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Reject Senate Bill 637 (SB637)

This petition had 711 supporters

SB637 is on the agenda for the California State Senate on Wednesday, April 29, 2015.

This is an urgent call to action. Please read about it here:

SB637 gives The Sierra Fund, an extreme environmental organization, millions of taxpayer dollars and the right to use suction dredges to mine minerals and heavy metals out of California rivers and streams.

Permitted, small scale California gold miners were already cleaning heavy metals out of California rivers and streams FOR FREE! In fact, because they pay for permits, they were adding to the state's economy.

Let me spell this out in simple terms:

  • Miners pay for permits, dredge for gold, and in the process remove harmful heavy metals (lead and mercury) from rivers and streams. Taxpayers win.
  • The Sierra Fund CHARGES taxpayers MILLIONS of dollars to dredge for and remove harmful heavy metals (lead and mercury) from rivers and streams. THEY KEEP THE GOLD THEY FIND. Taxpayers lose.

While The Sierra Fund CLAIMS studies show adverse environmental impact due to raised mercury levels down river from small scale suction dredge mining, their own studies show the EXACT OPPOSITE. AND, if suction dredge mining actually harms the rivers, WHY ARE THEY DOING IT? (I'll give you a clue; they're being paid millions of dollars)

In fact, actual studies show that since a moratorium on small scale suction dredge mining was enacted in 2009, mercury levels have RISEN in previously mined rivers. That's a bad thing, right Environmentalists?

The Sierra Fund is already stealing taxpayer dollars at their Lake Combie project. They are receiving taxpayer money to dredge. Permit dredgers are denied access. The Sierra Fund doesn't like fair competition. They want all of the gold in California rivers and streams. Oh, and they want to get paid to get it. Paid by YOU AND ME.

So, not only is SB637 not necessary, it actually adversely affects the poor and middle class of CA. Literally tens of millions of dollars are lost to the rural communities with the money they would have spent going to their claims, purchasing gas, food, hardware and equipment.

SB637 takes away from California citizens and fills the pockets of a dangerously powerful, extreme environmental group, The Sierra Fund.

Let's not miss this nugget: The Sierra Fund and SB637 are only going after SMALL SCALE SUCTION DREDGE GOLD MINERS, not other, more drastic, dredging operations. Again, why? I suspect it's because those of us who are small scale suction dredge miners are hard working, middle class Americans who don't have lawyers on retainer to fight battles like this for us.



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