OREGON STATE DEMOCRAT SENATORS

Senator Lee Beyer
Party: D  District: 6
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1706
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-419, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.LeeBeyer@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/beyer/


Senator Chris Edwards
Party: D  District: 7
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1707
Fax Number: 541-744-7110
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-405, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.ChrisEdwards@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/edwardsc


Senator Betsy Johnson
Party: D  District: 16
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1716
District Phone: 503-543-4046
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-209, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box R, Scappoose, OR, 97056
Email: Sen.BetsyJohnson@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/johnson


Senator Arnie Roblan
Party: D  District: 5
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1705
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-417, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.ArnieRoblan@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/roblan


Senator Alan Bates
Party: D  District: 3
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1703
District Phone: 541-282-6502
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-205, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 2859 State Street #101, Medford, OR, 97504
Email: Sen.AlanBates@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/bates


Senator Ginny Burdick troll
Party: D  District: 18
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1718
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-213, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.GinnyBurdick@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/burdick


Senator Peter Courtney
Party: D  District: 11
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1600
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-201, Salem, OR, 97301
Interim Address: 900 Court St NE, S-201, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.PeterCourtney@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/senate/senpres


Senator Richard Devlin
Party: D  District: 19
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1719
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-211, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.RichardDevlin@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/devlin


Senator Jackie Dingfelder troll
Party: D  District: 23
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1723
District Phone: 503-493-2804
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-407, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box 13432, Portland, OR, 97213
Email: Sen.JackieDingfelder@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/dingfelder


Senator Mark Hass
Party: D  District: 14
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1714
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-207, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box 536, Beaverton, OR, 97075
Email: Sen.MarkHass@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/hass


Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson
Party: D  District: 25
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1725
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-413, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.LaurieMonnesAnderson@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/monnesanderson


Senator Rod Monroe
Party: D  District: 24
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1724
District Phone: 503-760-4310
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-409, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 7802 SE 111th Ave, Portland, OR, 97266
Email: Sen.RodMonroe@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/monroe


Senator Floyd Prozanski
Party: D  District: 4
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1704
District Phone: 541-342-2447
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-415, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box 11511, Eugene, OR, 97440
Email: Sen.FloydProzanski@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/prozanski


Senator Diane Rosenbaum
Party: D  District: 21
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1700
District Phone: 503-231-9970
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-223, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 1125 SE Madison St., Suite 100B, Portland, OR, 97214
Email: Sen.DianeRosenbaum@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/rosenbaum


Senator Chip Shields
Party: D  District: 22
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1722
District Phone: 503-231-2564
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-421, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 5313 N Vancouver Ave, Portland, OR, 97217
Email: Sen.ChipShields@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/shieldsc


Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward
Party: D  District: 17
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1717
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-215, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.ElizabethSteinerHayward@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/steinerhayward/

 

OREGON STATE REPUBLICAN SENATORS


Senator Herman Baertschiger
Party: R  District: 2
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1702
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-403, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.HermanBaertschiger@state.or.us
Interim Email:Sen.HermanBaertschiger@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/baertschiger


Senator Brian Boquist
Party: R  District: 12
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1712
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-305, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.BrianBoquist@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/boquist


Senator Betsy Close
Party: R  District: 8
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1708
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-303, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.BetsyClose@state.or.us
Website: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/


Senator Ted Ferrioli
Party: R  District: 30
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1950
District Phone: 541-490-6528
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-323, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 111 Skyline Drive, John Day, OR, 97845
Email: Sen.TedFerrioli@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/ferrioli


Senator Larry George
Party: R  District: 13
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1713
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-307, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.LarryGeorge@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/georgel


Senator Fred Girod
Party: R  District: 9
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1709
District Phone: 503-769-4322
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-401, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 101 Fern Ridge Road, Stayton, OR, 97383
Email: Sen.FredGirod@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/girod


Senator Bill Hansell
Party: R  District: 29
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1729
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-423, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.BillHansell@state.or.us
Interim Email:Sen.BillHansell@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/hansell


Senator Tim Knopp
Party: R  District: 27
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1727
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-309, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: sen.timknopp@state.or.us
Interim Email:sen.timknopp@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/knopp


Senator Jeff Kruse
Party: R  District: 1
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1701
District Phone: 541-580-3276
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-315, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 636 Wild Iris Lane, Roseburg, OR, 97470
Email: Sen.JeffKruse@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/kruse


Senator Alan Olsen
Party: R  District: 20
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1720
District Phone: 503-936-8605
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-425, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: PO Box 820, Canby, OR, 97013
Email: Sen.AlanOlsen@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/olsen


Senator Bruce Starr
Party: R  District: 15
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1715
District Phone: 503-352-0922
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-411, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 22115 NW Imbrie Drive #290, Hillsboro, OR, 97124
Email: Sen.BruceStarr@state.or.us
Website: https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/


Senator Chuck Thomsen
Party: R  District: 26
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1726
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-316, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.ChuckThomsen@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/thomsen/


Senator Doug Whitsett
Party: R  District: 28
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1728
District Phone: 541-883-4006
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-311, Salem, OR, 97301
District Office Address: 23131 N. Poe Valley Road, Klamath Falls, OR, 97603
Email: Sen.DougWhitsett@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/whitsett


Senator Jackie Winters
Party: R  District: 10
Capitol Phone: 503-986-1710
Capitol Address: 900 Court St NE, S-301, Salem, OR, 97301
Email: Sen.JackieWinters@state.or.us
Website: http://www.leg.state.or.us/winters


 

Dave's Gold Nuggets

The New 49’er Legal Fund-raiser!

There will be 25 prizes in all:

Grand Prize: 1-ounce of Dave’s Gold Nuggets
Four ¼-ounce Bags of Dave’s Gold Nuggets
Twenty 1-Pennyweight Bags of Dave’s Gold Nuggets

We need to replenish our legal defense fund to keep up with the cost of defending small-scale miners on multiple fronts. Therefore, Dave McCracken has authorized for three ounces of his personal gold nuggets to be used as prizes in this fund-raiser!

The drawing will take place at our weekly potluck in Happy Camp on Saturday evening, 13 July 2013. You do not need to be a member of our organization to participate. You do not need to be present to win. There is no limit to the size or frequency of your contributions, or to the number of prizes you can win.

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.

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

 

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

 

 
 

 Dave Mack's Gold 2011

 

Dave McCrackenNew 49’er Legal Fund-raiser!

There will be 25 prizes in all:
Grand Prize: 1-ounce of Gold
Four ¼-ounce Prizes
Twenty 1-Pennyweight Prizes

This is some of the gold which Dave Mack dredged from the Rogue River during the 2011 season. Dave has authorized our office to 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. The drawing will take place at our headquarters in Happy Camp on 9 March, 2012.

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

Make a Donation

 

 

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

www.goldgold.com

 
Dave Mack

“Here are some links to Information on the Karuk tribe lawsuit against the California Department of Fish and Game to change dredging regulations…”

Please make a donation to our Legal Fund.

Important note:  This case has been going on so long, that most of what has happened is ancient history  A more recent very important development is that on 12 January 2015, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Ochoa handed small-scale miners a huge victory by deciding that California’s Moratorium against suction dredging in combination with its recently-adopted 2012 regulations amount to an unlawful and un-enforceable scheme to thwart the will of congress.  Here is the Court’s Decision, and here is a shorter explanation from our attorney.  Since this is sure to change the outcome any remaining litigation, we will start with a new page which can be found here:

Explanations About This Case:

Key Court Documents:

 

Code of Federal Regulations

TITLE 36–PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC PROPERTY

CHAPTER II–FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

PART 228–MINERALS–Table of Contents

Subpart A–Locatable Minerals

Sec. 228.3 Definitions.

For the purposes of this part the following terms, respectively, shall mean: (a) Operations. All functions, work, and activities in connection with prospecting, exploration, development, mining or processing of mineral resources and all uses reasonably incident thereto, including roads and other means of access on lands subject to the regulations in this part, regardless of whether said operations take place on or off mining claims.
(b) Operator. A person conducting or proposing to conduct operations.
(c) Person. Any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity.
(d) Mining claim. Any unpatented mining claim or unpatented millsite authorized by the United States mining laws of May 10, 1872, as amended (30 U.S.C. 22 et seq.).
(e) Authorized officer. The Forest Service officer to whom authority to review and approve operating plans has been delegated.

Sec. 228.4 Plan of operations–notice of intent–requirements.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of this section, a notice of intention to operate is required from any person proposing to conduct operations which might cause disturbance of surface resources. Such notice of intention shall be submitted to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which the operations will be conducted. If the District Ranger determines that such operations will likely cause significant disturbance of surface resources, the operator shall submit a proposed plan of operations to the District Ranger.
(1) The requirements to submit a plan of operations shall not apply:
(i) To operations which will be limited to the use of vehicles on existing public roads or roads used and maintained for National Forest purposes,
(ii) To individuals desiring to search for and occasionally remove small mineral samples or specimens,
(iii) To prospecting and sampling which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance and will not involve removal of more than a reasonable amount of mineral deposit for analysis and study,
(iv) To marking and monumenting a mining claim and
(v) To subsurface operations which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance.
(2) A notice of intent need not be filed:
(i) Where a plan of operations is submitted for approval in lieu thereof,
(ii) For operations excepted in paragraph (a)(1) of this section from the requirement to file a plan of operations,
(iii) For operations which will not involve the use of mechanized earthmoving equipment such as bulldozers or backhoes and will not involve the cutting of trees. Each notice of intent to operate shall provide information sufficient to identify the area involved, the nature of the proposed operations, the route of access to the area of operations and the method of transport. If a notice of intent is filed, the District Ranger will, within 15 days of receipt thereof, notify the operator whether a plan of operations is required.

 

 

PART 228–MINERALS Subpart A–Locatable Minerals 0 1. The authority citation for part 228 continues to read as follows: Authority: 30 Stat. 35 and 36, as amended (16 U.S.C. 478, 551); 41 Stat. 437, as amended sec. 5102(d), 101 Stat. 1330-256 (30 U.S.C. 226); 61 Stat. 681, as amended (30 U.S.C. 601); 61 Stat. 914, as amended (30 U.S.C. 352); 69 Stat. 368, as amended (30 U.S.C. 611); and 94 Stat. 2400. 0 2. Amend Sec. 228.4 to revise paragraph (a) to read as follows:

Sec. 228.4 Notice of intent–plan of operations–requirements.

(a) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(1) of this section, a notice of intent to operate is required from any person proposing to conduct operations which might cause significant disturbance of surface resources. Such notice of intent to operate shall be submitted to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which the operations will be conducted. Each notice of intent to operate shall provide information sufficient to identify the area involved, the nature of the proposed operations, the route of access to the area of operations, and the method of transport.

(1) A notice of intent to operate is not required for: (i) Operations which will be limited to the use of vehicles on existing public roads or roads used and maintained for National Forest System purposes; (ii) Prospecting and sampling which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance and will not involve removal of more than a reasonable amount of mineral deposit for analysis and study which generally might include searching for and occasionally removing small mineral samples or specimens, gold panning, metal detecting, non- motorized hand sluicing, using battery operated dry washers, and collecting of mineral specimens using hand tools; (iii) Marking and monumenting a mining claim; (iv) Underground operations which will not cause significant surface resource disturbance; (v) Operations, which in their totality, will not cause surface resource disturbance which is substantially different than that caused by other users [[Page 32732]] of the National Forest System who are not required to obtain a Forest Service special use authorization,

contract, or other written authorization; (vi) Operations which will not involve the use of mechanized earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers or backhoes, or the cutting of trees, unless those operations otherwise might cause a significant disturbance of surface resources; or (vii) Operations for which a proposed plan of operations is submitted for approval;

(2) The District Ranger will, within 15 days of receipt of a notice of intent to operate, notify the operator if approval of a plan of operations is required before the operations may begin.

(3) An operator shall submit a proposed plan of operations to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which operations will be conducted in lieu of a notice of intent to operate if the proposed operations will likely cause a significant disturbance of surface resources. An operator also shall submit a proposed plan of operations, or a proposed supplemental plan of operations consistent with Sec. 228.4(d), to the District Ranger having jurisdiction over the area in which operations are being conducted if those operations are causing a significant disturbance of surface resources but are not covered by a current approved plan of operations. The requirement to submit a plan of operations shall not apply to the operations listed in paragraphs (a)(1)(i) through (v). The requirement to submit a plan of operations also shall not apply to operations which will not involve the use of mechanized earthmoving equipment, such as bulldozers or backhoes, or the cutting of trees, unless those operations otherwise will likely cause a significant disturbance of surface resources.

(4) If the District Ranger determines that any operation is causing or will likely cause significant disturbance of surface resources, the District Ranger shall notify the operator that the operator must submit a proposed plan of operations for approval and that the operations can not be conducted until a plan of operations is approved. * * * * * Dated: May 31, 2005. David P. Tenny, Deputy Under Secretary, NRE. [FR Doc. 05-11138 Filed 6-3-05; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3410-11-P

 

 


SECOND QUARTER, JUNE 2005 VOLUME 19, NUMBER 5

By Dave McCracken General Manager

 

We received our Notice of Intent back from the U.S. Forest Service Ranger in Fort Jones. He has determined that our dredging, sluicing (with or without motorized pumps) and panning activities will not create any significant surface disturbance on the Scott River or along the upper Salmon River. That includes our claims along the North Fork of the Salmon, and on the Main Stem down to the Nordheimer Campground.

Our limit is no more than 8 dredges per mile along our claims on the Scott and Salmon Rivers.

We have set aside several nice, shady areas for camping.

All of our normal operational guidelines apply.

Our claims-guides have already been modified to reflect the present situation, and they have also been changed on the web site.

This present situation is substantially improved over last year. As long as members operate within our rules and published guidelines, there is no need to send in your own Notice to the Ranger if you want to dredge or surface mine on our claims along the Klamath, Scott and upper Salmon Rivers, and along Indian, Thompson and Elk Creeks.

Master List of Mining Properties

I hope this makes you guys as happy as I am about this situation.

We are working on gaining back a similar operating program along the lower Salmon River (SA1 through SA-4) this season, but are not quite there yet. Stay tuned!

Karuk Litigation Nearly Finished

As many of you will already be aware, the Karuk Tribe of California has filed a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), asking the judge to decide that the USFS does not have the authority to allow insignificant small-scale gold mining activity within the high-water marks of any waterway in the Klamath National Forest (KNF).

The KNF is where we hold most of our mining claims, and where most of our members prospect for gold. So our own interests are at risk. But because the points of law to be decided in this case are general by nature, the outcome is likely to affect all of the National Forests in America. There is a lot at stake here!

Because it is really the miners’ interests that are being fought over in this case, The New 49’ers filed a motion to intervene in the litigation several months ago, and our standing was approved by the judge. This is a good thing.

Even before we were granted standing in the litigation, the Karuks, USFS and the judge had already stipulated that this case would be decided by summary judgment prior to 1 July, 2005.

On schedule with that, the Karuks filed their motion for Summary Judgment on April 29. The Karuks are basically arguing that the USFS cannot allow any type of mineral activity within “riparian reserves” (within the high-water marks of any waterway in the forest), unless a full Operating Plan has been approved in advance – which would require years of environmental evaluation.

The New 49’ers filed our Opposition Brief on May 17th which mounts a very substantial argument why the Karuk’s position is flawed, and why miners have a right to access the public lands for the purpose of mineral exploration, which cannot be interfered with (by anyone) when our activity does not create a significant disturbance. We reinforced our position with several sworn Declarations which demonstrate that the arguments being made by the Karuks do not present an accurate presentation of the actual circumstances surrounding their claims in court:

1) A Declaration from Dennis Maria, who is the California Department of Fish & Game Biologist (now retired) that has personally overseen all of the small-scale mining activity in the KNF for many years. His Declaration states from personal knowledge that the suction dredge activity which the Karuks complain about does not create any significant negative impact upon the fishery resources.

2) A Declaration from Joseph Greene, who was a research biologist for 32 years with the Environmental Protection Agency (now retired). Mr. Greene dedicated his Declaration to answering the many questions raised by the Karuks in their complaint concerning the potential impacts from suction dredging and other small-scale mining activity. To accomplish this, Mr. Greene cited research from an extensive amount of source material he has accumulated from the many studies which have been completed on mining over the years.

3) A Declaration from myself about the nature of prospecting and small-scale mining on the National Forest. I explained that most prospectors today are using hand tools and portable vacuum cleaners, and that no one is using backhoes and bulldozers, as alleged in the Karuk’s complaint. I also gave a detailed account of the substantial number of meetings that have occurred in recent years between the USFS, Karuks and the miners so that we could work out any of their concerns. This, because the Karuks are

complaining that they have been completely left out of the process, which is simply not true.

The USFS filed its own opposition brief (opposing the Karuk position) on May 17th. Basically, the USFS is arguing that under the mineral laws, prospectors and miners have full right of access to the National Forest, and that the USFS has absolutely no authority to do anything about it as long as the mineral activity does not cause a significant surface disturbance.

I strongly suggest the USFS position is something every miner should read. There is probably nothing more informative today concerning the legal position that the USFS believes it is in with the management of mineral activity on the public lands.

The one good thing that is coming out as a result of this litigation is that the legal rolls and relationships between miners and the USFS are being put under a microscope and becoming much more clearly defined. Let’s hope that the judge reaffirms them, because the definitions having to do with this case are in our favor!

There is a substantial amount of clearly established law which makes it abundantly clear (at least to me) that, because the mineral laws convey an actual property interest upon prospectors, the USFS does not possess the authority to interfere with any mineral activity which does not create a significant impact upon surface resources in the National Forest. This has been brought out in both ours and the USFS Opposition briefs.

In that the Karuks are asking the federal judge to impose an authority upon the Forest Service where one does not exist as a matter of law, my hope is that the Karuk’s motion for Summary Judgment will fail. But, the decision is not up to me. The judge will let us all know what she decides sometime around the end of June.

Meanwhile, I would like to let you know that, with your help, we have done as well as we can to defend against the Karuk challenge. I want to thank our two attorneys, James Buchal and Dabney Eastham, who have worked tirelessly on our behalf. We are very lucky to have them on our side.

I also want to thank all of you who have so generously contributed to our legal fund. Without you, we would not be meeting our adversaries with everything we need to do our absolute best. As it is, we have not been lacking for the resources to meet this challenge.

I encourage you to read the Briefs and Declarations concerning this case if you have time. This will give you a good perception of how complex and how much work is involved with mounting a substantial legal defense in this day and age. The material is very educational! It will also give you a substantial understanding of the legal foundations which support prospecting and mining activity on the public lands, and the legal challenges which we are defending against these days.

I am always awe-inspired when important circumstances cause miners to pull ourselves together in a common cause, and I feel very honored to be part of it when it happens. The experience gives me the feeling of being part of something worthwhile and important in our time. And I sincerely thank you guys for allowing me to play a part in this.

I encourage everyone to pay close attention to how this comes out towards the end of this month. We will have news of the judge’s decision on our web site as soon as we get it. The girls in the office will be informed if you ant to call the office. And, we will publish the July newsletter and send it out as soon as we know what is happening.


Sincerely,

Dave Mack

 


SECOND QUARTER, MAY 2005 VOLUME 19, NUMBER 9

 

 

The Karuk litigation is an ongoing case where the Karuk Tribe of California has filed a lawsuit in federal court attempting to prevent the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) from approving or allowing mining (dredging, sluicing, panning, etc.) in-stream or near a watercourse (“Riparian Reserve”) in the Klamath National Forest without requiring a plan of operations, reclamation plan, and reclamation bond, preparing an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement reviewing the individual and cumulative impacts from proposed mining in Riparian Reserves, and going through an extensive consultation process with other federal agencies pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.

The New 49’ers filed a motion with the federal court to intervene in this litigation on the grounds that the miners need to be heard, since it is our rights that are being contested in the litigation. The judge has granted our intervention-status over strong objections voiced by the Karuks. So, we are now directly involved in the litigation.

However, even before our intervention status was approved, The Karuks and USFS signed a partial settlement agreement whereby the USFS has conceded that, by law, they cannot approve an Operating Plan within any area where a listed species (threatened or endangered) exists, without first going through an extensive consultation process with other federal agencies (can take years to complete). In the settlement, the USFS has agreed to not approve any more Operating Plans before going through consultation when it is required.

Existing 36 C.F.R. Part 228 mining regulations allow the District Ranger to use his or her own discretion, based upon the best advice of his or her staff and other experts, to decide what type of mining activity will likely cause a significant disturbance of surface resources. A Ranger’s determination of a significant disturbance requires a formal Operating Plan to be filed by the miner – which will now trigger the lengthy consultation process with other agencies.

Generally, District Rangers have determined that hand-mining and suction dredging activity conforming to state regulations do not rise to the level of a “significant disturbance.”

However, on April 29, the Karuks filed a Motion for Summary Judgment and Injunctive Relief asking Judge Saundra B. Armstrong in Oakland, to decide otherwise. The Karuk’s position is that without first going through a full consultation process, the USFS is not qualified to determine there will not be a “significant impact” upon any existing listed species. Therefore, they argue, the Judge should prohibit the USFS from allowing any type of mining activity in Riparian Reserves in the Klamath National Forest without requiring a plan of operations, reclamation plan, and reclamation bond, preparing an environmental assessment or environmental impact statement which reviews the individual and cumulative impacts from proposed mining in Riparian Reserves, and going through an extensive consultation process with other federal agencies pursuant to the Endangered Species Act.

In short, the Karuks are asking the judge to overturn existing Section 228 regulations concerning mining in the Klamath National Forest.

As the Karuks do not distinguish any difference in their summary judgment motion or other moving-papers in the lawsuit between hand mining (panning, etc.) from mechanized mining (bulldozers), we are presuming they are asking the judge to stop all forms of mining or prospecting activity in Riparian Reserves in the Klamath National Forest.

The hearing for the Karuk’s motion is currently set for 21 June of this year, and the judge has agreed to issue her decision before July 1. The New 49’ers are actively working on a response opposing the Karuk’s motion for summary judgment.

The decision on this motion will likely have an impact upon other national forests on the West Coast of the United States.

In view of the USFS concession concerning the requirement of consultation to support any Operating Plan, we do not feel very comfortable that it will mount an adequate defense to this latest motion, either. I think it is safe to say that much of the small-scale mining as we know it in America hangs in the balance on this one decision that will happen in just a few short weeks from now.

Naturally, these proceedings have caused different USFS land-managers to be uncertain how to administer small-scale mining programs. This slows down the process, or stops it altogether in some places.

I feel it is important to point out that the attack against mining is coming from organizations outside of government, that do not want to see miners in the National Forest anymore. The USFS is caught in the middle. Under the circumstances, there is no clear-cut correct answer to anything. So we need to patiently wait-out the system and keep our sights on the long-term. The mining law has always vindicated the rights of miners. It is not over until it is over! Let’s keep our chins up and be effective.

With a little luck, Judge Armstrong will decide in our favor and give the USFS some direction about how to exercise the discretion granted to them by Congress. That could actually make things better for us.

Legal Fund Needs Replenishment

Without access to legal-funds, we could not counter anti-mining activists in court. So we must replenish the fund as it gets used up. Just a little help from everyone is all that it takes to keep us in the game with really good attorneys. Fortunately, to date, our continued requests for replenishment have been answered by members and other concerned

people within the industry.

Once again, I am requesting anyone and everyone who is able, to please send in a $10 donation to help replenish the legal fund. Checks can be made out to New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039. The girls in the office (530 493-2012) will also process credit or debit cards, or receive payment through PayPal. There are also Paypal “donation” buttons on the New 49er’s message forum as well as the Alaska Gold forums for your convenience.

Thanks for whatever you can do to help. We would not be able to do this without your support. Together, we are defending against one of the most serious threats to our industry that has been mounted in a very long time

2005 Program Approved on Klamath River

The Happy Camp Ranger District is allowing continued mining activity by New 49’er members under a formal Notice of Intent that has been provided by the Club on behalf of any members who wish to operate in conformance with our Operation Guidelines. Other than not dredging within a few hundred feet of Kinsman Creek (coldwater refugia), the guidelines presently are the same as what we had last year. You can obtain a copy from our office in Happy Camp (530 493-2012) or by visiting our web site.

What this means is that members who are willing to operate within our published guidelines are already covered by the Club’s formal Notice of Intent with the Happy Camp Ranger District, so it is not necessary for you to provide separate notice of your activities to the Forest Service. Basically, you just need to show up, register your presence with our office, and go to work.

Any members wishing to operate outside of our published guidelines are required to negotiate your own way, if necessary, with the federal authorities.

The Happy Camp Ranger District now covers all of the Klamath River from the mouth of Dillon Creek to Ash Creek – which is located around 5 miles downstream from Interstate 5. Happy Camp also administers Indian, Elk and Thompson Creeks. These waterways include the bulk of the mining property available to our members through our organization.

Some members have started the season early and are already actively prospecting along the Klamath River.

We are being told by the USFS that the Scott and Salmon River Ranger District (based in Fort Jones) is also going to sign-off on the formal Notice of Intent we have provided on behalf of our members. However, nothing is certain until we actually see it in writing. We learned last year to not rely upon assurances given to us until we actually them in writing.

There is no firm response yet from the District in Orleans about how they will administer mining on the lower Salmon River this year. A new District Ranger, Bill Rice, will take over on May 15. While there is still plenty of time before the dredging season begins there on 1 July, based upon how they did things last year in Orleans, I suggest it is probably better to not plan on their signing off on any Notice of Intent that we would provide on behalf of members.

This means that, unless things change, members wishing to prospect or mine along the lower Salmon River will likely need to manage your own individual relationships with the Forest Service down there.

In this event, I highly recommend that you carefully read the controlling decisions by the federal Court in Lex & Waggener and Terry McClure. While I am not an attorney, my own understanding of the judge’s decision in the McClure case just a few months ago is that the USFS cannot impose any penal authority upon small-scale miners (hand-miners and/or dredgers under the California regulations) who are prospecting on USFS land without an approved plan of operations.

If my understanding is correct, to stop mining activity that it does not approve of, it will now be necessary for the USFS to find some other punitive regulation, enact a new punitive regulation, or prove in civil court that the miner is creating significant disturbance of surface resources. It seems to me that the latter would be difficult to do, because the State of California is actively licensing suction dredging, based upon a formal finding of a non-significant impact. I would be surprised to see the USFS attempt to challenge an activity in civil court that has been approved and licensed by the State of California.

Although I must admit that I was very surprised that they challenged Terry McClure in court in last year. We live in very interesting times!

Really, the best solution all around is to create a set of guidelines we can all agree to, that allow small-scale miners to operate within bounds that are generally agreed to not create a significant disturbance. This has always been the purpose of our Operation Guidelines. Hopefully we will return to this soon in all areas where we make properties available to members. Meanwhile, because of the ongoing litigation, we will just have to cope with some confusion and uncertainty.

As the USFS is presently proceeding in such a manner as to allow our mining activity under the Notices we have provided them, we are moving forward with plans to manage a normal, full season in 2005. What else can we do?

See you out on the river,

Dave McCracken
General Manager

 


SECOND QUARTER, APRIL 2005 VOLUME 19, NUMBER 3

By Dave McCracken, General Manager


Legal Affairs

There is nothing shockingly-new on the ongoing Karuk litigation. This is a case where the Karuk Tribe of California has filed a lawsuit in federal court attempting to prevent the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) from approving Mining Plans for in-stream mining without first going through an extensive consultation process with other federal agencies.

Existing 36 C.F.R. Part 228 mining regulations allow the District Ranger to use his or her own discretion, based upon the best advice of his or her staff and other experts, to decide what type of mining activity will likely cause a significant disturbance and possibly trigger the consultation process with other agencies.

Generally, District Rangers have decided that hand-mining and suction dredging activity conforming to state regulations do not rise to the level of a “significant impact.” The Karuk Tribe is asking a federal judge, Saundra B. Armstrong in Oakland, to decide otherwise.

Our organization has filed a motion with the federal court to intervene in this litigation. We are doing this on the grounds that the miners need to be heard in this matter, since it is our rights that are being contested in the litigation.

The decision in this case will have an impact upon all national forests in America.

Since filing our motion with the Court, the Karuks have filed an Opposition to our Intervention. Their position is that even if miners are not allowed to work our claims, the BLM will allow us to own them if we pay the annual fees. Therefore, they say, our economic interest in the litigation is not important.

I won’t comment directly on the Karuk position, because we are actively involved in the litigation. But if you are interested, you can take a look at our formal Reply to the Karuks. We have created a special “Legal Affairs” page on our web site HERE so you can go up and have a direct look at the documents concerning the legal affairs that we are either involved with, or are watching closely.

Legal Fund Needs Replenishment!

As you can imagine, the very intense amount of legal activity during resent months has taken a heavy toll on our legal resources. These legal-fund resources are the only thing that allows us to meet anti-mining activists in court. So we must replenish the fund as it gets used up. Just a little help from everyone is all that it takes to keep us in the game with really good attorneys.

I am requesting anyone and everyone who is able, to please send in a $10 donation to help replenish the legal fund. Checks can be made out to New 49’ers Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039. The girls in the office (530 493-2012) will also process a credit or debit card, or receive payment through PayPal.

Thanks for whatever you can do to help. We would not be able to do this

without your support. Together, we are accomplishing some of the most important things that are happening within our industry at this time.

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