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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New 49'er Newsletter

FOURTH  QUARTER, OCTOBER 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 10

Dave Mack

 

 Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

I am overjoyed to inform you that the Third Appellate Court of California has issued a unanimous Decision confirming our arguments that a State agency does not have the authority to materially interfere with commercial mining programs on the public lands. The Decision reversed Brandon Rinehart’s conviction for suction dredging without a permit. In case you are interested, the Decision provides quite a lengthy and important discussion:

Here is a brief explanation from our attorney:

As good as the win is, the initial problem was that the Decision was not published. This is not unusual with Appellate Court Decisions in California. We cannot rely upon an unpublished Decision in further litigation; for example, in the multiple ongoing cases we are actively pursuing in San Bernardino Superior Court.

We were only allowed 16 days for the Appellate Court to receive written requests to publish the Decision. So we immediately put the word out to our Internet Action List. Fortunately, our loyal supporters (you guys) generated an avalanche of letters to the Appellate Court from across the country, and even from as far away as Australia!

Truthfully, we were advised by multiple legal experts, even from an active judge, that the chances of getting the Decision published were about zero.  So even generating hundreds or thousands of requests seemed like a long shot.

At the same time, the State petitioned the Third Appellate Court to reconsider its Decision, submitting a lengthy brief, that in my own opinion, was way out there in fantasy land.

Then, to all of our surprise, the Third Appellate Court of California formally published its Decision in the Brandon Rinehart case a full six days ahead of their deadline, and also denied the State’s Petition for a rehearing 16 days before their deadline!

Talking about sending a strong message to the State!

The Decision clearly confirms that the State does not have the authority to impose restrictions which materially interfere with the commercial viability of mining on the public lands. Now that we can rely upon the Appellate Court’s extensive reasoning in existing and future State litigation, I personally see this as the most important legal development in support of California mining during the modern age. I suggest that the legal ramifications will find their way to other States, as well.

I want to voice my sincerest thank you to all of you who responded to my appeal over the Internet to write letters to the Third Appellate Court. Our webmaster says it was the largest response we ever generated. Our attorney said he has a stack of service notices that is 2-inches thick! How’s that for people power?

On the subject of our attorney, James Buchal deserves the lion’s share of credit for bringing about this landmark win for our side.  Here is his Memo shortly after the Appellate Court decided for us again:

I also want to express gratitude for the substantial support provided to us by Siskiyou County for the duration of our legal battles. Check this out from just last week:

Let’s all pause for a moment and allow ourselves to enjoy a huge win for our side; the biggest ever!

Our industry has been held down by unreasonable over-regulation for so long, it is going to take some time to absorb how far-reaching the implications are by this published Decision. For one thing, it should go a long way towards getting us a reasonable set of dredging regulations in California for the 2015 season and beyond.

Let me tell you the reasons why I believe this:  First, I need to disclose that I am not a licensed attorney. Therefore, I cannot provide legal advice.  But I have been around the mining industry for a lifetime, have been on the front line of active litigation for about 10 years, and have a well-grounded understanding of how the federal mining law is supposed to work.  While there are others who might disagree with me, and there are others (particularly State officials) who I am sure don’t want to hear this, let me at least voice my personal opinion:

1)      There are two fundamental parts of the federal mining law. The first allows all Americans free access to the public lands in search of valuable mineral deposits.  The second part allows a person to claim any such discovery for him or herself as real property. The discovery only needs to be potentially commercially viable enough to justify further development. People don’t know this:  You have free access to the public lands to search for gold deposits; and if you find one, you can claim the discovery for yourself as real property!

2)     Brandon Rinehart’s case involved the second part of the mining law.  He and his family already discovered a gold deposit on the bottom of a waterway.  Trying different methods, they ultimately concluded that the only method of extracting the gold in a commercially viable way was with the use of a suction dredge.  California is refusing to issue suction dredge permits. So Brandon continued working his deposit with a suction dredge without a permit until the State issued him a criminal citation. He was found guilty in Superior Court for breaking the law.  So we appealed to the Third Appellate Court and won a landmark Decision that now largely reverses the order of things in the State of California.

3)     You should read the Decision yourself, because it provides a substantial discussion concerning the limits of State authority concerning mining.  My own read is that the State has overstepped its authority by first passing a law that requires a permit to operate a suction dredge, and then they refused to issue Brandon a suction dredge permit, even though suction dredging is the only commercially viable method of extracting the gold from his deposit.

4)     It is also my opinion that there is no reasonable way to separate the Appellate’s reasoning from the first part of the mining law. By this, I mean that if a suction dredge is the only effective tool I can use to search for a gold deposit on the bottom of a river, the State must issue me a dredging permit, or they will be materially interfering with my exploration program; an activity which Congress has directed the government to encourage on the public lands.

5)     This reasoning implies that the State must issue a suction dredge permit to any prospector who either has already located, or intends to actively search for, valuable gold deposits at the bottom of California’s waterways where suction dredges are the only effective way to reach down to where the gold deposits are located.

6)     Refusal to issue the permit would duplicate a similar set of circumstances as Brandon was facing when he decided to move ahead without the permit for his suction dredge program.

7)     So here is the 500-pound bomb:  The State of California is not issuing any suction dredge permits at the present moment.  Based upon the extensive reasoning voiced in the Third Appellate’s published Decision, I would be surprised if any prosecutor in the state would attempt to pursue a criminal case against any suction dredger who is operating within the recently-adopted 2012 suction dredge regulations. Said another way, the 2012 regulations have been adopted as California law.  It’s not much of a reach to infer from the Appellate’s Decision that the legislature’s Moratorium on the issuance of suction dredge permits will not stand up in a legal challenge.

8)     We all have to make our own decisions.  And on something as important as this, I encourage you to seek independent legal advice. But I am hearing from a lot of people that they are planning to dredge in 2015 with or without permits.

9)     This does not mean that the DFW wardens might not come out and harass dredgers, and perhaps even write citations (that are unlikely to be prosecuted). But they and their bosses should beware that there are very powerful criminal and civil, federal civil rights laws on the books that forbid public officials from denying us our rights under color of law (like coming out with a badge and demanding we stop doing something that we are allowed to do).

The Third Appellate has sent DFW a strong message.  The message is that if a suction dredge is the only way for us to gain access to submerged gold deposits; we have a right to use one, even if the State refuses to issue us a permit.

10) One more thing:  The 2012 regulations are unreasonably restrictive to the nth degree.  I’m not going to go into it here, because the problems with the regulations have been covered extensively in other places, and are a big part of the active litigation in San Bernardino.  But I will provide an example: The 2012 regulations are only going to allow us to use 4-inch dredges on the Klamath River.  While some economically-viable gold deposits can be discovered within reach of a 4-inch dredge, the most valuable deposits are down under 8 or 10 feet of compacted streambed.  It is virtually impossible to reach those deposits with a 4-inch dredge.  I personally infer from the Third Appellate Decision that this “material interference” in the existing regulations would be just another overreach of authority by the State.

11) These comments above are the reason I have faith that the ongoing Mandatory Settlement Discussions (MSD) in San Bernardino are likely to evolve us into a set of statewide suction dredge regulations that we can live with in California in time for the 2015 season.  If not, I am betting a lot of dredgers will be considering my 8th comment above.  As to progress in the MSD, I’ll leave that explanation to Steve below:

Progress in the Settlement Discussions 

By Steve Kleszyk

Rich Krimm and I attended the fourth session of the Mandatory Settlement Discussions (MSD) in San Bernardino Superior Court on October 1st, 2014.  There have now been a total of eight full days of grueling and very challenging discussions over dredging regulations with all the parties involved in the San Bernardino litigation.

Judge Gilbert Ochoa, who presides over the discussions, has a very good understanding of the numerous issues, and appears driven to reach a settlement that everyone can live with.  It is our opinion, based upon his comments, that he is pleased at the progress we have made so far.

MSD rules bind us to confidentiality. So we cannot provide specific details about the Discussions at this time. However, we can say that we do feel that real progress is being made.  All or most of the contentious issues have been addressed at least once.   Some of the issues have been addressed several times, each time with a little more progress being made. Some of the issues have not been worked out. I am predicting the judge will most likely have to make the final recommendations in those areas. However, the subjects have been discussed in enough detail that we feel the judge has some very good options to resolve the issues. Some important progress was achieved during the last half of the last day.

I should mention that the solidarity of the members of the small mining community has never been stronger.  Regardless of who we represent, we have all come together for the common good of all miners with the intent of getting us all back into the water with acceptable regulations.  This ‘Spirit of Cooperation’ is something that we all can be proud of.

The next court date scheduled is for November 14th, 2014, and is limited to just the attorneys.  The attorneys will be arguing, some very convoluted and complex legal points regarding our Motion to bring another Party into the Discussions for settlement purposes.

All of the parties have brought something to the table, but we would like to extend a special thanks to Mark and Liz Cutler, especially Liz, for their part in the Discussions.  They are Parties in the ongoing litigation, and they are also very valuable members of The New 49’ers.  They have brought a unique set of technical skills based on their professions, and have contributed greatly to rebut some of the misguided statements and requests by our opponents.

As most of you already know, James Buchal and David Young have represented the mining community now for many years, and have significant wins under their belts.  They have always done an outstanding job, but they have been stellar in their performance getting us through these Discussions.

Those of us in the Discussions are very thankful and proud to be in a position to represent the mining community. Having said that, we would not be there if it wasn’t for all of you who have provided information and continued financial support so that we can all benefit and get back in the water.

We Are Giving Away Dave Mack’s Gold Nuggets in Just Two Weeks!

daves-gold-nuggetsPlease take note that we only have 2 more weeks remaining in The New 49’er Legal Fund active fund-raiser.  Because we are making such important gains, in addition to our own legal expenses, The Legal Fund has offered to assist others in the active litigation that are having difficulty keeping up with the costs. After all, we are fighting for the future rights of all small-scale miners!

In anticipation of all this legal activity, several months ago, I consented to allowing three ounces of my favorite gold nuggets to be used as drawing prizes by The New 49’ers Legal Fund in the ongoing fund-raising effort.  There will be 25 prizes in all. Check it out right here!

The drawing will take place just before the close of business (5 PM) at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday evening, 31 October 2014. That’s about 2 weeks from now.

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.

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

By the way, so far, participation in this fund-raiser has not generated enough contributions to cover the value of my cherished gold nuggets.  What’s up with that?  Actually, I know you guys mostly wait until the end to make these fund-raisers come out ahead.  Thanks for all your support, my friends. I know you will all do your best. The fight would have been lost a long time ago if it were not for you!

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

Make a Legal Contribution 

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 in the Internet auctions.  But other valuable items create quite a lot of interest at the pot lucks.  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 the item(s) will generate interest in our legal fund-raising efforts. These contributions are also tax deductible. 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> 

Welcome to Tony M. Balderrama

Tony

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, and seems very happy with it.  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.

 

Fire Restrictions are Lifted 

All of the fire restrictions have been lifted from this past season’s catastrophic wild fires.  Now that the smoke has cleared, I’m pleased to announce that, other than our Scott River property at S-1, there does not appear to be any important fire damage on any of our extensive mining properties.  None of our popular campgrounds sustained any damage. 

Really Good News Coming Soon! 

The good news just keeps on coming!  On top of the significant legal victories we have made, you guys will want to stay tuned in for some fantastic news about some (extensive) new properties we have just purchased along one of the historically-richest portions of the Klamath River!  We will have maps, GPS coordinates, images and video in an upcoming newsletter. 

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!

cartoon

 

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

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New 49'er Newsletter

THIRD  QUARTER, SEPTEMBER 2014                               VOLUME 28, NUMBER 9

Dave Mack

 

Newsletter By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

Happy Camp Fire 2014
Story and Images by Rich Krimm, Director of Internal Affairs 

Happy Camp Fire 2 - 2014

Siskiyou County has been on fire in one place or another for most of the 2014 season.  All or most of the fires have been the result of lightning storms and very dry conditions in the Klamath National Forest.  While there have been others, The Beaver Fire was sparked in late July from just one of nearly a thousand down-strikes and ultimately burned 32,496 acres. It threatened the entire community of Klamath River for a while. Many of us in Happy Camp were paying close attention, because the fire had closed Highway 96 several times.

At least 26 fires sparked by the very same storm up in Salmon River country have converged into the “July Complex,” and have burned 47,470 acres so far.  The town of Sawyers bar was evacuated for a while, and the Salmon River Road was closed for part of the summer.

Another lightning storm that happened on August 12 sparked the “Happy Camp Complex” almost within site across the river from Happy Camp.  So far, this fire has burned more than 165,000 acres, and is now about 68% contained.  During the early days, there was strong concern that the fire would take out Elk Creek Campground, but it ultimately burned in another direction.  There are around 1,300 active personnel fighting the fire as we go to press with this newsletter. While the fire has managed to jump over to the south side of Highway 96 several times, fire crews have successfully beat the fire back to the north side.  This fire is so large, it presently has the north side of the Klamath River closed from as far upriver as the Scott River, and downriver to Ukonom Creek. That’s more than 50 miles! Parts of Scott River remain under mandatory evacuation and the Scott River Road is closed.

Fire 3This means, until further notice, all of our mining properties along Scott River, and and on the north side of the Klamath River from the Scott River down to Ukonom Creek have been closed to prospecting and camping. Our other properties have remained open as normal.

Some of these fires may continue burning until the rainy season finally sets in.  The authorities have been reopening areas once dangerous conditions are resolved. If you are planning a prospecting trip to our properties, we strongly suggest you make contact with Montine in our office (530 493-2012) for an update on local conditions and information about any areas that may be off limits for the time being.

Most of the impacts on visitors to the area are from the smoky conditions. These come and go, depending upon wind direction.  There are times in Happy Camp that the air is so clear, you would not even know there are a hundred-thousand acres burning just to the east of us.  Other times, the smoke is so thick, you can hardly see across the road.

Just to give you an idea of how dry things are in Siskiyou County, another fast-moving wild fire burned about half the town of Weed several days ago, forcing 1,500 residents to flee for their lives while damaging or destroying 100 structures.

It does not appear that these fires pose any threat to the town of Happy Camp or our headquarters.  We can be thankful for that.  In time, these fires will burn out and we can get back to the business of prospecting for gold.

 

California Legal Update 

Please refer to our July newsletter for a comprehensive update on our efforts to get suction dredging opened back up in California.  We have strong hopes that it will happen in time for the 2015 season.

Rich Krimm, Steve Kleszyk and I accompanied our attorney to San Bernardino to participate in Mandatory Settlement Discussions on the fourth and fifth of September. Superior Court Judge Ochoa made it clear during earlier meetings that he believes there is a chance he can help resolve the outstanding issues between all the parties and settle on reasonable suction dredge regulations for California.

The Settlement Discussions are confidential, so I am not at liberty to provide detail about how we would resolve the various issues.  I will say that the judge decided that we devote the first of two days to issues which appear easier to resolve.  And on that note, my own impression was that we made more progress on the first day than I have seen in nearly 10 years of litigation!

Having said that, we took up more difficult issues on the second day, and I believe all or most of us departed feeling pretty discouraged.  In hindsight, I’m guessing it is normal to experience dramatic up and down-swings when you are attempting to resolve in just a matter of several meetings what would normally require years of litigation.  The judge remains encouraged enough that he scheduled two more days of Settlement Discussions that we just finished, and another two days at the end of September.  It is clear that the judge wants to move these discussions along without delay.

One of the important things that has come to light during the Discussions is that even though the State of California Attorney General’s Office is present at the table, they say they are not representing the California Water Board – which is a State entity that also believes must issue a permit to allow suction dredging in California.  Yes; it is true that the Water Board provided funding for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and submitted voluminous material, all which evolved into the 2012 suction dredge regulations which are being contested in front of this judge. It’s certainly not as though they were not directly involved. It is also worthy to note that the Water Board has never before insisted upon issuing a separate permit for suction dredging.

We will now submit a Motion to have the California Water Board brought into the active litigation and the ongoing Settlement Discussions. This is because it is unlikely that we will resolve all of the important issues unless the Water Board is at the table.

Meanwhile, our attorney has also brought a federal preemption challenge in front of the Third Appellate District of California on behalf of Brandon Rinehart, who was issued a criminal citation several years ago for suction dredging without a permit.  We are arguing that the Supreme Court has already decided that the State does not possess the jurisdictional authority to prohibit suction dredge mining on the public lands, which is exactly what they have done with the existing Moratorium in California.

All of the briefs have been filed with the Third Appellate District, and oral arguments took place on 15 September. Since I’m sure everyone is interested, I asked our attorney to draft a memo providing his view of how the oral arguments went. You can find that right here:

Here are a few more observations:

The Hearing took place in a grandiose hall (Sacramento); it was like something out of the Roman Empire, with the three judges sitting up above everyone in large thrones. It was a bit surreal! The panel consisted of Justice Harry Hull Jr. as Presiding Justice along with two others, Justice Andrea Lynn Hoch and Justice Ronald B. Robie. They all seemed very familiar with the case and the legal arguments. They played devil’s advocate with both attorneys during the hearing. It is difficult to read the way they will rule. Of course, we are partial to our arguments. James Buchal (our attorney) did a great job for our side.

Other than a few local prospectors, The New 49’ers were the only organization present representing the small-scale prospecting community. Thanks to you guys, The New 49ers Legal Fund is paying all or most of Brandon’s costs on this.

Brandon Rinehart was present, along with several family members.

One attorney for the Karuk Tribe and their environmental partners showed up about half way through the hearing.

While all of the normal attorneys representing the State were present, the only one speaking for the State was Mr. Mark Melnick. Mr. Melnick’s primary argument was that the State is under no obligation to issue any suction dredge permits to gold prospectors. I believe everyone present was surprised they have taken this direction.

Our attorney speaks to his own arguments in the memo, so I won’t add to that here.

We were glad that we moved ahead with oral arguments, because several important misconceptions were cleared up.

In any event, it felt like we got a fair hearing. So now we wait to see what comes out of this!!

If we win this important challenge, we hope the Appellate District will instruct the State of California that they cannot cite prospectors for using suction dredges unless the activity violates reasonable and lawfully-issued permit regulations. This could possibly help move the Settlement Discussions in San Bernardino along to completion before the beginning of the 2015 season. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed!

Please watch for an update in October!  Or better yet, sign onto our Internet Forum.  It’s a guarantee that legal updates will appear there without delay!

daves-gold-nuggetsYes; I know that is a heck of a lot of legal activity that we are paying for right now! In anticipation of this, several months ago, I consented to allowing three ounces of my favorite gold nuggets to be used as drawing prizes by The New 49’ers Legal Fund in the ongoing fund-raising effort.  There will be 25 prizes in all. Check it out right here!

The drawing will take place just before the close of business (5 PM) at our headquarters in Happy Camp on Friday evening, 31 October 2014. That’s only a little more than a month from now.

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.

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

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

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

Make a Legal Contribution 

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.  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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