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Dave_Mack
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Special Rules for Underwater Suction Mining ( 06:17:28 SatMar 2 2013 )

This is not going to win me points with everyone. For that, I am sorry. But with the majority interest in mind, we have decided that it is wise to set some limits on this new form of underwater suction mining that falls outside of California's existing suction dredge regulations.

None of this is to appease the concerns of anti-mining activists. Those guys would object if we only went out with a teaspoon and pair of tweezers! The purpose here is mainly to prepare a defense against the possibility of "emergency regulations" (which would be open to immediate challenge). While I would rather not go into all of the legalities, I will refer you to two recent developments:

A) The Superior Court of Siskiyou County recently issued a substantial Decision on behalf of the agriculture community (Karen L. Dixon on 24 December 2012) which basically says that the California Fish & Wildlife's (DFG) authorityonly comes into play in the protection of fish (this was a water case).

B) DFG finalized a very substantial environmental document this past year which basically declares that up to 3,000 4-inch suction dredges can be operated in California with no deleterious impact upon fish. The document addressed streambed alteration and water quality concerns, and basically gave 4-inch dredges a pass under normal circumstances.

While we are challenging those regulations as too restrictive, DFG has adopted a formal position that 4-inch dredges and smaller do not harm fish. It would therefore seem reasonable that our underwater gravel transfer systems should not be a risk to fish, streambeds or water quality if we limit nozzles to 4-inches.

As I have explained several times already, this new method of underwater gold prospecting is not meant to be a large volume activity. The purpose is to gain access to abundant shallow gold deposits in the active waterways. Therefore, we are attempting to preserve this new activity by adopting the following rules. Please note that the rules do, in some limited ways, also address the subject of suction mining on the surface:

Special Rules for Underwater Suction Mining

1) Suction mining in the active waterway, or within 100 yards of the active waterway, must not use a "suction dredge" as defined by California's regulations (motorized pump generating suction through a hose to feed a sluice box) unless the operator possesses a valid California suction dredge permit. Please read this for a more thorough discussion of the difference between a "dredge" and a motorized suction system.

2) No nozzle with an intake restriction ring larger than 4-inches in diameter may be used within 100 yards of an active waterway on New 49'er-controlled properties.

3) No excavation into the stream bank of an active waterway is allowed. This does not mean that bedrock cracks along the edge of a waterway cannot be worked. It means the bed material (rocks, sand and silt) must be left alone which rises up from the bedrock and creates a structure that holds the existing waterway in its path. This also means the stream bank may not be undermined or destabilized in any way.

4) Boulders and woody debris along the stream bank of an active waterway must be left alone.

5) Seasons for underwater suction mining are consistent with the California suction dredge regulations adopted in 1994. We have published the allowed underwater mining season on the Claims Guide for each waterway, or section of waterway, where individual New 49'er-controlled properties are located. By this, we mean that no form of motorized underwater suction mining may be done inside active waterways outside the published seasons. If in doubt, please contact our office at 530 493-2012.

6) Underwater suction mining without the use of a "dredge" is only allowed within active waterways on our Klamath River properties between the Scott and Salmon Rivers on a year-round basis, and up the Klamath from its confluence with the Scott from the 4th Saturday in May through September 30. Underwater suction mining is only permitted along our creek properties and the Scott River from July 1 to September 30. Underwater suction mining is only permitted on the Salmon River from July 1 through September 15.



  
ratled
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Re: Special Rules for Underwater Suction Mining ( 07:54:26 SatMar 2 2013 )

The club has always had rules so it shouldn't be no big deal to address this. Having the rules in place before everyone gets there only makes it fair to all.

ratled

  
Dave_Mack
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Re: Special Rules for Underwater Suction Mining ( 12:37:50 SatMar 2 2013 )

Underwater Mining Seasons on New 49'er Properties:

Underwater suction mining without the use of a "dredge" is only allowed within active waterways on our Klamath River properties between the Scott and Salmon Rivers on a year-round basis, and up the Klamath from its confluence with the Scott from the 4th Saturday in May through September 30. Underwater suction mining is only permitted along our creek properties and the Scott River from July 1 to September 30. Underwater suction mining is only permitted on the Salmon River from July 1 through September 15.

  
colo_nuggets
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Re: Special Rules for Underwater Suction Mining ( 15:36:25 SatMar 2 2013 )

This is going to help a lot members! I'm going to give this a try after the water warms up. That's grabbing the bull by the horns!

  
Rod_Seiad
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Re: Special Rules for Underwater Suction Mining ( 16:36:47 SatMar 2 2013 )

"B) DFG finalized a very substantial environmental document this past year which basically declares that up to 3,000 4-inch suction dredges can be operated in California with no deleterious impact upon fish. The document addressed streambed alteration and water quality concerns, and basically gave 4-inch dredges a pass under normal circumstances."


That is huge and bears repeating. :doublethumbsup:

CDFW has adjusted it's position. Not enough mind you, but workable. Let's not push it. Dave is making progress which benefits all suction miners.

Naturally we wonder if CDFW will sell dredge permits for minus 4" nozzle restrictors. Maybe that will be up to us. I don't need one. I don't want a permit from some state government environmental protection department.


  

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