Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Fish Not Gold, May 22, 2014.
I don't understand why the tribes aren't filing lawsuits.
Good Grief, people there's about 57,000 miles of supporting waters in Washington State, Peshastin Creek (Blewett) has less than 10 miles with active claims and even if it were ALL turned over this year by suction dredges, that's only 0.02% of the total supporting waters of the state. We all know that's not going to happen!
My wild guesstimate would be perhaps at the very most less than 1/10 of one mile would be suction dredged in a season on all combined claims there, now we're talking about 0.0002%.
Maybe some of you haven't seen this, but it makes a good point of just how insignificant suction dredging is, especially when Mt. St. Helens couldn't destroy a river or it's wild Steelhead... have an open mind and watch the video in the link below which is from "Wild Reverence", The Wild Steelheads last stand from North Fork Studios
Making Mountains out of Molehills
I have an impression that your numbers are a bit off here.
great link. i'm now a believer that those who oppose destroying our rivers just dislike your "liberty". defenders of liberty sucking at the teat by abusing our public lands and rivers.
industrial uses of public lands, however small, have nothing to do with liberty.
That website was some propaganda bullshit. It's facts are way skewered, if not downright fictional. I just smile and shake my head when I hear suction dredgers say that aren't doing any harm.
High water flows on rivers has done more damage in one year than any hobby miner has done in his life.
Not to mention wading...Let's all refrain from wading, it's for the children...
This is a classic example of hobby miner obfuscation: "The damage WE cause isn't nearly as bad as ______ (fill in the blank here: catch and kill, catch and release mortality, or whatever other red herring Ron and his hobby miner friends want us to believe is FAR worse than the damage they cause.)"
The simple fact is that suction dredge mining kills fish and destroys habitat. It doesn't matter whether or not it's less than some other activity or event. Damage of any kind is unacceptable, especially if it can be prevented. Period.
Let's not allow ourselves to be distracted or confused when the hobby miners attempt to shift the focus to some other activity and blur the issue at hand. Their hobby kills fish and destroys habitat.
This discussion is about prohibiting unregulated dredge mining, not something else. The solution is simple and well within our grasp.
Good grief back at you Ron. Why not pick another hobby: stamp collecting, golf, trail running, beer brewing, target shooting, even catch and release fly fishing? Something that's not extractive, that doesn't require you to destroy something else in order for you to experience the thrill of success.
You seem like an otherwise reasonable guy Ron. Good job. Nice home in the suburbs. Kids in college. Caring friends. All the trappings of a successful life. (BTW, I'm not stalking you. I've gathered all this from a simple visit to your FB page, which like your mining claim, you chose to make public.)
You're smart enough to have read the research. You know what you're doing. How can you sleep at night knowing how much you've contributed to the destruction of our state's resources? How much your activities have wasted our tax dollars spent to restore habitat that you turn around and ravage without a second thought? Stop rationalizing your behavior by comparing it to statistical improbabilities or cataclysmic events.
Yes, hobby mining causes less destruction than an asteroid strike. So what? We can't control asteroid strikes. You CAN control what you do.
It's time to man up Ron and do the right thing.
Some of the best creeks I've fished in Montana have been mined by hobby miners, clear cut to the bank and state says heavy metals in the fish... Don't eat. Man made screw ups create good habitat by feeding people in mass media to keep away. True story.
And my guess is those creeks do not have ESA-listed fish in them, fish that have been declared at a medium to high risk of going EXTINCT in the next 25 years!
Oh would that be westslope cutties and bulltrout? What else would you like to know.
Westslopes are ESA listed!? Shit! Thanks for the heads up. That's news to me.
If only it was all the water on the Blewett Pass area: here is a small sampling of Washington waters where hobby miners are suction dredging: East Fork of the Lewis, upper Columbia, Similkameen, Nooksack, Sultan, Wenatchee, White, Chiwawa, Slate, Bonita, Ruby, Yakima, North fork Teanaway, Dunganess, Twisp, Methow, Pilchuck, Sauk, Nason, Naches...
This argument reminds me of the two times I was fired upon-to discourage my "trespass" on the South Yuba in CA while fishing. I'm fishing, not trying to jump anybody's claim. There, unfortunately, I wasn't carrying a weapon. That's since changed. Remember, a guy with a fly rod isn't hiding a dredge in his vest, so don't get your panties in a wad. Also, while I haven't heard of anybody being "discouraged" from transiting a claim that way, be advised that there are those of us out there, who will return that fire.
You can only pan the Sultan. I've seen signs to that effect posted on the river. But they don't stop everybody. There's poachers in just about everything people do anymore.
Well, HPAs have been issued to suction dredge in the Sultan.
I completely agree that recreational miners can be destructive, that suction dredging does more damage than panning, and that seeing a bunch of dredges being operated within hundreds of yards of each other is not an appealing sight. These things should be tightly regulated and maybe that's not the case at the moment. The issue for me is that if we really care about all habitat, and all fish, and the system as a whole, we can't just point fingers at one group, trying to outright ban a particular activity in all cases. Especially not a relatively low impact one (at least in our state). I've fished the majority of streams discussed here and don't think I can ever recall seeing an operating dredge. I have been gone for 7 years, and perhaps things have gotten worse, I can't really say. I doubt it though as there really just isn't that much gold in Washington. However, back to the issue at hand. We all know that fishermen, while doing a fair amount of good for the resource, do a fair amount of bad as well. If we're really so concerned for the health of these ecosystems, then why aren't we all volunteering to do stream restoration? Why aren't we donating money to educate the greater public improve the way the resource is used? Yeah we pay license fees, but would we if it wasn't required to get the license? Really, if we all care so much about the fish for the fishes sake, why do any of us do this sport? You can compare the Cedar river the year it reopened to the Cedar river now and see the difference even restricting things to catch and release makes on fish numbers in a particular body of water. We do it because it's addictive as hell and we love it. I'm sure the miners out there will tell you the same. I just think this cause might be better served by taking a less staunch approach (as has been stated earlier in this thread). With things like the Pebble mine, I'm all for a complete ban on that kind of operation inside sensitive areas.
Icanfly, you're exactly right. There are a number of other activities that also have the potential to damage our state's fish and fish habitat. And yes, some of those activities can cause much greater damage than hobby mining. But almost all are subject to regulatory oversight, restrictions or limitations such as application fees, bonds, remediation requirements, enforcement, or penalties for failing to comply.
While it may seem like we're picking on hobby miners unfairly, the simple fact is that unlike almost ANY other activities, they currently enjoy nearly a free ride. It's time to hold them to the same level of accountability as we do logging, agriculture, hard rock mining, real estate development, fishermen, hunters and others whose activities potentially impact our state's fish and fisheries. If you and I have to pay a fee to fish, disclose our personal information, and are limited, restricted or prohibited when, where and how we can do so, so should the hobby miners.
This isn't about big government, malcontents or tree-huggers plotting to deprive them of their 'rights' or 'liberties'. It's about holding the hobby miners to the same standard as all other Americans. After all, it's 2014, not 1872.