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In last month's newsletter, I explained the reasons why our legal fund had fallen $17,748.02 behind in being able to pay the specialists who helped us defeat Assembly Bill 1032 and also overcome several important legal challenges to our industry during this past season. I appealed to our members and supporters for financial contributions so we can catch up on past expenses and begin building up a fund to prepare ourselves for the new challenges which we are already facing.
I am sorry to report that even though some of you did respond to my request for help, as I write this newsletter, our legal fund continues to remain $14,526.61 behind in past obligations.
Because we are not raising enough money to pay our past legal defense bills, I have been forced to lay off the lobby firm which has been assisting us in Sacramento. This is very unfortunate, because there are important programs winding their way through the California government machine right now that will have an important impact upon our industry:
1) There remains no funding in place to support the environmental review of existing suction dredge regulations which was ordered by the court earlier this year. If the Department of Fish & Gameís process stalls for lack of funding, there is a real possibility that our regulations could be suspended. At present, I am not aware of any serious effort being made to secure the necessary funding to complete this process. Our lobbyist was going to do that through friendly senators and assembly members in the California assembly. That is now on hold.
2) California Water Quality Controlís Statewide Exemption (an additional permit requirement for suction dredgers that few people even know about) expired several years ago, and that agency has begun a formal process to determine what to do about it. The formal process presently involves receiving input from all of our adversaries (and their own professional lobbyists and attorneys), who, of course, are being very vocal that there should not be any exemption to the water quality permit requirement for suction dredgers or other small-scale miners (high-bankers). The annual permit for this agency would normally cost around $1,200 for every individual placer miner if the Statewide Exemption is not renewed.
3) There is a very strong chance that AB 1032, or something similar to it, will be reintroduced to the California legislature this next session (January).
4) We have now overcome the very serious political and legal attacks made upon our industry by our liberal adversaries three years in a row. It would be very wishful thinking to believe they are not planning something else for this year. Whatever they will bring at us (I can nearly guarantee it will be some combination of 1,2 & 3 above) will almost assuredly require our need for specialists (lobbyists, attorney, etc) if we expect our voices to be heard; if we expect to have the most chance of winning on todayís battlefield.
Iím caught between a rock and a hard spot, here: We cannot afford to pay these specialists at the rate that contributions have been coming in. And we cannot successfully defend our industry in todayís world without them! Please understand this: Without the help from our lobbyists and attorney, there is no way we would have defeated AB 1032.
If we had not defended (and won) key litigation during the last 3 years, right now, (1) there would no longer be any mining within the high water marks along U.S. Forest Service land anywhere in America, and (2) there would no longer be any suction dredging in California, and (3) gold panning would be a criminal offense in California. Our attorney and lobbyists really worked hard for us. I hope you agree that we must finish paying them with minimal delay, and then start building up our defenses for the next challenges which are surely coming our way.
Here is a summary from our lobbyist concerning AB 1032.
Here is a list of the key legal cases we have been involved with.
Here is a thank you letter from Shasta Miners Association for the support we provided on the gold panning issue this past season.
Please help me put our lobbyists back on our team! We need them working our side for us!
Please listen: This is the pivotal point of how future prospecting will go on the public lands of America. It is not only about The New 49íers. We are just doing our part to fight in the important battles, the outcomes which will affect prospectors across America.
But we need more help than we are getting! If most people reading this just sent $10 each, we would have all the money we need to meet our well-funded adversaries on the battlefield!
Here is the strategy that has been working for us during the past 5 years: When we are faced with an important legal or political challenge, we hire the best attorneys and/or lobbyists and/or environmental specialists that we can find to help us win. Such professionals are expensive, because they are very good at what they do. Our attorneys are better than the government attorneys that we go up against. Our lobbyists are plugged into the political machine well enough to prevent our messages from being ignored. They know how to utilize our resources to achieve the desired result! The biology is on our side. But it takes respected specialists to get our message heard.
So the challenge for us is in defending our industry at the present time is primarily in raising the money to pay specialists that will help us to win our battles. I ask that you please do not turn your back on this reality.
Small contributions from a lot of people are the key! Otherwise, the pain is vastly increased upon a smaller group of us who are willing to take some responsibility for how things come out.
Please listen: The pain is so great at the moment that I have had to lay off one of the industryís few key warriors!
Our future depends upon this. So I am asking that you please make a contribution right away if you can!
Contributions can be directed to New 49íer Legal Fund, P.O. Box 47, Happy Camp, CA 96039. You can also call in a debit or credit card contribution to our office at (530) 493-2012. Or you can make a contribution by Pay Pal if you click on the "make a donation" link towards the top of this page.
To help encourage financial contributions, some very nice prizes have been donated by industry manufacturers and other supporters. While we are not selling raffle tickets, we have been authorized by the prize donors to submit a drawing ticket for each $10 in contributions that we receive from those of you who support our effort ($100 would create 10 tickets, etc.). Our girls in the office will print your tickets as we receive contributions. The prize drawing will take place on 31 January, 2008.
As an additional incentive, we will also send out the free New 49íer DVD to each person who contributes $25 or more to our legal fund. This is a brand new 30-minute DVD which captures the fun, excitement and winning spirit which our members have been experiencing during the past few years along our mining properties. There is a lot of really good stuff happening on our properties these days! New 49íer members, Haze & Andi Williams and I devoted countless hours filming and editing during this past season to create a fully-updated Club video. It is finished, and now ready to send out in DVD format. This is the DVD you want to show your friends and family when they want to know why you are passionate about gold prospecting!
Thank you very much for anything you can do to help us out!
While I am on the subject of help, I want to thank Jim Yerby (chickenlipwilly) who has been doing continuous fund raisers on this forum, helping to keep the need to raise funds alive. The war is not over, yet!! Jim is about out of prizes for his auctions, by the way. So we would be very grateful if you guys (and gals) might provide him with more to work with!!
Thanks for this Dave and a special thanks to Jim Yerby for the unselfish donation of his time to run these auctions, this takes a lot of work and is a tremendous responsibility.
Thank you Jim!!!
Just an idea, but it looks like several of the clubs properties upon the Salmon River have been auctioned off over the last couple of months. We were wondering whether that money had been earmarked for other things or if it could help pay for past legal defense bills.
Maybe a few other properties could be auctioned off as well to pay for the lobby firm and other future costs needed to keep a vigilant ongoing defense. The sacrifice might be worth it long term for us all!
Thanks for coming up with ideas to help!
As a last resort, we could start trading off the Club's assets to pay for specialists.
However, it is the Club's assets which lay the foundations that create a healthy membership -- which allows us to be strong enough to mount good defenses on behalf of small-scale miners.
So we are reluctant to start down the downward spiral of selling off valuable assets to pay attorneys and other specialists, as long as there remains hope that we can generate enough in contribltions to get the job done. This serves our members better.
Thanks for anything you guys can do!!
Hello to all 49ís
I have joined the New 49ís because of the increased locations to prospect in and what the club stands for. We all know that new ground is not being made for us. We have to keep what we have and acquire more of it as it becomes available. WE donít need to sell the ground we already have.
We as prospectors need to get it together and work as a team ( 49ís, Lost Dutchman, GPAA, Roadrunner and other smaller prospecting clubs) to support our rights to prospect. This is not rocket science. I also belong to the Lost Dutchman Club. Because of limited mining areas, we end up with handles on the rocks because they have been moved too many times. Been there, done that and I didnít find too much gold.
I do think that we could make more of an impact if we get help from all the clubs and work together to ensure that we are not undergoing any more attacks on our rights. I donít see anything in the gold prospect magazine about the attack that we have been under. I do see it in California mining journal, which is a great magazine. I think Tom Massie could put some words together in the magainze to get the money rolling in a little better and help us stop the attacks that all of us are under. My membership in the Lost Dutchman club is as useless as is the New 49ís membership if we lose this battle. All of the clubs are done if we donít help ourselves.
Well said Roy! A nother $20 is on the way Dave. I love PayPal. Merry Christmas to you all! Jeff
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