Thank you and give Jonathan Bishop a call at the Water Board
We want to sincerely thank the speakers at the capitol yesterday and all who showed up in support of bringing attention to the devastating effects of over-regulation for a variety of groups like timber, farming/Ag, ranching, small mining and hunting.
Jeff Leavy Timberunity
Assemblyman Devon Mathis R26
Mimi Soros Take California Back
Robert Guardiola Delta Gold Diggers/GPAA
Terry Rapoza State of Jefferson
We were contacted by two additional Assemblymen and one Senator as a result of this event.
After the capitol event, we walked to the California Water Board and as predicted, the arrogance of this publicly funded agency was astounding. We met with (after significant urging) Jonathan Bishop, Chief Deputy Director who told us several months ago “we will be issuing permits, but you’re not going to like where”. He stood firm on the stance that if anyone dug a hole in the ground in California in 1850 or later, they were going to prohibit suction dredging on those areas because the “assumption” is those old time miners used mercury. I asked point blank “did you study each hole, creek or drainage for mercury” “No”. “Are you going to study them” “No”. Obviously the gold rush era miners used mercury, but not all and not in every drainage, creek and location in California. This is a political prohibition plain and simple.
He also stated mercury methylates in cold water and said his own staff (these are scientists with the data) were low level employees and were wrong when they said it doesn’t. Mercury does not methylate in cold water environments like the rivers flowing out of the Mother Lode and mercury levels have risen since the moratorium in 2009 due to dredgers not being able to remove the mercury….98% is removed by dredging.
They do not have the draft proposal of this permitting scheme yet and it has now been more than 3 1/2 years the small-scale miners have been waiting as a result of the passage of SB637.
Perhaps you can send an email to Jonathan Bishop and ask him when they will do their job and release the draft proposal and why they ignore science.
Or give him a call at (916) 341-5820