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PLP and Mining Districts

PLP Update

Public Lands for the People (PLP) is challenging the California Department of Fish & Wildlife after the agency attempted to expand their authority to regulate a lawful activity.

PLP is providing expert help on behalf of a member who was cited for not having a stream alteration permit for drywashing in an area nearly above the timberline where the only water that runs through there is during a rainstorm or during the snow melt.

The miner was drywashing using a small, gas-powered drywasher for a short period of time—maybe an hour—when he was asked by a ranger to see his permit, which is not required to prospect at this small of a scale. PLP has provided several relevant decisions to the court that relate to this case and is offering expert testimony on the member’s behalf.

We will keep you posted as this case progresses.

Clark Pearson (PLP northern director) and I have maintained contact with officials in Washington, DC regarding the recent petition for rulemaking related to suction gold dredging. As explained in the petition, the Clean Water Act clearly states there must be the addition of a pollutant to trigger the need for a Section 402 permit and there is no such addition involved when using a dredge. We will continue to seek action on the petition and will schedule a return trip to DC in early 2020 to follow-up on this issue, and we’ll also seek a meeting with Tim Charters, the new executive director of the Western Caucus.

© ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal, CMJ Inc.
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PLP Update


Face-to-face meetings in Washington, DC, with Trump administration officials and members of Congress are still on hold due to the coronavirus, but Public Lands for the People is continuing to work on mining-related issues via phone and email.

MMAC & PLP Update


Just prior to our press deadline, we learned that a bill had been introduced in the Idaho House of Representatives to redefine suction gold dredging as a preferred use in public waterways in Idaho.

PLP Update: How to Restore The Rights of Suction Dredge Miners


A two-pronged approach is necessary to restore suction dredging; federal preemption needs to be established as addressed above via petition; and clarification from the EPA is needed to establish that no Section 402 permit is necessary when there is no “addition” of a pollutant.

Mining Districts and Community Outreach


You have made your presence known with the BLM or Forest Service, placed Mining District signs along the entrance points to your district, and found support with other local miners. But how do you gain popular support?

MMAC Update


We will be bringing the first of several bills that were requested by Congress during a previous MMAC trip and presenting maps depicting all the MMAC-assisted Mining Districts.

PLP Update


“Our member followed the PLP dredge card to the ‘T’. PLP called his senior officer about the incident and the call was never returned, nor was the dredger cited.”

MMAC Update


This is the third trip MMAC has made to DC this year, so some of the congressional staff members are gaining a better understanding of the current problems miners face and how MMAC-assisted Mining Districts can alleviate those problems.

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