Potential Effects of California's Anti-Dredging Legislation (Part 1)

A Negative Precendent

As I have already stated in other posts on the subject:

the passage of California Senate Bill 670 placing a moratorium on suction dredging for gold in the state's rivers and streams is a negative precedent that does not bode well for small-scale or recreational miners elsewhere in the United States, particularly the Western states. Although by no means all inclusive, here are my ideas (and my rant) on some of the potential effects of the passage of this so-called piece of legislation:

Expect More of the Same

You can expect to see similar anti-dredging, anti-mining actions taken by Native American tribes and Indian casino lobbyists, the usual suspects in radical environmental/conservation groups (e.g., Earth First, the Environmental Life Force, Green Scare, and even the ubiquitous Sierra Club, etc., ad nauseum) and, of course, the simple-minded, vote-grubbing politicians in other Western states like Oregon and Washington (for starters). Let's take a short look at these

"Special Interests"

1) Native American tribes in California have pursued their own interests in this regard by claiming that gold suction dredging (particularly in N. California's Klamath River) interferes with, or harms their traditional "harvesting" of steelhead and/or salmon. A nice cover but it doesn't wash. What's really at stake here is their greed as evidenced by the plethora of money raking Indian casinos in the state (and elsewhere for that matter) and the incidental power those ever-growing piles of cash have bought them. Never doubt for an instant that Indian casino lobbyists and casino cash aren't at the forefront of underhanded power plays like Senate Bill 670.

2) Then we have the ever-present, do-gooder, messianic, save-the-earth environmentalist groups who are not content just holding their own world views about how public lands should be handled and managed; they want the rest of us marching lock step with them, or else. As you probably already know, these self-proclaimed "green warriors" are extremely vociferous and often aggressive, have lots of cash backing them up in many instances, and are adept at manipulating both politicians and the media to get what they want, all under the gentle guise of saving the earth and all the little critters inhabiting it. They inevitably claim the moral "high ground" and despite their outward liberal/leftist attitudes and freewheeling lifestyles, they are really closet fascists or neo-Stalinists who can't stand anyone disagreeing with them and their agendas, or unwilling to share their crackpot views of a "green" utopia where we all look alike, live alike, and think alike. Try having a reasonable, non-emotional debate with one of these nuts and you'll quickly see what I mean.

3) Now we get to my favorite group (not!) of special interest seekers who hold the greatest responsibility for the passage of California Senate Bill 670 (and other legislation like it). The corrupt, self-serving politicians whose primary mission is not public service but self service. These cynical, conniving posturers always have their hands out, at least when they are not stealing from the rest of us. In the case of Senate Bill 670, you can rest assured that these cowards and blowhards received money from Indian casino lobbyists somewhere along the line, or were intimidated by the "greenie" faction. But ultimately, these greedy, weak-willed scammers just floated along with the prevailing winds, like they always do when it comes to garnering future votes. And it doesn't matter if they're in the California senate or the less-than-hallowed halls of Capitol Hill. It's all about personal power and wealth at our expense. Get it?

In my next post in this series, I'll lay out some thoughts on what this negative legislation may mean to claimholders, mining and prospecting shop owners, and to you yourself.

Until then, keep the faith.

Gold Pans
Gold Prospecting Books
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If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Basic Characteristics of Canadian Placers and Placer Gold"

(c) J.R. 2009

Questions? E-mail me at jr872vt90@yahoo.com