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Last Post 13 Jun 2014 08:49 AM by  ARTHUR WAUGH
Confused: Need Info
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MICHAEL STEELE
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23 May 2014 10:00 AM

    I'm not a dredger myself, but ive been trying to follow the case of the fresno couple who got detained for dredging their claim. I can't seem to keep up with the regs but from what I understand, dredging is illegal in Ca.  Other sites are up in arms about their detainment.  So help me understand, if they were dredging on a stream, creek, etc. in CA, weren't they breaking the law?  I keep reading the words Federal Claim.  I want to be informed so I don't do something stupid in the future.

     

    ARTHUR WAUGH
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    23 May 2014 12:14 PM

    Mining claims are a federal mining claim, administered by BLM no matter if on BLM or USFS administered ground.  The ban (proper term is - moratorium) on dredging in CA is a state law that is in court and awaiting action after hearings earlier this month.

     

    Generally the USFS and BLM require following state laws and regulations in working claims, unless federal regulations are higher standards. 

     

    Some will disagree with state and federal regulations and laws concerning what you can and can't do as far as mining on a claim or prospecting open areas, but you pays your money and takes you chances.

    WALTER EASON
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    27 May 2014 07:39 AM

    Some laws in federal give the state authority to regulate the law such as the clean water act orders states to regulate. Also as stated by others the state has the right to regulate beyond the federal regulations or in some instances the state can take over the permitting of some activities such as California did with dredging hence the old California Dredging Programmatic permitting process. One question is in regards to State law being in direct conflict with federal law. The so called moratorium can at some point be legally characterized as a ban which I think most judges would consider (outside of political influence) to be in direct conflict with federal law. The public's problem (you and me) is that until a law is legally changed a person can be sited for ignoring it right or wrong. I would suggest always contacting the jurisdiction over the area normally BLM and finding out if you are in compliance or if you need to contact another agency for a permit or clarification. 

    Always start with the agency that is or would be the lead agency for the type of activity you propose to do. Minerals is usually the BLM, be sure to talk to someone in the Mining, minerals which is usually a geologist with the department. If need be he will direct you from there. Camping would be the recreation department of the Surface management agency. Usually BLM on west coast unless you are in a National Forest then it would be National Forest. State claims or state land would be the state agency that governs that activity you propose to do. This is most prevalent in regards to miners in Alaska as many claims are State Claims. If you are going to a GPAA claim the best place to start would be a local Chapter as they are most likely working the claim you are going to and know all the nuances.  

    MICHAEL STEELE
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    28 May 2014 02:15 PM
    Thank you Arthur and Walter for the info. That makes sense.
    GREG DIPRINZIO
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    12 Jun 2014 06:09 PM
    If you go to a river and don't hear a dredge---it's still illegal. Simple as that.
    ARTHUR WAUGH
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    13 Jun 2014 08:49 AM
    If you do hear one, get a beverage and a bag of popcorn and wait for the show to start  At least for now.
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