Invading the Diggings
Apparently, armed teams from our buddies at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are now raiding claims and mining operations in the last frontier, ostensibly to search for what they term "possible violations" of the Clean Water Act. The most recent of these governmental forays occurred at Chicken, Alaska where a half dozen or so heavily armed and flak jacketed "agents" invaded various diggings and bullied miners.
In case you don't know anything about Chicken it's a very remote town with only 17 permanent residents, nearly all involved in small-scale gold mining operations and a few "pay-as-you-go" sites for nugget shooters and aspiring miners from the Lower 48. At one point a few years ago, even yours truly was considering a two-week mining and nugget shooting adventure at Chicken. I guess I better keep that idea on hold...you see, I don't want to get on Big Brother's wrong side and end up in a federal Gulag somewhere. After all, anything's possible these days.
Let Me Get This Straight
Government talking heads stated that the EPA raids in and around poor little Chicken were part of an environmental crimes task force set up to investigate "violations" of sections of the Clean Water Act...specifically those governing the amount of silt and mud released into waterways from mining operations. However, the main rationalization for the EPA's actions was "rampant drug and human trafficking going on in the area." That last is a direct quote from the EPA, by the way.
OK, let me see if I can get this straight. The EPA says all this is about water quality. But heavily armed teams of federal agents are sent to Chicken because of the drug and human trafficking problem there. Huh? A rampant drug and human trafficking problem in Chicken, Alaska? With a population of 17 residents? Meanwhile hordes of Third World illegals cross our borders every day in the Lower 48, a good percentage of whom are actively engaged in human trafficking and drug smuggling. As I've said before, under the thumb of our Dear Leader and Big Brother in general, the truth becomes lies, lies become truth, up is down, down is up, and so on. I think you get the picture here.
Miners Being Miners
Even the U.S. senator from Alaska, Lisa Murkowski, was perplexed and questioned the EPA's actions at Chicken and other Alaskan mining areas. "Their explanation that there are concerns within the area of rampant drug and human trafficking going on sounds wholly concocted to me." Let me put her words in layman's terms...these actions were total bull shit. Murkowski went on to say that "This seems to to have been a heavy handed and heavy armor approach. Why was it so confrontational?
That's a very good question, Senator Murkowski. I have one for you now...what do you plan to do about it, if anything? You see, I hold a very low opinion of the Senators and Congressman sitting on their fat, smug asses in Washington, D.C. who, by and large, use their offices as career tracks to wealth, influence, and power. Still, I don't know the woman and at least she spoke out about this miscarriage of justice.
Miners being miners (and in Alaska they're the real deal) one local gold miner put it this way: "If it were my mine and I was sitting on some gold, and some people came storming out of the woods I'd probably meet them on the porch with a shotgun."
(My thanks to fellow gold miner "Rattlesnake" Jim for sending this info along to me.)
(c) Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2013
Questions? e-mail me at email@example.com