PLP and Mining Districts
August 2021 by Scott Harn
Public Lands for the People completed their annual raffle and the results are listed on page 34 or on their website.
PLP continues to assist members who wish to utilize a suction dredge in California for reclamation purposes. There are certain steps that must be followed to comply with regulations and to qualify under reclamation guidelines, so they’ve been busy answering questions following an in-the-water demonstration they conducted for members last month.
The reclamation plan will likely remain the only pathway to dredging in California unless/until there is a change in administration at either the state or federal level. We were making headway in Washington, DC, in meetings with members of Congress, to get reasonable regulations established at the federal level, but a change in administration stymied those efforts. We will reassess the situation after the elections next year.
At the state level, there’s a possibility that California Governor Newsom could be removed and replaced during his upcoming recall election, which will be held in September. In California, the governor appoints all the members of the State Water Board, and a change in leadership could provide the opportunity for replacement of those board members who are ideologically against all forms of mining, including suction dredging.
Federal legislation would be preferable, as it could provide consistent, reasonable regulations across all states.
PLP Update: The Path for Legally Re-Starting Suction Gold Dredge Mining in 2021
Present conflicts and realizations having to do with dependence on China have illuminated the fact that suction dredge miners have a vital role to play and are an ignored and untapped domestic resource—until now.
Judge Rules Against Dredger in Idaho Civil Case
The path to winning this case should have been to make the plaintiffs prove that a foreign substance was introduced and then discharged, which is the “trigger” for regulations under the Clean Water Act.
PLP northern director Clark Pearson stated, “Thanks to the U.S. v. Hicks case, the courts have acknowledged that claimholders are owners of land within the National Forest who are exempt.”
“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.”
We spent our evening at some informal get-togethers at two private residences in the DC area, which provided the opportunity to talk with staff members from Congress, other agencies, and a few consultants working on public land issues. We found common ground with many of them, and found a strong ally in a former Congressman turned consultant who agreed that Mining Districts provide the smartest legal route...
We anticipate there will be a change in party leadership in possibly both the House and Senate following the November 2022 mid-term elections…
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.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Are pulse induction detectors the right tech for gold? • Ask The Experts - Why can’t I find gold with my detector? • Ask The Experts - Are two rock crushing machines (jaw crusher and chain crusher) necessary? • Ask The Experts - Why am I finding only coarse gold, not fines in this area? • Ask The Experts - Is the amount of gold reserves claimed by mining companies real or just hype? • How To Identify Minerals • Chasing Hard Rock Gold As A Placer Deposit • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Bumbling Through A Gold Bonanza • How Mesothermal/Orogenic Gold Deposits Form • My Explosive Introduction to Gold Mining • Georgetown CA: A Historically Rich Mother Lode Treasure • Reminder: Annual Claim Filings and Fees Due • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices