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Suction dredging permits halted by Alameda County court

By David Smith, Siskiyou Daily News, Jul 29, 2009

California - The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) has been ordered to stop issuing permits for suction dredge mining by the Alameda County Superior Court until a lawsuit against the DFG is resolved, according to Craig Tucker, Klamath coordinator for the Karuk Tribe.
The lawsuit was filed under the pretense that the DFG is illegally spending taxpayer money by issuing permits for a program for which it has been ordered to conduct an Environmental Impact Report, or EIR.
The EIR, which was ordered to be completed by June of 2008, has not yet been finished and the lawsuit calls for a halt of issuance of suction dredging permits until the EIR is completed and updated regulations are formulated, as per California Environmental Quality Act guidelines.
The court’s decision will essentially achieve that same goal, with the DFG ordered to stop “expending any money from the California General Fund to issue suction dredge permits,” according to a DFG press release. The suspension of permit sales will continue until a resolution is reached in the lawsuit, which could result in either the suspension continuing or a return to miners being able to purchase permits.
According to Tucker, the lawsuit is going after suction dredge mining in a different manner than Senate Bill 670, which is a bill that would place suction dredging under a moratorium until the DFG completes its EIR. He argued that the legislation is different from the litigation in that the lawsuit is addressing the budgetary practices of the DFG.
“The court decision does not preclude the need for SB 670,” Tucker said.
The groups involved with the legislation and the lawsuit are awaiting California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision on whether or not he will sign SB 670 into law, and expect a decision within the next two weeks.
The DFG release said that suction dredging permits issued before the court’s decision will still be honored.
Comments (4)
12 hours ago
spending money? they dont pay us to dredge, we pay them. how much tax dollers are being wasted in every law suit you fill? be part of the solution not the problem
10 hours ago
I don' care what Alameda county says. They might as well be on Mars. I don't care what a lawyer from the tribe says either. They are just using the age old environmentalist tactic of throwing multiple lawsuits at multiple agencies to tie up the issue in court. They are experts at it and the courts willingly file, because its job security, doesn't matter what the issue is.

...expending any money from the California General Fund to issue suction dredge permits, Do they think that the State just gives these out? People are spending their already taxed, hard earned money to purchase permits throught the state. Its not a govt. subsidised program. No coupons, no 'financial dificulties need not apply, garbage.' Folk plan all year to spend real money in small town communities to collect a California resource. $47 should cover a dredge stamp and return postage and whatever filing is involved.

If I had time we'd go into the facts of suction dredging relating to fish biology...but thats for another rant.

So long...
7 hours ago
dont-tread: the lawsuit was brought by 'groups', not the Tribe. The article is not well written enough to identify those groups, but perhaps as the story unfolds, you'll have a target to aim for, in the meantime, maybe you should give the Tribe the benefit of the doubt--if that's possible. As for both of you bringing up the 'we already pay' for suction dredge permits---the state actually spends about a million bucks to issue those $47 permits (over and above the cost of the permit). Good luck to both of you 'folk' pulling your heads out in the future
52 minutes ago
You know how much money us dredgers spend a year? More than we make let me tell you. They don't pay us to dredge we pay them for us to dredge. How can anyone stop the dredging? All it will do is put little towns like ours to a ghost town. Is the Karuks still going to put nets across the Klamath River? Is that legal?
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