JR BOI

Epa Shuts Down Idaho Rivers To Dredgers

70 posts in this topic

Rock....I can't imagine they will have the resources to provide oversight but I do not know how they are partnering with other Federal agencies so therein lies the risk.  None the less, the penalties for violation of the Clean Water Act are profound so you need to consider that as well.  This is especially true if you are operating on rivers with lots of visibility like the Salmon, Clearwater, Snake or places close to Boise.

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Enforcement by intimidation. Set the penalties high enough and they won't have to spend a dime for enforcement. 

Also be aware of Idaho Conservation League 'narcs'. Photograph anyone within sight of your diggings in case you need proof of who dropped a dime on you later on.

Coeur_D_Alene likes this

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Thanks for the input, I think thats exactly what there banking on is enforcement by intimidation. I just wonder if the state and most counties which I see is more on our  side is going to enforce this for the feds/epa..guess its time to avoid high visibility areas and dig in deep. The ironic part is they say they are not banning dredging but with all the new hurdles and regs you gotta jump through it makes it damn near impossible to get the epa permit which  amounts to banning it to me.

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As the rest of you I am also at a loss what to do here in Idaho. I started trying to fight this three years ago and got know backing from anyone. It seemed everyone thought it wouldn't happen. I called the PLP and any groups I could find to try and head it off, all I heard was they can't do it, well they did. The state seems to have rolled over and you can get nothing from them. Some counties are starting to toss a fit with Idaho county trying to lead the way. I grew up there and we figure if our state representatives won't help us then we don't need them. If we can get the counties to show force it will be hard to keep your seat in the state.

What about the boaters, some are on our side seeing they are the next target under the CWA, I mean after all they do dump their exhaust in the water and certain gases combine with water molecules the same way smog hits a cloud and is added to the rain that comes back to earth. They haven't taken on the boaters YET, there are to many of them and it is big business.

Here is what I can tell you I have heard the Forest Service will NOT in force another agencies rules or permits, Idaho county sheriff will not arrest dredgers, there are other counties getting on board with this also.

I have know idea if I am right but state owned land and water may be hands off for the feds? The Payette has been closed for years but the Idaho Department of Lands and the Land Board allow recreational suction dredging in certain areas, but know exploration location, lease, or claims. 

I am at a loss as to why the Supreme court ruled in short your not polluting water while moving it with in itself if you have added nothing to it. This case shot down part of the CWA 33 U.S.C. 1251 et seq, my NPDES permit tells me I must be in compliance with the same code the court found against, if part of the code has no merit in court does the rest?

Your damned if you do or don't get the permit, do beware the CCL.... sorry I mean ICL I have underwear that have been in Idaho longer then the guy in charge of the ICL told their members at a meeting I went to to "stop and talk to miners, ask if they have the permits needed and if the area they are in is even open" we advised against that for their own safety, also rumors floating around they will be cutting lines and setting dredges a drift so make sure you bring cable to tie your stuff solid, maybe a few bear traps in the water around your dredge may make them think twice.

I will be dredging this year using the state's permit and reg's.

Ken

Coeur_D_Alene likes this

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Good input ken, I  too got the state permit and will be going under that. who is the icl? I find somebody cutting my line they better be faster than a bullet!!

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That Dredge Permit also covers highbanking if any of the water re-enters the waterway,  I live in the Salmon River Drainage ( Custer County )  and the only place I can run my highbanker is a pond that does not return any thing back into a stream bed....Its like" Gold Country" is OFF limits...We cant even use a sluce in this area.......Idaho Al

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Guys,

 

I'm gonna sound like a broken record player here,

 

Your rights are only protected by yourself as an individual.  If you don't exercise your rights you will discover that they have been lost.  When your loyalty to an ICL, EPA or whomever it is, causes you to give-up the fight for your rights,  it's over.  That's the basic truth. 

 

Here in CA we're in court on multiple levels fighting the clean fight,  apparently because we believe the system is still capable of delivering justice.  Our side will be unable to match the financial resources of our opposition.  Our only hope is to receive judgement from an agreeable judge,  I'd rather just flip a coin and trust in luck. 

 

If you choose to stop gold prospecting because somebody wants you to, thats understandable, but totally unacceptable to me.  I don't fear the law or the good people who enforce unenforceable anti-mining laws.  The media wants action.  Give it to them, stand solid and don't give an inch.  Somebody will get arrested.

Ronald C likes this

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We had a crazy summer here as we sold our home in June and just finished the construction of a new one.  Needless to say my prospecting was limited this summer and in fact only ran the dredge once up on Grimmes creek.  I did spend a fair amount of time in Riggins this summer and noticed a dredge or two in the Salmon river at all times.  Certainly less than previous years but a few folks ahd the nads to keep dredging.  After seeing how things played out this year I definitely think I'll be less apprehensive to dredge next year.  

 

Rod, your words make a lot of sense, it really was the intimidation factor that kept me off the Salmon River this year.  Kiss my A#@ EPA!   

Ronald C likes this

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We had a crazy summer here as we sold our home in June and just finished the construction of a new one.  Needless to say my prospecting was limited this summer and in fact only ran the dredge once up on Grimmes creek.  I did spend a fair amount of time in Riggins this summer and noticed a dredge or two in the Salmon river at all times.  Certainly less than previous years but a few folks ahd the nads to keep dredging.  After seeing how things played out this year I definitely think I'll be less apprehensive to dredge next year.

Rod, your words are well received, the more I think about it, it was nothing more than the intimidation factor that kept me off the Salmon River this year......I knew they weren’t able to check us out but again the threat of knowing the magnitude of the penalties had me scratching my head….maybe it was a good summer after all to build a house as I see how this thing plays out.

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Rob, no reason to believe we'll see anything different next year from the EPA.  I'd make sure you wern't planning on dredging, but I have heard of a few folks who went ahead and dredged on the Payette in spite of the EPA ban.

 

JR

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I enjoyed a little bit of time up there and never had any problems last year. I think the only problem people did have was dealing with a certain female ranger with an obvious dislike of dredgers.. since she couldn't stop the dredging she was up on enforcing the 14 day camping rule,meaning moving camp 5 miles after your 14 day limit expired if you were camped in a camp grounds.

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I was stopped by a BLM Ranger due to the drop basket on my ATV hiding my license plate.

We conversed for a while and I asked if he was enforcing the new EPA regs.

He said, "We had our rules meeting in Feb and EPA was not on the agenda.(EPA rules didn't come out until April 1st)

As far as he was concerned, IDWR was the only authority for Idaho in 2013.

He then commented on his thoughts about the EPA's over reach and big government in general.

He used to work in a hard rock mine and empathized with the miners. 

 

Bob

Geowizard likes this

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There is this prospector  who wants to sell a couple of claims on the South Fork of the Clearwater River. After reading the rules and regulations on recreational dredging for Idaho I see that as of 2013 you also need the EPA NPDES. It doesn't look promising to get a permit to dredge. The South Fork is open part of July through mid August. My Question: Anyone here dredge on the South Fork for 2013 and with the permits?

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Saw several guys dredging the SF in 2013 and as you know, there is no hiding due to Hwy 14 being so close to the river.

They were observing the IDWR dates. EPA won't issue their NPDES permits on the SF.

Bob

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Yup all over.Here in alaska.July 15th was the deadline to dredge recreational.Now it is going to be june 25th.Maybe that is only in my small town.4in dredge.The only one in town with a dredge,fish an game made a deadline for pink salmon.

My litle 4in dredge,sound like it will distroy the ecosystem according to fish an game.They are the ones here who control the permits.Oh well.I put my 10.00 bucks in for the bottom of the ninth anyway.

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Thanks for the update Scott. As usual the ICMJ is on top of the real issues involved. :D

 

I hope the Hearing Committee will take special note of the multiple Supreme Court rulings declaring in stream activities to not be a subject of the CWA or enforceable by the EPA.

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I'm not missing this and will be there along side many others from my area in support of ending the EPA's involvement in us being able to run our dredges. Should very interesting!

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Man I have a conflict at this time but am trying to get it rescheduled....for as much as I bitch about the EPA I had better find a way to get my butt down there!

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