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Rod Seiad

Don't Accept The Premise

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Thanks ICMJ for publishing the current events in the ongoing legal struggles. I also believe we face the greatest legal challenge in 150 years, concerning the Brandon Rinehart pre-emption case. The WMA authored a simple easy to understand explanation of the core issue.

Does the state have the jurisdiction over federal mining claims?


In my view, I cringe each time I read the numerous court documents headed with the same erroneous headline....

"The People of California versus Brandon Rinehart".

Nothing could be further from the truth. Environmentalists and Karuk tribal versus federal mining law, is the correct headline.

You should take a few minutes and deeply study the WMA article. If we allow them to adjust or tamper with our federal mining rights in court, the ramifications will negatively affect all miners. No state will be exempted.

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The future of gold dredging and small-scale mining in the United States is going to court very soon.  We have an entire nation of people who either don't know or just don't care if we survive.  I believe those of us who do know and care need some support and guidance.  This ain't another pissin' contest between the mining associations of America.  This fight is to preserve our constitutional rights.  Each of us on this great forum stands to lose, and I mean BIG TIME!


Brandon Rinehart and his Father were dredging the family claim in Plumas County on Father's Day 2013.  Brandon went to local court in Quincy shortly thereafter.  The judge fined him and placed him on 3 years probation.  The 3 years probation was wrong, he was only mining his own property.  The family finances have nearly become broken due to the strains of shouldering the load to benefit the rest of us.


One of our living legends, Dave McCraken, authored this report on 2/13/14.


"The main briefs have been filed with the Third Appellate District of California in the Brandon Rinehart case. Many of you will recall that Brandon was cited last year for operating a suction dredge in California without a permit. With financial assistance from PLP and others, Brandon hired our attorney, James Buchal, to defend against the criminal citation.  Brandon’s defense was largely based upon our federal preemption argument in San Bernardino Superior Court that the State does not have the authority to prohibit suction dredging, and that their refusal to issue a permit amounted to a prohibition.  The judge in that case rejected the preemption argument on the presumption that we would appeal to the Appellate Court.

Now that the Appellate Court will consider federal preemption, we are on a fast track to get this very important issue decided.  James Buchal did afantastic job in presenting opening and closing arguments. I encourage you guys to read them, because they are very enlightening. The State’s argument is basically that congress never meant for the State to be prevented from stopping mining on the public lands.  Anti-mining activists have also weighed in with their own arguments. So that you can more easily follow along in the progress, we have created a special page on our web site that includes all of the important briefs.

In the event that we win the federal preemption argument, my guess is that suction dredge permits will again immediately be available in California.  This, because a judge will have ruled that we can dredge even if California fails to issue permits. It is impossible to predict how long it will take the Court to issue a Decision. But it is possible it could happen before this next season.  We are providing financial assistance to pursue the preemption argument in the Appellate Court, since that outcome is likely to resolve many of the unsettled matters in San Bernardino Superior Court."


The timeline, legal briefs, and Brandon's words are published on The New 49er's website.


We cannot afford to abandon this case.



James Buchal Attorney of Portland OR is currently running for a seat in the United States Congress.  Google his site.

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