Greetings Treasure Seekers,
It’s hard to believe it has already been a month, time really flies as the year comes to an end. Last month I talked about getting back into the desert for the fall prospecting season. This month I need to talk about the ability to stay in the desert, mountains, forests, streams, and use our public lands. We are very fortunate to have this current administration vs the possible alternative, no matter whatever else happens on the rest of the political front. Some of the very first executive orders from President Trump reversed President Obama’s public land and waterways grab from a year ago March which “nationalized” first the public lands and then later in the month the public waterways. What these actions originally did, was completely take away OUR lands and waters and made them private government property. so much for public land held in trust by the government for the benefit of the people. As it had been done by executive order there wasn’t a lot we the people could do about it. Now, while we have our land and waters back and everything looks great at the moment, we really need to use this reprieve to be vigilant and put in place a system to keep this from happening again. I believe the heavy lifting will be accomplished by groups such as American Mining Rights Association(AMRA), Western Mining Alliance(WMA), Mineral and Mining Action Committee(MMAC), Public Lands for the People(PLP) and others. As your political action person, I will attend and report back to both you and the board on these groups and who it appears will be the best to support for the greater benefit of our Association. Several years ago, we all supported PLP while the dredging suit was going through the courts and they seemed to be the best until their internal struggle. WMA seems to be pulling more for the larger commercial concerns, MMAC is trying to get legislation through Congress to protect our mining rights and get back to the original mining districts and Shannon Poe of AMRA has opened a line of communication with the current administration and Secretary Zinke, as well as, confronted the various BLM field offices threatening suits and educating the supervisors with case law. So far, he has restored Steve Hunt back to the Gold Eye Mine in Quartzite, and challenged the Barstow office over road postings and closures surrounding the Route 66 Gold Miners claims and gone after the BLM in NorCal over dredging.
I attended the recent Octoberfest gathering organized by Jeff and Reb Baraglia and backed up by Jim and Sue Jeffries as a fund raiser and awareness weekend at the Slash X Cafe and Ranch. Five of the SoCal Associations were represented; Route 66, TVP, Valley Prospectors, Hemet, and ourselves. Ken and I were the only ones from our respective groups and it would have been nice to have had some company. The weather was great, there were a total of 150 people at dinner, we did a little digging and had a chance to meet and talk to a lot of great folks. This is not the time to sit idly by and pass a sigh of relief. You need to get involved and support some of these groups in order to keep your rights.
On other fronts this month’s trip will be to the Cargo Muchacho claims, and John Howe made the find of the year so far when he found the One Ring or “ring of invisibility” of Middle Earth on Sunday’s metal detecting at La Jolla Shores Sept 22. I know La Jolla is special, but a part of Middle Earth? Way to go Mr. Frodo. He did try it on and alas didn’t disappear. It is probably on the chain around his neck….my precious….
See you at the diggins
A Happy and filling Thanksgiving to all.