Public Lands for the People filed an appeal in Leeon Hillman v. California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) with the California Court of Appeals on July 15, 2010.
This is the case heard in Alameda County where Judge Roesch ruled that DFG could not spend any funds on the suction dredge permit program until a new EIR is completed. As soon as we find out when the matter will be addressed by the appellate court, we will let you know.
An appeal was already filed by PLP earlier this year in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding SB 670, the California bill passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Schwarzenegger that halted the suction dredge permits until a new EIR is completed. Briefs and counter briefs have been filed by DFG and PLP, and a decision is expected in the next few months.
PLP is also actively pursuing several other cases involving unwarranted restrictions and regulations that our federal government is attempting to burden miners with. The latest is a Forest Service proposal to create the North Yuba Restricted Use Area covering 39 miles of Highway 49 along the North Yuba to “reduce the impact on the scenic views and resources...”
The Forest Service proposed to restrict vehicle parking and camping along this corridor and to require miners to follow the same restrictions as tourists.
A short, 30-day comment period commenced June 24, following a public notice placed in a local paper. As far as we can determine, no effort was made to contact the miners who hold valid claims in the area.
PLP sent in 13 pages of comments documenting the numerous conflicts this proposal creates with mining laws, the Code of Federal Regulations, the US Constitution (“takings” clause) and more, and backed up their comments with recent court decisions.
If you were not notified, and this will affect your mining claim(s), we suggest you contact Karen Walden of the Forest Service at (530) 478-6261. Politely ask her to extend the comment period and request a written copy of all complaints received by the Forest Service in the North Yuba Restricted Use Area so you can adequately address each complaint in your comments.
PLP board member Pat Keene also reported that he was scheduled to meet with Forest Service supervisors in the San Gabriel area of southern California regarding continued harassment of miners and violations of their rights by Forest Service personnel. The meeting was scheduled to take place after we went to press, so we’ll provide an update next issue.
In the meantime, PLP continues to incur costs associated with several ongoing court cases filed on behalf of the mining community. To contribute to their efforts, we are again offering to add twenty-five cents to every dollar donated to PLP between August 1 and September 15, 2010, until we have contributed up to a maximum of $4,000.
If you make a donation during this time period, send us your name, city and state by mail or email, and the amount of your donation. We will check with PLP to confirm the amount, then add twenty-five cents for every dollar you donated. We’ll publish a list of contributors in the October 2010 issue of ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal.
You can learn more about PLP and their accomplishment on their website at www.plp2.org
Donations must be sent to:
c/o Jerry Hobbs
7184 Conejo Dr.
San Bernardino, CA 92404
After you have made a donation, send us your name, city and state, and contribution amount by email:
PO Box 2260
Aptos, CA 95001
Or give us a call: (831) 479-1500
Only those names sent to us can be included in the match program, so don’t forget to let us know!
We will continue to keep you posted on our website and in the Journal as new developments arise.