First I want to extend a HUGE THANK YOU!!! to all of my new followers. It seems like every day I get 2 or 3 new notifications for people who have decided to pay attention to me and my meanderings. That is VERY COOL !!!
It seems like everything is moving in slow motion ever since I got approved for my SSI. The battle to lock in a monthly check for the rest of my life was a long, hard fought battle between my attorney and me against the federal government but it ended with 1 in the win column for me.
That was over 30 days ago. I was told I could expect my settlement for the back pay owed to me within 30 days. Today I talked to the government and they informed me it would be a total of 60 days which means I might get a chance to have some spending cash for the summer MAYBE next month.
Plans are made for the purchase of a good used motor home for us to travel in while putting our LDMA membership to good use. Lost Dutchman Mining Association has multiple properties set aside for members only to prospect and mine for gold. Most of the properties have quite a bit of gold if you know how to find it.
Lots of plans that will begin when we get the money owed to me so stay tuned for more entries here on my favorite writing platform keeping track of what we are up to along with a story or two to keep it interesting.
I know a woman. Her name is Paula. I have known her since I was in the 7th grade. When I first met her she was friends with my older brother. They would hang out together working on school projects and she even made a few appearances to our house for supper and a visit. Even though I was younger than her by five years, she still lit my fire.
Skip ahead to the 80’s and you will find that Paula and I had a chance meeting. It was completely unexpected for both of us and, even though it was brief, it would lead to our first date a few months later.
That first date took place in the month of September of 1985 and we would end up seeing each other every night after that until January, 10th of 1986. The next day, which happened to be January 11th, I watched as she walked down the aisle with her father. When they reached the front of the church he handed her over to me and we became a happily married couple.
Today it has been just over a month since we celebrated thirty two years together. As with any marriage that stands the test of time we have had our good times, bad times, and even times when we questioned why we were still together, but through it all we have remained a happily married couple as we promised each other on a cold day in 1986.
The reason I have taken the time to explain the success of our marriage is because she is the one to nominate me for this fantastic award along with the opportunity to spread my success on to other writers. It is an honor for me and I love my wife for including me.
First an explanation of the award.
The Liebster Award recognizes and celebrates bloggers, their content, skill, and contribution to the blogging community. The rules for accepting a nomination are:
Acknowledge the blogger who nominated your blog.
Answer the questions.
Nominate 11 bloggers to encourage them.
Ask them 11 questions.
Let them know you have nominated them.
As I traveled around the country in 2013 during the first year of Oro Expeditions I spent a lot of time living in a tent. It was easy to do this because of my membership in a popular gold prospecting and mining club known as the Gold Prospectors Association of America.
We joined the GPAA in 2009 while I was still driving a truck around the country for a living. Being on the road all the time made it easy to visit quite a few leases and properties owned by them and I took advantage of this almost every weekend while trucking.
It only took a couple visits to some of GPAA’s eastern spots for me to realize that gold miners and rock hounds have a lot in common with over the road truck drivers. They both live outside the norms of modern society and most live a solitary life with occasional “get-togethers” with “like-minded” individuals who share their passion.
Turns out I traded one “family” for another one when I retired from trucking.
I have been to and lived in quite a few gold camps around the country due to the fact that we joined multiple groups and clubs since 2013 in order to have plenty of places to go to prospect and mine.
In 2014 and 15 my wife Paula and I lived, full time, in various camps in the eleven western states and we replaced driving a truck with pulling a small box trailer which we used to haul motorcycles for profit.
The trailer also served as our RV when we wanted to be in gold camp. We had a queen sized air bed along with a really cool kitchen setup for Paula. With a big tarp propped up on the side of the trailer it made for a very comfortable camp.
This year we took the next step with GPAA and joined the sister company known as Lost Dutchman Mining Association or LDMA for short.
It is actually the original club that was formed in the 60’s by the founder, George Massie.
We belong to and pay dues with 3 other gold prospecting clubs around the country but the LDMA is the biggest and best when it comes to that “family feeling”.
As a warm up for what should be a great season for Oro Expeditions we traveled south to North Carolina last week for our first visit to one of the LDMA camps. Vein Mountain LDMA is located in the central part of the state and sits on the western edge of the “quartz belt” that runs the entire length of the east coast.
We found out how special it is to be members of this huge club by spending a week on the property where we were treated like royalty by the caretakers, Brian and Vonda Yoder. A big THANK YOU to them and the other members in camp for a fantastic time. We are looking forward to returning in the fall.
My point with this post is that for 30 years I was part of the trucking industry which used to be like being part of a family. We kept to ourselves and spent most of our time in the company of other drivers and truckers due to the fact that we were always on the road.
Since retiring from the industry in February of 2013 that is the one thing I will always miss. The comradery of a family of truckers.
Today, after 4 years of struggling to make something out of Oro Expeditions, we have “ARRIVED” due to joining up with our newest family known as LDMA and all the great people associated with the company.
We are looking forward to our next trip which will be to the great state of Oregon to a place known as Blue Bucket. While there we will be participating in our first group event with LDMA along with having front row seats to the EPIC Solar Eclipse that will take place during the event.
Most exciting is the fact that the camp is almost dead center on the center line within the “Path of Totality” so our experience should be extraordinary to say the least.
Take a few minutes to surf over to http://www.goldprospectors.org/ and check out all the benefits of being a member of our gold mining family.
The best part is you get to keep ALL the gold you find. 😉
This is from my Writing.com account.
|Now is a good time to check in here for a quick update post. The 2017 gold season is in full swing as the wife and I just returned from the first leg of “Oro Expeditions 17”.
We traveled south to the great state of North Carolina to check out a gold camp that belongs to the group we just joined up with. They are known as the Lost Dutchman Mining Association or LDMA for short. They have numerous properties all over the west along with a few in the southeast and even one in Michigan that members can visit to find gold.
Most people are not aware of the fact that some people are able to go out in the country to a stream or river and find raw gold in its natural form but it is true.
The original plan we made included visiting two of the three LDMA camps located in North Carolina and north Georgia but once we pitched camp at the first site it became very hard to leave due to the fun we were having and the gold we was finding so we stayed a few extra days.
I got a chance to try my 3″ suction dredge which I had recently overhauled and added a new engine with a 1″ water pump installed on it. I was stoked to see if it worked and it did. We ended up with a few grains and flakes of gold worth about 50 bucs and a successful test of the dredge.
Another part of the plan was to travel to the historic town of Franklin NC as part of a birthday present for my wife, Paula.
Upon arrival we paid our fee and was given a quick lesson about the mine and what to look for. The whole thing consisted of an authentic mine in the side of the mountain where they retrieved the pay dirt which was placed inside a fenced area for safety sake.
Using the shovels provided we scooped up 4 buckets of dirt that contained small pieces of gemstones. We took the buckets back outside the fenced in area to a “gem flume” which is a big wooden trough with water flowing through it to wash the dirt away from the gravel that contains the good stuff.
Paula had a blast even though the “mine dirt” didn’t produce much but the back up plan of buying a couple bags of “pay dirt” with some good stuff salted in to take home with us was put in place so she ended up with some very pretty rocks.
From there we traveled to another favorite spot of mine just across the Tennessee border where there is a GPAA lease with a nice quiet campground. This was the place where I started my company with the first Expedition in 2013 so it was very cool to return even though there was no one in camp at the time.
We headed north back to western Maryland for the time being to put the finishing touches on the plan we have for August that includes traveling west to eastern Oregon for two reasons.
I will be adding chapters to my book about the trip and the Eclipse and sharing some of the stories here. .
The temperature is rising a little more every day as we get ready to welcome the month of May. Here in winter quarters in western Maryland the process takes a week or two longer than the rest of the state due to the change in elevation but the local forecast is calling for 70’s and occasional rain for the next week.
I have had quite a few people inquire about the plans for Oro Expeditions for the 2017 season so I figured it was time to share that which Paula Cas and I have been talking about all winter but first I want to take a few minutes to explain the recent past and the lack of an Expedition last year.
It was a cold day in October of 2015 that we returned to Maryland after spending two months in central Nevada where we had been invited to work a private hard rock claim. We had only been back for a few weeks when I did some serious damage to my back and neck. It was the beginning of a very painful time but also a most revealing time because after many troubles in the past with my back this was the time when I decided to find out just how bad it was.
Three MRI’s and three x-rays later, it was clear how much damage a lifetime of driving truck along with two major traumatic events had done to my back and neck. To top it off I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis, stenosis, and a total of five bad disk in my back and neck. Thanks to all of that I have been placed into a “pain management” program which means I will be on some pretty heavy duty pain medication for the rest of my life.
Some would say “Oh no what a bummer.” but not me. The fact is I have a limited number of productive mining seasons left so I will be making the most of every one of them and that begins today. This is where the plans for 2017 will pick up where 2015 left off.
It was August of 2015 in northern California where I met a man named Dave. He had an offer for me that on one hand was almost too good to be true but on the other hand seemed very doable to me at the time.
After a chance meeting at our camp on the Klamath River, the offer was made for us to purchase a package deal that included a hover craft and 4 very exclusive gold claims on a large well known river in Alaska. Dave made it clear to us that he wanted Oro Expeditions to have this deal because he had done his research on me and the company and admired the way I had started the whole thing. Along with how quickly became a fairly successful gold miner.
I have spent a lot of time since August of 2015 putting together a lucrative investment package known as “Oro Expedition Alaska Extreme”. During the winter and early spring of 2016 I had high hopes of that season being the one that would see the Expedition in “The Land of The Midnight Sun” suction dredging a large river with millions of dollars in gold in it but the medical problems would not permit it.
When I realized it was time to get to the bottom things with my back and neck, I also realized the 2016 season would be a bust due to the recuperating process taking an unknown amount of time.
So now we jump ahead to the present, and things are really looking up for a slightly limited season this year that will include a return to many of the western locations we visited in 2015 along with the possibilities of taking the Expedition north of the Canadian border. That is the outline for the year and now for some of the details we have figured out to get things rolling in that direction.
Along with some destinations I visited in 2013 on the first Expedition like north Georgia, eastern Tennessee, and Alabama we are planning to make a trip to the northeast and the shiny yellow metal of New Hampshire and western Maine. This trip will probably take place later in the year before the cold weather moves in.
A trip to the eleven western states will include visits to many of the locations we were at in 2015. Places like southwest Oregon, Happy Camp California, central Nevada and multiple locations in Arizona are all included on the list.
One new location will be added to the list when we head to Arkansas for clear quartz and maybe even a side trip to the Crater of Diamonds State park. I hear the likelihood of scoring a sizable diamond has increased in the past few years so it has been added to the list as well.
That is an outline of how the 2017 season is shaping up, and if my back and neck cooperate, there is a good chance this is the year Oro Expeditions makes it to the Yukon and Alaska.
Regardless of whether or not we make it north, there will be a lot of mining and rock-hounding to be done here in the lower forty eight. So, stay tuned to our social media sites, especially to the official Oro Expeditions Website. Changes and updates will be ongoing so be sure to bookmark the site so you can check on our progress.
Above. Placer operation on the Yuba River using a suction dredge.
Did you ever wonder what the real studies say about suction dredging, but didn’t want to have to read through them all. A summary of every study we could find is provided here and links to the actual study. You can see our full list of suction dredging studies on the main research page.
Although technically not a study, this is a report of a senior fisheries biologist from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). Responding to complaints from the Karuk tribe CDFW, in conjunction with the USFS sent two senior fisheries biologists to the Salmon River on the last day of dredging season in 2003 to evaluate the effects of an entire summer of dredging and whether these effects could be impacting salmon.
At the conclusion of the on-site evaluation Mr. Dennis Maria, the fisheries biologist concluded:
“The dredge holes created the only discernable juvenile rearing habitat that I could see. This rearing habitat consisted of clean unimbedded cobbles that covered the dredger pool substrate.”
“There exist documented instances that unstable spawning gravel mounds created by dredgers below dredge holes have been used by anadromous salmonids only to be lost by high winter flows washing these gravel mounds away. My files indicate little, if any, spawning occurs in this reach of the Salmon River. Peter Brucker, who has been involved with numerous spawning surveys on the Salmon River over the past number of years (>10 yrs.) agreed this reach of the Salmon River is not typically used for spawning.
“…it is unlikely that the current dredging impacts will significantly or substantially harm anadromous salmonid spawning habitat or juvenile salmonids within this reach.”
“In fact, for an area which had been dredged all summer long, I saw relatively innocuous disturbance of the existing habitat.”
“I saw nothing that would be considered a violation or that would have a significant impact to the fishery or significantly negatively impact the overall biotic community of the Salmon River. I would estimate that the amount of dredger disturbance on the mainstem Salmon River by New 49er members represents at most about 2 to 3% of the entire mainstem Salmon. Nearly most of the disturbed areas we saw during our tour were in areas not suitable for spawning.”
The 2012 California SEIR reviewed all available suction dredging studies and found all studies agreed turbidity from a suction dredge was localized and temporary and therefore an insignificant effect of dredging. However, they claimed the combined efforts of every dredger across the State would result in a significant increase in turbidity without citing any study which supported this position. The actual studies found:
In this study Harvey evaluated the effects of suction dredging on Butte Creek and the North Fork of the American River. The significant part of Harvey’s study was he evaluated the effect of 5″ and 6″ dredges over the course of two years and evaluated the effects of a single dredge and the cumulative effect of six dredges. His study primarily focused on the effects of small insects in the river.
Harvey found no significant differences in insect populations in areas which had been dredged, and those which hadn’t been dredged and found insects rapidly re-colonized dredged areas.
Harvey concluded fish weren’t significantly effected by dredging although short term they would move away from the dredge hole, but he found after dredging all eight study fish had moved from their previous location into the dredge hole indicating a 100% preference of the fish for the deeper water dredge hole.
During the experiment Harvey measured the turbidity of the dredge and found in the relatively clear water the turbidity change was noticeable, but dissipated rapdily and didn’t appear to effect either the fish or the insects.
“Fish and invertebrates apparently were not highly sensitive to dredging in general, probably because the streams studied naturally have substantial seasonal and annual fluctuations…Along with the rapid temporal recovery of insects seen in this study, these results suggest that suction dredging effects can be short-lived on streams where high annual flows occur.”
This report studied the cumulative effects of suction dredging in the Siskiyou National Forest under contract to the U.S. Forest Service.
The Baley study focused primarily on the effect of suction dredging on young salmon and found no significant effect. He concludes:
“Localized, short-term effects of suction dredge mining have been documented in a qualitative sense. However, on the scales occupied by fish populations such local disturbances would need a strong cumulative intensity of many operations to have a measurable effect. Local information reveals most suction dredge miners more or less adhere to guidelines that have recently been formalized by the U.S. Forest Service…Given that this analysis could not detect an effect averaged over good and bad miners and that more powerful study would be expensive, it would seem that public money would be better spent on encouraging compliance with current guidelines than further study.”
In this 1982 study commissioned by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife the research evaluated the effects of suction dredging on the environment across the state and with dredge sizes from 2″ to 10″. Over 270 dredges were studied.
The authors found “…relatively few suction dredge miners are causing negative impacts.”
The authors found the presence of mining claims tended to distribute the dredging operations out and resulted in less environmental impact than in areas where there were no mining claims. The most intensive dredging they found was in areas which were open to dredging, but closed to the location of mining claims. “Claimed streams like the North Fork of the Yuba River had a more even distribution of dredges. However, instream dredging effects tend to be localized not cumulative (Harvey et al. 1982)
The authors concluded “Even with the large increase in the number of suction dredge mining operations in recent years, the aquatic and riparian habitat impacts observed on selected streams of the Mother Lode during this study were minimal.
This 1995 study was conducted under contract to the U.S. Forest service in response to an environmental groups lawsuit which claimed suction dredging was harming the environment.
The purpose of the study was to respond to allegations suction dredges harmed various fish including salmon. The study found salmon would spawn in suction dredge tailings if no other suitable habitat was present which could potentially be detrimental to redd survival if there was a heavy winter flow which could re-distribue the tailings. However, they found the selection of suction dredge tailings was only about 10% and they didn’t observe any mortality of redds in dredge tailings.
The study found a near 100% mortality rate if salmon eggs were sucked through the dredge hose and a very high mortality rate if the fingerlings were sucked through the dredge hose. The study found virtually no risk to juvenile and adult fish.
Salmon preference for dredge habitat was found to be uncertain. “Depending on existing water depth and velocity, dredging may increase or decrease the availability of preffered habitat for salmonids by altering the morphology of individual channel geographic units.”
The study went on to find the deposition of fine silt by a dredge likely has no impact on salmonids and no clear effect on salmon could be determined by the presence of suction dredges in the river, although the report cautioned the location of suction dredges which would block salmon from finding cooler waters could be a concern.
The report found no effects on stream insects consistent with earlier research.
“The three studies which have quantified colonization by benthic invertebrates afer dredging was stopped (Griffith and Andrews 1981; Thomas 1985; Harvey 1986) measured rapid recovery (within 4-6 weeks) in terms of both numbers and species composition.”
“Many recreational dredgers operate for less than five hours per day, suggesting that data from studies exposing biota to chronic suspended sediments would not apply to the impacts of dredging.”
“Available data indicate that individual dredges need not have significant downstream effects on aquatic biota. Downstream impacts may occur where closely-spaced dredges create the potential for cumulative effects of multiple dredges. The only attempt to measure cumulative effects of dredging on fish and invertebrates (Harvey 1986) suggested that a moderate density of dredges does not generate detectable cumulative effects.
This study evaluated the effects of a 3″ suction dredge on fish and insects on four Idaho streams during the summer of 1980.
This study is interesting because it intentionally ran salmonid eggs through a suction dredge to determine mortality. Although no research, anywhere, has shown a suction dredge to actually do this the author of the study wanted to determine what would happen to various fish eggs if they were sucked up by a dredge. The study concluded for some types of eggs there would be a near 100% mortality rate. Although this may be true, there is likely a 100% mortality rate if you lay the same eggs out on the highway. However, the study also found only the un-eyed stage of the eggs is susceptible to mortality from a suction dredge. Once the eggs were “eyed” they had a much higher rate of survival.
This is another study which measured the effects on insects found within the stream and again concluded recolonization by insects is very rapid and there are no significant effects on insect populations. The study evaluated 2,100 mayfly larvae and found only two individuals were injured by the suction dredge. “Aquatic insects were surprising resilent to the effects of entrainment.”
The study found the actual amount of material moved differed greatly from advertised rates. When measuring actual material moved by a 3″ dredge the author found only .05 cubic meters per hour, but when measured using only pre-classified sands and gravel the “advertised rate” the amount of material moved was .13 cubic meters an hour, or double.
“Turbidity below the dredge in Napias Creek and Yankee Fork was nearly undetectable. A turbidity plume was noticeable only a few meters below the dredge in Napias Creek and no plume was seen in Yankee Fork.
In this study Thomas evaluated the effects of a 3″ dredge in Gold Creek near Missoula, Montana.
“The concentration of suspended sediment was greatest at the dredge outflow and decreased rapidly as the heavier particles settled out. Suspended sediment was 1.8 mg/liter 30.5 meters below the dredge, indicating a return to ambient levels…These data indicated that the bulk of the sediment stirred up by the dredging was re-deposited within 6-11 meters of the dredge.”
“Deposited sediment decreased exponentially downstream with the distance from the dredging.”
“The immediate effect of suction dredging was to reduce the number of all species of insects in the area dredged. The effect was very localized. No significant change in abundance was found downstream from the dredged section for any taxonomic group…The number of insects in the dredged section increased 1 month after dredging, even when the numbers in the control and downstream sections decreased – indicating most aquatic insects find dredged areas to be suitable habitat.”
“Intergravel permeability apparently did increase slighlty in the dredged section after dredging. However this difference was not significant.”
“The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of one small dredge operated for a relatively short period of time. The effects seemed to be small, very localized habitat modifications that had a minimal effect on the stream community.”
The Prussian Study, conducted under contract to the US EPA is the only known study to evaluate the effects on water quality from suction dredging in regards to trace metals. The study also evaluated turbidity and the effects on aquatic insects. This was also one of the few studies to evaluate the effects of what are considered large dredges: an 8″ and a 10″ dredge.
The concluions of the study include:
“Dredge operations had no discernable effect on alkalinity, hardness, or specific conductance of water in the Fortymile. Of the factors we measured, the primary effects of suction dredging on water chemistry of the Fortymile River were increased turbidity, total filterable solids, and copper and zinc concentrations downstream of the dredge. These variables returned to upstream levels within 80-160 meters downstream.”
The results from this sampling revealed a relatively intense, but localized, decline in water clarity during the time the dredge was operating.
The impact of the dredge piles relative to the width of the Fortymile River was small. After one year, dredge piles at Site 1 had largely disappeared following the scouring flows that accompany snow melt.
Macroinvertebrate abundance and diversity were greatly reduced in the first 10m below the dredge at Site 1 relative to the upstream reference site. The abundance and diversity of macroinvertebrates returned to values seen at the reference site by 80-160 meters downstream. Recovery of macroinvertebrate diverstiy appeared to be substantial.
The results from Resurrection Creek indicated that there was no difference in the macroinvertebrate community between the mining area and the locations downstream.”
“Effects of suction dredging commonly appear to be minor and local.”
This study fundamentally re-looks previous studies and comes to the same conclusions that suction dredges can kill un-eyed salmonid eggs; re-colonization of benthic invertebrates is rapid; and most effects from suction dredging are temporary and local.
This report adds nothing new to the research it only reviews previous research and makes a few recommendations for future studies.
This study was prepared under contract to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. It is one of the most extensive studies at 147 total pages. The authors studied the effects of various sized dredges on Canyon Creek in Trinity County California.
The studies demonstrated that the impacts of suction dredge mining on fish and habitat were moderate at the current level. The impacts were seasonal and site specific. The current regulations controlling dredge aperature and size and season appear adequate to protect habitat, but careful monitoring of mining activity is advised.”
This study was prepared under contract to the Washington State Department of Ecology, Environmental Assessment Program. This study evaluated the trace metal impact of suction dredging on the Similkameen River in Washington. It is more thorough than the Fortymile Study.
The study specifically evaluated the effects of suction dredging on levels of arsenic, copper, lead and zinc in the water column. The report concludes:
Results showed that the metals concentrations discharged from small-scale gold dredges are not a significant toxicity concern for aquatic life in the Similkameen River. Although this activity will exacerbate exceedances of arsenic human health criteria, it would take very large numbers of dredges to effect a 10% change in the river’s arsenic levels, even at low-flow conditions.
Based on analyzing 14 effluents and 27 plume samples, it appears that small-scale gold dredges have little or no potential to cause exceedances of aquatic life criteria in the Similkameen River.
The metals concentrations measured in gold dredge effluents during the present study were at or below aquatic life criteria. Therefore, criteria exceedances would not be anticipated in the Similkameen River, regardless of the number of dredges operating.
As the name of this study implies the purpose was to determine what happens to mussels if effected by suction dredging.
The study was conducted in two different areas: Mill Creek and the Similkameen River.
On Mill Creek the study found mussels had a 100% survivability rate of being entrained (sucked up) and all mussels were able to extract themselves from burial of up to 40cm of dredge tailings.
On the Similkameen River the study found a 100% survival rate (and recovery rate) of all mussels which were entrained by the dredge. The study involved simulated entrainment and placement on top of a simulated tailings pile. The mussels were observed for one week and all mussels were able to re-orient themselves and begin feeding after six days.
The Similkameen Study also found from 6% to 13% of mussels which were buried under dredge piles could suffer mortality.
At 89 pages this Master’s Thesis is another very thorough evaluation of the effects of suction dredging. The study evaluated a twenty mile length of Canyon Creek with dredge sizes ranging from 2″ to 6″.
“Turbidity and TSS levels decreased with distance below the dredge. Values 50 meters below the dredge were 2 to 3 times higher than that of the control, but at 100 meters below values returned to normal levels.”
“Sediment deposited decreased with distance below the dredge, average deposited sediment ranged widely between dredges.”
Substrate embeddedness generally increased below dredge sites in the local area.
Minor scour and fill occurred at all dredge sites ranging 6-10%.
There was no statistical difference in young steelhead population counts above the dredge, below the dredge or at control sites indicating the suction dredging operation had no measurable effect.
The normal annual flows at Canyon Creek were adequate to siperse dredge tailing piles and fill in dredge holes. Less than 9% of the holes and tailings from the 1984 mining year were visible at the start of the 1985 season.
“Most streams with mobile beds and good annual flushing flows shold be able to remove the instream pocket and pile creations of suction dredges, although regulated (dams) streams with controlled flows may not.
“In Canyon Creek, several spawning surveys located approximately 60 salmonid redds in the study area, but none were within a dredge tailing pile.
“Suction dredge mining did not appear to influence the locations of adult anadromous salmonid summer-holding areas.”
“Although distinct to even the most casual observer, dredge plumes in Canyon Creek were probably of little direct consequence to fish and invertebrates…In general, dredge turbidity plumes were highly localized and occurrred during midday which is not a peak feeding peeriod for steelhead.”
Fish living space may be reduced within the first few meters below the dredge, but just upstream a new pool is created by the cone-shaped dredge hole. During the study, young steelhead, dace and suckers were observed in active and abandoned dredge holes.
“A high level of suction dredging was evident in Canyon Creek, but adverse effects on aanadromous fish habitat were minimal to moderate.
R2 Resources, 2006, White Paper on Suction Dredging for State of WashingtonThis paper is one of the lesser known, but more thorough evaluations of suction dredging. At 164 pages it is second only to the 2012 California EIR in page length. It was done under contract to the Washington Department of Ecology. It is essentially an environmental impact report of the effects and provides a great single point of reference for suction dredging impacts. This study provides a good review and summary of previous research but adds nothing new to the existing research.
This article is originally posted on and is property of American Mining Rights. Original article can be found here>> The Actual Dredging Studies Support Miner’s Arguments
March 21, 2017, Energy and Natural Resources Senate Committee Public Hearing on House Bill 591 Relative to suction Dredging in the surface waters of the state. This bill was introduce under the premise that suction dredging was harmful to the environment and fish habitat. This bill would prohibit all motorized prospecting as well as rocker boxes. Gold prospectors assemble at the State House in Concord New Hampshire to testify in opposition to this bill, gold prospectors came prepared. Over the last several decades scientific studies have been conducted in numerous states by and or for government agencies such the US Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Fish and Wildlife of California and Washington State just to name a few, and peer reviewed. There were a number of these studies presented to the Committee as well as summaries of these studies prepared by two respected Scientist in this field. All of these studies come to the same conclusion that small scale suction dredging’s impact on the environment and fish habitat is less than significant. The Army Corps of Engineers states that any dredge less than a 6″ nozzle size impact on the environment is “De Minimus”. There was a lot of great testimony from prospectors you can hear the entire hearing here: Senate Committee Public Hearing HB 591.
If you can’t play the hearing here is the summary report of the hearing: Summary Report Public Hearing the audio is far better since this is just a summary.
I commend these Senators for their integrity and honesty, they weighed the facts and based their decision on the facts presented. Their recommendation to the Senate was that HB 591 was inexpedient to legislate. On March 29, 2017 the senate met and voted on HB 591 based on the recommendation of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and HB 591 was officially killed.
Legislation should be based on facts, scientific, peer reviewed facts and not on assumptions, opinion or conjecture or even lies. Even the opinion of a professional such as a college professor or a biologist in the field, while this opinion may be the basis of a hypothesis, until that hypothesis is proven by scientific study and peer reviewed, is still nothing more than an opinion. The Senators of New Hampshire based their decision on the truth, unlike legislators of other states that pander to special interest groups, I will leave it up to the reader as to why they would pander to these special interest groups.
The Senators of New Hampshire give me hope that our form of government still works the way it should, with integrity and honesty, at least in one state. LIVE FREE OR DIE!!!
Was April 2013. That was the month and year I kicked off Oro Expeditions. It was also the year I ended a 30 year career driving a truck across this great country. It was kinda funny and ironic how that all ended and maybe I will tell more of that story someday but for now I am going to start this “nutshell” with a beginning instead of an ending.
The first Expedition kicked off without glamour. I gathered up all of my basic camping gear along with a weeks worth of food and plenty of clean clothes. The last thing to be loaded into the “Nugget Buggy” was everything I owned to prospect for gold. It was a short list. 2 5 gallon buckets, a short-handled round pointed shovel, a home-made 1/2 in. classifier, and my lucky gold pan given to me as a gift for joining a famous gold club. The last thing on the list was the directory of all the places in the US this club had the rights to prospect and mine for gold.
On the 14th of April, 2013, early in the afternoon, two things happened at the same time. I pulled out of the driveway in western Maryland to begin Oro Expedition 13, a dream of mine for sometime come true and at the same time on the same day a cute little puppy was born that would drop into my life 7 months later in central California during a Christmas blizzard.
I spent 13 months on the gold trail that first year with only one 4 day stay at the house for my wife’s birthday. I traveled to quite a few south-eastern states including North Carolina, Georgia, and Tennessee all of which were abundant with the shiny yellow stuff along with numerous different semi precious stones of all colors and shapes.
After many rain filled days spent working the small streams of the east my operation was able to move to the eleven western states in pursuit of much larger gold and much more plentiful gold.
Starting in Colorado and working my way across to Oregon I was able to prospect and find gold every time I crossed a state line. Landing in southwest Oregon and then working my way south as September turned into November, I followed the gold trail to central California high in the Sierra Nevada.
The end of one year and the beginning of a new one also felt like something new for Oro Expeditions was about to start as I made my way back to Maryland in late January of 2014.
I’m not sure where to start with the “now” part of this story so I will begin with what I know about my physical well-being and how it may or may not affect the 2017 gold and gemstone season and beyond.
I have had a history of back trouble since my early twenties when I was involved in a serious fall from a carnival ride I was working on. Then in 2001 I was struck by lightning and of course the back took the worst of it. Then back in 2006 I injured the lower back bad enough I couldn’t walk or sit up straight for almost a week. Once again somewhere around 2015 while helping a friend I blew multiple disks out and found out what lifetime chronic pain feels like.
I have been on a pain program for over a year and the meds I use to get pain relief work well. These are meds I will be on for the rest of my life unless something better is invented. The use of cannabis is a large part of my medical battle with pain along with other problems that use letters to describe them. THC heals them all.
My right shoulder was recently operated on to remove bone spurs and other fun stuff like shortening my collarbone and relocation of my bicep muscle. The good news is it is healing nicely and will be ready for the coming season.
Once again I regress. Back to the season at hand.
I look ahead to the 2017 gold and gemstone season and I see an Expedition that could be the biggest one yet and also one that could be worthy of a spot on one of the reality TV channels. The plan includes multiple locations in the lower 48 along with plans for at least 1 trip up north to the Yukon and interior Alaska. Thanks to the arthritis in my back it might be my last chance to see the Land of The Midnight Sun.
Something I want to focus on this year is a program that involves teaching people, especially children, how to prospect and pan for gold. We will be promoting this wherever we may go and will be posting locations and dates as early as possible. If you check the upcoming schedule we will be posting and we are in your area you will be able to come hang out with us in Gold Camp and learn the basics of finding the shiny yellow metal.
We will be focusing on creating two permanent spaces which will allow us to work year round depending on the season. One will be located on our desert claims located in central Arizona. The other will be somewhere in the northwest with possibilities in Canada and Alaska. Returning back to a plan from 2013 and the first Expedition, I would like to have the whole north south program located in the lower 48 states with future Expeditions expanding northward and also world-wide to exotic locations like “down under”, and also South America. Big ideas or BIG plans to be turned into reality? You decide. For me and my lovely wife we believe it is all doable and more.
I started out calling this piece a “Nutshell” version but I always get a little carried away with excitement when it comes to warm weather and the pursuit of gold and other shiny things so bear with me … hehe
Don't try to move mountains by yourself. You'll hurt your back. God can help.
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