It's the Bottom of the Ninth—And Not Just for California
December 2013 by Public Lands for the People
Suction dredging is about to disappear permanently in California if Public Lands for the People (PLP) does not immediately obtain substantial additional funding. The California outcome will reverberate throughout all of the states with suction dredge mining. If we lose, the radical environmentalists have a roadmap to replicate their success everywhere.
PLP’s preliminary injunction arguing irreparable harm to the small miner was denied by our judge despite the fact that a Siskiyou County case found in favor of irreparable harm to the miners. Our trial is again delayed, this time until May 2014.
Our deep pocket opponents—the radical environmentalists, the Karuk Indians, and the State of California—have no financial issues. Their combined effort to delay our case has successfully run PLP out of money. Without additional funding, PLP will not be able to continue hiring legal representation nor pay our share of the estimated $100,000 administrative fees required by the State of California to compile the complete record of all the previous trials.
There are two ways for miners to never be able to suction dredge in California again: have our judge rule against us on the merits of the case, which is appealable; or PLP failing to show up for the case because we ran out of money, which is not appealable.
An annual individual membership is $35.00. That is only 9.6 cents per day per member. Is there any small miner who cannot afford a dime a day? A family membership for $50.00 is only 14 cents a day. But, why stop there? Imagine what can be done if every small miner gave 30 cents a day. PLP could really go on the offensive and take the small miner fight to the rest of the nation. Thirty cents is just the change that you take out of your pocket and throw into a jar at the end of your day.
Let’s be clear, fellow miners, suction dredging is only the opening gambit in the admitted radical environmentalist effort to eliminate all prospecting and mining in the country, not just California. Highbanking, sluicing, dry-washing, panning and even metal detecting are all on the chopping block. You need to look no further than Oregon to see that prediction coming true.
For this case, it is the bottom of the ninth inning. We either open our wallets or we permanently lose prospecting and small mining in California, and the other states will surely follow. Let’s give the radical environmentalists and the complicit government a legal whopping that they won’t soon forget.
Editor’s Note: From now until December 30, 2013, ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal is offering a $10 donation to PLP on YOUR behalf—here’s how it works:
Purchase a new one-, two-, or three-year subscription and add a PLP membership for $25. We will forward your contribution to PLP along with an additional $10 for a one-year PLP membership.
Or you can add one, two or three years to your current subscription and get the same deal!
Call us at (831) 479-1500 to take advantage of this offer. We will publish the name and hometown of each contributor in our February 2014 issue.
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On Tuesday morning, August 26, 2010, my clients Michael and Linda Backlund were forced to plead guilty to a charge of violating 36 CFR §261.10(b), which criminalizes maintaining a residence on Forest Service land without authorization “when such authorization is required.” This is a new regulation pursuant to which virtually anything, even a tent, is an unlawful “residence” unless authorized in advance.
We know we lack critical minerals. We know the causes. We know the need. We have the knowledge we need right now. Why can’t we just take action and fix the problem?
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