Man this thread is full of all kinds of confusion and info that is confusing - all I can say is I am a local per say and I have prospected the East Fork since I was 16 and I am now 54. I dredged it up till 2009. then Obama made it a national monument - Mr Poe from AMRA has many videos on line on You Tube challenging the Mining laws and Monument status of the East Fork for many years. I still go there often and pan and sluice. The area you want to stay within is from the Picnic are just east of Camp Williams all the way up to the bridge that leads to nowhere. that is the area you can pan and sluice. I have been there with Rangers and no one has EVER said ANYTHING TO ME EVER. I can dig fellas so I can tell you when I dig it shows. I cannot tell you what to do but I prospect and sluice there frequently with no worry at all. it feels like home there. Even the homeless that are up there are nice people and at times very helpful. They know where the gold is and can point you in the right direction if you are friendly too. Be kind to all people!
now the state of California is full of a bunch of LEFTIST fools - if you go to the east fork after say Memorial Day or Labor Day or 4th of July.....you will see ARMAGEDON. no lie! this past Labor day the trash was so outrageous and out of control I almost shed a tear driving down East Fork Road. No exaggeration's it was the worst trash mess I have ever seen up there EVER by far. All I could say is "what the hell happened to East Fork and where are the rangers?" with that said it took 2 weeks for them to pull all the trash out of there and well over 6 trash trucks working day after day to clean it up. Back in the day when I was young the state had funding and the place was kept clean - NOT TODAY NO WAY NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING UP THERE! I have not even seen a RANGER in many years. the road you used to be able to camp on the side....NOT NOW! only on Friday night and Sat night now. what a joke. Just like NORTHERN CALIFORNIA - the rangers do not do crap up there either. just read the claim reports....so many of them talk about trash and homeless and some videos I have seen from other groups like AMRA have people posting they own the claim right over others claims or withdrawn areas. THIS STATE IS A MESS!!!! So, you can stay home and read all the BS about the National Forrest, the National Monument and so on and never put your pan in the water OR you can go up there and continue to enjoy the stream, gold, fish, forest as usual and have a great day! IT IS PUBLIC LAND....USE IT OR LOOSE IT!
As for me? I will see you up there on the side of the river with my sluice box flowing and the sparkle of GOLD IN MY BOX!
YOU DO YOU!!! BUT I WIL CONTINUE TO ENJOY THE BEAUTY OF THE SAN GARIEL MOUNTAINS EAST FORK RIVER- CHEERS!!!!
oh and one last note - if you call the rangers station and ask them if prospecting is allowed they will tell you NO. they are not helpful or even considerate when you ask. they just sit behind the desk and say NO! just like the Dredge Permit window - shade drawn, with a note that says closed for business or out to lunch with no reason behind it. Bureaucratic BS!!!!! callin it what it is!
just take a walk around the East Fork area and by the homeless trash and encampments there....."who's watching and who's policing anything? NO ONE!! NO FUNDS, NO RANGERS NO MONEY.
just to be clear, THERE ARE NO GPAA CLAIMS IN EAST FORK - IT IS A PUBLIC AREA AND NO CLAIM CAN BE FILED THERE