[env-trinity] Urgent Action Alert to Ban Suction Dredge Mining!

Dan Bacher danielbacher at fishsniffer.com
Fri Apr 3 13:25:56 PDT 2009

Action Alert! Action Alert! Action Alert! Action Alert! Action Alert!  
Action Alert!
 From the Karuk Tribe

Support Ban on Motorized Suction Dredge Mining in California Streams!
Support SB670

California’s native fish populations are in a state of crisis. Tribes  
depending on salmon runs cannot harvest enough fish to conduct  
ceremonies much less feed their members or make a living. Non-native  
people are affected as well. This year commercial and sport salmon  
fishing bans will cripple our coastal economies and many species  
teeter on the brink of extinction. We must act now to protect our  

Senator Wiggins (D, Santa Rosa) has introduced a bill that will make  
a dent in the problem by banning the controversial recreational  
activity known as suction dredge mining. Miners use motorized suction  
pumps to vacuum up the river bottom (along with small fish, salmon  
eggs, etc.) run through a sluice to find flakes of gold, and dump the  
debris back into the river. This practice has a negative impact on  
fish, negatively alters spawning habitat, and reintroduces mercury  
deposits that have lain dormant on the river bottom since the last  
gold rush back into the water column.

Groups such as the New 49ers have worked hard to popularize this  
“recreational activity” in places such as the Klamath Basin by buying  
up mining claims and then soliciting membership into their “club.”  
These clubs offer a new “frontier experience” for their members.  
After 150 years of genocide, gold miners are still working to destroy  
Tribal fisheries and cultures.

SB 670 would ban this practice until the California Department of  
Fish and Game can perform a scientific review of the practice and  
write new rules dictating where and when suction dredging can take  

Support healthy rivers and Tribal and fishing communities by sending  
in your letter of support for SB 670 today!

S. Craig Tucker
Klamath Coordinator
Karuk Tribe
ctucker at karuk.us

Address letters of support the Governor Schwarzenegger but email to  
ctucker at karuk.us so all letters can be compiled and circulated to  
legislators and the Governor

Sample Letter of Support for SB 670

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

RE: Support for SB 670

Dear Governor:

Many of California’s salmon and native trout populations are at risk  
of extinction in our lifetime. For most Californians, the loss of our  
fisheries represents a tragic loss of recreational opportunities or a  
chance to eat healthy local seafood. But for Tribes, the loss of  
salmon and other native fish species represents a loss of cultural  

Native people have served as the steward of California’s rivers and  
streams since the beginning of time. Tribes learned over millennia  
how to harvest fish without risk of extinction. For many Tribes,  
ceremonies are based on the annual returns of salmon. Tribes’  
cultural and spiritual identities are linked to the salmon, trout,  
and other fishes.

If we don’t take action today to reverse the current downward spiral,  
it may be too late.

SB 670 is not a solution to the problem, but it’s a start. Miners and  
other users of the resource should have to limit their activities for  
the sake of the fish just as fishermen have to. Please support a  
temporary moratorium on suction dredging until a scientific review is  
complete and new regulations that protect fish are in place.



S. Craig Tucker, Ph.D.
Klamath Campaign Coordinator
Karuk Tribe of California
NEW NUMBER home office: 707-839-1982
Tribal office in Orleans: 530-627-3446 x3027
cell: 916-207-8294
ctucker at karuk.us

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