We have to tell you about a man who came to our booth yesterday here at the Sacramento Sportsman Show. He was cited, by mail for having a dredge within 100 yards of a creek/drywash as a part of California DFW 5653 code. This is created from the absurd senate bill 637 pushed and passed by (D) Ben Allen from Hollywood several years ago, lobbied by Izzy Martin of Sierra Fund, the radical environmental group here in CA.
Here’s the ridiculous part. The dredge was stored inside a cargo container on his private property and not in operation, just being stored. The container is near a little dry creek bed on his private property. He has a county road easement which passes through his property and someone (allegedly) took a picture of the dredge from the road and sent it to an LEO (Law Enforcement Officer) with Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW).
The DFW officer then sent his citation to the man by mail.
The Fish and Game code states:
(d) It is unlawful to possess a vacuum or suction dredge in areas, or in or within 100 yards of waters, that are closed to the use of vacuum or suction dredges.
Areas being defined by DFW as any place which has the potential of having water. This apparently covers ditches, mud puddles and any depression in the ground which under a heavy rain contains water.
Being as how the state, from the passage of SB637 requires a permit from the CAWB (Water Board), but the CAWB refuses to issue permits, the man is allegedly illegal and therefore was cited. Think of it this way…the state requires you to have a drivers license issued by the DMV, but the DMV refuses to open their office for you to get the license.
Using this flawed logic on this code, it is literally impossible to be in compliance.
Now think of this………
Keene Engineering and Proline Mining are both California companies which manufacture suction dredges. Both have a ditch or small dry wash within 100 yards of their facilities. Are they in violation of the law each and every day? Do they need to move to a different state? How about the Fedex driver who picks up their orders and transports those shipments over a creek or the American River on their way to be shipped to South Africa? The Fedex driver should be immediately cited and all equipment confiscated using this ideology. Oh wait, if Proline or Keene had to move to a different state, they’d be in violation if they had to move their equipment over a ditch.
This case, which we have offered to help the man with is a prime example of just how ridiculous and how far some of these crazies will take their ideology. Is the man supposed to research storage facilities which are not located anywhere near a ditch, creek or dry wash, spend hundreds of dollars storing it away from his property and move his equipment there? Nope, he’d still have to put it in a truck or trailer and move it ……GUILTY……of driving over a waterway to get to the storage facility. It is impossible to be in compliance.
This case will be fought….hard.