National Park trying to take Eagle Mountain Public Land

To: Eagle Mountain Boundary Study                                                                                     August 18, 2015

Joshua Tree National Park

74485 National Park Dr.

Twentynine Palms Ca 92277-3597

On Behalf of the Board of Directors of Public Lands for the People and our 40,000 plus contingent members, we hereby whole heartedly support the (NO ACTION) option.

These lands rightfully belong to the people of the United States of America and title should be held in trust for that purpose. The NO ACTION outcome guarantees that these lands and all the wealth they afford remain the property of the people of the United States. You have deceived the public by stating publicly and in print that these lands are owned by the BLM. This is patently false and willfully misleading. The BLM does not hold title to these lands, and we demand that you retract and correct this for the public record.

Joshua Tree National Park now owns almost 790,000 acres! Just how much is enough? It never seems to be enough when it comes to the Federal Government, which has given its citizens an 18 trillion dollar debt. Public records show that the Park Service maintenance budget is backlogged in excess of 10 billion dollars, which is a clear signal that the Federal Government has an agenda to take land ownership away from its citizens, but has no plan to maintain these lands.

We are a mineral rich nation and many of these minerals are located within the Eagle Mountain Boundary Study area. These minerals are valuable to all modern “green” technology. We need to harvest these minerals here in America where it can be done in a sound safe matter, and not overseas where environmental controls are non-existent. We will not stand by and watch the Federal Government piece by piece take ownership of our country, as what happened to the people of Venezuela by the communist Hugo Chavez. When the Government owns all the land we are no longer a free people.

It is our belief that by the Federal Government confiscating our land that you will be violating our rights under the mining law of 1872 (30 USC 22-54), Multiple Surface use Act (30 USC 612B), National Minerals and Mining Policy (30 USC 621A), Federal Land Management Policy Act (3,7,8 and 11).

Let this be for the record. You have been given notice that any option other than ( NO ACTION) will be in our view a violation of the law!

Walt Wegner,                                                                                                                                                                           President                                                                                                                                                                                 Public Lands for the People




BLM Trying to Close Eagle Mountain Area Again

Another plan has been discovered to snap up BLM land and add it to the Joshua Tree National Park. This appears to take away our First Class Miners’ (FCMs) Middle camp claim if successful.
We need a full on assault by ALL of our members whether you are a member of FCM’s or not. Take my word for it, it is an amazing area and worth fighting for.
Take a look at the links to articles and information below. Start sending those emails now. We also are going to need a huge turnout for one of the Meetings on August 5th.
August 5, from 6-8 p.m. at the Joshua Tree Community Center, 6171 Sunburst St, Joshua Tree, CA 92252 Put it on your calendar and be there.

There is a list of meetings and links to BLM documents below…

Of course we would much rather be mining, eating burgers, winning raffles, etc. Unfortunately this is an additional part of what FCM and PLP is about. So talk to your friends and get them to send emails and especially to attend the meeting and show their support to keep public land open to the citizens to DO things, not just OBSERVE things from the safety of their vehicle or at a predetermined point of interest kiosk like its done in the National Park.

Don’t let them fool ya. They may claim they are “saving” the land from solar and landfills, but make no mistake some one is probably also planning a road, camp sites, kiosks, signs, asphalt, restrooms, manmade trails with more signs, and most of all a list of all the stuff you CANT DO.

What we should say: FCM, have 2 active placer gold claims in the area. There are many active claims in the area, plus rich prospecting ground. We are stewards of the land and we not only protect the remaining remnants of past mining sites but we use them as a teaching tool to keep alive the rich mining history of the area. Use your own words but that’s it in a pinch. OR tell them we just don’t want our public land taken away from us-period. We pay our park entry fee to gain access to the area anyway (by driving through Joshua Tree National Park).

I’ll pass more info along as it comes. Check out the links below. Get smart on the subject and PASS THE WORD. Share on social media everywhere! It does not matter whether people you talk to use that land or not. Every citizen should be up in arms over the federal government taking public land away from the people. Off roaders, hunters, shooters, everyone will be affected.

CALL TO ACTION: PLEASE SHOW UP AUG. 5th in Joshua Tree If you can’t be there, please help out with a letter, email, and phone call. Be polite but to the point.

Online Public Scoping Meeting
Date Start Time End Time Location
07/29/2015 1:00 PM 3:30 PM WebEx
Online, see instructions below
Joshua Tree, California

Learn about the Joshua Tree Boundary study from the comfort of your own home or office.

You are invited to participate in one of our public meetings where we will provide information and answer questions about the boundary study process and potential options. We also look forward to hearing your comments.

Meeting Directions/Instructions:
To join the meeting:
1. Please click on the URL/Webinar link below to join the online meeting through WebEx.

2. Enter your name and email address. (Do not click on the Host Log In button above it)

3. Enter password: E@gl3public

4. If requested, enter session (ID) number: 646 217 948

5. Click “Join”.

6. Connect to the audio conference: Dial 1-877-915-86591-877-915-8659 FREE, Participant code: 8902477#

Tips and Etiquette for the WebEx Meeting:
– Please log into WebEx early, as there could be some software downloads, and that our meeting can begin promptly. You have up to 30 minutes prior to the meeting’s start time to make your WebEx Meeting and audio connections.
– When you dial into the audio portion of the presentation, even though you may not hear a ‘beep’, you will be joined to the conference.
– Mute your phone when you are not speaking. If you do not have a mute button on your phone, use *6. *6 will mute and unmute your phone.
– Do not put your line ‘on hold’ while you are attending this call. If you need to answer another line, please hang up, attend to your other call, and then dial back in.

For assistance: contact Barbara Butler at (415) 623-2311(415) 623-2311 or Karen Cantwell at (415) 623-2275(415) 623-2275.

URL/Webinar link:

Enter your starting address to get directions from Google Maps.
Public Scoping Meeting
Date Start Time End Time Location
08/04/2015 6:00 PM 8:00 PM Lake Tamarisk Community Center
26251 Parkview Drive
Desert Center, California

Please join park staff and planners to learn about and discuss planning. You are welcome anytime during the hours identified below.

You are invited to participate in one of our public meetings where we will provide information and answer questions about the boundary study and planning process. We also look forward to hearing your comments.

Meeting Directions/Instructions:

Enter your starting address to get directions from Google Maps.
Public Scoping Meeting
Date Start Time End Time Location
08/05/2015 6:00 PM 8:00 PM Joshua Tree Community Center
6171 Sunburst Street
Joshua Tree, California

Please join park staff and planners to learn about and discuss planning. You are welcome anytime during the hours identified below

You are invited to participate in one of our public meetings where we will provide information and answer questions about the boundary study and planning process. We also look forward to hearing your comments.

Meeting Directions/Instructions:

Enter your starting address to get directions from Google Maps.
Public Scoping Meeting
Date Start Time End Time Location
08/06/2015 6:00 PM 8:00 PM UCR Palm Desert Center
75080 Frank Sinatra Drive
Palm Desert, California

Please join park staff and planners to learn about and discuss planning. You are welcome anytime during the hours identified below.

You are invited to participate in one of our public meetings where we will provide information and answer questions about the boundary study and planning process. We also look forward to hearing your comments.

Meeting Directions/Instructions:

Enter your starting address to get directions from Google Maps.…/……/2015…/joshua-tree-park-expansion-eyed

Steve Scamman
President, First Class Miners, Inc.


To all who supported PLP by purchasing raffle tickets throughout the year, we thank you very much. Our yearly raffle is important to the financial health of PLP, and the support you all have demonstrated is greatly appreciated. We will be rolling out the prizes for the 2016 raffle on our site shortly. Here are the 2015 raffle winners:

Minelab GPX 4800 Detector – Rob Baraglia – CA.
Mining Claim – Stan & Ana Gilman – CA.
Keene 173H High Banker – Jim Karl – WA.
Whites GMT Detector – Robert Gross – CA.
Keene 151S- Dry Washer – O.C. 49ers – CA.
1 oz. Gold – Richard Compton – WA.
Fisher Gold Bug 2 – C.M. Browne – CA.
Gold Cube – R.L. Fuller – CA.
G&G Hawk Knife – Mark & Angel Lund – AZ.
Columbian Amber – Ed Lisle – CA.
California Benitoite – Dan Brown – CA.
Damascus Knife – Mark & Angel Lund –  AZ.
Gold Nugget Ear Rings – Andy Owen – CA.
Quartz Crystal – Francisco Cuevas – CA.
Thank you very much,

PLP Board of Directors




Over the Divide

Dear PLP Supporters and Friends,

It is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of longtime prospector and PLP supporter Dave Fjeld. The small scale mining community has lost one of its own; the type of person who answers to a higher calling, gives without complaint, and stays true to their beliefs. Dave’s wife Carolyn shared with us the idea to set up a memorial donation fund in Dave’s name, along with adding the thoughtful words below.
From Carolyn Fjeld:
GPAA member Dave Fjeld passed away June 12, 2015.  He was an active member of the Pony Express Prospectors club in St. Joseph, MO.  He was also a member of the Lost Dutchman’s Mining Association (LDMA) and Show Me Gold Prospectors club. Dave passed shortly after returning from a month-long trip to the LDMA camp in Stanton, AZ.  He spent his last active month doing what he loved – prospecting for gold, other treasures and sharing this love with others.  His son, Jeremy, and brother-in-law, Russ, joined him on this final outing.
Dave was a huge supporter of PLP, donating money to the cause each year.  He believed in what PLP stands for – that our government lands should be accessed and enjoyed by the public who pay for its acquisition and maintenance.
It would be Dave’s wish to have family, friends, and fellow prospectors donate to PLP in his honor. For those who have an interest in doing so, please navigate to: 

After clicking the Donation button, please be sure to find the special instructions box and earmark your donation for Dave’s Memorial Fund.

Thank you,
Walt Wegner
PLP President

PLP to Defend Small Miner in the 9th Circuit Court

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to take up and fund the defense of John Godfrey in the Ninth Circuit Court on the two remaining charges brought against him by the Department of Agriculture for mining with hand tools on his mining claim. PLP Northern Director Clark Pearson has been working with the federal defenders office from the beginning of this case. To date, three of the five charges brought against Mr. Godfrey have been reversed. PLP admires Mr. Godfrey’s willingness to stand firm on his rights and not cave to an oppressive agency that often abuses the authority given to it by the people. The two charges left are:
Count #3 36 C.F.R. 261.9 (a) Damaging any natural feature or property of the United States.
Count #4 36 C.F.R. 261 which prohibits “constructing, placing, or maintaining any kind of road, trail, structure, fence, enclosure, communication equipment, significant surface disturbance, or other improvement on National Forest System lands or facilities
without a special-use authorization, contract, or approved operating plan when such authorization is required.”
Public Lands for the People is honored to take up this case on behalf of Mr. Godfrey and the mining community at large. Please consider taking ownership of this fight with us and the many PLP supporters across the United States. Many, many of you have stood with us in the legal fights for your rights over the past 25 years, and we sincerely appreciate that (as do your fellow miners and public land users)! We can’t do what we do without you doing what you do.
To become a PLP member, make a tax deductible donation, or find other news of interest, please go to:

Public Lands for the People
20209 Ventura Bl. Ste. 47-466
Woodland Hills CA 91364

And remember- “Let’s take it back and KEEP IT!”

Walt Wegner
President, Public Lands for the People

CA DREDGING Legal Update

Latest Dredging Legal News MAY 28th, 2015

Hello Friends,
We would like to say thanks once again to all of you who have stuck with us through the years, especially the last SIX PLUS YEARS fighting in the courts of California to restore our right to dredge and prospect on Federal Mining Claims. What follows is an update of where we stand legally and what happens next on June 23rd in the combined cases being heard in San Bernardino. Come to court in support if you can. If you can’t be there in person, support us online. We can’t win anything without the support of thousands of individuals. You have made this happen by consistently contributing over the years. THANK YOU!

We are winning and plan on finishing strong! Be part of the winning team! If you haven’t renewed your membership lately, you can do so on our new website:

We will be at the GPAA Gold and Treasure show this weekend in Charlotte, NC. Thanks again to GPAA for their steadfast support of PLP through this long legal battle. Come out to the Gold Show Saturday and Sunday, May 30th and 31st in Charlotte and say hello! We would like to meet you and of course say “Hi” to old friends. Let us know what is happening in your neck of the woods.

UPBEAT Update for PLP Members

As the PLP membership has already been informed, on January 12, 2015, the Honorable Gilbert G. Ochoa, Judge of the Superior Court, San Bernardino County, issued a Ruling which, in effect, granted PLP’s motions for summary adjudication regarding Federal preemption as to the State’s prohibition on suction dredge mining and the 2012 Suction Dredge Mining Regulations (“2012 Regulations”) promulgated thereunder. On May 1, 2015, Judge Ochoa entered an order (nunc pro tunc) formalizing the Court’s granting of summary adjudication, as a matter of law, regarding Federal preemption as to the prohibition on suction dredge mining, and the 2012 Regulations.

The end result of the Court’s Ruling and Order is that California Fish & Game Code § 5653.1, and the 2012 Regulations promulgated thereunder by the Department of Fish & Wildlife (“DF&W”,) are declared unconstitutional, as being preempted by the Federal mining laws. As the Court explained:

“…the State’s extraordinary scheme of requiring permits and then refusing to issue them whether and/or being unable to issue permits for years, stands “as an obstacle to the accomplishment of the full purposes and objectives of Congress” under Granite Rock and a de facto ban.”

Based upon the Court’s Ruling and Order, on May 18, 2015, PLP filed a motion, along with The New 49’ers, for an injunction against DF&W from:

1.Enforcing the provisions of the Fish & Wildlife Code prohibiting suction dredge mining in the rivers, streams, and waterways of California without a permit, and possessing a suction dredge near closed waterways;
2.Enjoining the enforcement of the 2012 Regulations promulgated pursuant to § 5653.1 of the Fish & Game Code; and
3.Mandating the development of a permit program and regulations that do not stand as an obstacle to the full purposes and objectives of the Federal mining laws.

In its motion for an injunction, PLP, among numerous other matters, asserted that the injunction should be granted because DF&W is continuing to violate the rights of the Miners by prohibiting suction dredge mining, and making the Court’s grant of summary adjudication ineffectual. Because of this, the Miners are suffering irreparable injury and harm, including, arrests, threats of arrest, and jail time, as well as substantial monetary loss. PLP stated to the Court:
“What the Miners now seek is the practical mechanism by which this Court’s Ruling and Order is implemented in reality, so that the purpose and objectives of the Federal mining laws can again become a living and practical presence in their lives. Specifically, the Miners ask this Court for the customary remedy in such circumstances; an injunction that is in substance permanent until it might be modified by the Court when and if DF&W devises a lawful and functioning permitting program.”
PLP is hopeful that the Court will grant their requested injunction against DF&W. A hearing on PLP’s motion for the injunction will take place at 8:30 a.m., on June 23, 2015, or as soon thereafter as counsel may be heard, in the courtroom of the Honorable Gilbert G. Ochoa, Department S36J, located at 247 West Third Street, San Bernardino, CA 92415-0210.

-Your Board of Directors

PLP WINS Federal Preemption in Dredging Lawsuits!

The Prez. Sez

On May 1, 2015 Judge Gilbert Ochoa signed an order based on his ruling in the miners favor on the issue of Federal preemption in the suction dredge mining cases in San Bernardino Superior Court. Unfortunately, he did not sign the order that PLP had submitted for him to sign which would have given the miners injunctive relief immediately. In PLP’s proposed order we wanted Judge Ochoa to enjoin the State from enforcing and implementing Fish and Game code 5653 & 5653.1 in their entirety until the adoption of regulations that do not materially interfere with our Federally granted mining rights!
What the Judge signed was basically what he ruled on in our favor back in January. No injunctive relief which is desperately needed after 6 years of this unlawful prohibition!
The New ‘49ers are filing for injunctive relief with the court with PLP signing on, and we will be submitting papers to the court by May 18, 2015. A hearing for an injunction will be held on June 23, 2015.

There are some who are already dredging based on Judge Ochoa’s ruling on Federal preemption, which was very strong in our favor! In his ruling the court found that there is NO triable issue of material fact on the issue of Federal preemption and that as a matter of LAW and in actual FACT, that the State’s “extraordinary scheme” of requiring permits then refusing to issue them is an “obstacle to the full purposes and objectives of Congress”!

The State of California at this time appears to be thumbing their nose at this court and confiscating equipment. They have arrested at least two dredgers that we know of. The DFW even has put on their website that dredging is still ILLEGAL! Unbelievable arrogance on behalf of the Government of California!
We will fight on! We are working hard to get the injunctive relief that is due to the miners in court on June 23, 2015.

We want to thank all who are supporting Public Lands For The People for keeping us in this David and Goliath battle. A special thank you to AMRA who donated 25% of their net proceeds from the GPAA raffle at the Las Vegas gold show to PLP. Thanks again to GPAA/LDMA for their continued support, ICMJ’s Mining Journal, Keene Engineering who donated a 151S drywasher, Mike Pung who donated a Gold Cube plus the new Banjo Pans, and Royal manufacturing who donated a recirculating sluice box to PLP at the Vegas show for our fundraising efforts.

FIGHTING for YOUR RIGHTS for 25 YEARS! Lets “Take it back and KEEP IT!”

Walt Wegner, President

Tribute to Jerry Hobbs

It is with extreme sadness and regret that Public Lands for the People announced the passing of one of its founders, Jerry Hobbs. Jerry passed away peacefully in his sleep Dec. 28th, 2014, after six weeks of struggling with heart issues. He will be missed terribly by Public Lands for the People, the mining community and especially by his family and friends. The Board of Directors for Public Lands for the People pledged to continue to carry the torch in the fight for public lands and mining rights. They have always been committed to doing this, but they are now even more determined to do so in Jerry’s honor. In lieu of flowers, it was Jerry’s wish that people would join PLP; not only donating funds, but getting involved, volunteering to link arms in the cause that he gave his life represented.
Some men seem larger than life by their size, others by what they accomplish in life. Jerry was definitely the latter. He accomplished so much in his life for small scale miners, and especially for property rights and for freedom granted us by the Constitution, that any one tribute could not cover it all. Jerry was a mountain of a man when it came to fighting to keep our Public Lands rights, and he stood up to everyone no matter the odds, fighting for what he knew to be right, fair and just.
He was a visionary, seeing the onslaught of the environmentalist groups and government regulations long before anyone else hardly had an inkling of the threat to our freedom. He was rare in that he not only identified the threats, but acted proactively to thwart those threats by forming what is now known as Public Lands for the People, a 501-c3 non-profit organization that has been spearheading the fight to restore dredging rights in California over the last 5 years, as well as many other, lesser known battles (with many victories!).
Even while lying in his hospital bed, Jerry was more concerned about the affairs of PLP and the legal battles that are underway than his own welfare. Those of us that have known and worked with him over the years were not at all surprised with his dedication to his life’s work, right to the end. You see, these past many years he has dedicated his entire life, morning till night, to helping others. He would often do legal research for anyone that requested answers to public lands/ mining rights/ roads issues. When he wasn’t doing that, he was working on fundraising to keep PLP able to stay in the legal fights.He always had a good sense of humor, except if you were on the wrong side of the issues, then, well, you just don’t cross a man on a mission!
Jerry Hobbs, we will miss you. Your legacy will continue in the capable hands and leadership of PLP. We will continue to build on the solid foundation you have laid. We will never give up my friend; for you, for our kids, and for their kids. We will continue to carry the freedom torch in your honor, the one you inspired to be lit in each one of us. You were a rare leader, a man among men; and in many ways, larger than life. We were blessed to be counted among your friends. You are missed. Good bye friend.Ron Kliewer,
On behalf of the Board of Directors,
Public Lands for the People

2015 PLP Octoberfest Fundraiser Event

PLP is celebrating it’s 25th Anniversary this year! Please come out to honor Jerry and celebrate PLP’s many fine accomplishments with us! We will honor Jerry’s memory and acknowledging his role in mentoring those who are carrying on his legacy of keeping our public lands open to multiple use.

Details of this event subject to change as we plan further improvements.

Click to visit website

What: The PLP Octoberfest
Sponsors: The PLP (Public Lands for the People), MMAC (Minerals & Mining Advisory Council), Sleepy Bear Mining &
American Prospector Treasure Seeker ask you to “save the dates” for the 2015 Oktoberfest PLP/MMAC Fundraiser.
Who: This event is open for gold prospecting, metal detecting, hiking, off-roading, dirt biking, camping, bottle
collecting & relic hunting at an old dump site.

ALL outdoor enthusiast groups welcome!
Any and all age levels are welcome to join. Come on out, find some gold!  This is a family friendly event.

Event Location: Sleepy Bear Mining, Randsburg, CA
Who: EVERYONE is welcome to join in this event.  The claim will be open to
prospecting, metal detecting, off-roading, dirt biking- camping etc.  

When: Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday October 9th through 12th, 2015


* Objective: Our goal is to bring all types of outdoor enthusiasts TOGETHER and UNITE ourselves in effort to raise funds for the PLP and MMAC. The PLP Is a A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization which fights for our rights to public lands. As outdoor enthusiasts & Americans WE ALL have rights to public lands, which are being taken away from us more and more each day. In 2014 we had approximately 300 people attend the Oktoberfest, and we hope to double in size this year!


(volunteers/sponsors/prize donations will be needed for this event)

“Freedom is never more than one generation from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our
children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to
do the same.”
Ronald Reagan
More details will be available as time progresses at:
Please follow the link from the home page of our website and join the “Oktoberfest email update list” to receive more
information as it becomes available.


*** This event will take place pending permit approval.***

Please contact American Prospector Treasure Seeker
via email at with questions.American Prospector Treasure Seeker
28900 Old Town Front Street, #101
Temecula, CA 92590

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Judge Orders Dredging Ban Settelment Conference to Continue in September

After two days of negotiations, California Superior Court Judge Gilbert G. Ochoa has ordered the Mandatory Settlement Conference on the statewide ban on section dredge mining to continue in September.  The conference, which was closed to the public, was held June 24-25, 2014 in San Bernardino, California.

Among the plaintiffs and their attorneys on the pro-dredging side were Public Lands for the People, the New 49’ers and the Western Mining Alliance.  Representatives for the anti-dredging faction were the Karuk Tribe, Center for Biological Diversity, California Department of Fish & Wildlife and the State of California.

PLP Vice-President Walt Wegner said that each attorney met with the Judge privately, and then each plaintiff was given time to speak with Judge Ochoa ‘one-on-one,’ but with their attorneys present in a casual setting in his chambers.

“It was very personal.  In my opinion, it was surreal to address the Judge without being in a courtroom. I’m absolutely impressed with this guy.  He’s going above and beyond and he is being fair,” Wegner said. “He listened.  He heard me.”

At the end of the second day, Judge Ochoa listed numerous points of contention between all parties, and ordered the continuance of the Mandatory Settlement Conference to September 4-5, 2014.  In the interim, the parties are to negotiate in an attempt to narrow or eliminate all points of contention between them.

“This is going to be our starting point for negotiating a settlement,” Wegner said.  “We got the impression the Judge wants to see us back in the water through the Mandatory Settlement Conference.”

Public Lands for the People, its President Gerald Hobbs, its officers and directors, and its attorney, David Young, will be working hard in the next two months to present to Judge Ochoa in early September, a means and mechanism for ending the ban on suction dredge mining, and allowing the miners to work their claims in an economical and environmentally sound manner.