A Positive Sign? (More on the California Dredging Moratorium)

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"Nightrider" Delivers a Positive Sign

As most of you already know the once-great State of California recently passed legislation placing a moratorium on suction dredging. This mindless call, based largely on the hidden agendas of various special interests, delivered a low blow to all of us, not just miners in the Golden State.

I recently received an e-mail message from my friend and fellow miner, Greg Gomes (known as "Nightrider" in California mining circles) that I found both highly interesting and a potential positive sign in an otherwise bleak mining environment. Here is what Greg had to say along with my reply to him (Note: Along with minor editorial "tweaks," the bold type in Greg's message is placed there by me for emphasis. J.R.):


"J.R. for Governor. I agree with your views and am also pissed off about those pond-sucking politicians. Not much happening on this side of the mountains due to this bullshit. We are in the process of turning our dredge into a highbanker so we can at least get some good prospecting in."

"Ken and I have been in contact with some fellow dredgers on the rivers off State Highway 49 and some are still in the water (the interesting part about this is that the rangers are looking the other way). To validate this we hunted down two of these 'overseers' of California rivers and had a chat."

"They, like us miners, are also pissed to high heaven about this law and do not want to be bothered with the paper work, legal aspects, and the court appearances. They informed us that a good percentage of our California state rangers are also prospectors/miners due to the nature of their work and for them to go out of their way to make life difficult for fellow law-abiding prospectors/miners....well that's not in their best interest. Maybe a little conversation about moving a dredge away from the roadway view so the rangers don't have to address the situation would be best for both parties."

"So anyway my good friend it's time to go back to your blog site and catch up on your interesting stories and views. As always, may your gold shine bright, for its not the dredging that fouls the stream....it's the political scum that dirties the water."

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"I appreciate your good words and for keeping me up to date on the happenings there in the California goldfields. But I wouldn't be a politician if you stuck a gun to my head."

"First off, I was taught not to lie, cheat, or steal as a child and I try to practice that as a man who places great emphasis on honesty and doing the right thing (as nearly all miners do). I guess those intrinsic values leave me out of the public office realm, don't you think?"

"Nope, sorry about that. I'll leave the half truths and outright lies and theft to the politicos."

"However, I was very interested to learn how the local dredgers and the various rangers (U.S. Forest Service, State Forestry, etc.) are handling things. It shows that they are not our true enemies, but simply laboring under BS legislative and legal restrictions that they themselves know are bogus and imminently unfair."

"By turning a blind eye to the miners there and allowing them to do their thing, those good souls on the various government payrolls show that they are right minded and willing to work with those who keep things low key. Kudos to them for standing up and being men and women of value."

"Be safe out there my friend and stay in touch. May yellow metal fill each and every pan of your concentrates!"

So there you have it. As small as it may be, the info that Greg has shared with all of us contains a glimmer of hope and perhaps a positive sign. We shall see....

If any of you out there are interested in placer gold mining in California, I strongly recommend you take a look at Greg's mining adventures at his online gold mining site, "y'Ore Placer Mine" (http://www.yoreplacermine.com/). If you do so, you'll find that Greg is not only a great guy, he's one hell of a miner to boot.

Good luck to all of you out there and Greg? Thanks my man!

If you liked this post, you may want to read: "Tips on 'Seeing' Where the Gold Is (Part 5)"


(c) J.R. 2009

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


  1. loose lips sink ships. force the hand of goverment to enforce their rangers to enforce the new law. shut yer trap and don't spoil it for those whom are risking all.

  2. Thank you for commenting and I see your point. However, your rudeness and basic lack of courtesy/sophistication need some work. F.Y.I, for better or worse I've never been one to "shut my trap" on anything I feel strongly about...that goes for you or anyone else. J.R.


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