New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD QUARTER, JULY 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 7

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

Working in a rowGold in pan

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

Dave in jet boatDerek driving raft

Gold sample

Typical pan sample out of the new deposit!

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

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

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

Virgin streambedVirgin stream bed 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dan pulling raftDerek waving

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

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

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

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

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

People in raftsPeople working together

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

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

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

Pot luckBig smile

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

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

Ground zero actionFeeding high-banker

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

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

Vacking bedrockNuggets in pan

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

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

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

Pointing at ground zeroGold sample, ground zero

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

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

Dave showing goldGold in bottle

We were getting nuggets out there, too!

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

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

Dave running Le TrapGold in Letrap

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

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

Dave & CraigWatching Le Trap

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

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

Final goldHaving fun

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

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

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

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

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

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

Schedule of Events

Legal Fund Winners!

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

Here are the winners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with the State only affects motorized suction mining within 100 yards of California’s active waterways. It does not have anything to do with the other types of prospecting or mining that we do in California. Unaffected prospecting activities include panning, sniping & vack-mining, sluicing & high-banking, electronic prospecting and other types of prospecting that do not use a suction nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our Group Weekend Projects.

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

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

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

Fire Restrictions

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

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

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

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

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

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

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

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New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, JUNE 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 6

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

virgin streambed chunky gold in sample pan

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

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

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

Dave & Alice

“Dave and Alice”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shawn

Shawn

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

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

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

Craig Colt

Craig Colt has returned!

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

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

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

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

Dave's sample from a single pan

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

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

Sampling team

“This deposit is rich!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with the State only affects motorized suction mining within 100 yards of California’s active waterways. It does not have anything to do with the other types of prospecting or mining that we do in California. Unaffected prospecting activities include panning, sniping & vack-mining, sluicing & high-banking, electronic prospecting and other types of prospecting that do not use a suction nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our Group Weekend Projects.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects This Season!

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

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

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

Schedule of Events

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

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

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

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

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

 

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

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New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, MAY 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 5

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

.

Dredging Gold 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, just in case you do not know, this ongoing conflict with the State only affects suction dredging within 100 yards of California’s active waterways. It does not have anything to do with the other types of prospecting or mining that we do in California. Unaffected prospecting activities include panning, sniping & vack-mining, sluicing & high-banking, electronic prospecting and other types of prospecting that do not use a suction nozzle within 100 yards of an active stream, river or creek. It also does not affect our group weekend projects.

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

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

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects This Season!

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

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

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

Schedule of Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

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

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

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

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

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

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New 49'er Newsletter

SECOND QUARTER, APRIL 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 4

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

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

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

Derek dredging 2015 dredged gold 2015

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

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

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

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

DFW Wardens Back Off During First Contact With Suction Dredgers!

Story by Derek Eimer & John Rose

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

CA DFW Wardens reading Judge Ochoa's ruling

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

The Legal Fund is Giving Away 2 Fantastic Gold Detectors!

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

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

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

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

You can find out more right here.

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects This Season!

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

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

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

Schedule of Events

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

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

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

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suction Dredge Use Classifications and Rules

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

(1) Class A: No dredging permitted at anytime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scott River and Tributaries in Siskiyou County are Class G.

(e) Equipment Requirements.

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

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

(f) Restrictions on Methods of Operation.

(1) Winching is permitted under the following provisions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

These Rules are effective as of 1 April 2015

Rich Krimm, Director of Internal Affairs, 

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

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March  2015

 

ATX1     ATX2

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

AT Gold1     AT Gold 2

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

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

Gold Eagles

We will also be giving away twenty tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles!

Your contribution to The New 49’ers Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

There will be 22 prizes in all:

Grand Prize: Garrett ATX Metal Detector

Second Prize: Garrett AT Gold Detector

Twenty tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles

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

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out.

Our office will automatically generate a ticket in your name for every $10 legal contribution we receive ($100 would generate 10 tickets, etc). There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win. Your contribution to The New 49’er Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

Legal contributions can also 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.

 

 

 
 

New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST  QUARTER, MARCH 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 3

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

 

 

 

 

k-26 river view

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

K-26 Three Creeks topo

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

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

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

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

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

Here it is on Google Earth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

drawing 2 1drawing

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

Here are the winners:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ATX1     ATX2

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

AT Gold1     AT Gold 2

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

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

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

Gold Eagles

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

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

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

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

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

We are Stepping in on Another Legal Challenge

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

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

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

We are Still Waiting for the Judge’s Order!

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

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

Here is a shorter summary from our attorney.

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

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects Next Season!

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

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

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

Schedule of Events

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

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

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

Sign up for our Free Internet Newsletter!

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

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

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New 49'er Newsletter

FIRST  QUARTER, FEBRUARY 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 2

Dave Mack

 

  Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

Dear Members & Supporters,

We have drafted a newsletter that includes a video-enhanced story about a brand new very exciting gold discovery for surfacing gold mining activity along the lower stretch of our K-23AA property.  This discovery will largely affect how the upcoming gold prospecting season plays out along the Klamath River in northern California.

We are also releasing all the details about our new K-26 property downstream of Happy Camp where we already know of rich gold deposits in the river, and where our preliminary sampling team has been recovering gold along the edge of the river for the entire stretch of the claim.  This is a property we have been waiting to acquire since my first season on the Klamath during 1984!

The thing that is holding everything up is that we are still waiting for the San Bernardino Superior Court’s final Order concerning our Summary Judgment wins last month. Most of you will recall that Superior Court Judge Ochoa awarded California suction dredgers a huge win on January 12th by declaring the State of California’s “scheme” of first passing a law that requires us to obtain a permit, and then passing another law making permits unavailable, as an unlawful, un-enforceable interference with the intention of congress. This is a HUGE win for all gold miners!  

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

Here is a shorter summary from our attorney.

However, we are waiting for a final signed Order from the judge so we can figure out how the Judgment will affect our 2015 suction dredging season in California!

Normally, we would delay putting something out to you guys until we receive the Order.  But this month is different because The New 49’ers Legal Fund ongoing drawing will take place in just a few weeks.  The Fund will be giving away the best set of prizes ever:  Proline Manufacturing has contributed a brand new 4-inch suction dredge as the grand prize.  There are also 20 American Gold Eagles!

Gold Eagles 4" Proline dredge

The drawing will take place just before the close of business at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday evening, 27 February 2015. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

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

Purchase Tickets for the next legal Fund-raiser Drawing

paypal-blu  $10.00 each – Enter the number of tickets you wish to purchase into the quantity field then click “Update” before checking out.

Since the drawing date is coming up in just a few weeks, and we don’t know how many more days or weeks we will need to wait for the Judge’s Order, we have decided to hold back the bulk of the newsletter for the moment and get this out to you.

Please help us make this the most productive legal fund-raiser ever!

As always, we greatly appreciate whatever you can do.

Best wishes,

Dave Mack

General Manager, New 49’er Prospectors Association

 

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 2015                               VOLUME 29, NUMBER 1

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Ochoa awarded California suction dredgers a huge win on January 12th by declaring California’s “scheme” of first passing a law that requires us to obtain a permit, and then passing another law making permits unavailable, as an unlawful interference with the intention of congress. This is truly a great win for all gold miners! Since we have invested so much for such a long time to get here, I strongly encourage you to read the decision.

Here is a shorter summary from our attorney.

There are different perspectives circulating around the industry on how this ruling will affect the coming 2015 dredging season. But I will voice my own opinion that at least until the California Supreme Court weighs in (or chooses not to) on the recent Rinehart Decision (we will know within a few weeks), I do not believe there is any chance the State of California could successfully prosecute any person for operating a suction dredge without a permit.

For your benefit and mine, it is important that I disclose that I am not a licensed attorney.  So I cannot provide legal advice.  Since there is not much certainty remaining these days when it comes to legal matters, it is important that we seek our own council from people we trust, and we must each find our own way.

My own opinion is that the end result of all this is going to hinge upon what the California Supreme Court decides to do about the State’s Petition for review of the Rinehart Decision, along with their request to have it de-published.  There is much more about this in last month’s newsletter.

If the Rinehart decision is allowed to stand, my thinking is that a healthy portion of the ongoing litigation in San Bernardino will become insignificant, and the entire burden is going to be placed upon the State to come up with a reasonable set of regulations which protect their interests while not placing a material interference upon mining.  In those instances where material interference is necessary (such as to protect an endangered species), the State will have to be willing to pay property owners for their losses.

Until they finally do come up with a reasonable permit scheme, it doesn’t appear that the State can successfully prosecute anyone for operating a suction dredge.  Though I would not be surprised to see them make another try at it; we will have to see.

Stay closely tuned, because the California Supreme Court must decide whether to review Rinehart even before you will see the next newsletter.  For those of you who want to stay updated, I suggest you join our free Internet Message Forum.

Today we have an important ruling in San Bernardino that basically has declared California’s existing permit “scheme” as unlawful and unenforceable.  That sure is a long way from where we started!

Once again, I want to thank all of you who have supported this effort. It just goes to show that sometimes the good guys actually do win!

K-17A – China Point Claim 

K-17A

I am pleased to announce that we have acquired 2.4 miles of the Klamath River downstream of China Point and have extended the upper boundary of our Gordons Ferry property (K-18) another half-mile upriver.  This adds nearly 3 miles to our extensive property holdings. These have already been added to our Claims Guide which is also available from the office.

China Point K-17A -topo map

Pan samples there have turned up gold out of the exposed bedrock cracks, and the advanced sampling team was excited about trying out our new form of gravity mining and some booming in the areas where the old-timers left off.

This stretch of river is mostly a remote canyon that does not include dangerous rapids.  Our advanced sampling team voyaged through by rubber raft and described the area as so remote; it reminded them of something out of the movie, Jurassic Park.  Our initial impression is that the stretch is going to be ideal for crevice mining and suction dredging.

Google earth view of the entire claim, the location of private property, and our Gordon’s Ferry location downstream.

It’s still too early to tell, but our initial guess is that the best way to gain full access to this claim is by launching a raft or small boat from China Point River Access and then getting picked up later in the day (or week) at the river access on our Gordon’s Ferry Claim (K-18). The distance between the two points is just a little more than 3 beautiful miles.  With the exception of a 1-mile stretch of private property (see maps), we have mineral access to the entire stretch.  The floating distance is short enough that you could make day trips in and out of your mining site.  Or, this would be a fantastic area to do some remote camping along the river.  Here are some video sequences that will give you an initial look at the property:

There are just a very few long, remote stretches of the gold-bearing Klamath river that are not blocked by dangerous white water.  In fact, this may be the only one.  So we are very lucky to have it!

A  lot of bedrock Sample gold

Some gold panned out of exposed bedrock

PROSPECTS: Because of remote access, we suggest almost no prospecting has taken place in this area during the modern age. Shortly before the dredge moratorium took effect in California, several of our members devoted about a month of dredging directly at the top end of this property.  They were bringing their gold into the office for us to see; and the golden treasure they recovered, consisting of mostly large flakes and nuggets, took our breaths away! This is a very proven, rich section of the Klamath River, with gold mining history going back to the very early days. Members have done exceptionally well both in and alongside the river on our Gordon’s Ferry Claim just downriver. 

PLP President, Jerry Hobbs, Passed Away on December 28

Note: parts of this announcement were borrowed from a GPAA announcement.

Jerry Hobbs - PLPFor those who have not heard, I am saddened to announce that Public Lands for the People (PLP) founder and president, Jerry Hobbs, has passed away after a long battle with kidney and heart disease. He was 71 years old.

PLP is a land rights advocacy group. The membership-based, non-profit organization was established in 1990 and has been fighting to keep public lands open for multiple uses, including prospecting and mining.  They are equally responsible for the recent legal battles we have won.

Jerry joined the U.S. Marines after graduating high school in Pueblo, Colo. After leaving the Marine Corps, he moved to California from Colorado and became involved in gold mining. He supported himself by dredging for gold in the Mother Lode region for several years and then moved to Azusa, Calif., where he opened a gold prospecting store, Azusa Gold.

Jerry was first and foremost a miner. He was tough, and he was strong. He believed in conservative principles, the U.S. Constitution and the Mining Law of 1872. He fought against big government interference in the daily lives of prospectors and miners. He was not afraid to speak up and stand up for the rights of others. He was a freedom fighter; and despite being delivered some knockout punches in life, he always rose to his feet for the next round. He never let down his guard. He was steadfast in his belief in the rights of the individual and was fiercely independent.

Jerry served as president of PLP for more than a decade until his passing. He also served as vice president under past presidents Barry Wetherby and Dee Stapp, both close personal friends. He was also friends with Pat Keene, who also was instrumental in forming PLP. Jerry had thousands of friends and supporters.  While there is always some differing opinions on the sidelines of our industry, Jerry was highly regarded and respected by all of our industry leaders.

I first met Jerry in 1993 during the first attempt by the State of California to completely eliminate suction dredge mining. It was that dire situation which brought most or all of California small-scale mining community together in a united front. Barry Wetherby, Terry & Dee Stapp, Pat Keene, Jerry and several others were there representing PLP and the southern part of the state. Several other industry giants were present throughout that very tiresome and lengthy process: Ron Stockman was representing the Motherlode Miners Association and Goldhounds.  Lyn Gunn, who was smarter than everyone put together, represented the Miners Alliance and the Trinity County area. Both Ron and Lyn passed on years ago. John Oats represented the Shasta Miners. There was a guy named Dennis Raft who represented GPAA.  He’s also not around, anymore. I was representing The New 49’ers and the mining community of Siskiyou County.  There were a few others that came and went. But I believe it would be safe to say that this was the first string of players who represented small-scale gold mining during the modern age in California.

The truth is that, between ourselves, we disagreed on nearly everything. The thing that held us together was the determination we all shared to save our industry.  Serious gold miners are generally a hard-headed bunch of independent nonconformists.  You are required to be this way to overcome Mother Nature’s formidable obstacles to recover golden treasure from the earth or the bottom of raging rivers.  Miners are tough.  We don’t like to ask for permission – from anyone. This is especially true about things we have the right to do in the first place! This nature places us in direct confrontation with government agencies and anti-mining activists that seek to make mining more difficult than it already is. We are fighting for freedom!

Our nature also often puts us at odds with each other on the different paths we could take to defend our industry.  Jerry and I often disagreed on tactics.  The same situation existed between most of us who were actively fighting for the industry back in the 90’s, and even today. None of us have ever disagreed on the ultimate destination. All or most of us have matured through the process, realizing that we can disagree without becoming enemies. I am certain that it was the combination of our separate approaches, along with the efforts of other industry leaders, and the overwhelming support of the industry, that saved our day in 1994 – and also during these more recent times.  That initial very substantial effort kept our industry strong all the way until the suction dredge moratorium was imposed upon California in 2009. That was quite an accomplishment considering we did it without attorneys; something that would be impossible these days.

Most everyone knew Jerry during his later years as he was getting older and struggling with health issues. He just looked and acted like a good old guy (unless you got into an argument with him). That’s the reason I am printing the image of Jerry that was taken when his body was younger.  That’s who he really was! Jerry was a warrior all the way to his last breath. And, although he would cringe at the thought of being called a martyr, there is no doubt that he sacrificed most of his life for the sake of others and to preserve the small-scale gold mining industry.

Above all, Jerry was a man of principle and was loyal to his members and the industry. He would not accept compromise! He believed miners have already given up too much ground.

Many people don’t know it was Jerry Hobbs that took up the fight to defend two small-scale miners on the South Fork of the Salmon River that ultimately resulted in the landmark Decision of Lex & Waggner. That case effectively neutralized an ongoing U.S. Forest Service policy of abusing miners on the public lands and ultimately resulted in the USFS Section 228 Rules that support our industry today.

Jerry was the first to take up the more recent fight to defend Brandon Rinehart who was being criminally prosecuted for having the courage to make a stand against California’s suction dredge moratorium. If Jerry had not taken the initiative to lead that charge, there is a reasonable chance we would not be where we are today.

If I had to sum up my own recollection of what Jerry said over and over again, sometimes loud enough to silence the whole room, it was this“The government does not have the authority to materially interfere with mining on the public lands!”  We all agreed with this.  Our internal struggles have always been about how to get the government to see it our way.  Jerry’s view above summarizes what the Third Appellate Court recently decided in Brandon Rinehart’s case.  That was the most important win in support of small-scale mining in the modern age.  And it is a fantastic legacy for the first wave of our industry defenders to leave behind. Most of them are gone now. But new leaders are emerging.

Jerry Hobbs fought harder than anyone else to get us here.  I am so glad he lived long enough to see his dream come true. And I’m sure he is in a good place smiling at Judge Ochoa’s Decision this week.

Proline Donated a 4-inch Dredge to Our Next Legal Fund Drawing!

 

4" Proline dredge

There will be 21 prizes in all:

Grand Prize: 4-inch Proline dredge

Twenty tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles.

Come on you guys; let’s make this the most successful fund-raiser in the history of our industry!

Gold EaglesThe New 49’ers Legal Fund drawing will take place just before the close of business at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday evening, 27 February 2015. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

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

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects Next Season!

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

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

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

Schedule of Events

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, in a matter of hours, we generated a big portion of the recent letters to the California Supreme Court by contacting our supporters this way. 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

FOURTH  QUARTER, DECEMBER 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 12

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

We sponsor weekend Group Mining Projects every third weekend during the summer season.  These events nearly always take place along the Klamath River in the proximity of Happy Camp in northern California.  The service is free to all of our active members. We encourage people to attend. This is because there is a lot to be gained by participating in prospecting activity with others who are on the cutting edge of more effective ways to recover gold.  Everybody who attends is entitled to an equal split of the gold that we recover on these projects.

Having fun Mid day clean-up

The events are a lot of fun.  In fact, they are one of the primary benefits of membership in The New 49’ers that sets us apart from other mining associations.  These weekend projects are one of our most successful activities.  This is largely because so many people get introduced to the activity of successful gold prospecting and become passionate about it.
Father & son

Fortunately, we have a number of experienced members who volunteer their time to help organize these projects.  Otherwise, there is no way we could manage the number of people who come.  Our largest event drew in 137 people.  That was so many that I had to use a megaphone to talk loud enough out in the field that everyone could hear me.  That was too many people.  I don’t ever want to do that again!  It is more normal for the projects to involve around 40 to 50 people. That’s just about right.

We take these projects seriously enough that some of our most dedicated helpers, like Rich Krimm, John Rose, Ray Derrick, Diane Helgesen and Derek Eimer devote several days in advance of a weekend project searching the river for just the right place.  By this, I mean that there must be a high-grade gold deposit that is within reach of our methods of hand-mining.  We need to be able to set up recovery systems in a location where natural contours on the bank will direct the dirty water from our high-bankers away from the river.  There needs to be good enough access that we can get people safely down to the river, and sometimes across the river.  Since we now have access to around 100 miles of mining property in the vicinity of Happy Camp, there are plenty of places to pick and choose from.

Early this past season, we discovered just the right place around 9 miles downstream of Happy Camp.  The site is located on the far side of the river on one of our newer mining properties, K-23AA.  There is plenty of parking and overnight camping there in a large pull-off along Highway 96.  Since it was going to be necessary to ferry participants across the river, we launched one of our large, commercial Colorado River rafts and powered it back and forth across the river with a small outboard engine.

The interesting thing about these weekend projects is that they generate a lot of new ideas and innovation.  There is always someone coming up with a new way of doing things. Our project helpers do a lot of prospecting on their own; so they are always coming up with a more efficient method of recovering gold.  And, step-by-step, that’s how we developed this entirely new method of surface mining (high-banking) this past season.  We call it “gravity mining.” This is a new method in the modern age.  My guess is that the old-timers probably had this method of mining worked out at the turn of the century. 

Tony digging Rake

Group actionThe video and images in this story are from our final weekend event of last season. There were 53 enthusiastic participants, including our normal helpers, along with longtime members, Diane Phillips, Jim Yerby, Bob Sonnenburg and Gary & Sheri Standefer. Both Jim and Bob have been big supporters of our program for many years. Gary and I have a long history dating back to our time together in the Navy SEALs.

We had already worked out the gravity mining method on the previous project, so setting up the project was pretty routine.  Rich Krimm and John Rose always supervise the excavation activities on these projects.  We had already devoted enough time in this gold deposit to know where the line of pay-dirt was located and what the pay-dirt looks like. It is an orange-colored compacted gravel on top of decomposed bedrock.  Derek, Ray and both Diane’s, for the most part, manage the gold recovery systems. Gary & Sheri jumped into the excavation process.  It actually takes some practice and experience to keep a steady flow of material moving through a syphon nozzle.  My main job is to capture the project on camera.  But I do like to take a hand in the excavation activity.  I was able to get some work in on this project.

Gravity mining is accomplished by pumping water up into a small hole that is elevated above the recovery system.  The pumped water can be used to help excavate pay-dirt material inside the hole.  Once the hole fills up, the excess water will overflow unless you set up a way to drain the excess.  It is the drain which we incorporated into the “gravity mining” concept.  As long as the excavation where the water is being pumped is elevated some distance above the recovery system(s), a hose can be used to syphon the excess water from the hole and direct it down into the recovery system.  We were using two 3-inch hoses on this project.  We attached the hoses to nozzles to make it easier to control the syphons.  The cool thing is that the water flow will also carry along excavated pay-dirt down the hose and into the recovery systems.  Here it is on video:

One exciting thing about this method is that we can use extended lengths of hose or PVC plastic pipe and a series of booster pumps to process rich ancient channel deposits that exist further away from the active river, and even some distance up the hillsides.  I have already seen one member using a second pump in line to boost the water further away from the river.  Inline booster pumps are what firefighters use to direct pressurized water great distances away from the source, maybe even miles away!

Working hard

This particular group was very enthusiastic and not afraid of hard work.  One of the guys insisted on staying out on the dig site, and swimming back across the river after dark. Others said they could see him over there after dark using a head lamp.  That’s a level of enthusiasm I have not seen before!  Check it out:

Jim YerbyFree Video:

Throughout the day, our more experienced guys operated the syphon nozzles while most others were digging pay-dirt, screening it into buckets and pouring the pay-dirt into the water-filled excavations.

Of course, the more pay-dirt we process, the more gold we will recover.  The beauty of this gravity mining is that we don’t have to devote time and effort packing pay-dirt very far.

There are two secrets to feeding as much pay-dirt into a syphon nozzle as possible.  The first is to not overload the hose with so much material at once that it packs up.  This is a bit challenging when dozens of others are pouring buckets of screened pay-dirt into the excavation!  The second secret is to move the larger rocks out of the way as fast as you can; rocks which are too large to go into the nozzle. Otherwise, they block the end of the nozzle and slow down the volume. Here is a demonstration:

It is normal for us on a mining project to continuously pan-sample the material we are processing to make sure we are still on the pay-dirt.  Here is a look at some of the action on video:

Carrying bucketsAt mid-day, Ray Derrek and Rich Krimm processed a sample of material out of just one of the recovery systems so we could see how we were doing.  It is a long tradition of ours to perform a mid-day clean-up so we can show everyone the fruits of their labor.  This bunch was already so jacked up, they didn’t need any motivation.  There were lots of expressions of delight as Rich took the pan of gold around for everyone to see.  Most everyone out there just paused for a quick look and then went back to work filling buckets with the orange pay-dirt and the decomposing bedrock. Here is a firsthand look at what they were doing:

Just a little while later, I noticed a man & woman showing off some gold in a pan.  I cannot tell you how important it is to pay attention to this sort of thing!  Especially to me, because I am always looking for the next and better place to put on these weekend projects.  I refer to this as staying on the right wavelength. When people are showing gold around, they get my full attention! This couple turned out to be New 49’er members, David MacKenzie and Alice Leverenz.

Happy couple "One bucket" sample

Showing off the gold from a single bucket of pay-dirt this couple recovered from an exciting new gold deposit they just located downstream.

When I first saw David and Alice showing off their gold, I figured they recovered a good sample from the area where we were actively mining.  But it turned out they were showing off the gold they had recovered out of a single bucket of streambed material a few days before in a completely different area some distance downriver.  It was quite a good showing!  They also had some very nice nuggets from digging down there in another place closer to the river.

Commercial mining is normally associated with dredging underwater gold deposits.  This is one of the few couples we have in The New 49’ers that support themselves from the gold they recover digging up on the surface (high-banking). It can be done if you find a high-grade gold deposit. They were saying the pay-dirt is so rich where they were digging that they were getting gold in every pan, and even out of the leaves on the ground! Check it out here:

This is typically the way new discoveries are made along our extensive properties in The New 49’ers.  Some member makes a good discovery and then shows it around.  Other members migrate to the new discovery.  Sometimes we have full-on gold rushes!  There are rules in place which allow members to claim areas where they want to work.  First come, first served. It’s a good system to allow members to spread the wealth around without worry over losing their own part of it.

The place where David and Alice made their discovery is along an extensive exposure of surface streambed further downstream on K-23AA – which is quite a long claim.  They were inviting and encouraging other members to join them down there in their good fortune.  This is very common in The New 49’ers where we have plenty of room for everyone.

Rich, John, Diane and I took them up on their offer a few days later, using my jet boat to gain access to the new discoveries.  It’s all very exciting.  I captured more images and video, and we are considering how we might move the weekend projects down that way this next season.  Watch for more about this in a coming newsletter.

Happy Camp Fire Smoke
Catastrophic wildfires burned throughout Siskiyou County for a large part of the 2014 season

Final goldNormally, the heat kills us off by mid-day during our projects in August.  But the wild fires near Happy Camp were creating a light smoke haze in the air that was filtering the hot sun.  I’m certain the whole group was willing to go all day if we wanted to, some of them even until after dark!  But our project helpers already knew we had recovered enough gold by around noon. So we broke down the gear, filled in all our excavations and ferried nearly everyone back across the river. Once again, I believe the night-miner remained behind.

Several hours later, after processing what we recovered back in Happy Camp, we split off 11.2 pennyweights of beautiful gold amongst 51 people.  That’s a bit more than half an ounce.  I believe it was a seasonal record.  There were a bunch of small nuggets, two that weighed 7 grains!  I was pleased to see so many happy faces.  This is the part I like the most!

I want to express a big thank you to all of our experienced volunteer helpers on these projects.  You guys play a big part in making our organization great!

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects Next Season!

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

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

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

Schedule of Events 

Rinehart Decision will now go to California Supreme Court! 

We recently announced that the California Third Appellate Court refused the State’s request to reconsider their landmark Decision which confirmed the rights of prospectors to be free of unreasonable regulation when mining on the public lands.  The Third Appellate also consented to our requests to publish their Decision so we could rely upon it in other ongoing and future litigation.

In my own opinion, the published Rinehart Decision is the most important legal development in support of mining in America during the modern age.  It is the turning point which should be the foundation of future mining in America.

Since being denied by the Third Appellate for reconsideration, the State of California has submitted a Petition to the California Supreme Court to review the Rinehart Decision. They have also asked to have the Rinehart Decision be de-published.

You guys can make your own evaluations, but I am seeing some deliberate misrepresentation in the State’s brief. They make it sound as though, once the outstanding issues are mitigated, we will be allowed to continue suction dredging — when the nature of the issues they have identified are such that they can never be resolved.  Not to mention that the State’s moratorium on suction dredging is permanent!

Here is James Buchal’s spot on answer to the State’s Petition for Review.

Keep in mind that these briefs are not actually the review. They are arguments about why the California Supreme Court should, or should not, review the Third Appellates’ Decision on Rinehart.  Just so you know, the California Supreme Court only takes up 5% of the Petitions it receives.

Now, here is the State’s request to have the Rinehart Decision de-published.  I suggest you read this brief if you can find the time.  It will provide you with a perception of how desperate the State is to hold onto its totalitarian control and prevention of mining in California.  In addition to relying upon extensive hearsay from an unnamed retired mineral examiner who was not present in any of the earlier Rinehart proceedings, the State, more or less, mirrors the views that I expressed in last month’s newsletter that the published Rinehart Decision will prevent them from imposing any unreasonable restrictions upon miners.  Heaven forbid!  Never mind that the U.S. Supreme Court has already made this determination.

Here is James Buchal’s brief which argues against de-publication. Read it and feel proud.

James Buchal is now basically representing most of the mining community, in multiple states. Because so many different individuals and mining associations are sending him money on behalf of Brandon Rinehart, and on other legal matters, it is inaccurate to call him only The New 49’er attorney, anymore — even though he does also represent us. The New 49’ers Legal Fund has committed to, and is actively, picking up the cost of any financial shortfalls in all or most of the mining cases that James is representing.

The industry is very lucky to have James. Just as one example, He Skyped me from his office at 8 PM to discuss some technical matters several Saturday nights ago. He was working on his opposition brief to the State’s Petition to the California State Supreme Court. He was also in his office on Sunday evening, sending out update information to the industry on the correct address where we should be sending our letters opposing de-publication.  James sent me his final Opposition brief to the State’s Petition for de-publication on Thanksgiving Day. I venture to say that none of the other attorneys in all the litigation we are involved with are as committed as the champion who is working on our behalf.

I remember a time, and it was not that long ago, that our industry could not come up with the money to hire any lawyer. Now we have one of the best freedom fighters in the country on our side!

We also have an army of fellow supporters working for our side!  We only had 10 days from when the State’s request to de-publish was filed to deliver our own letters of opposition to the California Supreme Court. That was very little time to make something happen!

Our attorney believed it would be beneficial for the California Supreme Court to hear from an army of gold prospectors who have an interest in how this matter is going to be resolved in California. So we put out an emergency email to our entire Internet Action List asking for letters of opposition (to de-listing) be sent to the California Supreme Court by overnight express, along with copies to long list of the other attorneys involved with the case.

Letters To Supreme CourtFrankly, I didn’t have much hope that a letter writing campaign on such short notice, requiring overnight express mailing, was going to have much of an impact.  But that was a gross underestimation on my part.  Here is an image of a stack of copied letters that James Buchal proudly sent me even before the deadline was reached!  And here is a portion of an email I received a few days ago from one of our very supportive members. This says it all:

“I called the CA Supreme Court clerk yesterday to see if they were going to docket my letter. The kid was nice enough and said they had over 500 letters, too many to docket. But he assured me they were being forwarded “upstairs” to the Supreme Court. I reminded him that each of those 500 people paid $20 to overnight their letter, which did not seem to impress him. Then I informed him that the Appellate Court was docketing their service copies, which seemed to surprise him.   

I then asked him “HOW MANY LETTERS HAVE YOU RECEIVED IN SUPPORT OF DEPUBLICATION?” He replied that, as far as he knew, they had received NO letters in support of de-publication. ZERO. I was very nice the entire time and when he started with the “I only work here” routine, I thanked him and hung up. 

I got no sense that there was any ire toward miners; I think there are just too many letters and not enough time in the day to docket 500+ letters. Who knows, maybe it’s a record?

Thought you might want to know. 

David Prather”

We Have Purchased More New Mining Properties! 

Our first sampling team has rafted through the 3-mile stretch of new claims I made the announcement about in last month’s newsletter.   Unfortunately, we just don’t have room in this month’s newsletter to reprint the initial report.  In short, they say the stretch is mostly a remote canyon that does not have any dangerous rapids.  They described the area as so remote; it reminded them of something out of the movie, Jurassic Park.  My initial impression is that the stretch is going to be ideal for crevice mining and suction dredging.  The remoteness of the area nearly guarantees there have been few or no modern prospectors in there ahead of us. The following video will give you a first impression.  Keep in mind it only shows a small portion of the overall stretch:

On that note, we have recently purchased several more good properties on the Klamath River.  Watch for more about this in coming newsletters. 

Proline Donated a 4-inch Dredge to Our Next Legal Fund Drawing! 

4" Proline dredge

Gold EaglesThere will be 21 prizes in all:

Grand Prize: 4-inch Proline dredge

Twenty tenth-ounce American Gold Eagles.

The New 49’ers Legal Fund drawing will take place just before the close of business at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday evening, 27 February 2015. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You are welcome to be at the drawing, but you do not need to be present to win.

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

Sign up for the Free Internet Version of this Newsletter

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

Signing up also places you on our Political Action Team.  Things happen so fast these days; it takes too long to organize political action through the U.S. mail.  As an example, in a matter of hours, we generated a big portion of the recent letters to the California Supreme Court by contacting our supporters this way. 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

FOURTH  QUARTER, NOVEMBER 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 11

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

Another win for our side:  We have come into written correspondence from the District Attorney of Siskiyou County which is rejecting to prosecute suction dredgers for not having a permit as a result of the recent Third Appellate published Decision.

In last month’s newsletter, I outlined the reasons why the recently published Decision, which is now binding on all Superior Courts in California, would likely discourage further attempts to prosecute suction dredgers.  It looks like my prediction was accurate, at least in Siskiyou County.  Here are links to the letters. Note that we have deleted personal identification information in the letters for security reasons:

Owen Jurgensen

Dennis Kim

Just as a cautionary note on this before you go out and start suction dredging in California without a permit, there is nothing preventing the California Attorney General’s office from attempting to prosecute.  Having said that, I’ll make another prediction that if any prosecution of suction dredgers is attempted by the State, we would throw our money at the defense. Based upon the extensive language about our mining rights in the Rinehart Decision, I personally believe such a case would not proceed beyond a preliminary hearing.

These developments should go a long way towards prompting California to establish a reasonable set of regulations and permitting system in time for our 2015 season.:

Third Appellate Rejects Karuk Motion for Reconsideration! 

Here is another bit of good news for our side:  The Karuks and their allies recently filed a motion with the Third Appellate Court to reconsider its landmark Decision on behalf of Brandon Rinehart. They are suggesting that Brandon never had a federal mining claim in the first place, because the State owns the bottom of waterways! These guys just never give up!

Never mind that the State withdrew from this argument during the initial trial, and continue to charge Brandon property taxes on his federal mining claim!

We immediately replied with a brief of our own, asking the Third Appellate to reject the Karuk’s motion – which they ultimately did.  Here is an update Memo from our attorney. 

Almost Three Miles of New Mining Properties! 

River view

 I am very pleased to announce that we have recently purchased nearly 3 miles along one of the historically-richest portions of the Klamath River. This is a very substantial addition to our extensive existing properties.  We are not ready to disclose the new location, but I will say that it is reasonably close to Happy Camp.  While I have not personally prospected there, one of my earlier mining partners did a few weeks of dredging in that area just before the dredge moratorium, and his gold discovery was on the order of the nuggets we gave away in the most recent drawing.

It is going to take us a while to pull images, video and initial prospecting results together, mainly because some of the area is only accessible by boat or raft. The Forest Service has consented to allow us to place our own lock on the gate which blocks the main access road during the off-season months. The gate is open during the summer. They have requested that we minimize use during the wet season so we don’t tear up the road.

We have initial prospecting teams already doing some preliminary work, and a rafting trip is planned so we can view the entire stretch of river.daves-gold-nuggets

We will have maps, GPS coordinates, images and video in an upcoming newsletter; hopefully in January.  But just to give you an initial taste of what’s to come, here is an initial report I received from John Rose:

“Derrick and I walked to the end of one road and found a gravel bar that is probably three times the size of K-15A. There is evidence of major historical mining being done on the bar that has left tailing rows and what looks to have been a berm for diverting water.  I sampled one place where there was an outcropping of bedrock that didn’t look like it had been mined before and found some gold in a small crack where the bedrock meets the bar about 200 yards from the river.  We are going to spend a few days scouting and sampling the area both on the bar and high up on the hillsides.  You can tell by looking at the hillside where the trees change in type and size just how far up the hill the old-timers mined before.  Every so often, you can see an area up in the brush where there is an old rotting big tree stump where they must have skipped over with their operation.

I haven’t even begun to look at any of the lower part of the new properties yet. They may only be accessible by boat.  But I must say I am really excited about what I have seen and Derrick was taken aback by what he saw and said he never even imagined that the claim was there because it has been overlooked for such a long time.  That and the fact that a whole new concept of mining here could possibly be done with a little ingenuity and some modification to equipment.  I haven’t been this excited about a claim in a long time!

I mentioned to Rich Krimm that when he comes up in a few weeks, we need to spend a few days just scouting the area and throwing out different ideas of what could be done using new prospecting methods and how we would need to modify our existing gear.  I am already thinking of ways I could modify my dredge to operate on dry land far away from the river.  Maybe I will become a dry land dredger (LOL)!

When Rich comes up, we will float the river and check out the whole claim and take videos.  I have some members already lined up that will come down for a group sampling outing to check the bar and the hillside.  There is one spot that I can get to with my blue suburban that would be ideal for sampling and a picnic.”

Drawing Winners!

WatchingThe New 49’ers Legal Fund drew 25 prizes on 31 October from 3 ounces of gold nuggets taken out of my personal collection. The tickets were drawn by a person with no personal interest in the outcome. There was a small gathering of members present to share in the excitement.  Here are the winners:

1 ounce of gold nuggets: Norman L Heller of Sun City, CA

1/4-ounce of gold nuggets: MariAnne Campbell of Port Angeles, WA; Curtis Carley of Torrance, CA; Ted Lance of Oregon City, OR and Jeffry Larkin of Buena Park, CA

1 pennyweight of gold nuggets: Ronald Watson of Poulsbo, WA; Alexander Watko of Walla Walla, WA; Roy Harrison of Quartzsite, AZ; Joseph Martin of Willits, CA; Raymond Dagle of Cottonwood, CA; William Frese of Cincinnati, OH; Ronald Morris of Eagle Point, OR; Daniel Cutshall of Bishop, CA; Brian Mix of Camino, CA; Charles Alberts of Dixon, CA; Chris Saunders of Moore, OK; Ray Derrick of Livingston, TX; Gene Deal of Tulelake, CA; Randy Peacock of Colorado City, TX; Les Martin of Klamath Falls, OR; Robert Gauf of Clear Lake, CA; Ross Benson Hot Springs Village AR; Bill Pechtel III of Medford, OR; John Beisner of Anaheim, CA and Dennis Scharosch of Sacramento, CA.

DrawingCongratulations to all the winners!  If things keep going our way for a while longer, we are all going to win the big prize of being free to get back in the water in California with our suction dredges. Just like going underwater and making a withdraw from the bank; that’s the best prize ever!!

I have a good idea where to go to regenerate my inventory of gold nuggets. Many of you guys also have ideas about this.

I want to thank all of you who responded to our calls for participation. This was another successful legal fund-raiser.

Any contributions which have come in since the drawing will automatically generate tickets for our next fund-raiser — which will be for twenty 10th-ounce American Gold Eagles and a brand new 4-inch Proline dredge. The next drawing will take place on 27 February.

In case you didn’t know, your contribution to The New 49’ers Legal Fund is tax-deductible.

Make a Legal Contribution

Proline Donated the 4-inch Dredge to Our Next Legal Fund Drawing! 

Proline dredge

“I’ll be providing you with our best-selling 4” dredge model. It will be equipped with the GX200 Honda, our HP400 pump, T80 air compressor, 15ft of 4” dredge hose, and one of our swivel tips.  As discussed, the winner will pay for freight or arrange it himself. We get very good shipping rates, and don’t charge any handling or crating fees. Best regards,” Jeff at Proline Mining Equipment, INC. (209) 878-3770.

As we hopefully transition into California suction dredging once again, I hope you guys will remember those companies in the industry that have stood with us in our efforts to overcome prohibitive over-regulation.  Proline makes some of the best small-scale mining equipment in the world. 

Legal Fund Prizes Needed 

On the subject of legal prizes, longtime member and supporter, Steve Kleszyk, consented this past season to head up our legal-fund raising activity on our Internet Forum, and at our Saturday evening potlucks.  These are done in the form of live auctions – which are a lot of fun, in addition to the money raised to support our legal efforts.  Steve says he is getting low on prizes, and is asking if some of you guys can pitch in.  We have learned from experience that gold and silver prizes are the only thing that generates interest on the Internet auctions.  But other valuable items create quite a lot of interest at the potlucks.  Last season, we did quite well with new mining equipment items, gemstones, custom made jewelry boxes, and other items that are nice to own.  Please give some thought to what you might contribute and make contact with Steve to see if he believes your ideas will generate interest in our legal fund-raising efforts. These prize contributions are also tax deductible. We will also issue you drawing tickets according to their monetary value. Every little bit helps. And together, we are finally making some real progress.  It would not be happening if it were not for you guys!  Steve Kleszyk can be reached at: <ratled@sbcglobal.net> 

The United Way

This section by Steve Kleszyk 

Like many of us, I do mining on a part time basis and that means I have a day job.  One of the things many of today’s progressive employers do is partner with organizations such as United Way.  Together, the United Way partnered with the employers, offer community services in many ways with programs such the “Charitable Gift Campaign.”  About this time every year, employers have a “campaign drive” for employees to be able to donate through payroll deductions for deserving organizations such as the New 49ers Legal Fund.  As a 501.c organization, The New 49er Legal Fund is eligible for this and similar programs.  This means you can have your employer take pre-tax donations and have them given directly to the New 49er Legal fund through payroll deductions via the United Way.  The best part is there is no fee or split of the donations and it all goes to the New 49ers Legal Fund!  As a bonus, many employers offer dollar-matching of the donations.  That means if you donate $5 a pay period, your employer matches the $5 and the New 49er Legal Fund gets $10!

I know many of you that have employers that have these kinds of programs are familiar with them but may not have thought about The New 49er Legal Fund as an option for this.   If you are not sure, check with your employer and ask.  Even if they don’t do donation matching, it’s still a great way to make donations to the New 49er Legal Fund

While we are at it, there are some employers who are not partnered with organizations such as The United Way, but may have a direct donation program in place.  This also often incudes dollar-matching.   These programs vary from employer to employer, so be sure to check with yours for specific details.

The New 49ers Legal Fund is in The United Way system now.  As it is new, it will have to be a “write in” organization; but it will be easy for The United Way/your employer to process your request. The important information you need for this, or any other 501.c program, is:

The New 49’ers Legal fund
27 Davis Road
Happy Camp, CA   96039
(530) 493-2012.

So please check with your employer to see if there are any such programs they have.  If you know any other similar program be sure to let us know so we can spread the word and take advantage of these fine programs.  To make sure everything is in place, and to start us off on the right foot, I started us off with a $5 per pay period donation for all of 2015. 

We Continue to Work out Some Billing Issues in the Office

We want to extend a warm welcome to Tony M. Balderrama who has taken over in our main office as our new Office Manager/Accountant.  The position was held by Marcy Charlan for 15 years.  Marcy decided to make a career change this past spring and is now owner and manager of a doughnut shop in Medford, Oregon. She has helped out considerably in the changeover, and Tony still calls on her from time to time.  Tony is highly qualified for this job, is very service oriented, and is very personable in person and on the phone.  He is a good addition to our office team and we feel very lucky to have him.

As it turns out, during the period of around 6 months after Marcy left, but before Tony started, others who did their best to pick up the slack made some errors in the computer entries.  These errors then turned up on some member statements that have been sent out. Some members have voiced concerns to the office.  The good news is that we also keep a separate set of hard copy records on all payments received.  Tony and the other staff in our office are,  step by step, comparing hard copy records to computer records and making corrections where needed in our computerized billing system.  This is to assure you we are working on it.  I ask that you be patient with us; because we have thousands of members, and the office billing functions are more complex than you might assume.

In any event, if you see any errors in your monthly or annual account statement, please call Tony or Bonnie at 530 493-2012 and they will make every effort to accommodate you. 

Join us for our Weekend Group Mining Projects Next Season!

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

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

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

Schedule of Events 

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.  We generated a big portion of the recent letters to the Third Appellate Court by contacting our supporters this way. 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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