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Alsbsee
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Lets take credit for the enviromental cleanup we do ( 01:12:17 ThuJun 11 2009 )

As I read the text of SB670 one of the major concerns of our opposition is that we are disturbing mercury left in river bed sediments by previous mining activities, thereby increasing the amount of mercury consumed by fish. We should respond that we trap, recover, and remove liquid mercury drawn into our dredge nozzles as it also is trapped in our sluice boxes. I propose that we as an organization retain and track the amounts of mercury recovered. We should produce our own or obtain information from the state for the proper cleanup, storage, and mercury disposal methods and train our members in those methods. As a club we could use that information to show the state and our opponents what a great job we’re doing cleaning up our mining properties from past mining practices. We’re not just good stewards of our mining properties, we’re also concerned about our environment and actively take steps to clean it up. As an organization we could become the largest environmental cleanup group in the state.

There are benefits to small scale gold mining. While I haven’t found mercury in the Klamath or its tributaries I have found a considerable amount in other areas of the Serra Nevadas. In Shirttail Creek on the North Fork of the American River, just east of Sacramento, I once found a ball of mercury about the size of a quarter that contained a nice little ball of gold, which I recovered in the traditional way. I would regularly find liquid mercury in the American River. Over the years I recovered an ounce or more, which I would add to the six or so ounces I used to keep to fine gold recovery. If you’re finding mercury in the stream you’re probably finding gold. Let’s recover the mercury as well as the gold, let the club track the amounts, and show our critics that we don’t just talk the talk but we are active in cleaning up our environment.

Al Sperling



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alsbsee
 
 
bluebeard
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Re: Lets take credit for the enviromental cleanup we do ( 07:31:17 ThuJun 11 2009 )

Al- there is an ongoing discussion at www.theunion.com (look up editorials and suction dredging) with Mike Thornton of the Sierra Fund (one of the backers of the SB670 bill). There have been a lot of posts in reply to his editorials. What it seems to boil down to, is they don't care that the miners are cleaning up the environment. Their whole intent is to have a "moratorium" on suction dredging. He says the Sierra Fund supports miners cleaning up, but only on his terms of an moratorium until (if ever) the new environmental water quality report comes out. He won't budge off his viewpoint.

  
Alsbsee
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Re: Lets take credit for the enviromental cleanup we do ( 22:46:55 SatJun 13 2009 )

Thanks for the link to the Nevada City Union. I read an article in the Union by James Butler “Fish, dredging and mercury — a second opinion”, published June 10. He discusses the benefits of suction dredging for the environment, not only the removal of toxic mercury but also the creation of spawning beds for migrant fish.

I know I’m writing to the choir. I believe that a few our environmental groups (Serra Club for one) are trying to limit all access to any public land for any reason. They simply don’t believe that humans are part of any natural environment. So I have this idea that we should redefine ourselves somewhat. We are not simply miners who dig holes in the earth and muddy the streams and rivers. We perform an extremely valuable service to everyone in the State and we do it for the cost of a dredging permit. We do environmental remediation every time we remove a drop of mercury or a piece of lead from a stream or river.

Assume, for a minute, that the Serra Club is correct in their assertion that mercury in the river sediments is the huge problem they believe it is and that dredgers exasperate the mercury issue by increasing mercury “flowering”. I need someone to tell me what that is.

We all know that the river bed is not some sealed stationary structure; it’s not a clay lined landfill pit will lock up industrial toxins for thousands of years. The entire river bed constantly in motion, particularly during the high water events, which happens every couple of years, Mother Nature is culprit causing mercury “flowering” on a grand scale, along the river’s full length without removing a single molecule of mercury. This being the case we should argue for the removal of all toxic elements from the river. Every drop of liquid mercury removed saves thousands of gallons of water, and the fish that live in it, from contamination.

Dredgers actively look for and remove mercury from the river system bedrock. Since liquid mercury isn’t vaporizing under water we remove more mercury from the environment than that released from our equipment. Again if we’re finding mercury we are also finding gold. Thus you can say we are performing an act of environmental remediation that no one, not on the Federal, the State, or the private (Serra Club) levels is willing to perform. Environmental clean up of the entire river system is too expensive for the Federal and particularly State to attempt. The private environmental clubs (Serra Club) simply want to restrict access and forget about this issue entirely. They have no plan for removal of toxic heavy metals from the rivers. I know of only one group willing, able, and actively cleaning up the river systems and gold dredgers are them.

Al Sperling

  
Ghostrider
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Re: Lets take credit for the enviromental cleanup we do ( 17:01:43 MonJun 15 2009 )

Al, check out these sites for some facts about the truth.
CH #1167

http://www.mercuryfacts.org/mercuryCalculator.cfm
http://www.akmining.com/mine/study.htm

  
Alsbsee
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Re: Lets take credit for the enviromental cleanup we do ( 23:35:04 MonJun 15 2009 )

Thanks, I've seen the AKMINING.com study. It was done up here in Washington State. I'm sure you've all seen this study done right there down there in the Siskiyou National Forest. Its very simular to the one described in the Washington State study. See the attached document.

Al Sperling

  

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