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 Response to Guest Opinion on suction dredge mining

Pioneer Press, January 21, 2009

To the Editor from Tom Quintal, Government Affairs, Willamette Valley Miners, Salem, Oregon

A Response to Michael Cassady guest opinion.

Interesting to read information that lacks real knowledge about the modern gold suction dredge. Many studies were done on small scale placer gold suction dredges and there is no conclusive scientific evidence showing significant damage to fish reproduction. If that evidence was known, gold suction dredging would have been stopped long ago. This is a highly overregulated activity with state and federal regulations that include permit fees and taxes. Mother nature can not be regulated when she dumps tons of sediment into rivers annually. None of the environmental groups blame her for fish kills. Fish don't lay on the banks waiting for the streams to clear. It is easy to overregulated and blame the small placer miner using unsupported information about fish kills. The modern small scale gold suction dredge creates minimal sediment and allows the miner to be profitable and that brings new wealth to this country. This environmental friendly form of mining does not kill fish as some would have people believe. Now one would have real concerns if powerful water monitors were being used today that wash down mountains or using large bucket line gold dredges in streams for gold that brought real wealth and help develop this early democracy. Environmentalist say nothing about the state selling fishing licenses to kill fish or the Indian Tribes using gill nets and other means to kill fish and no one seems to care. Why is that? How hypocritical? Are fishermen next on their list after they use their support to stop gold mining in streams? If the environmentalist want to use fish to stop suction dredging, then why not use some of your vast recourses to shut down the off shore foreign fish processing boats that devastate our hatchery fish in the ocean. Take a good look at the local catcher boats who bring their catch to the foreign processor boats just outside US waters. Our congressional folks do nothing about it. The fish and game folks are aware of this activity, but say there is nothing they can do about it. Put some pressure on this issue to save the salmon you always use to stop logging, mining and removing dams.

Gold is real wealth brought into existence from mother earth and not phony paper money we use today. As the US debt climbs to all time heights, it seems the environmental extreme groups want to shut down every productive, efficient environmental friendly way to use our natural resources that keeps this country strong and a leader in the free world. No other country sends relief to so many in need around the world like the US. One has to ask what is the real goal of the extreme environmental folks? Is it to make this a third world country? Remember you to will live that existence if you continue to help destroy our way of life.

Tom Quintal
Government Affairs
Willamette Valley Miners
Salem, Oregon
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