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Suction dredge mining ban passes Senate 31-8

By David Smith, Siskiyou Daily News May 27, 2009
Sacramento, Calif. - A bill to put a moratorium on suction dredge mining until an environmental review is completed is one step closer to going into effect, according to press releases from the Karuk tribe and Senator Pat Wiggins (D-Santa Rosa), the author of the bill.

Senate Bill 670 was passed with a 31-8 vote, with both democrat and republican senators giving aye votes, according to Craig Tucker, spokesman for the Karuk tribe.
Senator Sam Aanestad (R-Grass Valley) argued heavily against the bill, according to the Karuk release.

Siskiyou County Supervisor Marcia Armstrong also went to Sacramento to argue against the bill’s passage during one of the sessions, but reported at a recent meeting of the board that members of the public are only allowed to say whether or not they supported the bill and were not allowed time to argue their positions.

The bill will now go to the Assembly and if passed there, will head to governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk, where it will immediately take effect if he signs it.

The environmental review referenced in the bill is the requirement of a 2006 court ruling in a lawsuit against the Department of Fish and Game (DFG). The court ruled that the review must be completed within 18 months to determine the future of suction dredging in the state, however, the 18 month mark was passed in January of 2008 and the review has yet to be completed.

Wiggins, in her release, said that she believes it will take two more years of study before the California Environmental Quality Act review is completed and rules are updated.

“This is a classic instance [of] why we must use the precautionary principle to guide decisions,” Wiggins said in the release. “We must err on the side of the fish, because their survival is at stake. It simply doesn’t make sense to jeopardize an entire fishery, and to ask commercial fishermen to halt all fishing while allowing status quo for a recreational hobby.”

Wiggins also states in her release that halting the issuance of suction dredge mining permits will save the DFG an estimated $1.3 million in costs and that the ban does not include non-motorized techniques such as gold panning.

Tucker added that the bill has “good momentum” now but that anything can happen in the Assembly.  
Give me liberty
9 hours ago
David J. Ingraham

I know you are an environmentalist, but would you sacrifice the rights of the people to protect the environment? Well State Senator Patricia Wiggins has, she influenced her senate colleagues into voting for a Bill to stop Gold Dredging in our streams and rivers with out proof of damage to the streams or rivers, only her bold face lies and what appears to be an insanity of prejudice, in her words and writings for the false accusation of damage. Yes that is all they are. There is no evidence to back her lies.
Should you look at her Web sit and read her HIP, Hip Hooray declaration of passage. The false charges are evident. If you know any thing at all about gold Dredging. For which she does not. On the same page look down at the bottom of the page and see her support for this bill. Do those folks represent the majority of her district? I think not. she is proving to be the eco terrorist of the State senate.

I assume all of these organizations must contribute to her political campaign as well as the rest of the state senate. The Indian gambling emporiums are rolling in extra cash to give away to bought an paid for senators. This would be something the California Grand Jury should look into. There is something else the Grand jury should look into and that would be the truth of the justification for SB 670, The bill to stop gold dredging.

We as a people have a right to legislation that is not corrupt as this legislation is.

2 hours ago
The Indians and the greens have all the money. Most politicians are for sale and this vote proves it. Miners are guilty until proven innocent, according to the politicians. Environmental reports will continue until they get one that works to their benefit. The miners will lose, no doubt about it. If not this year, then next year or the year after...... The miners just do not have the money to continue the good fight against a corrupt system.
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