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Found 37 results

  1. The long awaited post about Suction Dredging in California Simply put…….Dredging is coming back to California Spring of next year. Firstly, we know you are as skeptical as we are, after all, we’ve been told things over the past 9 years (like rulings from courts and such) which give us hope, but it always ended up being the same BS, delays, denials and shutdowns The small mining community donated millions to go to court, Brandon Rinehart was dragged through many court battles and that too we all donated to. All to no avail. The politicians and courts didn’t give us much to trust in their words. , they stabbed us in the back every single time. It was all pure politics and science was ignored. Then AMRA introduced SB1222 and things busted wide open. We first of all want to thank Senator Stone and our small mining community for showing up, making calls, sending letters and getting the heck off their butts and being heard, it made the difference. To quote one of the Senators, they didn’t see that support coming. But most of all, our AMRA staff. History and stuff: California passed a law (signed by Brown in Jan 2016), SB637 and because of that and their right to “reasonable regulation” in the state, we must abide by it until things can either be reversed, or changed at the federal level. Some believe the state cannot regulate suction dredging and we agree to some degree here at AMRA, but what would happen if you dredged right now without the permit mandated by SB637? You’d have your equipment confiscated, you’d be fined and you’d be dragged through the California court system and found guilty based on the current language. As a part of SB637 (The Suction Dredge Bill) signed into law in January of 2016, it was mandated that the California Water Board (CAWB) study and evaluate whether permitting should be allowed in the state, and if so, the CAWB was tasked with creating a permitting structure. We believe the sponsors of SB637, Izzy Martin and the enviro group The Sierra Fund, along with their Senator who brought the bill forward, Ben Allen, a Democrat from Hollywood believed the CAWB would toe the political line and just slow walk, or deny permits all along. SB637 morphed into a defacto prohibition on mining as it then labeled all things as suction dredges. High bankers, water pumps, track wheel chairs, trucks and even sluice boxes. People were cited, their equipment confiscated and fines were paid. We pointed out that this morphing of language was illegal, immoral and adversely affected 10’s of thousands of people. Kind of hard to say an airplane is a wheelbarrow just because both have wheels and that is precisely what the vague language in SB637 did. They stated “you can still pan”. As we pointed out in testimony at the Senate hearing on SB1222, panning is not, nor has it ever been a mining method. It is a final process, but not a mining method. Therefore, since that was really all they left us with, we made that argument, which was quite compelling that this is a ban and an illegal prohibition on small scale mining. So the CAWB didn’t toe the political line as some expected. What happened is the folks at the CAWB who are scientists and engineers pulled the raw data of all the studies over the past 20 years which were provided to them by WMA (Western Mining Alliance) and decided to see if dredging was in fact harming fish or fish habitat. What they concluded was dredging was deminimus, meaning it doesn’t harm fish or fish habitat. Their Board of Directors voted unanimously it is deminimus (no harm). We attended and presented (on your behalf) at every one of the public hearings with the CAWB when the permitting was being discussed and we produced a pretty compelling video of the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) actively suction dredging in other states to “create fish habitat”. Let that sink in for a minute….other states are dredging to “create” fish habitat. How is it that other states dredge to create fish habitat, but California thinks it kills fish? Well, it is because this is all political and not scientific (like you guys didn’t know that…). So what happened is they didn’t take Craig’s word for what the outcome was on all these studies, they pulled the raw data and then over the next year, AMRA worked with them on a permitting structure and we did this quietly and behind the scenes. If you recall, the DFG created a nightmare proposal on dredging, the one we recommended was nothing like that. It was one that didn’t involve keeping a diary, waiting a year for a permit or costing 5 grand to run a 4” dredge while being limited to a small 20 foot area in a creek they chose. CAWB listened and while ultimately it was their decision on what permitting structure to go with, it is nothing like we feared. Over the past week we have been in meetings, had calls and emails too numerous to list asking questions we know you’d be asking because hell, they are what we would want to know as we are miners through and through like many of you. Most questions we can answer now, some we cannot answer until late June when we have some formal meetings with the Director of the CAWB and a few Senators, but we are in fact going to be dredging next spring. It will be nearly impossible for the CAWB to pull back this acknowledgment that dredging WILL be permitted next year. AMRA will be discussing this live all weekend at out outing near Groveland CA, it's open to the public and it's free. We will also be covering this in detail at our annual dinner in Chino CA June 2nd, see our website for details or the post below for the outing directions and times. So, here’s the nuts and bolts: Firstly, almost all of the equipment wrapped up in the vague language of SB637 is being reversed and will once again be legal and not considered a suction dredge. High bankers are one piece of equipment we are still actively discussing and may involve a permit of some kind if run in the creek. We believe strongly since this is incidental fallback, like a dredge, it adds nothing and does not cause any adverse impacts on California waterways. Science should prevail, not emotion or how someone feels it might, may, could or potentially impact a waterway. Facts and science. Permitting applications will be available in early Spring and we are shooting for the very first day of Spring which is March 20, 2019. Why does it take this long, well this whole process was in fact ready to go last summer and the permitting structure was created, written and was ready for public comment, then the Director of the Water Board was replaced. The new Director, appointed by Governor Brown stopped all progress on the permits. SB637 had a mandate of 1 year for the CAWB to come up with a plan and they are now at 2 years, 4 months and 16 days. That is not just unacceptable, it is in violation of the law and we made sure they knew that. What remains now in the process is the public comment period where they tell the public what they plan to do and ask for comments. We expect you all to provide input. Cost: It is not going to be $2000 like someone posted on FB, that is incorrect. The permit costs we expect to be around $200 or close to it. They have a calculation where the permit structure needs to be 110% of the cost to do the permits so it shouldn’t be that much. It will be an on-line application process meaning you go to a specific link at the CAWB and fill it out on your computer. It should take no more than 3 or 4 weeks for the permit, but we are going to see if this can be sped up like the Ag permits farmers obtain routinely and rapidly. The permits are good perpetually, meaning that you pay for the permit in 2019, then if you want to dredge next year, you do not have to re-apply, just pay the fee and go dredge. I dredge multiple rivers, do I need a permit for each waterway? No, one permit for the whole state. Do studies have to be done for the creek I want to dredge? No. There will be no site specific studies required for any permits. Will I need to get a DFG permit like we did in 2009 in addition to the CAWB permit? No. Department of Fish and Game, who is currently required to obtain a permit from……….will be eliminated. No permits will be required from DFG for suction dredging. Who enforces this? DFG will be the enforcement arm and will be the agency tasked with checking for permits like we all remember….although in decades of dredging with a permit, I never once got checked. Do we have to keep silly diaries and all the other documentation like what was proposed before? No. There are no after season, nor continual season reporting requirements like DFG proposed in 2012 like keeping a diary and all that nonsense. There are a few things still unanswered like: Are there restrictions on sizes of dredges and motors. We believe dredging will be handled like it was prior to the moratorium in 2009, but do need this in writing before making a statement. What specific rivers/waterways will have a season, although it appears as it is exactly like it was in 2009. No dredging during spawning season (which we support). The exact cost, although we believe it will be a few hundred dollars at most, not the $2,000 circulating on the internet. We also do not know the specific regulations to a fine detail. However the CAWB has specifically stated they would like AMRA (Shannon Poe) to help them with the language and make sure the language does not encompass other equipment like the vague SB637. So as you can see, this is monumental. We are going to obtain this in writing shortly and you have our sincere promise that we will be working with them daily if necessary. They have made these statements in front of two sitting California Senators. It would be close to impossible for them to back out of this without some severe exposure to a lawsuit….and bring one we would on your behalf. We know you’ll have questions, and if we can answer them, we will, if we cannot, we will get them. Mr. Shannon Poe President, AMRA Fighting for your right to mine
  2. https://www.americanminingrights.com/dredging-in-california-next-year/ Whether there is any truth to this, or it is stonewalled by legislation remains to be seen. Interesting though.
  3. Many people think that gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in January of 1848 but it was actually discovered on March 9, 1842 in Southern California. That is the official 'story' here: http://www.hometownstation.com/santa-clarita-latest-news/in-history-placerita-canyon-celebrates-176th-anniversary-of-the-oak-of-the-golden-dream-224619 Mitchel
  4. Awoke to a light coming down from the attic access this morning. So I blew out the candle put down the beans, grabbed up the MD and headed up to the surface. Had no idea what I intended to detect in all this snow, perhaps pennies from Heaven. Wasn't long though before I got my first good signal and started digging. Was working this claim on the divide between the Stanislaus and Mokelumne rivers last "Fall" when winter set in and had to lay over for a spell. Don't know exactly what I have detected here but it appears to have crash landed during one of the big blows. I have included a couple photographs so you will be aware of what is headed downhill with the coming of "Spring". The triangle pictured in the snow is a log cabin roof with access on the opposite gable. The green object in the other photograph hit in the "tin-foil range" but does not taste like metal. I knocked on what appeared to be a tank hatch but got no reply. Just I started to rebury the thing it started to hum the Marine Corps Hymn at which point I returned to the cabin for some push-ups. In what range would a person expect to get for an empty 300 gallon propane tank at depth?
  5. Hi all, some of you have known me for many years as Mlgdave, owner of Goldbay.com and now I also own The Colorado Quartz Gold mine in California and ramping back up to run and mine 140 and 180 feet underground. This week me and my partner worked an old stope and found and extracted a killer piece! (more to come) I am living at the mine full time and should have some good stories and finds for you guys over the next few months/years Mlgdave
  6. Sourdough Scott

    Gold Lake Area Update

    Here is a picture taken on Gold Lake highway today. April 30. Looks to be awhile to get up to the prospecting and detecting areas there.
  7. Southern California Desert, GPZ 7000, settings high yield, normal ground, high smoothing, sens @9 rest at default. It was very windy so the audio is a no go.
  8. Latest News! Cheers,Ig Today! 2Days Ago:
  9. Oroville dam Update! At 18:40 he shows ya his "goldpan"! Cheers,Ig
  10. I keep reading stuff printed in papers or on other media that is perhaps at best on the verge of sort of true. They are getting desperate for readers / viewers and seem to want to say dang near anything for eyeballs. I heard some funny stories at the GPAA show of folks trying to sneak into the construction area below the Oroville dam spillway - convinced there will be gobs of gold all around because they saw it on TV or in a newspaper. Here are a few recent story lines: "Gold hunters in the area tell the Chico Enterprise-Record the floods have "rearranged the rivers" and "move things around." That means gold veins that have been hidden for 200 years are suddenly exposed." "According to CBS San Francisco, the floods also swept gold out of abandoned mines and washed it downriver. " "While KCRA reports that gold can simply be picked off the ground following major flooding, the best prospecting will come in the summer months when the water has receded." C'mon gents! We need to head off to those hills if the gold can now just be picked up off the ground. No doubt gravels have been moved around, gold deposited into crevices and new paystreaks formed. But gold veins hidden since before the 49ers arrived now revealed? I'd guess there are not many. Gold washed out of abandoned mines? I'd guess not much. Gold can just be picked up off the ground? I am sure there are a few new sunbakers sitting around here and there, but not many. I do agree that the best prospecting will come in the summer months when the water levels go down and some good gold will be found, but the media is gone bonkers about saying anything to attract attention.
  11. LOL @Digger Bob making the most out of a big dam problem --- http://www.krcrtv.com/news/local/butte/paradise-prospector-a-golden-opportunity-at-the-damaged-spillway/370298858
  12. The more experienced guys here know that when serious flooding happens, it renews (to a certain extent ) the river placers in the CA mother lode country. So although no one wants to see property damage or people hurt, the flooding is of great interest to prospectors. I thought I would start this thread to keep track of how the big rain that's supposed to be headed our way unfolds. Here in Reno the flood is not supposed to be quite the equal of what happened in 2005, which was really not that big of a deal - but I'm more interested in what happens in the mountains because that's what moves gold around. Flooding is hard to predict because a few degrees of warming can melt snow ad greatly increase the amount of water flowing through the rivers. in the next few days we shall see what happens.
  13. A comparatively minor storm has just passed through, and although we are not at flood stage anywhere, all the rivers are rolling along at a fast clip with every little drainage flowing - even stuff that almost never has water. Small streams that are normally just a trickle are already full of water. Any good sized storm could bring another round of serious flooding because everything is pretty much full already. The ground has no capacity to absorb any more water. The storm coming in late Sunday through Tuesday looks to be a fairly powerful and wet one. Been watching it on the weather forecast and every round of modeling seems like they are upping the amount of rain and the impact it will have. The forecast I look at is currently calling for over 2 inches in Reno and around 5 inches in Quincy. Caltrans is warning the Northern Sierra counties: "there will be heavy rain and high snow levels resulting in increased likelihood of flooding of rivers and streams."
  14. I got out to do a little metal detector prospecting in California yesterday, and got my first nugget of 2017. I've not done any prospecting for months and this was the first time I'd been out prospecting this year. It's been a rough past few months. Some of you may know why, my mom passed away a couple weeks ago. So I decided this would be a good time for me to get away and to take my dad as well for a short day trip to get away from things for a few hours. It was tough to get over the hill into California even on a sunny dry day - I80 westbound has been closed most of the last few days and they were diverting westbound car traffic at Hwy 20 and holding westbound trucks at the state line. A small section of a hill just east of Alta is just sliding down on the freeway like toothpaste. Caltrans clears off what flows onto the road and then more flows down. We were also in a stop and go traffic jam from mogul - just west of Reno - to nearly the state line as NDOT did emergency repairs on the Nevada side. However, once I made it in, it was a beautiful sunny day. In the gold country, I could see the rivers are all running high and water is flowing down every little drainage. I saw a lot of little mud and rock slides and places where erosion has done damage to the roadways. It was also very green in the lower elevations of the gold country as all the grass and little plants are springing to life. It's still full on winter here around Reno. I-80 west is finally open this morning, but the next round of storms arrives tomorrow (Thursday). I dug a lot of little bullet frags and bird shot, but it was great just to get out and stretch my legs. I think the little nugget I dug was about my 5th target. It weighs 0.2 grams. Not much but it is gold and now I have something in my bottle for 2017. Gotta start somewhere!
  15. I am interested in hearing if anyone has had any luck detecting the Chocolates. West of 78/Ogilby. I am aware of both the mine and the bombing range, there are areas that are open. I have never seen or heard of a detected nugget, small gold that can be drywashed but has anyone here had any detecting success?
  16. Minelab has released what has been dubbed the "lifestyle video" which leans more to being a short travel guide about Placer County than about the PRO-GOLD Panning kit specifically. I am sure a lot of people here will recognize many of the locations. It is actually quite a bit of work doing a video like this but we had fun also so I am fortunate to have taken part. Thanks Minelab! The video also has an accompanying blog post by Chris Ralph at Minelab Treasure Talk.
  17. Brandon, lost his case here in California. To me this is terrible. I guess this will go to the federal level now. http://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/S222620.PDF
  18. https://www.facebook.com/groups/270817552932590/ Ok, I'm going to try something here. I'm not sure it will transfer over to the forum or not. This is a VERY cool movie that was shot sometime in the early 1930's. It shows the road from Yreka (essentially) to Happy Camp, Calif. Note the narrow, one lane, rock slides, old cars and buildings, and especially, about half way through, a bucket dredge working the Klamath River. Note also the multiple tailing piles all along the river. There is no sound so don't try that. This was posted on a Yreka facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/Yreka.News/videos?ref=page_internal I've no idea how someone found it but it shows how much has changed, and yet how little. Digger Bob
  19. Just returned from a few days WAY up north near Happy Camp, CA. We weren't detecting but looking for something valuable never the less. I've heard about what's referred to as "Happy Camp jade" since high school but never went looking for it. Finally got a local guide who took me and Miner John up into the mountains near Indian Creek to find some. And find some we did! Actually found a lot more than the pictures here but some of the pieces were literally boulders and too heavy to pack out. A little research shows this is officially called Californite, not a "true" jade, but a variation because of it's unique colorations. We were told on the other side of the creek from where we were is a huge boulder with spider webs of gold incased in it, but the water was too high right now to reach it. So, a fall trip is planned. Anyway, if interested, do a quick Google search for it. Very cool stuff. Going to cut and polish a bit of it later to show it off. Digger Bob
  20. A current and very well explained view of the current situation regarding suction dredging in California. http://www.goldprospectors.org/News/News-Details/ArtMID/3269/ArticleID/162/Dredgers-defend-mining-rights-in-California-Supreme-Court-
  21. Steve Herschbach

    The Gold Diggers

    This is a really great article from about three years ago profiling various people involved in gold prospecting. "An irresistible force is once again beckoning from deep below the Sierra Nevada foothills, as California prepares for its second gold rush. At the vanguard: A new breed of prospectors who are forsaking cushy desk jobs to go in search of untold wealth." http://www.details.com/story/california-gold-rush-wealth
  22. The rest of my story was delayed as DeathRay can truly appreciate because I spent 2 days hiking my gear out of the river at Green Valley. The Green Valley trail is a nasty piece of work and each time I've hiked it over the years I swear I'll never do it again. This time I mean it. Yesterday I hiked out with a little over 70lbs of gear, I thought I was going to die. I had to keep reminding myself how good the cold beer in my truck was going to taste at the end of this ordeal. Back to the story. Day 3: I stayed in the steep canyon between Euchre Bar and Green Valley. I found another nice gravel beach with decent shade and a quiet pool. I found a fair amount of flood gold high up the bank. I took one of the small Angus Mackirk drop riffle sluices and rigged it with a 1750 GPH bilge pump and 12 volt L Ion battery. I glued in V mat in the front part of the sluice and that area caught most of the flood gold. The drop riffle sluices need a lot of water to run correctly and just not compatible with this super fine flood gold I was finding. I wish I could have run that material through the Gold Cube sluice. But, that would mean another 30 lbs of gear. Day 4: I pushed on through the steep narrow canyon and reached the upper end of Green Valley. The going got a lot harder because of the shallow water. I spent most of the day roping the kayak down through the rocky shallows. As I pointed out earlier, roping the kayak down was not that strenuous, it's following the kayak on foot through the shallows that's a killer. The river was too shallow to float/swim, and too deep to boulder hop. Those river rocks especially the serpentine were slicker than elf snot. I tumbled too many times to count but managed to stay relatively injury free. At the upper end of Green Valley I found someone's camp though he must have been out for supplies. He had an impressive 4 ft hole going on the front edge of a boulder bar. He was obviously way more dedicated to his prospecting that I was. He was moving 100 + lb boulders with a digging bar and full size shovel. All I had was my trusty short handled spade and my detecting pick. Day 5: I continued through Green Valley and the going got steadily worse. Daytime temps were kicking up and shaded landings were scarce. I reached hard decision time. There are no trails out of the river until Pickering Bar/Touro Mine area below Iowa Hill. I knew from past experience that I was looking at 2 or 3 days of tough slogging in this shallow water to reach Pickering Bar. At higher water a good kayaker can make it all the way to Mineral Bar campground in one day, but this low water makes progress slow and painful. I was a half mile past Green Valley and opted for the known quantity of getting out at Green Valley. I started warping that kayak back upstream. At midday I found a small shady spot and pulled out to rest. As I explored around I found a section of bedrock serpentine and poked around in some depressions. Each pan had 30 to 40 colors of superfine flood gold. I'll post a picture of the results of a half bucket of 1/2 inch screened material. I had no whisk broom to really clean out the bedrock so I probably left behind more gold than I recovered. A gold vac and the Gold Cube would have made some impressive recoveries in that area. I gave the area a good go and found nothing remotely resembling a picker, just tiny flood gold. I still had a ways to go upstream and pushed on when the sun was a little more forgivable. I reached the last downstream trail access at Green Valley just before dark. More later...
  23. Hello all, I got out today with one of my friends and we went exploring. We were moving up a wide draw that had water running in it and came up on an inside turn where we found evidence that someone had been playing around recently. There was a black plastic gold pan lying near the creek by some cleaned out cracks. We had not found any gold yet so we decided to stop for a bit and see what was in the area. Chris used his small pick and scraped out a few shallow cracks that had moss covering them. He then panned the material out to see several pin point bits of gold. The area was worked all around by the old timers but I am pretty sure the fine gold is what they were recovering. I continued to detect near the water's edge and finally got a soft signal on the bedrock, but It turned out to be a tiny piece of lead. While on my knees and looking at the bedrock in front of me I saw what I thought was a boot track in the bedrock. In the split second that my mind was telling me one thing I was thinking another. This is pretty hard bedrock and there should be no print. Looking again I realized that was looking at fossilized ground. Checking closer I could see lots of prints embedded in the rock. I don't know what many of them are but it sure was neat seeing them like that. After playing around and taking some pictures we decided to move on and see if we could find a piece of gold a bit larger than what was in the pan. As we were going up the public side of the draw I spied a digging up the hill on the private side. We checked out our location on the phone and have it earmarked for a possible trip in the future if we can gain permission from the owner. We were real close, however without permission it was a no go for me. I would appreciate any information that anyone can offer as to what the names are for some of these creatures we found in the rock. Thanks, TRINITYAU/RAYMILLS TRINITYAU.COM
  24. We knew it was going to rain like a cow peeing on a flat rock so what to do? My brother-in-law Bryan and myself are vacationing in Northern California. With a deluge forecast for yesterday, there would be no forays with a detector so we loaded up in the truck and headed to Old Sacramento. The railroad museum there is one of the largest in North America. Go early because you can spend a whole day in there easy. The massive amount of railroad iron there will delight any man with even a passing interest in the Iron Horse. We eventually got too hungry so we ducked around the corner to an old saloon from 1877. It has good sandwiches, great beer, and a hot Latina barmaid wearing fish net stockings! After sating your raging desire for comestibles, liquid refreshment, and eye candy go back around the corner to the state history museum. (editor - emphasis added) Upstairs they have a decent gold display. Some wonderful specimens of the yellow metal there. What's not to like? Just saying if you are in the area you won't regret going..........
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