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Public Lands for the People
Gary Goldberg
11070 Brentwood Dr.
Rancho Cucamonga,CA

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PLP And WMA File Lawsuit In San Bernardino Superior Court Against CA Fish & Game
The lawsuit filed 4/12/12 against the California Department of Fish & Game is a “Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief”. Tthe suit is asking for an Injunction against DF&G’s Dredge Regulations and the FSEIR., 4/15/2012 - Public Lands for the People, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) Non- Profit organization has been fighting and litigating for people’s land rights for over twenty years. Now with the support of a new Non-Profit Organization, Western Mining Alliance, they are teaming up to file yet another lawsuit in San Bernardino County Superior Court.

The lawsuit filed April 12, 2012 against the California Department of Fish & Game is a “Petition for Writ of Mandate and Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief”. In essence, the suit is asking that an Injunction be granted against DF&G’s ”newly adopted suction dredge regulations” and their Final Subsequent Environmental Impact Report (FSEIR).

The suit contains fifteen Petitioner/Plaintiffs including Public Lands for the People Inc.(PLP), Western Mining Alliance (WMA), Gerald Hobbs – President of PLP, Keene Engineering, as well as additional small-scale miners with vested interests. While PLP is no stranger to the legal battlefield, the addition of support from WMA has enabled them to increase the number of lawsuits it can sustain with their membership only funding and donations received from members and various other sources.

WMA has taken up the challenge of partnering with PLP, combining their membership fees and donations, to bring more forces to bear against the DF&G’s newly adopted suction dredging regulations and their FSEIR. You may recall that California Legislators enacted SB670 in 2004 which placed a moratorium on suction dredge mining until the California DF&G completed an Environmental Impact Study on the effects of Suction Dredging on the ecosystem. In 2010, California legislation AB120 added an additional moratorium as well as other impossible requirements for DF&G to comply with. AB120 disallows suction dredging until 2016 (PLP currently has a case pending against the State of California and the DF&G regarding SB670 and AB120.)

The newly adopted suction dredge regulations and the inaccurate and incomplete FSEIR add extreme restrictions on miners who are protected by the Federal Government’s 1872 Mining Laws as well as various other Federal laws. The State of California and DF&G are guilty of usurping Federal Law, which is unconstitutional.

In the fifty years of suction dredging, there hasn’t been one reported case of harm to fish. With the adoption of the 1994 Dredging Regulations there is NO danger to fish or amphibian reproduction, since the DF&G has determine the critical time periods when spawning occurs, and regulates the suction dredge season accordingly.. However, overzealous environmentalists continue to ignore scientific “facts” and spread inaccurate and emotional fallacies.

PLP and WMA are hopeful that the Superior Court will finally rule on the side of the miner’s Federal Rights, as opposed to the State’s Regulatory action which has completely ignored Federal and State requirements. This would be a major step in rebuilding much of the devastated economies of California which seems to have been sacrificed for the desires of the few!

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