Gold mining claims sought on NF Clearwater and Kelly Creek

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Kent Lufkin, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,183
    Likes Received:
    1,295
    Location:
    Not sure
    Thanks for the link. The quote on the front page "...experts say that only 5% of all gold has been found" seems to pander to the get-rich-quick mentality of folks whose motives have less to do with the environment than with padding their bank account.

    I clicked around a bit before visiting the Legal & Political Affairs page. A quick read of a PDF of the Ninth Circuit’s Clarification of USFS Authority Under the Mining Laws was illuminating in that the head revealed that the counsel for the plaintiff Karuk tribe were also affiliated with the 'Western Mining Action Council' (whoever THEY are). My immediate reaction dovetailed with Kim's point earlier that these small-scale operations are really shills for larger industrial mining entities who are pursuing their interests through a combination of legal and PR initiatives.

    But I could be wrong . . .

    K
     
  2. wik

    wik Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    renton
  3. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,276
    Likes Received:
    3,707
    Location:
    Beautiful View, WA
    Here's a more direct link to the in-stream mining regulations: http://wdfw.wa.gov/publications/00290/wdfw00290.pdf

    They are very detailed. But when I read them, I wonder how strictly they are adhered to considering how much interpretation, expertise and point-in-time decision making is required. Plus it's not like these little operations have a lot of WDFW oversight.
     
  4. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Home Page:
    I had a lengthy conversation with the one WDFW "officer" responsible for the whole east side about a year ago. Essentially WDFW relies upon people reporting violators. And the problem with that is virtually no one knows what these folks are doing much less whether the vacuum hose is 4" or 8" etc. The rig I saw on the Yakima yesterday was leaking gasoline and the engine was maybe resting 4' from the water....not good.

    Kim
     
  5. Chris Johnson

    Chris Johnson Member: Native Fish Society

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    Messages:
    3,092
    Likes Received:
    1,196
    Location:
    Bellingham Wa.
    Thanks for the link Lugan, very helpful. If you click on the agencies with an interest in minning there are thirteen agencies to contact. Do it!

    In both the south fork and north fork of the Nooksack it is illegal to operate a motorized boat, and yet they allow you to run a gas powered dredge. It doen't make much sense.
     
  6. Mark Walker

    Mark Walker Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
    Messages:
    3,045
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    So. Cal.
    Not defending anyone, but seems if you operated a dredge responsiby and don't leak/spill gas/oil, everyting is exhausted into the air (not great either).
    Unless you're running a 4 stroke outboard or Evinrude E-Tec, you're just blowing gas and oil directly into the water.:eek:
     
  7. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Home Page:
    Mark:

    I'm not against anyone working a legitimate mining claim, but with the amount of gold these miners get, using these dredges is like using an elephant gun to kill a squirrel. Plus, the sediment plume and the disturbance to the fish food sources when they essentially vacuum, totally change some of the small streams geomorphology. Last, these suction dredgers are working streams here in Washington that are closed to even catch and release fishing because of ESA issues, meaning, the streams are in a fragile condition to begin with. I just think we can figure out better ways to regulate, that we can also close access to some of the streams under the Clean Water Act to enhance ESA listed fish habitat, and we can figure out how to avoid the inevitable conflicts over access, as what is about to happen if the permits go through on Kelly and the Lochsa.
     
  8. Van

    Van New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2011
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    South of the Columbia
    It boggles the mind that in this day and age suction dredging is still allowed in the PacNW. That the old mining law has been allowed to remain untouched for well over 100 years is an indictment of how corrupt our elected officials can be.
     
  9. Kim McDonald

    Kim McDonald member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    142
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Home Page:
    It's not the mining act that is controlling the suction dredgers, but the Clean Water Act. You can file a mining claim until the cows come home, but if it harms endangered species or fouls the water, it won't happen (Pebble Mine permits as Exhibit A). So, in Washington, the Dept. of Ecology allowed WDFW to regulate suction dredging.
     
  10. Lugan

    Lugan Joe Streamer

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2005
    Messages:
    4,276
    Likes Received:
    3,707
    Location:
    Beautiful View, WA
    Looking at the big picture, it seems like we need a jobs program for people like this. I mean, you've got to be desperate to think mining gold in a stream is a good way to make a living.
     
  11. Kent Lufkin

    Kent Lufkin Remember when you could remember everything?

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2004
    Messages:
    7,183
    Likes Received:
    1,295
    Location:
    Not sure
    Why? It's the same mentality that keeps people buying lottery tickets.

    K
     
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  12. LD

    LD Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,182
    Likes Received:
    136
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Two thoughts -

    Not sure of the status of bull trout, but I would think they might be the best way to fight any permits being issued.

    Apply for the permits and not mine them.
     
  13. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2005
    Messages:
    3,028
    Likes Received:
    1,733
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Fortunately for the fish, but unfortunately for the effort to prevent suction dredging in the North Fork Clearwater, the bull trout population there is healthy.

    D
     
  14. Patrick Gould

    Patrick Gould Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    2,355
    Likes Received:
    692
    Location:
    Ellensburg, WA

    There's as much romance associated with the gold mining culture in the NW and US as there is with Fly Fishing. A big part of the history of the west is wrapped up with the gold rushes. We read about it in fiction and they teach it to us in school. I think these guys are sitting at their jobs thinking about a big strike the same way I sit around and dream about finding a 18" Cutty lurking in my favorite stream. I've even seen a documentary on hobby/ part time suction dredging where is was portrayed as a fun and noble thing to do.
     
  15. Mike Ediger

    Mike Ediger Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Messages:
    1,710
    Likes Received:
    329
    Location:
    Spokane, WA
    Does it matter if they are healthy or not? They are there.....maybe that is enough.