2024 Grand Raffle

Don’t miss out on our 2024 GRAND RAFFLE, which includes MANY great prizes — Mining Equipment, Alaska Trip, Gold & Silver, a Mining Claim & MORE!

2024 Grand Raffle flyer

2022 Grand Raffle WINNERS!

Thank you to all our donors and all who participated by purchasing tickets! We are gearing up for the 2023 Grand Raffle, contact us if you would like to donate a prize.

The 2022 GRAND RAFFLE Winners are:
Razor Gators donated by www.goldrushtradingpost.com :Calvin Courtnier
Reinke Mining Adventure One year membership donated by www.reinkegoldmining.com :Bruce Madson
Reinke Mining Adventure One year membership www.reinkegoldmining.com :Roger Plata
One Day Trip with Reinke Mining Adventures www.reinkegoldmining.com :Marilyn Nunes
3 0r 4-day Roaring Camp Trip donated by www.roaringcampgold.com :Eras Gattshall
Quarter Ounce gold nugget donated by www.minerskeepers.com :Frank Benard
4-Stack Gold Cube donated by www.goldcube.net :Rocky Tester
Gold Fever Adventure Campground trip donated by http://www.goldfeveradventuresandresort.com/ :Eric Murray
Gold/Quartz specimens donated by MeetingoftheMines7@gmail.com :Tom Neumeyer
Thompson Puffer donated by www.madmining.com :Roger Plata
Minelab Equinox donated by www.theminerscache.com :Harry A. Phillips
Fisher Gold Bug 2 donated by www.fisherlab.com :Bob Carlson
Sierra Blaster donated by www.sierrablaster.com :Robert Daugherty
1 week Skookum Alaska Mining Trip donated by the Harmon Family www.skookumgoldcamp.com :Kim Holmes
New ’49ers LIFE Membership donated by PLP Member Richard Haynes :Stulc
20 Acre Placer Claim donated by Ron Kliewer :Rick Tucker

32 Silver Round winners, donated by PLP for 32 years fighting for your rights!
Jordan Ayotte (won 4 times)
Steven Sherer
Joyce Hughan (won three times)
Frank Benard (won three times)
Robert Davies
Steven Gessler
Calvin Courtnier
Dave Ridenhour
Roger Plata
George Montgomery (won twice)
Teresa Wyckoff
Bill Flint
Kim Holmes (won twice)
Walt Dupois
Eric Murrey
Cindy Shodall
Bob Souza
Roger Sims
Jesse Jimenez (won twice)
Larry Nixon
Julie Hanson

September Newsletter/ FALLFEST Preview

Miner’s FALLFEST is coming! October 8-10 2021
All attendees will get a new PLP membership, or we’ll extend your membership a year for existing members. Each paid attendee receives a dozen 2022 GRAND RAFFLE tickets and free access to the metal detector hunts, common dig and Sat. night BBQ/ potluck! We are gathering at a great mining claim and sharing the gold (keep all you find!), food, fellowship, commercial drywasher common dig, detector hunts, huge raffle (gold nuggets, mining equipment and more!), plus we will be sharing more updates about the success PLP members have had with suction dredge reclamation. Cost is $60 per person, or $60 plus $15 per person for families, kids under 12 are FREE!
SIGN UP here: https://www.publiclandsforthepeople.org/fallfest-2021/
We will be gathering on a very large private mining claim in the historic Stringer Mining District just south of Randsburg, CA. The claim is a short distance from Highway 395, south of Red Mountain. The claim is RV accessible with an area for RVs to park, and tent camping is allowed most anywhere except the main area where we will be hosting the potluck dinner, panning area and group campfire.
We have PLP logo signs on wooden stakes to help guide you to the claim from Highway 395. The PLP registration table will be near the entrance to the claim which is less than a mile and a half from the highway on paved and good unpaved road. Our volunteers will be wearing bright yellow PLP Volunteer shirts and vests. Flag one of us down if you have any questions.
This historic gold and tungsten mining claim is still yielding gold in the washes, on the flat ground and even in the huge dirt piles. Rumor has it the piles were never run, just sampled by the government contractor looking for tungsten around the time of World War II. There have been nuggets found by attendees, and they never get them all! Bring your metal detector and drywasher and keep all the GOLD you find! It is a dry, high desert claim with ample area for dry camping. Be aware there is wildlife living on the claim, we are visiting their home (in the part of the desert that the claim is in, we’ve seen foxes, coyotes, snakes, lizards, jack rabbits, etc.). Do not dig near their homes. We have clean porta-potties on site, extra drinking water and a group campfire (conditions permitting), Friday night and Saturday evening after the potluck dinner, and Miner’s Church and Fellowship on Sunday morning. Please bring your own camp chairs and a folding table if you want to eat on a table, we are short on tables and will be using ours for serving the Saturday potluck/ BBQ dinner and for hosting the raffle. Bring your favorite side dish and or dessert share! After dinner we’ll be sharing what PLP has been working on regarding the PROVEN ways you can now exercise your legal right to mine and perform dredge reclamation. We will have the new PLP DREDGE Cards on hand that spell out exactly what to do to legally participate in suction dredge reclamation in CA. We will also be handing out our new and very useful PLP Forest Service cards specifically designed to keep the Forest Service working within their actual jurisdiction and not overstepping onto your legal mining rights.
It can be hot and cold, but usually not too windy this time of year, so be prepared for any weather. Please bring your favorite main course or side dish and desert to share with the group! PLP will be providing the main course of yummy BBQ. Home-made sourdough bread made by one of our volunteers was so awesome we are providing it once again.
You can check in beginning 11 am on Friday and stay until Sunday. Be sure and show off the gold you find, we all enjoy seeing that freshly dug up gold!
We want this to be fun and educational for experienced prospectors and newbies too. Once again, experts will be on hand to share tips and tricks to improve your gold recovery skills.
NEW! Adult detector hunt! Details at check-in along with published schedule of events.
Back by popular demand: The kids really enjoy the honing their metal detecting skills in the area prepared just for them. The smiles on their faces showed that they sure liked what they found!
If you are new and need help learning how to set up and run your equipment; we’ve got you covered. Need gear? The mining community is always willing to share. We will have some loaner equipment available, and there will be experienced folks willing to help you, but the best option is to join the common dig (learn how a drywasher works and pan the concentrates). Reach out to one of our volunteers on site. There will also be a panning station near the campfire/ potluck area.
Back by popular demand: Professional XRF analyzer which can provide instant assay results for your mineral specimens and gold nuggets. Find out the purity of your placer gold on the spot! What minerals are in that odd piece of ore you found? Bring it and find out! See cover article in the May 2021 Mining Journal to learn more about the XRF.
A HUGE thank you to all those who volunteered at Springfest! You guys made it a successful outing! We are ever grateful! If you would like to volunteer to help us with chores, please email or call us, we could use your help- we appreciate you! Many hands make for a fun outing for everyone.
A big SHOUT OUT to the Mining Journal for publishing the ‘PLP UPDATE’ article every month. They are planning to be at Fallfest and will have complimentary magazines available. A huge thank you to the Mining Journal! www.icmj.com
We are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new friends at our big gathering. Remember, we are still committed to “Exercising our granted Rights while we Make Mining, Reclamation and Multiple Use Public Land Great Again!”
Your PLP Board of Directors look forward to seeing you all out there!
Sign up here: https://www.publiclandsforthepeople.org/fallfest-2021/

August 2021 Newsletter

FOR 31YEARS: PLP exists to “Represent and assist outdoor user groups and individuals interested in keeping public and private lands open to prospecting, mining and outdoor recreation through education, scientific data and legal means.”

August 2021

Many people have requested we offer our opinion of the June 4th Clean Water Act Federal decision in ICL v. Poe

The Idaho Conservation League (ICL) filed a lawsuit against gold miner Shannon Poe three years ago under the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act.  On June 4, 2021, Idaho district court magistrate Justice Bush ruled that defendant Shannon Poe had violated 42 counts of the Clean Water Act while suction dredging in Idaho in 2014, 2015 and 2018.  The maximum each pre-2016 count carries is a $31,000 per day fine and post-2016 counts carry a $51,000 per day fine.  The penalty or “bifurcated” part of the decision will be handed down sometime after March 2022.

Some quotes from the court documents:

ICL further notes that your past and ongoing violations of the Clean Water Act are willful, knowing, and deliberate.

Indeed, it could reasonably be said that Mr. Poe was intentionally advertising to the world not just the fact of his prior suction dredging activities, but also the fact of his intended future suction dredging activities.

The allegations within ICL’s Complaint adequately allege a sufficient injury in fact and, in turn, the allegations sufficiently trace the injury to Mr. Poe’s challenged conduct.  The alleged injury is redressable by enjoining Mr. Poe from violating the CWA and imposing civil penalties as a deterrent.

Finally, in either enjoining Mr. Poe from future discharges into the South Fork Clearwater River without an NPDES permit or imposing civil penalties on Mr. Poe, ICL has demonstrated that a favorable decision would redress its injuries.

*Defendant Poe establishes that suction dredge mining in general and, certainly recreational suction dredge mining, is a “discharge of dredge or fill material.”  See:  Defendant Shannon Poe’s Motion for Summary Judgment Page 2, ¶ 3.
(Emphasis added by PLP)

NOTE:  Additional quoted evidence established or admitted in the case which led the judge to his decision are at the end of this letter.

Defendant Poe waived his right to trial and chose the path called motioning for summary judgment.  This path is common when both sides of a lawsuit agree to the facts of a case but dispute how the law is interpreted or enforced, and this shortcut is generally favored as a savings of the cost to litigate a controversy.  Waiving trial in favor of summary judgment was not a wise choice by defendant Poe.  *To his own detriment and our astonishment, defendant Poe established in his own motion for summary judgment that he is (in fact), a discharger of pollutants which concurs with ICL’s position.  What Poe may not have known is that both 40 CFR 232.2 (EPA) and 33 CFR 323.2 (Army Corps) jointly share the same definition of the term “discharge” of material defined as the addition of such materials to the waters of the U.S.  That is why Justice Bush noted in his decision that:  “Neither ICL or Poe disputes that the material passing through Mr. Poe’s suction dredge and into the South Fork Clearwater River falls within the definition of a pollutant under the CWA.”  Mr. Poe tried to make a no addition argument but in the eyes of the law he had already legally canceled it out by accepting and setting forth that he was in fact a discharger under the Army Corps regulatory authority.  Had defendant Poe not waived his right to trial and gone to trial like the PLP assisted line of cases (Godfrey and Osterbrink), and shifted the burden of proving discharge to the ICL or government, the outcome should have been favorable to defendant Poe.  Unfortunately, that did not happen because Mr. Poe did not wish to go to trial and dispute the fact that he was or was not a discharger.

Mr. Poe has publicly stated that the American Mining Rights Association (AMRA) is prepared to fight the Judge Bush decision against himself as president of AMRA and fight it hard.  Unfortunately and technically speaking, the fight is over and the case has entered a “bifurcated” penalty phase (through March of 2022) — which is a fancy way of saying the legal process is now looking in to the defendant’s ability to pay the judgment.  The scope of this discovery in the penalty phase will go into potential self-dealings to find “the effects Mr. Poe’s dredging had on the South Fork of the Clearwater River, the economic benefit he gained (i.e gold), his history of violations (like paying off the Forest Service violation fines in 2018), his efforts or lack of efforts to comply with the applicable requirements and the economic impact of a civil penalty on him.”  See:  Joint status report and stipulated litigation and discovery plan filed June 21st, 2021.  The road ahead for Mr. Poe is going to potentially cost in the millions of dollars when one factors in the 42 counts, potential punitive damages, and attorney fees from the ICL.  And yes, the Poe and AMRA funding for this bad precedent will go directly into the ICL coffers to put  more miners out of business.

What about an appeal?
A do over at the appeals level would not be fruitful; and cannot cure the fact defendant (Poe) admitted and set forth that he was a discharger and polluter under the CWA.  Also, appealing the case would inflict damage outside Idaho and set bad precedent for all the western states regarding suction dredge regulation.

On a final note:  The June 4th ICL v. Poe decision has seriously maimed, if not killed the efforts on negotiated rule-making for suction dredging regulatory relief at the Idaho state legislature.  PLP researchers in Idaho are hopeful positive engagements can resume.

It has become obvious through the actions that led to, and the course of this lawsuit, that AMRA’s path is not compatible with PLP’s.  There are proper legal and legislative routes for protesting over-regulation that AMRA needs to support — but supporting ICL v. Poe is not one of them.  PLP cannot support self-admitting polluters when their purposeful actions hurt the entire mining community.

-Your PLP Board of Directors
The original.  No compromise.  Standing 31 years strong for Multiple Use on Public Land “RIGHTS”!

Here is additional quoted evidence established or admitted in the case which led the judge’s decision:

14.  From July 14, 2014 to August 15, 2014 (the 2014 dredge season), Mr. Poe operated a suction dredge and discharged sediment and/or other pollutants into the South Fork Clearwater River on more than one day.  See id. at 55. Mr. Poe admitted to dredging on Idaho rivers in 2014, including 13 days on the South Fork Clearwater River in online posts.  See id. at 57.  On August 16, 2014, Mr. Poe wrote an online post, recognizing the necessity of obtaining an NPDES permit and his defiance to do so.  See id. at 59.
19. In August 2015, Mr. Poe admitted dredging on the  South Fork Clearwater River in an online post.  See  Compl., 
62 (Dkt. 1).  In August and September 2015, Mr. Poe made several online posts discussing standing up to the EPA and the Forest Service while dredging.  See id. at ¶¶63-64.
21.  Mr. Poe received ICL’s letter and responded in a June 14, 2016 letter, stating:  “I have no plans, or intent to dredge the SF Clearwater this year, and do not intend to dredge in future years without the appropriate permits.”  See Compl., PP66 (Dkt. 1); see also Poe Decl., 
10 (Dkt. 17-2); Ex. C to Oppenheimer Decl. (Dkt. 20-19).
26.  In online posts, Mr. Poe admitted to dredging on the South Fork Clearwater River on multiple days during the 2018 season and admitted to purposefully failing to obtain an NPDES permit.  See Compl., 
¶¶73-82 (Dkt. 1).  Mr. Poe also admitted he planned to continue dredging through August 15, 2018, and in future years.”

2021 Grand Raffle Winners!

Oregon Dredge Trip #1 Frances McNaul
Oregon Dredge Trip #2 Cheyanne Chapter GPAA
Oregon Dredge Trip #3 Doug Hammond
Fisher Gold Bug 2 Detector: Robert Thurber
20 acre Mining Claim: Brian Zins
Sluicebox #1 Jim Henesh
Sluicebox #2 Thomas Folks
Crevice Kit #1 George Haymans
Crevice Kit #2 Frank Rutkowski
Thompson Drywasher: Jesse Little
Fast Furnace: Ray Christofferson
Laminar Flow Drywasher: Dave Nunes
One Day Mining Trip: Kathy Edberg
Claim Location Service: Ray Christofferson
5 dwt (1/4 Oz) gold nugget: Tony LaValle
4 stack gold cube deluxe: Ernest Nelson
Minelab Equinox Detector: Doug Hammond
Thanks to all who participated this year! Stand by for 2022 prize listing!
Want to help? Donate prizes and make the raffle even better than ever! Contact us at info@publiclandsforthepeople.org
Don’t forget the exciting PLP updates every month in the Mining Journal www.icmj.com

Dredging Resumes in CALIFORNIA Now

News Release:  May 1st, 2021

Suction Dredging is Back in Most of California!
Hello Friends,

Public Lands for the People (PLP) is proud to announce that Suction Dredging will resume in most of California in a form bypassing most of the CA Fish & Wildlife and CA Water Board’s red tape!  Last year PLP released its strategy for a path for legally re-starting suction dredging in 2021.  In researching that path, we made a rather significant breakthrough.  Our researchers that helped to provide the winning arguments for PLP members in the federal Godfrey and Osterbrink CA state court decisions have decided it’s time to release to the public the fundamental reasons why those decisions were won in our favor when all other well-meaning miners have failed in court challenges.  Both Mr. Godfrey and Mr. Osterbrink deserve praise for standing up and successfully fighting the CA Regional Water Quality Control Board (EPA) experts, the CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, and the Forest Service to help give us that path to legally resume suction dredging in California.  The substance of this path revolves around how the federal and state law defines pollutants and discharge along with the intended activity.  PLP is preparing to release materials that the CA Water Quality Control Board and the CA Fish & Wildlife Service may not want you to know about.  These online materials (take 4 steps and a few minutes to perform) along with a simple guide that can be shown to be quite effective when persons carry out the guide, and seriously adhere to its documents and principles outlined on the card.  These materials and guidelines are not only an effective deterrent from citation but a gold mine of legal research that has eluded many until now.  Thanks to our PLP member and donor support, our trips to Washington D.C. have netted us an inside track to data on the environmental agencies that we are now prepared to release to our members.

PLP believes that after a year or two it could be possible to modify this CA Suction Dredge Guide for application in other states such as Oregon, Washington and Idaho.  Please be aware that PLP does not tout “Mining Rights” without promoting reclamation, as there is no such thing as an unfettered right to mine without responsibilities.  Please also be aware that those misusing the CA Suction Dredge Guide may run the risk of citation and dredge confiscation; including those that following individuals that promote the Army Corp 404 dredge discharge system while trying to replicate the CA Suction Dredge  Guide.

PLP members who are renewing online and by mail will start receiving these new guide cards, along with our member card and orange challenge card.  PLP members already in good standing who provide their member number can just request the “CA Suction Dredge Guide” on the PLP info line by voice or email submission and it will be mailed to you.

PLP can say with confidence that the agencies will never treat responsible PLP members the same again.  As you probably know, knowledge is power and a highly effective tool against your enemies who wish to deprive you of your rights!

Join or renew today to know how to effectively and professionally counter the agencies while making Prospecting, Mining and Reclamation Great Again!   Join/Donate | Public Lands For The People

Your PLP Board of Directors

The Original.  No compromise.  Nothing to sell you.  Standing 31 years strong for Multiple Use on Public Land “RIGHTS”