There is a magnificent set of rapids in the Klamath River just downstream. It’s really more like a small waterfall in a big river.

Our hike down to the river was a little steep, but we managed it alright. I expect that some increased traffic will make the old trail better. Once we got down to the bottom, the amount of exposed bedrock visible on both sides of the river was almost overwhelming. By this, I mean there were so many sampling options that it was difficult to decide where to start.  This is another claim that will keep our members busy for many years to come!

Nice view Waterfall

Scott finally decided upon a likely spot to find gold and started sampling while I took a few videos and paused to relax on an outcropping of bedrock by the rapids and take in the very dramatic river scenery. Frankly, I was taken aback by the peacefulness from just being there. I live along the Klamath River. So sometimes I forget to slow down and appreciate the surroundings. This was one of those times when I remembered that this is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. There was an osprey flying the river, hunting for lunch. What a view!

Sample gold

Scott finished his first test pan from surface material alongside the river and found about 30 small pieces of nice shiny gold.  That was enough to get me up and helping! We tested at four different places along the claim. All the pans of surface material contained the same amount of gold.  We only brought along a scoop for digging on this first trip, and the larger rocks were preventing us from reaching bedrock in the deeper bedrock traps. So we will return on another day with a crow bar and some crevicing tools.

Next we went down to the new Ukonom Gold Claim (K25AA). This is the new claim that was released in last month’s newsletter.  I showed Scott a newly-discovered trail down to the river that is on the upriver end of the claim. Last month’s story was about a prospecting trip we did on the lower end, maybe a mile downstream.  We did several test pans at the bottom of this new trail and found even more gold and larger flakes.  The Ukonom claim, much like Doolittle Rapids, is close to the river and is mostly about crevicing and breaking open the bedrock.  There are a couple of creeks there that enter the river from the south side.  I suspect they are the source of some of the gold we were finding, because the gold was chunkier then what we normally find.

Total gold

Talking about crevicing, the Klamath River has now been running about 3,000 cubic feet per second slower than the seasonal average for over a month.  Absent any huge storms in March or April, I am predicting we are going to have access to a lot more of the gold deposits that are normally underwater on the edge of the river.  This could be really good for this new method of blowing that some members were using late last season to help clear out submerged cracks in the bedrock. The office and Rich Krimm have been receiving phone calls from members asking about the increased opportunities for working bedrock now that it appears there is going to be some very low water this season due to the lack of rain.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed!

I am aware of a member who had recently brought some incredible gold into the office (image at the beginning of this story).  I mean breathtaking! It turns out that he recovered the gold from cracking open bedrock at our K-23A claim at Wingate. A lot of our members have recovered plenty of gold at Wingate. But this was the first batch of big gold I had seen. So on the following day, Scott and I decided it would be good adventure to go down and look for ourselves.  We took a pry bar and my vack machine down there; dug up a few places; and we actually recovered a couple of nuggets.  We are definitely going back there to find their big brothers!

All in all it was a fun two days of sampling and both of us were impressed by the amount of gold we recovered.  Lack of rain, for the most part, has made this a pretty good winter for prospecting.

Another New Claim on the Klamath River! 

Main image River View

K-22A Doolittle Rapids – is another extension of a very long stretch of contiguous river claims available to members which now extend over 8 miles to our Richardson Bedrock property a short distance upstream from Happy Camp.  The lower boundary is located at Highway 96 mile marker 35.5. This new claim is mostly canyon property where few prospectors have been before. Some primitive paths and trails are present to gain access, mostly up towards Doolittle Creek.

Doolittle Rapids topo

Here it is on Google Earth

PROSPECTS: The claims upstream have produced rich gold deposits from top to bottom, with members recovering many, many ounces over the years. A lot of suction dredging was done upstream of the canyon several years ago.  There has also been some productive dredging activity in and around the lower end of the canyon. There is exposed and shallow bedrock on both sides of the river, creating completely unexplored above and below water crevicing opportunities. For the most part, this long stretch of river has not been prospected or mined, and the prospects for finding high-grade gold are exceptional. 

What We Can Do on Our Properties in California 

Members have been calling in wanting to know what we can and cannot do these days for prospecting activity on our extensive property holdings in Siskiyou County.  While I do not have a license to provide legal advice, I will follow with my own understanding of the current state of affairs.

1) We all know that suction dredging in the active waterways is closed until we overcome the existing moratorium in California.  This is presently being challenged in two separate legal proceedings.  Let’s just keep our fingers crossed on this turning out in our favor.

2) Surface mining (high-banking) is still alright. You can do that on your own, or you can join in on our Weekend Group Mining Projects. They are scheduled in 2014 as follows: May 31 & June 1; June 21 & 22; July 12 & 13; August 2 & 3; August 23 & 24. These events are free to all active Members, and everyone is encouraged to attend.  Please contact our office in advance to let us know you will be there: (530) 493-2012.

3) The jury is out on the legality of underwater gravel transfer in Siskiyou County. This is because my own understanding is that a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) remains in affect preventing the Department of Fish & Wildlife from enforcing the Emergency Regulations which put a stop to underwater gravel transfer mining last summer. Since that litigation was transferred to San Bernardino, the TRO kind of remains in legal limbo. My guess is the wardens would frown on the practice. The Club would likely help defend against a citation, though.

On that note, I believe the Emergency Regulations will expire once and for all on the 1st of July.

4) There is no problem with booming (motorized suction mining) 100 yards or more from the active waterway. Doing suction gravel transfer closer than 100 yards, in Siskiyou County, remains in the same legal limbo outlined in the paragraph above. You might or might not get cited if the wardens even take an interest. There has not been much interest so far.

5)  Underwater crevicing is what most active members were doing within the waterways at the end of last season, using the hookah and pump from their 5 and 6 HP motors on floating platforms to provide air for breathing and a small jet of water to help move material out of the way. I was planning to focus the February newsletter on this method of “underwater blow mining,” but the flu that is going around has prevented us from doing the underwater demonstrations on video. You will see something in the March newsletter.

But just to give you something to think about, it is quite easy to rig a blowing hose and blow-nozzle from a small pump to facilitate the excavation of hard-pack on the bottom of a stream, or push small amounts of material out of the way.  There is even a way to push (blow) material through a hose to a recovery system without using any suction system on the bottom.

Miners helping miners!

Here is a short thank you video from the Ward Brothers to all of you guys who support The New 49′er Legal Fund:

The nature of legal sometimes requires that we remain completely silent on issues we get involved with. That’s why this is the first you guys have even heard of this. Some things you will never hear about.

We know you have faith that we are doing our best to support small-scale miners, because you have continued to stand behind our efforts. Thank you for that!

Legal Update 

The main briefs have been filed with the Third Appellate District of California in the Brandon Rinehart case. Many of you will recall that Brandon was cited last year for operating a suction dredge in California without a permit. With financial assistance from PLP and others, Brandon hired our attorney, James Buchal, to defend against the criminal citation.  Brandon’s defense was largely based upon our federal preemption argument in San Bernardino Superior Court that the State does not have the authority to prohibit suction dredging, and that their refusal to issue a permit amounted to a prohibition.  The judge in that case rejected the preemption argument on the presumption that we would appeal to the Appellate Court.

Now that the Appellate Court will consider federal preemption, we are on a fast track to get this very important issue decided.  James Buchal did a fantastic job in presenting opening and closing arguments. I encourage you guys to read them, because they are very enlightening. The State’s argument is basically that congress never meant for the State to be prevented from stopping mining on the public lands.  Anti-mining activists have also weighed in with their own arguments. So that you can more easily follow along in the progress, we have created a special page on our web site that includes all of the important briefs.

In the event that we win the federal preemption argument, my guess is that suction dredge permits will again immediately be available in California.  This, because a judge will have ruled that we can dredge even if California fails to issue permits. It is impossible to predict how long it will take the Court to issue a Decision. But it is possible it could happen before this next season.  We are providing financial assistance to pursue the preemption argument in the Appellate Court, since that outcome is likely to resolve many of the unsettled matters in San Bernardino Superior Court.

The State of Oregon has passed a similar statewide moratorium (SB 838) on suction dredging (as California’s), except that it does not take full effect until 2016. The new law does affect the 2014 and 2015 seasons in several very important ways:

1)      They are reducing the number of suction dredging permits to 850. This is approximately down to a third of the number of permits issued during the 2013 season.  So the big question is who will get the permits?

2)  The new law only allows the operation of a suction dredge between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.

3)  Suction dredges cannot be operated within 500 feet of each other.

4)  No suction dredges may be left unattended on the waterway.  This is generally being interpreted as a requirement to remove all dredging equipment from the waterway every evening.

At the time we are publishing this newsletter, the State of Oregon has yet to issue final regulations how they will administer these changes, and Oregon State Lands is not yet processing permit applications.

Fortunately, we have our federal preemption arguments to (hopefully) overcome this nonsense in Oregon.  To a large degree, the very same arguments we are using to try and overcome California’s moratorium will also apply to Oregon.   How can a State promote mining on the public lands (which is a mandate from congress) when they require a miner to remove his mining equipment from his work site every evening? Or when a miner is prohibited from operating a motor at times when anyone else is allowed to do so?

Since we are already making the federal preemption arguments in California, we will likely wait to see how the Appellate Court decides before challenging the new law in Oregon.

Last Chance to Win Gold & Silver! 

Gold and Silver Eagles

As most of you know, we mostly generate money to pay lawyers through our New 49′er Legal Fund-raisers.  The ongoing fund-raiser will give away 25 prizes in all: The Grand Prize is a 1-ounce American Gold Eagle. There are four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles. There are ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles. And there are ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc.).

This drawing will take place at our offices in Happy Camp on 28 February 2014. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49′ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online by clicking here.

The drawing is only two weeks away and hardly anyone has joined in so far.  So your chances of winning are pretty good!  

Thanks for whatever you can do to support our defensive efforts!

Lost Treasure Hunters Scheduled to Air!

Just as we are going to print with this newsletter, I have received notice from the producer that Animal Planet has scheduled the full version of Lost Treasure Hunters (5 episodes) to play, starting at 8 AM on March 6thEpisode 1 can be found here. I don’t know the times for each time zone.  You might consult your local listings.  I wanted to let you know, since it is unlikely there will be another newsletter before March 6th.  Lost Treasure Hunters is a reality show that was filmed by Discovery Network about several friends and me who went on an extended expedition to India in search of one of the world’s richest diamond mines, a mine that has been lost for several hundred years.  I am not allowed to tell you if we found the mine.  But I can tell you that if you watch the show, you won’t be disappointed in what we found!

It would be good if you guys spread the word around so we can get the ratings up.  This, because I have been talking to the network about doing a second season in the Philippines where we have located a Spanish galleon!!  Television networks are more receptive to new projects when past ones have had good ratings.

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.

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, just two years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

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, JANUARY 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 1

Dave Mack

 

 

By Dave McCracken

 

 

 

Story, images and video segments by John Rose

Gold K-25AA  Gold Claim view

It was a nice sunny day for late December, so we decided to go down to the Club’s new claim at K25AA and check out how the bedrock is producing alongside the Klamath River.  I knew there was going to be gold. This is because I had looked in on a couple of guys that were prospecting down there last winter.  Those guys were bringing gold into the office to sell for groceries and other supplies.  One of the guys devoted all of last winter there, even during all of bad weather and deep snow.  People just don’t do it with that level of enthusiasm unless they are getting positive results.

There were four of us on this prospecting trip.  I was pleased to have veteran prospector and winter miner, Steve Jones along for the adventure. Mary Delco and Robbie Collum from Elk Creek Campground also wanted to come along.

I had previously seen that the trail down to the river from the parking area up by the road was kind of steep in a few places. So we brought along a long length of hand rope. That is now tied off permanently to help some of us older folks with access.  Haa — this was mainly for me!  As you can see from some of the videos, it’s not that the trail is very bad. Still, the rope will prove helpful when packing gear down there. I found it useful for getting back up the hill.

Extensive bedrock Taking surface sample

When we reached the bottom, the sun had not yet dried out the rocks. Some were still covered with ice.  It slowed us down a bit. This is all part of winter prospecting.

The dramatic scenery down on the river struck each of us like we had been transported into a lost world. At the same time, as we reached bottom, we realized how extensive the amount of exposed bedrock is on this new property. This place is a gold panning dream come true! Vack mining machines are going to hit a home run out of the park!  Check it out in this video:

The area was so extensive, after looking around a bit; we just chose a few random places and began digging some sample holes.  The first pan was from right off the surface. We were pleasantly surprised to recover about 15 small pieces of gold. This was much better than what we normally find in other places.

Digging deeper Good gold

We were recovering about 20-30 pieces per pan as we dug deeper.  Pretty soon, we started following a crack on bedrock that was only about a foot down into the material.

I fired up my vack machine to clean the bottom out the best I could in damp material. Then Steve panned that out.  The result was really impressive. There were about 30-40 pieces with a couple of pickers and lots of fines.  Wow; the gold comes easy on this claim!

We could see that the two prospectors who were in there last winter devoted most of their effort further away from the river from where we were prospecting. It looked like they were mostly breaking apart the bedrock.  We didn’t have any pry bars with us on this prospecting trip. Now that we see what they were doing, we will plan another trip down there with some bars.

Altogether, we were there for about three hours. That included setting up the rope on the trail and our hike down to the river and back up, again.  All the others made it back to the top ahead of me, with Mary and Steve the first to the top.  I nicknamed both of them as Billy Goat and Nanny Goat.

Breaking bedrock Final gold

We ran around ten random test pans in all. Some turned up more gold than others, but every pan had gold.  There were pickers, flakes and a lot of fines.  There was a quite a bit of black sand. So we brought our concentrates back to my campsite to finalize the clean-up.  After drying it out, the gold weighed in at half a gram.  That is really good for ten random pans from different areas of the claim.

All in all, this was a great first prospecting adventure on this new property, the first of many more to come!  The gold looks very promising.  My video and images don’t even begin to capture how beautiful and peaceful it is down there.

After note: Steve went back down there on the following day and recovered even more gold!

Extensive New Mining Property Downstream From Happy Camp 
K-25AA Topo

Click Map for larger view

K-25AA – UKONOM GOLD CLAIM – Located about 16 miles downstream of Happy Camp on the Klamath River, this property takes up 1.4 miles of a mostly remote portion of the Klamath River. It is upstream into the lower portion of the Independence canyon that begins up on our K-25 property. It butts up to our K-25A property downstream at the mouth of Ukonom Creek.

Highway Pull-off Parking

The upper end of the property is landlocked by private property.  Please respect the private property signs on the access roads towards the upper end of the property.  The lower end of this property butts up to our K-25A, then to K-25AB, and then to K-25B, allowing us a continuous length of 4.7 miles.

Here is K-25AA on Google Earth.
Here is K-25AA through K-25B on Google Earth.

PROSPECTS: There are signs of historical mining activity up the hillside, and even across on the north side of Highway 96. The panning, crevicing and vack mining opportunities in the exposed bedrock on the bottom end of the property (where the trail leads) provide some of the best small-scale gold recovery you will find anywhere along our extensive properties.  We are assuming there is more of the same along the 1.4 mile stretch of river further upstream.  We will need to find the old prospecting trails that will certainly lead into those areas.  There will unquestionably be extraordinary opportunities for high-grade gold deposits within the active waterway.

This new property has already been added to our Claims Guide; our signs have been posted; and it is open to members whenever you are ready to venture down there.

Legal Update 

We have some exciting plans on the table about how we will keep underwater mining going in California for the upcoming season.  Please stay tuned for more details in next month’s newsletter.

Meanwhile, the main briefs have been filed with the Third Appellate District of California in the Brandon Rinehart case. Many of you will recall that Brandon was cited last year for operating a suction dredge in California without a permit. With financial assistance from PLP and others, Brandon hired our attorney, James Buchal, to defend against the criminal citation.  Brandon’s defense was largely based upon our federal preemption argument in San Bernardino Superior Court. We do not believe that the State has the authority to prohibit the only effective method of mining submerged streambeds on our federal mining claims. Our position is that their refusal to issue a permit amounts to an outright prohibition.  The judge in that case rejected the preemption argument on the presumption that we would appeal to the Appellate Court.

Now that the Appellate Court will consider federal preemption, we are on a fast track to get this very important issue decided.  James Buchal did a fantastic job in presenting opening and closing arguments. I encourage you guys to read them, because they are very enlightening. The State basically argues that congress never intended for the State to be prevented from stopping mining on the public lands. I suggest if we were able to get these arguments properly in front of a federal judge (tried and failed), we would have overcome California’s moratorium several years ago.

Just in the last week, the Karuk Tribe and our extremist environmental adversaries have filed an Application with the Third Appellate Court to submit a friend of the court brief in support of the State’s position. It is filled with the same old lies and misrepresentations they have been using for quite some time. Having said that, my guess is that the arguments pose compelling challenges to uninformed people who are trying to understand the issues. The brief provides a good review of what we are up against.

And then, just in the last few days, Pacific Legal Foundation, which is a substantial conservative player in the legal arena, has submitted a brief on behalf of Brandon in the Third Appellate District of California! It is clear that there will be serious ramifications as a result of the Decision in this case!

In the event that we win the federal preemption argument, my guess is that suction dredge permits will again immediately be available in California.  This, because the Appellate in California will have ruled that we can dredge if California fails to issue permits. We can only hope for a Decision before this next season.  We are also providing financial assistance to pursue the preemption argument in the Appellate Court since that outcome is likely to resolve many of the unsettled matters in San Bernardino Superior Court.

The State of Oregon has passed a similar statewide moratorium (SB 838) on suction dredging, except that it does not take full effect until 2016. The new law does affect the 2014 and 2015 seasons in several very important ways:

1)      They are reducing the number of suction dredging permits to 850. This is approximately down to a third of the number of permits issued during the 2013 season.  The big question at the moment is who will get the permits?  Our members have substantial dredging opportunities in Oregon!

2)  The new law only allows the operation of a suction dredge between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.

3)  Suction dredges cannot be operated within 500 feet of each other.

4)  No suction dredges may be left unattended on the waterway.  This is generally being interpreted as a requirement to remove all dredging equipment from the waterway every evening.

At the time we are publishing this newsletter, the State of Oregon has yet to issue final regulations how they will administer these changes. Although I was just informed this morning that they are now accepting permit applications.

To a large degree, our very same arguments to overcome California’s moratorium will also apply in Oregon.   How can a State promote mining (which is the mandate from congress) when they require a miner to remove his mining equipment from his work site every day? Or when a miner is prohibited from operating a motor at times when anyone else in the world is allowed to do so?

We Are Giving Away Gold & Silver! 

Gold and Silver Eagles

As most of you know, we mostly generate money to pay for legal defense through our New 49′er Legal Fund-raisers.  The ongoing fund-raiser will give away 25 prizes in all: The Grand Prize is a 1-ounce American Gold Eagle. There are four ¼-ounce American Gold Eagles. There are ten 1/10th-ounce American Gold Eagles. And there are ten 1-ounce American Silver Eagles.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc).

This drawing will take place at our offices in Happy Camp on 28 February 2014. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win.  There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49′ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or online by clicking Here. 

Weekend Project Schedule for 2014

Our best high-banking opportunities remain along our extensive properties on the Klamath River in northern California.  Therefore, our Weekend Group Mining Projects will take place during 2014 near our headquarters in Happy Camp.  They are scheduled as follows: May 31 & June 1; June 21 & 22; July 12 & 13; August 2 & 3; August 23 & 24. These events are free to all active Members, and everyone is encouraged to attend.  Please contact our office in advance to let us know you will be there: (530) 493-2012.

All of the 2014 events are expected to happen on or near our famous Mega-Hole property at K-15A. There is plenty of free camping for members on this property, where it is just a walk to where we will be working. There are also private accommodations in Happy Camp, which is only about 12 miles away.

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.

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, just two years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

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

FOURTH  QUARTER, NOVEMBER 2013                                VOLUME 27, NUMBER 10

Dave Mack

 

 

By Dave McCracken

 

 

 

tickets Drawing 11-2013

This drawing was for three ounces of mostly nugget gold which Rich Krimm and I mined together along the bottom of the Klamath River during the 2013 season.  The drawing took place just before closing time in our offices in Happy Camp on 8 November.  Because she had no personal interest in the outcome, we asked Connie Rasmussen from the gift store next door to draw the tickets. In addition to our staff, eight people were present for the drawing. One of them turned out to be a prize winner. Here are the winners:

One ounce of gold: Guy Congdon

Quarter-ounce of gold:  Michael Crihfield, Steve Sharp, Scott Atkison & James Barbour

One pennyweight of gold:  Jeff Hight, Frederrick Sanders, Donald Flickinger,
Jason Andrews, Michael O’Connell, Mark Bottcher, Ronald Sawyer, David Hook, James Rogan, Bernard O’connell, Bill Wright, Sandy Drake, Jayson Nelson, Les Martin, John Evans, Robert Sonnenburg, Larry Reiter, Gene F Oliver, Gerard Welch & Scott Atkison.

Here is some video that was captured during the drawing:

I want to give a heart-felt thank you to everyone who participated in this fund-raiser. I was really biting my nails, because there did not seem to be very much interest up until the last several days. The girls in the office say the volume of contributions streaming in over the phone and Internet during the last few days required them to bring in two extra office helpers to process everything in time for the drawing! On the larger scheme of things, we can count this fund-raiser as another big winner for small-scale miners.

Congratulations to all the winners! Those beautiful nuggets of gold are yours, now. I hope you appreciate them as much as Rich and I did as we recovered them off the bottom of the Klamath River.

Gold eagleSilver Eagle

Any contributions received after the time of the drawing will automatically generate tickets for our next prize drawing, which will be for 15 American Gold Eagles (3 ounces of gold) and 10 American Silver Eagles (10 ounces of silver).  Our next drawing will take place at our offices in Happy Camp on Friday afternoon, 28 February 2013. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate.  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.

Legal contributions can be arranged by calling (530) 493-2012, by mailing to The New 49′ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039, or you can do it online by clicking here:

Legal Update 

We have some exciting plans on the table concerning how we will keep underwater mining going in California for the upcoming season.  Please stay tuned for more details when the timing is right.

Meanwhile, I am very excited to announce that the Third Appellate District of California has agreed to consider our federal preemption argument in the Brandon Rinehart case. Many of you will recall that Brandon was cited last year for operating a suction dredge in California without a permit. With financial assistance from PLP and others, Brandon hired our attorney, James Buchal, to defend against the criminal citation.  Brandon’s defense was largely based upon our federal preemption argument in San Bernardino Superior Court that the State does not have the authority to prohibit suction dredging, and that their refusal to issue a permit amounted to a prohibition.  The judge in that case rejected the preemption argument on the presumption that we would appeal to the Appellate Court.

Now that the Appellate Court will consider federal preemption, we are on a fast track to get this very important issue decided.  James Buchal did a fantastic job in presenting opening arguments. Those can be found right here. I encourage you guys to read them, because they are very enlightening. I suggest if we were able to get them properly in front of a federal judge (tried and failed), we would have overcome California’s moratorium several years ago.

In the event that we win the federal preemption argument, my guess is that suction dredge permits will again immediately be available in California.  This, because a judge will have ruled that we can dredge if California fails to issue permits. The State’s Answer is due in November. Then we will submit a Reply. It is impossible to predict how long it will take the Court to then issue a Decision. But it is possible it could happen before this next season.  We have offered to provide financial assistance to pursue the preemption argument in the Appellate Court, since that outcome is likely to resolve many of the unsettled matters in San Bernardino Superior Court.

The State of Oregon has passed a similar statewide moratorium (SB 838) on suction dredging (as California’s), except that it does not take full effect until 2016. However, the new law does affect the 2014 and 2015 seasons in several very important ways:

1)      They are reducing the number of suction dredging permits to 850. This is approximately down to a third of the number of permits issued during the 2013 season.  So the big question is who will get the permits?  State officials are floating an idea to create a point system, providing a single point per applicant for each of the past years back to 2006 that an applicant held an Oregon suction dredging permit from DEQ or State Lands, and another point for each of the past years back to 2006 that the applicant held a federal mining claim in his or her name.  Those with the most points will be given priority.  This was the idea Oregon State Lands was considering about a month ago during public meetings.  They will come out with a final plan before the end of this year.

2)  The new law only allows the operation of a suction dredge between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm.

3)  Suction dredges cannot be operated within 500 feet of each other.

4)  No suction dredges may be left unattended on the waterway.  This is generally being interpreted as a requirement to remove all dredging equipment from the waterway every evening.

All I can say is that our leaders have clearly lost their way since it is only productive economic activity that provides the foundations for a free and prosperous civilization!  It is very unfortunate that Oregon would desire to close off some of the most fantastic small-scale mining opportunities in the world!

Fortunately, we have our federal preemption arguments to (hopefully) overcome this nonsense in Oregon.  To a large degree, the very same arguments we are using to try and overcome California’s moratorium will also apply to Oregon.   How can a State promote mining (which is a mandate from congress) when they require a miner to remove his mining equipment from his work site every day? Or when a miner is prohibited from operating a motor at times when anyone else is allowed to do so?

Because we are getting so much support from you guys on our legal fund-raining events, we are already coordinating with our attorney to help launch a legal challenge to this new law in Oregon.  Having learned the hard way in California, we will be more careful this time on how we position the challenge in front of a federal court. Please stay tuned for the fireworks!

Meanwhile, however Oregon decides to issue permits, if you want to operate a suction dredge there for the next two seasons, we suggest you submit your permit application to Oregon State Lands in early January.

Weekend Project Schedule for 2014 

Our best high-banking opportunities remain along our extensive properties on the Klamath River in northern California.  Therefore, our Weekend Group Mining Projects will take place during 2014 near our headquarters in Happy Camp.  They are scheduled as follows: May 31 & June 1; June 21 & 22; July 12 & 13; August 2 & 3; August 23 & 24. These events are free to all active Members, and everyone is encouraged to attend.  Please contact our office in advance to let us know you will be there: (530) 493-2012.

2014 Schedule of Events

All of the 2014 events are expected to happen on or near our famous Mega-Hole property at K-15A. There is plenty of free camping for members on this property, where it is just a walk to where we will be working. There are also private accommodations in Happy Camp, which is only about 12 miles away.

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.

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, just two years ago, in concert with other mining organizations, our Internet Action Team killed anti-mining legislation in Oregon in less than a week.  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!

 

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

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