Posted below is a post we received from a few of our AMRA supporters. The Representatives were questioned and obviously do not care about their constituents if they aren’t politically aligned. This is another attempt to use outright lies and zero science to attack the small miners.
From today’s mailbox. Action in Washington ….
The following is an attempt to report on the meeting with Harleye Edwards, Jim Franklin and Bruce Beatty vs Rep Gael Tarleton in Olympia yesterday.
Rep Tarleton is NOT very responsive to our information during this meeting that lasted one hour. She is hellbent on getting a moratorium on suction dredging through a proposed bill (not yet on the list, draft stage only). I also learned that Senator Parlette of Wenatchee is putting together a Senate companion bill. At present, we don’t have any knowledge of co-sponsors for the bill.
First off note who the bill has been sent to based upon a visit to their offices below.
Take note now that the Senators on the Senate Natural Resources Committees are; Pearson, Dansel, Hattfield, Chase, Hewitt, McAuliffe and Warnick.
I do not have an updated list of the House Natural Resources Committee members.
Yesterday would have been a poor day for a mining equipment demo as Legislators were not in town, but their Aides were. Many are moving to new office locations, etc. BUT, THE MINERS NEED TO START PLANNING ON A SMALL SCALE MINING EQUIMENT DEMO AT THE CAPITOL IN January OR FEBRUARY SHOULD THIS BILL RECEIVE A BILL NUMBER AND TITLE, AND ULTIMATELY A HEARING DATE. NEED TO HAVE SOMEONE RESEARCH HOW TO DEMO, NEED A PERMIT? ANB WHERE WE CAN DEMO. WE HAVE SEEN MANY DEMOS IN THE PAST ON HE CAMPUS FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER.
Rep Tarleton admitted that a constituent alerted her to suction dredging and its damaging effects. She has not seen a dredge in operation but her husband has.. She has the following concerns:
1. She cannot find any ‘data’ showing the dredging impacts she is sure to occur. She thinks our research is old and not pertinent.
2. She feels that there needs to be a study by WDFW or possibly a University.
3. She feels that the Gold and Fish Pamphlet as written isn’t strong enough. She doesn’t feel the HPA system is adequate.
4. She has a poor concept of Federal law or the Supremacy Clause and Property Clause as it relates to mining on federal managed lands. Poor= she doesn’t seem there is any preemption of federal law.
5. She equates hunting, and fishing and our mining claim development and general prospecting on BLM and NF lands as being equal and therefore WE need to pay fees like hunters and fishers, It is not FAIR for us to get off working free.
6. In regards to camping she seems to think we hog camping sites in certain locations.
7. She did not state any person she has been working with from the WDFW. I/we know better.
8. She stated that there is a lot of NEW science coming out of the Elwa dam removal and that will trump any science we have. What? when Jim told her we have to get through the overburden to get to bedrock, she jumped all over this concept and said we are stirring up sediment.
9. We told her there are about 200-300 dredgers in Washington State and she is convinced they dredge every day in the work window and all “300” are working at the same time all day. Attempting to talk about scope of the activity was dismissed. We countered that many dredgers work out of state.
10. She is fully aware of the Oregon process recently and this is evidently (our conclusion) a similar action that Oregon took. She was not impressed with the fact that the miners got ‘screwed’ in Oregon when nothing they presented was considered but rather dismissed.
11. When asked if she was familiar with the Multiple Use Act, 612 (a) and (b) she said yes, but I sincerely don’t believe her, Also was she familiar with FLPMA and the Organic Act. Doubt this too. She equates the waters of National Forest and BLM lands as Wa state waters. She wasn’t too interested in the tribes and their reservation mining and not adhering to G and F Pamphlet. Keep in mind the National Forest is a reservation too.
12. She is adamant the EPA needs to be involved with suction dredging permitting because it is obvious to her that we violate the CWA.
13. She is also adamant about ESA and the fish need to be protected. Harleye brought up the issue of Bull trout stopping suction dredging or some thing to that effect.
14. She is aware of the PLP case in California and stated she had read the most recent article from the ICMJ about Judge Ochoa’s pending judgement. Harleye showed it to her from the magazine.
15. HB 1380, passed in 2003: she was impressed it passed without one negative vote and then the beach mining bill only had three senators voting against it. She asked Jason Callahan if HB 1380 was still in effect? She was somewhat taken aback.
16. She had no concept of property and was surprised to learn that if we don’t work the claim and pay our FEES every year we lose the claim. She was instructed in the fact that the property has a “SPECIFIC USE’ rather than a special use.
17. She thinks this is recreation, and scoffed at we three miners as being retired and that we don’t really need the gold we find to supplement a living or even a supplemental living. THIS REALLY PISSED ME OFF! How arrogant!
18. She feels there is accumulated impact from suction dredging. She rejected the Peter Baily study in the Siskyous National Forrest after I explained it. She claims it is not recent enough.
Upshot is, If this bill gets a hearing we need to fill the hearing room and as many miners as possible testify. Get organized and prepare a one to two minute speech quoting the California SEIR or a law or a result of a court case, whatever.
She also didn’t bat an eye when we told her the Gold and Fish Pamphlet rewrite cost more than $500,000.00 nor the fact of who attended, tribes, etc. She even seemed to know Tim Romanski from USFW
All for now, I’m sure there is more. WE did our best to refute her notions.