Highbanking Rules for Northern Cali
Last Post 31 May 2016 11:06 AM by WALTER EASON. 14 Replies.
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LOUIS ROBELLOUser is Offline
Greenhorn
Greenhorn
Posts:4



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20 Feb 2016 10:37 PM

     

    Hey fellow prospectors, I'm going to be highbanking in a very remote claim in the mountains near Downieville, Ca. I've been calling the Tahoe National Forest Service and local Ranger Station for a month now and it rings once then goes straight to a voicemail that's of course full and cannot receive any new messages. I've been highbanking there before and I strictly follow the highbanking guidelines ( leaching, motor catch pan, distances from the water, etc.) but I'm worried that I might be missing some recent ridiculous law change or restriction since the last time I prospected there. If anyone can reassure me that the guidelines I'm following is all that is needed to highbank would be best but any info will help. Thanx

     

     

     

    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:356



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    25 Feb 2016 03:17 PM
    I'm no expert, however other than discharging into the river/creek I don't believe there is any restrictions.
    The Forest Circus is probably closed for the winter season, they close the one near me for the season.


    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    ARTHUR WAUGHUser is Offline
    Buzzard
    Buzzard
    Posts:603



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    25 Feb 2016 04:49 PM
    Main office in Nevada City should be open every week day except holidays.  If that is one of the places you are calling and not getting an answer, then call the Regional office.
    OHV/Recreation Representative, John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council, BLM--- President, Wolfpack 4x4's, Region 5, Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association--- Member- Mid Valley Prospectors, Brownsville, OR chapter GPAA, Willamette Valley Miners, Bohemia Mine Owners Association
    LOUIS ROBELLOUser is Offline
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:4



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    29 Feb 2016 11:16 AM

     

    Thanks for the tips, I finally got a hold of the right people. The trip went great, my new Martin Prospecting 2inch highbanker combo worked like a dream and found a bunch of lil baby nuggets some with quartz still attached. I was surprised that my machine caught a lot of fines too. Todd from Martin Prospecting is a genius. he placed a 5x5 piece of gold stop matting directly under the grizzly bars/classifier but above the sluice. So basically its inside the hopper adding a second recovery stage. Amazing!!

    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:356



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    29 Feb 2016 03:19 PM
    "Talked to the right people"

    Were there any restrictions from them ?


    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    LOUIS ROBELLOUser is Offline
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:4



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    02 Mar 2016 07:27 PM
    The first Officer had me on hold forever, then finally they told me that I would have to file for a water permit if I was gonna be there longer than 48 hours. He still couldn't give me a sure answer, he didn't even know of the many gold claims in the area or if he even had jurisdiction.
    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:356



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    03 Mar 2016 04:49 PM
    That is a big problem, the forest circus wants people to jump through hoops, but they don't know which hoops to make you jump through.
    Each time you talk to a different person, you get a different answer.
    Our tax dollars hard at work

    "Didn't know there were gold claims in the area" give me a break, How long you worked around here ?

    As long as your no discharging your tails back into the river, and aren't bringing in truckloads of heavy equipment, sucking up huge amounts of water
    Go have fun, they wont bother ya


    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    LOUIS ROBELLOUser is Offline
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:4



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    09 Mar 2016 09:10 PM

     

    Thanks Bill, I will continue to follow our guidelines and enjoy mother nature. I know my Rights and I will exercise them.

    ARTHUR WAUGHUser is Offline
    Buzzard
    Buzzard
    Posts:603



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    10 Mar 2016 12:45 PM

    Some USFS people, even the minerals person might not know exactly "where or how many, or if they are current, claims" in their area, as BLM handles all the paperwork for claims.  The only reason the FS guy in our Ranger District knows the area I hit most, is because he is more or less on permanent loan from BLM and still works with them, and he knows the area from that time. 

    Most times, they will know some historical mining took place, but not really a clue as to current going ons, unless a NOI/POO exists for a certain operation.

     

    Sounds like you had a nice trip, post up some pics of your "goodies"

    OHV/Recreation Representative, John Day/Snake Resource Advisory Council, BLM--- President, Wolfpack 4x4's, Region 5, Pacific Northwest 4 Wheel Drive Association--- Member- Mid Valley Prospectors, Brownsville, OR chapter GPAA, Willamette Valley Miners, Bohemia Mine Owners Association
    CHRISTOPHER BOWMANUser is Offline
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:3



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    21 Mar 2016 09:34 PM
    So we can highbank with no water permit as long as it's less than 48 hours here in California?
    JERE CLEMENTSUser is Offline
    Panner
    Panner
    Posts:33



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    31 Mar 2016 01:00 PM
    The 48 hour thing is complete ignorance on the part of whatever Forest Service employee made that up and probably means that, he personally, would not enforce anything for 48 hours.

    SB637 is the new law in question here, it is in effect as of Jan. 1st, and has yet to have any implementation measures disseminated to any agency. Which is why the Waterboard, Army Corps, Fish and Game, BLM, and Forest Service employees have no clue on how to answer these types of questions. Interesting to note,,,,, SB637 title is "Suction Dredge Mining: Permits" yet the definition of a suction dredge contained in it encompasses any equipment that is "mechanized" which will no doubt be defined as anything with any moving parts.

    So, can you highbank in California, yes,,,,, if you get the unavailable permit,,,, or if you operate more than 100 yards form "waters of the U.S." (that is the jurisdiction distance prescribed in SB637)

    Sorry to be such a downer but that is what California has sunk down to. Stay tuned to AMRA, we are working diligently to get the "unavailable permit" and make the permitting path as easy as possible for all you guys.

    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:356



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    31 Mar 2016 03:59 PM
    Jere,

    California has never required a "permit" to highbank
    Only "permit" required was to allow a person to dredge, which as you stated is no longer available
    During this "moratorium" on dredging, it is stated that if your "dredge" is within a 100 yards of a stream or river, your gear would be confiscated and you would be cited
    Highbanking has never been in question

    Be prepared to hear all kinds of "laws", "stipulations", "rules" and "half truths" that BLM, forest circus, even Fish and Game people will want you to adhere to,
    weather true or not
    It's "their" empire and you are treading within their empire so you must submit

    Most importantly, know the laws, know your rights and dont let them push you around
    Ask politely to see it written in a rule book, chapter and verse, get the persons name and badge number, follow up with their direct supervisor if you care to
    "Usually" they will back down because they figure you know your rights and the law, knowing they are blowing smoke

    The only time we were made to cease our highbanking activities was out at Yankee Jim bridge in the Auburn State Rec area, the kayakers complained about the noise the pump motor made
    The ranger was nice about it and really didn't want to make us stop, but peer pressure was to great
    We didn't have to stop but to keep the peace we relocated and was better off for it


    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    dennis schwartzUser is Offline
    Greenhorn
    Greenhorn
    Posts:1



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    27 May 2016 06:43 PM
    thanks for all this input on highbankers for northern calif i just got one just looking for a good spot to try it out and the laws and rules ,buy the way im new here to group ,and yes a green horn,,thanks dennis
    WILLIAM HALLUser is Offline
    Lost Dutchman
    Lost Dutchman
    Posts:356



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    29 May 2016 12:50 PM
    Welcome
    We all started some where

    The biggest thing with highbanking, DO NOT discharge dirty water straight back into the stream/river
    Those that wear the badges don't like that at all.


    Bill
    So much river....So little time....Get out there
    WALTER EASONUser is Offline
    Buzzard
    Buzzard
    Posts:507



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    31 May 2016 11:06 AM

    Best to use motorized sluicing outside of stream if that is what you are doing. This puts everything in context, unless you are expecting to dig into the wetted bank of the river or stream. Be aware this instance would be much harder to perfect a permit on in my opinion. Here is an exert from Fish and Game:

    Fish and Game Code section 1602 requires any person, state or local governmental agency, or public utility to notify CDFW before beginning any activity that will do one or more of the following:

    1. substantially divert or obstruct the natural flow of any river, stream or lake;
    2. substantially change or use any material from the bed, channel, or bank of, any river, stream, or lake; or
    3. deposit or dispose of debris, waste, or other material containing crumbled,flaked, or ground pavement where it may pass into any river, stream, or lake.

    Fish and Game Code section 1602 applies to all perennial, intermittent, and ephemeral rivers, streams, and lakes in the state. If you are not certain that your proposed activity requires notification, CDFW recommends that you notify.

    This type of permit should have nothing to do with SB-637 if you are outside of the stream and the key is the determination of substantially in my opinion.

    If you notice an error in the Online Mining Guide or with claim information please add in the updated information into the online mining guide to inform other members. Thank You Walter H. Eason
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