Author Topic: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012  (Read 35136 times)

Chuck Pharis

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 Please read everything on this post before you make any comments or decisions. The attached Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit is only a DRAFT! It is not a permit and is NOT in force. Both sides (our Task Force) and the state of Tennessee had to start somewhere. It is amazing that the state came up with this 1st draft so soon. We never expected this to happen in 2012. Our Task Force went over every paragraph, line and word with TDEC (Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) and made notes, discussed possible additions, subtractions and changes.
TDEC is heading this permit and they seem to want us to help get back in the water as soon as possible. We got the impression at our meeting on Monday Dec 10 in Knoxville that no one in the state of Tennessee is against recreational prospecting, including dredging.
After you read the enclosed 1st DRAFT, please read our comments below. Please be advised; in any early contract negotiations (yes this will be a contract), both sides normally ask for more than they expect to get and know that many changes will be made in later drafts. Please do not panic when you read some of the suggested rules from the state. Every word in this 1st DRAFT could be changed and modified from our side with suggestions for a 2nd and further drafts. The State is expecting this to happen, so what we need are your suggestions. Our Task Force personnel are only the middle men here. We do not make final decisions, we simply represent all the recreational prospectors in the state and in the USA concerning this Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. At our first meeting with TDEC earlier this year, we gave them ?our 1st draft? and some of our suggested rules are incorporated in their 1st draft. This is very good news!
We are happy with a large part of this 1st draft, but as you read it you will see that some of the rules will need to be modified to make it more workable. We expected this and (with your help) will make suggested changes to these proposed rules for a 2nd draft.
Our task Force will be having a general meeting open to anyone on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 10 am in the Ruritan Club in Coker Creek, Tennessee. This will be the time for YOU to comment on this 1st draft. Every reasonable suggestion we get will be taken back to TDEC and discussed in Feb 2013 at a date to be decided after our general meeting. If you can?t make the meeting, please post your comments here on this topic. Again, anyone and everyone is encouraged to attend and provide input for this. This meeting is not just for GPAA members.
Finally there has to be some "give and take" here. We WILL lose and gain in some areas, so keep this in mind when you read the attached 1st draft and our comments below. Please make simple and non damaging comments as everyone and anyone will read this posting.
You may copy and print the following DRAFT for your and others review.   
Thank you, Chuck Pharis
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                     THIS IS A DRAFT NOT A PERMIT

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
General Permit for Recreational Gold Prospecting__________________     

Effective Date: TBD
Expiration Date: TBD

Activities Covered by this Permit:
This general permit authorizes various methods of recreational prospecting for gold.

Limitations of this Permit:
This general permit does not cover land-based gold prospecting or mining operations or commercial operations.  In-stream activities not described in this general permit may require an individual permit under The Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977.  No property rights or rights of ingress or egress are conveyed by coverage under this general permit nor does it supersede any local, state or federal restrictions associated with zoning, parks, natural areas, wilderness areas, wildlife management areas or other designated use areas.

General Requirements:
The following requirements apply to all classes of prospecting described in this permit:

(1) Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, designated by the state or federal government as containing threatened or endangered species or designated as being critical habitat.
(2) Prospecting is not permitted in streams designated as Outstanding Natural Resource Waters.
(3) Prospecting is not permitted in designated wilderness areas or wilderness study areas.
(4) Prospecting is not permitted in streams listed on the Division of Water Resources? 303d list for contaminated sediments.
(5) Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, managed for brook trout.
(6) All disturbance (i.e. excavation) shall be conducted at, or below, the water surface.
(7) Disturbance of terrestrial vegetation shall be minimized; removal is not permitted.
8. All reject material shall be replaced as close to its original location as possible.  Holes shall be filled and no piles of material shall remain.  No material from the streambed shall be placed on the stream bank.
(9) No chemical processing of gold-bearing materials shall be conducted in, or within
 two hundred (200) feet of, a stream.
(10) All operations shall take place during daylight hours.
(11) When moving between different waters, equipment shall be cleaned in accordance
  with guidelines furnished by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to minimize
  the spread of undesirable flora or fauna.

Class 1:
This class covers non-mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: pans, hand-powered sucker tubes, portable hand sluices and rocker boxes.  In addition to the General Requirements, the following requirements apply to this class of prospecting activities:

(1) Prospecting shall not occur in stream reaches with a wetted width of less than thirty (30) feet and/or a depth of less than eight inches.
(2) Disturbance of stream banks is prohibited.  All activities shall be conducted at least two (2) feet from stream banks.
(3) Implements used to excavate materials shall be no larger than a #2 shovel.
(4) All reject material shall remain in the stream.
(5) Panning operations shall maintain a distance of one hundred (100) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.
(6) Sluices shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between operations as measured along the stream channel.
(7) Sluice dams shall be constructed so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational access, is not obstructed.
8. All sluice dams shall be broken down daily and the disturbed stream substrate  returned as close to its original location as possible.
(9) The use of pry bars, chisels, wedges, shovels, etc. to separate layers of bedrock is not permitted.

Class 2:
This class covers mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, power sluices and trommels.  In addition to the General Requirements, the following requirements apply to this class of prospecting activities:

(1) All operations must take place in-stream.  Operating on stream banks or in the
      floodplain is not allowed.
(2) Operations shall not be conducted within twenty (20) feet of the streambank.
(3) Operation in streams with a watershed area smaller than 100 square miles is not
      permitted.  A listing of acceptable streams is available from the department.
(4) The permit number shall be prominently displayed on any in-stream equipment, using two (2) inch or larger characters and numbers.
(5) Pump engines shall not exceed eight horsepower.
(6) All engines shall be equipped with a muffler and spark arrestor.
(7) The dredge or vacuum hose intake opening may not exceed 4 inches in diameter.
8. All operations shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.
(9) All fueling or servicing operations shall be performed at least twenty-five (25) feet away from the stream.
(10) Blaster nozzles may only be used underwater.
(11) Operations shall not be conducted within one hundred (100) feet of any bridge
        supports or within fifty (50) feet of other road crossings, weirs, ramps or other   
        public structures.
(12) No visible color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than
        three hundred (300) feet downstream of the equipment discharge.
(13) Operations shall be conducted so that upstream/downstream boat, or other 
  recreational access, is not obstructed.
(14) The use of pry bars, chisels, wedges, shovels, etc. to separate layers of bedrock is
        not permitted.

Obtaining Permit Coverage:
Class 1 activities do not require the submission of a Notice of Intent (NOI) or written authorization from the Division of Water Resources prior to commencement of work.  Although written authorization is not required, the activities under that class shall be performed in accordance with all limitations, terms, conditions and requirements of this general permit.

Class 2 activities may obtain coverage by submitting a signed and completed NOI, along with any other required information, to the division.  Each NOI shall apply to one owner and one piece of prospecting equipment only.  Work shall not commence until written authorization from the division is received.  As noted above, not all activities may be eligible for coverage under this general permit and coverage may be denied when appropriate.

Terms and Conditions of this Permit:
All activities covered under this general permit shall comply with all terms and conditions contained hereinafter.

(1) All activities shall be accomplished in conformance with the approved plans, specifications, data and other information submitted in support of the NOI and the limitations, requirements and conditions set forth herein.
(2) All activities shall be carried out in such a manner as will prevent violations of water quality criteria as stated in Rule 1200-4-3-.03 of the Rules of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.  This includes, but is not limited to, the prevention of any discharge that causes a condition in which visible solids, bottom deposits or turbidity impairs the usefulness of waters of the state for any of the uses designated by Rule 1200-4-4.  These uses include: fish and aquatic life (including trout streams and naturally reproducing trout streams), livestock watering and wildlife, recreation, irrigation, industrial water supply, domestic water supply and navigation.
(3) The applicant is responsible for obtaining the necessary authorization pursuant to applicable provisions of 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899; 404 of The Clean Water Act and 26a of The Tennessee Valley Authority Act, as well as any other federal, state or local laws.
(4) This permit does not authorize access to private property.  Arrangements concerning the use of private property shall be made with the landowner.
(5) This permit does not authorize the discharge of any substance into waters of the state.
(6) This permit does not authorize impacts to cultural, historic or archaeological features or sites.

                                                             End of 1st draft
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Here are the comments our Task Force had on the 1st draft.
General requirements:
Item 1:
We need to know what waters the state designates as containing threatened or endangered species, or as critical habitat. This should not shut us out of all waters in Tennessee but will close down some or parts of some.
  Item 2:
  The Outstanding Natural Resource Waters are delineated in Rule 1200-4-4. The ones currently listed do not affect us as they are mostly in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is closed to minerals activities anyway.
  Item 4:
  The 303d list is available online and will need to be carefully reviewed and clarified as to what constitutes "contaminated" relating to our activities.
  Item 5:
  The brook trout waters exist in the National Park and in headwater streams in the national forest (Mainly in designated Wildness areas). We should review this, but it doesn't appear that this will affect us.

Existing and some new EIRs will need to be done and reviewed. These will be publically listed before a final draft is presented.
Item 8:
This does not include our concentrates. We will be able to take reasonable amounts of concentrates home with us. This item will be re-worded in the 2nd draft.
Class 1:
Item-1
This needs to be changed. They are asking for too much.
Item-2
We will ask for a 12? rule here.
Item-4
Again, we will be able to take home a reasonable amount of concentrates.
Item-5.
This is unreasonable and we will ask to have this removed or modified. We should be able to pan as close to others as would be reasonable.
Item-6
We will ask for less distance for the sluices as well.
Item-9
This is probably not going to change. We talked about moving rocks with hand tools and winches and TDEC seems fine (right now) with that. The state does not want bedrock broken apart. We also talked about opening cracks for crevicing and sucker tubing. I am sure we can work out something on this. Further discussion needs to happen on this rule.
Class-2
Item-2
This is not reasonable and we will ask for this to be changed to a more reasonable number.
Item-3
This can't work as this will limit us to larger water ways only. There needs to be further discussion on this and TDEC agrees with us that we need to modify this rule, but we are not sure how yet. 100 sq miles is not reasonable and will stop dredging in all small waterways.
Item-7
This is very good news. We knew we would not get anything larger than 4" for recreational prospecting. We need to be happy they agreed to this in the 1st draft.
Item-8
We will ask for 100' here but we already have a 200' rule in the Tellico Ranger District.
Item-11
We would ask to modify this to a lesser distance on the bridge supports. Maybe 50 feet rather than 100.
Item -14
Again, this would not apply to moving rocks and large boulders. Also we talked about prying apart bedrock to remove deep material and then leaving the existing bedrock there. More talks need to be done on this rule.
Permit coverage:
Class-2
This will change: They will delete "one piece of prospecting equipment only". A permit will be issued to one person and it will apply to all their motorized equipment. Your permit number will be posted on your motorized equipment. The permits will be free and good for a 5 year period, beginning when the Statewide Permit is accepted. If you apply 3 years into the permit period then your permit would be good for the remaining two years. You may apply at any TDEC field office or by mail. It should take around 7 to 10 days to get your permit by mail. Yes, you can apply for a Tennessee permit by mail if you live out of state. The form should only be one page long, front and back. We have not seen the application form yet. ?Denied where appropriate? means that some activities are not covered under this general permit and would require and individual NPDES or ARAP permit. This will be discussed at our next meeting.
We also talked about an additional rule relating to an age limit for a permit and that a permit would not be needed for dredge training. This would be covered under "Class 2". Only the dredge owner would need a permit to train others. More on this after our next meeting. TDEC seems to be ok with our suggestions. This is very good news!
Terms and Conditions:
Items 1-3.
This means that any additional state and local regulations may and could apply in addition to the state permit. For instance the Tellico Ranger District permit. Further details will be listed when we meet again with TDEC. More research needs to be done on this rule.
Item-4.
The permits are valid on private property in Tennessee. As listed, a permit does not give anyone the right to prospect on private property without the land owner's permission.
Item-5.
This means the discharge of any substance into the water that is not already in the water. i.e. "Foreign Substances".
Item-6
This means we can't disturb any historical sites.
 
I did not list any other comments, as the topics not commented on do not seem to be an issue to our Task Force. If you see anything we missed, please let us know.   
 
Our main concerns are with items 1-4 in the General Requirements. It could give us the rights to prospect but take away most of the waterways. We need to further discuss these regulations with the state and have everything in writing before the permit is finalized.
 
Now that you have read the 1st draft, please come to our Task Force meeting and voice your comments. You may also post them here on this topic.
All comments from anyone are welcome. Please remember, this is only a first DRAFT! It is a good start to getting us back in the water sometime in 2013.
Please remember to be polite and respectful with your comments. We are not the only ones reading this, and to this point we have a good working relationship with the State agencies.
The Tennessee state Lawyers have not looked at any of this yet. Also once we get a final draft, public hearings will be open in the 3 areas of Tennessee: West, central and East. That will take a additional 30 days.
I will also ask PLP to review the 1st draft.
 
Our Task Force is made up of: Chuck Pharis, Allan Trotter and David Owens.
Posted Dec 11, 2012 by Chuck Pharis. Reviewed and edited by Allan Trotter.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 12:00:52 PM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
East Tennessee Coker Creek GPAA Chapter President (June 19, 2010 to June 20, 2015)  Member of the Board Of Directors.
GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

BigAl

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2012, 07:58:21 PM »
We need anybody and everybody that does any panning, sluicing, or dredging in the State of Tennessee to read this and comment. This is everyone's chance to get involved and make a difference. Everyone has different areas of expertise and different ideas that we need to hear.

Thanks,

Al
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Rob Johnson

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 08:32:54 PM »
Along with the comments already stated, I notice one area of concern:
Class 1:
(7) Sluice dams shall be constructed so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational access, is not obstructed.

Perfectly acceptable rule on the Tellico River. 
Let's say we are prospecting on the CC lease.  Though a canoe or kayak would fit in the creek it wouldn't make any since to leave a four foot gap for one to be able to pass.  That would let the water bypass a sluce.  Not real sure how it could be worded however.  Maybe that it does not apply to creeks, but does apply to rivers or water ways wider than a certain distance.  Or navigatable waterway.  But even that term leaves too much up to a single persons descretion.

Good work btw.  And thanks to you all!!!

BigAl

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 09:27:59 PM »
We kind of tossed that around. Me more in my head than anything else. My thought is that if there is low enough water flow to allow for sluicing and requiring a wing dam then there isn't enough flow for a canoe or kayak. Basically I think it's a non issue on a creek. Their real interest on this seems to be where watercraft do frequent the rivers. i.e. Tellico River, Little River, etc.

Al
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Chuck Pharis

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 09:34:08 PM »
Good comment Rob, but I am sure they are talking about larger areas where prospectors share the waters with fishermen, swimmers, boaters, etc. This could be made clearer in a 2nd draft.
Keep the comments coming everyone!
Thanks,
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 09:56:48 PM »
Hey guys good work!!  I agree with Rob!  My working over the past 30 years is that you can't trust common knowledge or common sense.  It should be stated someway where someone can temporally dam a stream or creek. 
My reading and understanding is not near par yet but did I read that cons were to be panned within so many yards of the stream?  If I read that correctly will that prohibit bringing home cons to pan at home?
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 10:06:33 PM »
Hello Joe and thanks for commenting. The wing dam for sluicing can be built, but has to be dismantled every day. Their rule about blocking access or passage is to ensure that one recreation doesn't interfere with another. I don't think that this will become an issue, but if someone can come up language to help clarify this then we can try to include it in our comments.

Al
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BigAl

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 10:17:56 PM »
You may have noticed that there are a few rules, laws, regulations that are incorporated by reference into the permit structure. I have copies of them if anybody would like to read them. A few of them are one or two pages, which I could post, but two of them are 30 pages plus. Keep in mind that these are at this point already law / code and are not open to modification. Only the wording of the permit itself.

Al
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Chuck Pharis

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 10:28:20 PM »
We will be able to bring a reasonable amount of cons home. This will not be an issue.
Once we receive everyones comments, if needed we will condense them down before we present them to the State.
The rules that are mentioned but not posted here can easily be looked up on line if needed.
Let's try and keep the comments here short and to the point.
Thanks,
Chuck
« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 10:39:43 PM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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hillbillygold

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2012, 10:30:53 PM »
GREAT JOB......keep up the good work task force

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #10 on: December 12, 2012, 07:24:00 AM »
Looks pretty good to me for a 1st draft, items of concern for me have already been covered, thanks guys the fact that the state has responded with some consesions already is a very good sign in my opinion, Oh I do have 1 question I have heard rumors about sluice lenghts anybody hear anything about that. I ordered a new sluice this week and was told by the manufacturer that he heard about this on the east coast implimenting a new rule about sluices not being any longer than 36"
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 07:38:34 AM by Chuck Pharis »

Chuck Pharis

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #11 on: December 12, 2012, 07:41:16 AM »
I have heard nothing about sluice lengths in Tennessee.
I do not believe "The east coast" could simply do this?
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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DALEBEC

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2012, 07:59:48 AM »
He didnt have particulars, he had just heard SOME of the eastern states were going to do it, idk, might all be rumors

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2012, 08:53:36 AM »
This all is a good start I do have 3 questions.

1) Under class 2 item (4) The permit number shall be prominently displayed on any in-stream equipment, using two (2) inch or larger characters and numbers.    How will this be possible with the Angus and Cal Sluice brand sluices?

2) Obtaining the permit- Class 2 activities may obtain coverage by submitting a signed and completed NOI, along with any other required information, to the division
Will we be required to list every possible creek,stream,river,lake and watershed that we might prospect in or will they already have a list of what areas the permits will cover and what other information might be required?

3) If you don't need a permit for panning how will the people that are panning be informed of the rules that will be in place?

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2012, 09:24:12 AM »
I believe sluices are covered under class 1

Yes they are, Chuck
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 08:02:47 PM by Chuck Pharis »

cloudwalker

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2012, 09:44:26 AM »
(1) Prospecting shall not occur in stream reaches with a wetted width of less than thirty (30) feet and/or a depth of less than eight inches.
This one will not do.  It eliminates every stream that I and most of us prospect.


(5) Panning operations shall maintain a distance of of hundred (100) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.
Could "panning operations"  mean a group of prospectors there together?  I would very unreasonable for a family with children to have them spread 100' apart.

(9) The use of pry bars, chisels, wedges, shovels, etc. to separate layers of bedrock is not permitted.
What is the state's reasoning for not wanting bedrock disturbed? Tennessee is famous for it's mined bedrock.  Anyone on here uses it daily.  From the limestone gravel in our roads and driveways to the limestone in the block and mortar of our buildings.  It's just seems that "disturbing bedrock" was never an issue in Tennessee.  Since I can legally get on the phone and order up bedrock by the dumptruck load, a guy with a prybar shouldn't be a problem.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2012, 10:35:46 AM »
I think somebody needs to take these people panning/sluicing/dredging.  Seems like they have a pretty unrealistic idea of what it is that we do.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2012, 10:56:50 AM »
I agree with Anthony!  They need to see what a responsible prospector does and does not do.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2012, 11:55:25 AM »
i realize this is about DREDGING but! i see a LOT of restrictions on panning and sluicing.... WHY is this? we DONT have many rules for  panning and sluicing now why would we want to add MORE???  there is no problem with panning and sluicing it was with dredging. i say take any "new" rules out of the draft that have to do with panning and sluicing, because why should ALL of us suffer for what a few have done?? we are already paying for what he others have done with all the bad publicity :(  of course this is just my thoughts and i know nobody gives a rats ass about what i think....

5pound

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #19 on: December 12, 2012, 04:50:21 PM »
Well said TNGUY ,Why all of a sudden is panning being critized when this whole thing is supposed to be about DREDGING!

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2012, 06:26:49 PM »
   I think we need to remember what brought all this on. Unfortunately, once again, the actions of a few on the Little River has caused dire consequences all across the state. Reactions in today's world are always knee-jerk and overboard. Our past time to some appears to be detrimental to the environment. We must all represent the best face of the recreational prospector or we will be legislated to extinction. If you see an unscrupulous person, say something. If we don't police ourselves, someone else will, as demonstrated by our struggle with this new permit and it's regulations.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2012, 06:53:47 PM »
(2) Operations shall not be conducted within twenty (20) feet of the streambank.

What operations is this referring too?  Surely not dredging.  We'd have to dredge in the lake.

ARC

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2012, 07:13:10 PM »
i realize this is about DREDGING but! i see a LOT of restrictions on panning and sluicing.... WHY is this? we DONT have many rules for  panning and sluicing now why would we want to add MORE???  there is no problem with panning and sluicing it was with dredging. i say take any "new" rules out of the draft that have to do with panning and sluicing, because why should ALL of us suffer for what a few have done?? we are already paying for what he others have done with all the bad publicity :(  of course this is just my thoughts and i know nobody gives a rats ass about what i think....

I agree. The whole thing started with dredging, now panning and hand sluicing seems to be at a blame also with stiffer regulations. Also if panning and sluicing is limited to the same areas as dredging then I will just have to look for another state.

To be honest. Nothing will change even with all the regulations the state listed. The dredgers that caused this problem will only pick up where they left off. There are some that can't even stay in the limited zones and in the season dates. They honestly believe no laws or rules pertain to them because of their greed.

I also agree that some of the officials in the decision making of rules and regulations should at least see how honest dredgers and other prospectors conduct themselves and view or participate in the process of recovering gold. I would sign up for a demonstration.

How can someone regulate something without first hand knowledge?   

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #23 on: December 12, 2012, 07:26:27 PM »
Next question, and hope, is the permit going to be free or are they gonna stick it to us?

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #24 on: December 12, 2012, 07:34:04 PM »
Everyone please calm down. This is only a first draft. Post your comments here and I am sure many of the first draft rules will be modified.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #25 on: December 12, 2012, 07:51:53 PM »
TDEC asked us to take them out prospecting. We plan to do that early in 2013 well before the final draft. They are not against prospecting. Many different state agencies added rules to the first draft. I promise with your help we will chip away at it and it will work for everyone. As I stated in my first posting, they ask for more than they will eventually agree to in a final draft.
TDEC agrees work needs to be done on the first draft so work with us, attend the meeting and post reasonable comments here. It will only get better. There has to be some give and take to get this through in 2013. After we get our permit there will be more meetings to look it over in a few years. It can be changed at a later date if needed. Probably during the 4th year. Right now I am sure everyone can come up with something all of us can live with in the next few months.
If you only prospect under Class 1, you can read the permit rules here, on the TDEC website, on the GPAA site and at any Tennessee TDEC office.
Again this is only a 1st draft.

Chuck
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 07:57:57 PM by Chuck Pharis »
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #26 on: December 12, 2012, 08:01:45 PM »
Digi and everyone else, please re-read my entire first post. They do not want to stick it to us. The permit is free and you can apply via mail or in person for it.
Thank you for your comments.
Chuck
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 12:24:35 AM by Chuck Pharis »
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ARC

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #27 on: December 12, 2012, 09:06:46 PM »
Chuck,

I read through the draft rules and the one that really concerns me is the Brook trout habitat. There are brook trout in pretty much of all the Cherokee national Forest even Coker Creek. Last weekend I had a brook trout run upstream and back downstream right next to me in Unicoi Lakes. All of the Tellico River and tributaries will be off limits for prospecting along with Coker Creek.  I use too fly fish and I know what I saw.

Also panning and hand sluicing cannot compete with dredging if we are all limited to the same place.  If this first draft passes as law a simple panner or hand sluice will be a thing of the past and there will only be dredging for gold.

If you need a volunteer for panning and hand sluicing for the TDEC, I would be available for them.

The first of the year I will be prospecting in Georgia and North Carolina, just encase.   


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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #28 on: December 12, 2012, 09:28:53 PM »
The brook trout habitat would have to be that which supports primarily brook trout. Anywhere we would work on Coker creek is not prime brook trout territory, as the water is too warm and the diluted oxygen is too low (in the summer). I trout fished for 25 years in the headwater streams and am well familiar with brook trout habitat.

I think the best thing here is to clarify the intent. A stray brook trout sighting should not be seen as brook trout habitat.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #29 on: December 12, 2012, 09:30:39 PM »
Also please keep in mind that they are expecting us to make changes to this draft. This will not go through in its current language.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #30 on: December 12, 2012, 09:35:16 PM »
My comment is you can tell TDEC that I and my son and daughter chose to spend our vacation dollars in N.C this past summer, instead of TN and the Tellico region.  We didn't even stop for gas as we drove through TN.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 09:37:15 PM by baldar77 »

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #31 on: December 12, 2012, 09:40:02 PM »
My comment is you can tell TDEC that I and my son and daughter chose to spend our vacation dollars in N.C this past summer, instead of TN and the Tellico region.  We didn't even stop for gas as we drove through TN.

I understand your frustration, but we are making progress on this and need to try to work out this permit. It is to advantage to offer constructive comments on how to change the items that are too restrictive on us.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #32 on: December 12, 2012, 09:59:30 PM »
Al, any comment I could make about this despotic power grab by these so-called environmentalists would be censored.  They don't care what I think...or anyone else.  They have taken away, with the stroke of a non-legislated edict, everything that this group represents, and then in their magnanimity give you a little of it back to placate you. I'll just do my recreational activities somewhere else.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #33 on: December 12, 2012, 10:06:08 PM »
i fill one of the most important is the width of stream under class 1, and i think if you approach them with only using dredges in the most non harmful creeks and streams in there eyes you would be much more successful!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 10:23:49 PM by diggindave »

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #34 on: December 12, 2012, 10:16:22 PM »
Furthermore the brook trout habbitat in general is the great smokey mountain national park, they usually dont see many brooke below the park line they stay deep in the park and for some reason wont go downstream into deeper mercurier waters, which we cant pan in the park anyways!  Most people i have talked to have a problem with dredging not hand tools and sucker tubes! The stream width is the worst thing i see!
« Last Edit: December 12, 2012, 10:47:48 PM by diggindave »

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #35 on: December 12, 2012, 10:30:00 PM »
I agree. The width of a stream for panning should be immaterial, as long as the minimum distance from the bank is maintained. We need to think this one out and come up with some creative wording for a comment.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #36 on: December 12, 2012, 10:33:14 PM »
Al, any comment I could make about this despotic power grab by these so-called environmentalists would be censored.  They don't care what I think...or anyone else.  They have taken away, with the stroke of a non-legislated edict, everything that this group represents, and then in their magnanimity give you a little of it back to placate you. I'll just do my recreational activities somewhere else.

It's up to you where you go and where you spend your money. Everybody has to make their own decisions. But I do want to make the most of this and everyone's opinions are important to me, as well as the rest of the group.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #37 on: December 12, 2012, 10:50:17 PM »
In the previous post i put sluicing i meant dredging! I fixed the error!

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #38 on: December 12, 2012, 11:02:33 PM »
Hope for the best it sounds like a group effort!

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #39 on: December 13, 2012, 12:29:56 AM »
ARC, I 100% promise, the 1st draft will not pass or even go through as it is. Both sides agree many changes need to be made. All we need is for the Prospectors out there to make comments and suggestions. We will take every reasonable comment back to TDEC and work on a 2nd draft then a 3rd and even a 4th draft. We will not agree to a permit until both sides have reached a reasonable agreement. Don't expect to get 100% of what we ask for. The fact that we have anything this early is very good news! There is no reason for anyone to be upset. We have made major progress and I am sure we will be back in the Tennessee waters later in 2013.
Thanks, and hand in there.
Chuck
« Last Edit: January 11, 2013, 11:43:48 AM by Chuck Pharis »
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #40 on: December 13, 2012, 09:57:00 AM »
Most of the new rules concerning prospecting with hand tools need to be removed.

TWRA has already stated in their comments on Little River incident in the Blount County Daily Times that hand mining does not pose a threat to Tennessee's aquatic life.

"Hobbyists OK

The people TWRA is hearing from the most are the traditional prospectors that fear this will somehow cause them to lose the ability to pursue their hobby, McKenney said.

Tennessee has a long tradition of people panning for gold using sieves, homemade sluice boxes, buckets and hand tools such as shovels and trowels. Panning for gold is considered by many to be an enjoyable family activity. Small-scale panning using traditional techniques and hand tools does not pose a threat to Tennessee's extraordinary aquatic life, McKenney said.

Complaints are centered on practices that include the use of suction dredges to excavate large holes in the river bottom and the discharge of muddy water downstream from dredging activities, according to a TWRA release."
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 10:00:29 AM by cloudwalker »

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #41 on: December 13, 2012, 10:16:40 AM »
i agree 100% with cloudwalker....  YES i dredge YES i highbank too BUT  i REALLY like to just get out and do some panning and listen to nature, nd to be able to take kids out and teach them to pan and enjoy the outdoors is so important!!  the kids spend WAY to much time INdoors as it is,  and any "more" restrictions on Panning is going to ruin it for the future, now i know il catch hell for this BUT if we have to loose dredging and highbanking in TN too SAVE prospecting than so be it, if you can afford to own and operate a dredge than you can afford to drive to NC,Ga,AL or the likes to use it.....   and yes that includes me too :(  like i said in my other post this is about DREDGING and not panning and sluicing.....


PS and YES Chuck i am calm :)

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #42 on: December 13, 2012, 11:14:12 AM »
I personally agree with all the comments concerning hand operated prospecting tooks. Pans, shovels, etc. As I posted eariler, the state needed to start somewhere and I am sure we can get everyone to agree that "Small-scale panning using traditional techniques and hand tools does not pose a threat to Tennessee's extraordinary aquatic life".
This is one of the first issues we will address in our next meeting with TDEC.
Thanks for your great comments.
Chuck
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #43 on: December 13, 2012, 01:05:54 PM »
but if you dredge using the rules and guidelines that we already have for the Tellico district  then you will do no harm. So if you take those rules and enforce them state wide and make an example of the people that break them then you have a working set of rules. As far as the surrounding states that you can go to you can bet that will change too. My nephew works for South Carolina department of natural resources ( the same as TWRA ) we were talking thanksgiving and he said they were waiting to see how it went here before they get into it.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #44 on: December 13, 2012, 04:57:06 PM »
I agree with  traditional hand tools also may be the best way to go! I would drather have handtools with little regulation than dredging which may lead to the end of prospecting in tennessee! The only thing that may seem promising is to try to keep the ability in the COKER CREEK area where the rules are already there and can be proven that it is deprimital to the local acconomy there! I could see that approach might work! keep in mind that the problems lay on certain! waterways with dredgeing! If you keep dredgeing away from those waterways and try to keep dredeging alive in a already regulated area like coker creek you might have success! But if u try to push dredgeing down there throats where they are already getting complaints in certain areas you may be taking prospecting Out of tennessee for good! as stated in certain areas where there are complaints!
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 04:59:53 PM by diggindave »

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #45 on: December 13, 2012, 06:39:21 PM »
I think you should be able to dredge with the usual CC style restrictions.  The problem is when numb nuts' dredge in the middle of people.  Unreal.  The whole x distance from the bank should be observed etc.  There is no reason we can't do our thing, that's redonkeylous.  It sucks for those of us that spent years building up local trust and connections, only to be squatted by the very state that receives our taxes to support their jobs.  I will be losing my job in January, maybe it should be the other way around....or maybe they need a panner on the ground to pay to support their rules.  I'll take that job.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #46 on: December 13, 2012, 09:11:44 PM »
I think you should be able to dredge with the usual CC style restrictions.  The problem is when numb nuts' dredge in the middle of people.  Unreal.  The whole x distance from the bank should be observed etc.  There is no reason we can't do our thing, that's redonkeylous.  It sucks for those of us that spent years building up local trust and connections, only to be squatted by the very state that receives our taxes to support their jobs.  I will be losing my job in January, maybe it should be the other way around....or maybe they need a panner on the ground to pay to support their rules.  I'll take that job.

digi,

I'm sorry to hear about you loosing your job in January. I am hanging by a thread where I work and when they asked me to work this Saturday, I took it. I am on temporary status there and could loose my job any day.

Chuck,

I'll hang in there but there is a wide gap between what they proposed and the rules we have now. At least they are willing to listen to our intake on the regulations issue. I just can't see why they couldn't use the National Forest rules as a basis and go from there. The rules that govern us as prospectors on the National Forest work as long as everyone can abide by them.

What they have in the first draft will not work. People will simply disregard those strict regulations and do as they want until caught. They can only force so much on the people. The Federal Government knows this and that's why we still have a Constitution.  A dredger has already demonstrated this outside the dredging zone in Coker Creek and even out of season.

I fear that dredging will be the only gain to this proposal and the rest will loose by tougher restrictions. Not saying dredging will not have tougher restrictions. But hand prospecting will be a thing of the pass if the only places they have to work is in areas that have already been cleaned out by dredgers. That is why I will be prospecting new areas in other states. I like to find gold as much as anyone else here but if the only place I have is dredge tailings, then I will go else where.
     

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #47 on: December 13, 2012, 10:45:52 PM »
You cant send dredgers out to streams where the landowners own the land under the stream when there anti dredge anyways! They are not acceptive to it and they go immediately kicking and screaming to the mighty river gods and they try to phase gold panning outforever!

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #48 on: December 14, 2012, 01:30:53 AM »
We gave the State the Tellico Ranger District rules and some are in the 1st draft but many are not. We use these as a guide and as I said eariler, the 2nd draft will be better as both sides chip away at this issue.
We meet with the Ranger next Tuesday to talk about the 2013 Tellico rules. We will also talk about this 1st draft. The Tellico Ranger District was in on the talks with TDEC.
I am sure we can get lighter panning rules but we will lose some waterways to dredging and will have to give a little to make the state happy. We WILL be back in the water and I am sure the final rules will be reasonable. We just need some time to hash everything out. The fact that they are talking to us this early is very good news.
Even TWRA agrees that panning does not harm nature. We expected a tough 1st draft as that normally happens in early contract talks. That is why your Task Force is asking everyone to relax and work with us.  8)
Thanks,
Chuck
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #49 on: December 17, 2012, 06:22:03 PM »
There has been a little confusion about the Jan 12 meeting. This is not a general meeting (for and against) a Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. All of that has to go through TDEC. Anyone may attend but we are not here to talk about why we need a permit. Or, why we should not prospect in Tennessee waters.  That was already discussed during our first meeting with TDEC months ago. The only reason for this meeting is to talk about the permit 1st draft. We will go over every word, line, paragraph and topic in the 1st draft that TDEC gave us. We will take all your comments back to TDEC during our next meeting in Feb.
It will take more than one draft to get this approved by both the State and us Recreational prospectors. Once all of us agree on a reasonable permit draft, then the state will hold general meetings open to the public (for and against) the final permit. These meetings will be open to everyone. Locations will be posted sometime in 2013. 
Many prospectors are upset with the 1st draft, WE AGREE!! Please remember, both sides had to start somewhere. It will only get better!
Thanks,
Chuck
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2012, 07:21:22 PM »
biggest issues i had with first draft was specified distances from banks..width of streams we can work in and distances from each other when panning.2 feet from bank  instead of 12 inches may be ok for dredging.even as a group outing panning we would generally be 10 or even 20 feet apart.that might sound a better number to me than a hundred.also was what streams fell into the hundred square mile watershed.i personally like working smaller streams.i think it would be hard to long arm dredge in a stream wider than 80 feet in most casesjust a couple of thoughts.i may be off on my numbers of what was stated in draft if im  sorry for wrong distances 
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2012, 07:37:13 PM »
We continue to get many suggestions coming in and we thank you.
Please keep them coming!
Yes the distances are way too much. The state had to start somewhere and we plan to try and downsize all the 1st draft distances.
Your Task Force
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #52 on: December 19, 2012, 10:33:53 AM »
goes without saying everyone has to start somewhere in the process.i was also curious what streams or rivers had species in them that were protected.may not be right wording but didnt know how many that mightt be relative to the areas we generally work in anyway.
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2012, 08:23:08 AM »
We asked the state to list every waterway that would have any restrictions before we would ever agree to a final draft. They agreed to do that.
We don't want any "hidden or unexplained" issues here.
Chuck
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2012, 09:28:39 AM »
one option might be a limit on nozzel size depending on size of stream.someone like daddydave with a small setup wouldnt be able to work well in a river per say but you would have a harder time selling a 4in dredge in a little stream to the state.i have a 2 and a 4in dredge and i dont have an issue reducing to a 3in to be able to work a smaller stream.could a permit open parts of citico to  dredge or no.distance apart for panners would make it hard to teach a newbie or go out with my wife or daughter and pan and sluice together.im sure alot of us have dug dirt and had someone feeding it into the sluice  for us.
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #55 on: December 20, 2012, 10:09:04 AM »
Andy, that is a very good counter offer to smaller waterways. I also use a reducer for my 4" dredge.
I will add it to our list  8)
Thanks,
Chuck
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2012, 10:12:38 AM »
The thing about panning and sluicing should really only have a couple simple common since rules like staying a foot or two from the bank , and there really shouldn't be any space limits unless they are not wanting families to go out and enjoy being together. It would be like telling a family thats going to float or kayak down little river that they have to be a min of 100 ft apart. theres no reason for some of the ideas they have except to discourage people from being there.
but thats just my opinion.   
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2012, 10:35:20 AM »
Here is a current list of the "Outstanding Natural Resource Waters as delineated in Rule 1200-04-03. Since most of these are in the National Park they should not affect us. (Unless some are added in the future).

GENERAL WATER QUALITY CRITERIA  CHAPTER 1200-04-03

(Rule 1200-04-03-.06, continued)
responsibility for land and water resource management within the watershed of the proposed
stream segment.

The following streams or portions of streams are designated as ONRW:

WATERBODY PORTION DESIGNATED AS ONRW

(a) Little River Portion within Great Smoky Mountains
  National Park.

(b) Abrams Creek Portion within Great Smoky Mountains
  National Park.

(c) West Prong Little Pigeon River Portion within Great Smoky Mountains
  National Park upstream of Gatlinburg.

(d) Little Pigeon River From the headwaters within Great Smoky
  Mountains National Park downstream
 to the confluence of Mill Branch.
 
(e) Big South Fork Cumberland River Portion within Big South Fork National
  River and Recreation Area.

(f) Reelfoot Lake Tennessee portion of the lake and its
  associated wetlands.


I will post a link to the 303d list of impaired waters and also the streams with threatened or endangered speices, and or critical habitat in the near future.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2012, 09:04:33 PM »
Will the TWRA rules for the state also encompass the Cherokee National Forest or will they be separate on the state and federal level?

 

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2012, 09:52:27 PM »
The Tellico Ranger District rules cover their own area. It reads in the 1st draft that any area can have their own regulations in addition to the state permit. I can 100% promise you that we will have to have a Tellico permit to prospect there even with or without a state permit.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #60 on: December 20, 2012, 10:57:26 PM »
I am just wondering if the state rule of 2 feet from the waters edge would not change, will the C.N.F have to change from 1 foot to the new state regulation of 2 feet?  Honestly, having two permits for dredging would not be a problem even with numbering the sluice.

The problems are the distances on both the 2 foot rule and also the distance apart. Several prospectors would spend alot of money and travel time too a area just to find out there is no room for them.   

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #61 on: December 21, 2012, 10:15:34 AM »
Please remember this is only a FIRST DRAFT! We do not agree on many items in this draft. We will ask to have the distances made less.
Yes, there will be at least a Tellico permit and a state permit. The local permits could override the state permits. Only time will tell. 
The new 2013 Tellico permit comes out on Jan 1st. I will post it on the forum as soon as I get it.
I hope we will have a general state permit later in 2013.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #62 on: December 30, 2012, 02:49:48 PM »
I understand that this is a first draft and you have to start some where, being in a union and going thru contract nego. thats how it goes and this is what this is. As already stated I think if they would agree with making the rules the same as Tellico Ranger district there wouldnt be much of a issue. Almost everything in the Class 1 that is different from Tellico Ranger District rules are unacceptable that I know doesnt need to be said I think that was common knowledge to anyone that read it. and as far as the Class 2 the changes that you have already brought up are the issues that need to be worked out. The only think I didnt see mentioned that should be took into account it when you do take these people panning , sluice and or dredgeing you have to remeber that depending on the creek or even the part of the creek your on changes how you go about prostecting, i.e. Lower C.C. vs Middle C.C. they are two different worlds without the ability to work crevies and use a hand dredge or sucker tube its not worth the trip to lower C.C. and digging holes with a shovel in middle C.C. is your only option. and if you go to a place like Little River or Tellico theres a mixture of both, they just need to be shown so they understand that just because it looks good on paper from some one thats looked at one creek doesnt mean its going to work for the whole state let alone one creek its self. In my experance usuely these ideas are come from people that have never really done the activity only heard or watched videos on it and as we all know its a totally different world.I just want to make sure when these people are shown how it is done and what the end result is they understand that most of there proposals are not a one size fits all when it comes to the entire state. and as I already said I think if they would just use the rules and reg. we follow in Tellico R.D. and punish those that are caught not following those rules wel will all be happy , Good lucky . Hope to hear good news in the future.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #63 on: January 01, 2013, 01:30:51 PM »
http://westernminingalliance.org/

Thanks Gary S for pointing this site out to me.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #64 on: January 01, 2013, 07:37:31 PM »
Digi did u get the other letter,I sent ya think it would be good info for other to read also
It has some facts,about us haveing legal rights to mine and prospect
There r a few of these letters iv read from court cases going on in California
There r some attornys r sueing the state of cali and in the lawsuites have referred to law that say outright says that the states cannot override the federal mining rights we have
They may regulate them but they cannot baned or outlaw. Mining on federal lands
These court casses iv been watching have been put on a fast track and they look pretty strong
I will be shocked if the staes wins
« Last Edit: January 01, 2013, 09:29:20 PM by Chuck Pharis »

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #66 on: January 03, 2013, 03:34:13 PM »
Dear Chuck,
     Even though I spend my Prospecting time in Virginia, I live in TN and I commend you and all others who have been working so diligently with the Authorities in an effort to save prospecting in this state. My hat is off to you and I wish you continued success. 

Justin E

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #67 on: January 03, 2013, 07:54:42 PM »
Ok, I don't know enough to really comment on the ruled and what not. I say some of these regulations will be reduced or removed once the powers at be see the equipment in use.  Also, if we're good little boys and gals, we might be able to renegotiate down the road.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #68 on: January 07, 2013, 05:21:32 PM »
Thank you to Chuck, Al, and David for all of your time and hard work to help protect the rights of the recreational prospectors here in Tennessee.  This is a hobby that my Dad and I have come to love over the last several years, and it has really brought us close together and allows us to spend time together while enjoying a shared interest.  There is a lot of science and math involved in prospectng, as well as physics based ingenuity.  If you appreciate learning about thing like specific gravity of minerals, water tension, geological formations and civilization history, you will probably enjoy gold prospecting. I hope the TDEC take time to go out with a crew and experience the fun and learn to appreciate the hobby.  Finding color in your pan is a thrill similar to catching a nice smallmouth.  I appreciate your thorough review of the draft, and I tend to agree with your comments and intended negotiation requests.  To show support, I will give my personal specific comments and review of the draft, below.

During the negotiations, please don't forget that we, up until recently, have been basically free of all regulations on a State level.  I say this to remind that we, as The People, are now looking to allow ourselves to be regulated when we enter to any negotiations of this type.  I do not personally feel that more Government regulation on prospecting is desired by the Majority, but I am also reasonable and in-touch with the times.  I will warn, though, not to expect changes or amendments in the next few years.  Laws, Permits, Regulations... are very difficult to ammend, once they are in place.  You may be led to beleive that things can be easily amended down the road, but it is very difficult and expensive to ever renegotiate a bad contract.   

My Review:
General Requirements, sections 1 - 5:  Please supply an all inclusive list of these restricted waters for review and time to comment.
General Requirements, sections 6 - 9:  Looks ok and reasonable, as long as can remove reasonable amount of minerals/concentrates.
General Requirements, section 10:  Request to remove.  Most people prospect during daylight hours, and no forseen need for this restriction.

Class 1, Section 1:  30 feet width rule would impose huge resrtictions.  Request to reduce this to a minimum of 3ft width(allowing 1 ft away from both banks with 1ft in middle to work).  Request to remove depth restriction language and add language to say "in running water".
Class 1 Section 2:  Change to 12 inches from stream banks, similar to Tellico Dist. rules.
Class 1 Section 3:  Reques to replace with "non-mechanized impliments only".  It will be difficult to measure your shovels and anything invented for future (ie: bucket shovel)
Class 1 Section 4:  OK
Class 1 Section 5:  Request to remove.  Too dificult to administer.  Please include these waters in the list covered by General Requirements sections 1 - 4.
Class 1 Section 6:  Request to remove.  Sluices close together pose no threats, as long as other rules are followed.
Class 1 Section 7:  OK
Class 1 Section 8:  OK
Class 1 Section 9:  Request to remove.  This should not be a problem as long as non-mechanized hand tools used to search cracks.

Cass 2 Section 1:  OK
Class 2 Section 2:  Please reduce to Within 2 ft of stream bank.
Class 2 Section 3:  More research, and a defined stram list is needed.  100 square miles seems very large and restrictive.
Class 2 Section 4:  Remove requirement for numbering the equipment and replace with requirement of NOI on each operator over the agr of 16.
Class 2 Section 5:  What is maximum size engine is listed on Tellico Dist permit?  Would not want smaller size than is on Tellico Dist permit.
Class 2 Sections 6 and 7:  OK
Class 2 Section 8:  What is minimum distance apart on the Tellico Permit?  Would want it to match or be smaller limit.
Class 2 Section 9:  Understandable, although boats far out number mechanized prospecting equipment and not bound by this rule.
Class 2 Section 10:  OK
Class 2 Section 11:  What are the Tellico dist rules on bridge and road proximity? 
Class 2 Section 12:  Please remove.  Cannot control this aspect, and it is usually not large.  As long as following other rules, no need for this regulation.
Class 2 Section 13:  OK
Class 2 Section 14:  Request to remove.  This should not be a problem as long as non-mechanized hand tools used to search cracks.

Obtaining Permit Coverage:
Class 1:  OK
Class 2: Request language change with intent to disregard number of piece of equipment and replace with language requiring every operator over the age of 16 be required to have a NOI on their person or on the adjacent stream bank within reasonable distance(to keep papers dry but also be able to produce if requested by an official).
   
Terms and Conditions:
Section 1:  OK
Section 2:  This could be loosely interpreted, and has already been used to ban dredging in TN... Hard to administer this restriction, so not sure it shold remain as is.  More thought and discussion needed.     
Section 3:  I do not know what these provisions are, so will not comment.
Section 4:  OK
Section 5:  Please add to this to say "foreign, hazerdou,s etc. substances", for clear interpretation. 
Section 6:  OK

As listed in the Task Force's review, General Requirements section 1-4 need to be reviewed closely.  These could have the potential to exclude many, if not most, of the suited waterways used for recreational prospecting.

Thank You,
Brent Netherland

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #69 on: January 07, 2013, 06:42:51 PM »
Brent,

Thanks for the input.

All,

I have created a new section that provides links to all of the documents referenced in the Permit Draft. You can find it here; http://cokercreekgpaa.com/forum/index.php/topic,1455.0.html

Al
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #70 on: January 08, 2013, 02:12:24 PM »
Great comments Brent. I will take them with me to the meeting this Sat.
Chuck
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2013, 08:59:44 AM »
It's at 10:00 at the Ruritan Club. It is a special meeting dealing with the State Gold Prospecting Permit. You are welcome to come by and say hello and provide any input that you would like. I look forward to meeting you. BTW, bring the nuggets. :-)

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2013, 03:03:45 PM »
10 pm? or am? I will be there, and those nuggets aint left my pocket in days lol so I will definatly have them!! I will be up there all day Sat. panning with some buddies from work i am getting them hooked as well lol, now if i could only find a cheap dredge!!
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2013, 03:38:20 PM »
10:00 am. Hope to see you there.
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2013, 06:20:22 PM »
I always get to Coker creek every saturday at or before 8 am!! So i will be there all day!!
Justin Matthews
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #75 on: January 12, 2013, 03:35:27 PM »
We had our meeting today and received many great suggestions. Your Task Force will meet soon and compile everything into a counter offer to the 1st draft. We have not set up a meeting with TDEC yet, but it should be in early Feb.
We want to thank everyone who attended the meeting.
Your Task Force Team
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meeting came to order at 10:30 Am

This meeting was to get a concensuss for our Resonse to the First Draft of the Tn prospecting permit
Chuck, David and Al will be setting up a meeting with TDEC to present our response
Explanation of Agencies involved was given briefly. by Al.
It was noted that we are being observed by a number of States and Clubs as we develop this permit for prospecting
Those in attendance came well prepared and are thanked for all their comments and suggeswtions. This is a response to the First proposal and more give and take meetings may be necessary.
The proposal was reviewed line by line and where appropriate, response noted
Chuck and the task force members will keeep us posted via the Forum.

Meeting closed at 1:20 PM
Tom Matuszak
« Last Edit: January 14, 2013, 02:37:12 PM by Chuck Pharis »
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #76 on: January 13, 2013, 06:42:11 PM »
Has anyone discussed or  thought about cracking and Crevicing what are the rules.this type of prospecting is typically done in the dry on or near the bank and on islands in the rivers. Im taking about exposed bed rock not not digging down to it or busting it apart.Scrapping and scratching a pan full at a time sounds like would be a violation. What dose everyone think. For me this is a natural part of panning and sluicing i would hate  to give up all that good material 

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #77 on: January 13, 2013, 06:57:46 PM »
Check the 2013 Tellico District Rules.

We will be allowed to Crevice out of the waterline

We are going to try for that in the New permit as well.

Tom

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #78 on: January 13, 2013, 10:42:05 PM »
Yes we can crevice in exposed bedrock above the water level but we just can't break it up and remove it. Simply use common sense here. If we tear the creeks up, we will lose them.
The bedrock must be in the creek! Not on dry land. The wording is a little vague but we all know what it means.
Chuck
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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #79 on: February 03, 2013, 08:41:35 AM »
Your Task Force has submitted our counter offer this week via email to TDEC. We want to thank everyone who sent in suggestions and came to the meeting.
After TDEC reviews our counter offer and goes over it with the other Tennessee State agencies, they will email us back a 2nd draft. We will then meet with them to talk about it.
Everything we receive will be posted for everyone to review and comment on.
This will be YOUR permit. We want everyone to be involved in it.
California and other States are waiting to see what we come up with in Tennessee. Our permit might be the guide line for other States to follow.
I also want to thank the members of our Task Force for all the hard work they have put in on this.
I am going to the GPAA Chapter/LDMA Summit in Las Vegas in April. I will report on our progresss there.
As listed in a previous topic, I need input from everyone on topics to discuss at the Summit.
Thanks,
Chuck
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First draft counter offer of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit
« Reply #80 on: February 03, 2013, 12:49:56 PM »
Sorry it took a few days to get this up. I had power failures from the ice storm. Here is the counter offer we sent to TDEC. After we receive their 2nd draft we will post it and meet with them again. We have offered many times to take suggestions from everyone about the permit. We did not receive many. This is your permit, so we took every offer and suggestion you made. We condensed them down and made our 2nd counter offer. We will not get everything we want, and TDEC won't either. There has to be a "meeting in the middle". We believe we did our best with the following counter offer.
There is nothing we can do right now until we hear back from TDEC. If you have any complaints, wait for the 2nd draft and offer your suggestions. Anything can be modified or changed up to the final draft. Even items we currently "accepted as written".
We want to thank everyone who came to our last permit meeting and to those who posted suggestions on line. If you do not get involved, please do not complain.   
Thanks, Your TASK FORCE.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Cover Letter:
Knoxville, TN 37921
Attn: Bruce Ragon
RE: First Draft of Tennessee Gold Prospecting Permit
Gentlemen,
Enclosed please find our comments to your first draft of the proposed Statewide General Permit for
Gold Prospecting. You will see our comments in red. (Note: since we can't do RED here, I underlined our counter offers)
In general we feel that the regulations regarding class 1 (hand tools) are too restrictive. We have
commented on changes that we feel would be necessary to maintain this as a viable activity. Gold
panning and sluicing has already been identified by TWRA as being an activity that does not cause harm
to the ecology of the waterways and additionally has historical significance in the State, not just in the
Coker Creek area, but in other areas of the State as well.
The Class 2 regulations as currently proposed would eliminate this activity from virtually all gold bearing
waterways in the State. We believe more review and discussions will be necessary on this issue to
resolve this in a manner that would be acceptable to all parties involved.
Please carefully review these comments and provide your comments as soon as possible. We are
available to meet with you after you get a chance to pass this around for comment. If you have any
comments or questions in the mean time please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely,
Allen Trotter
CC: Chuck Pharis, David Owens
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is the counter offer to 1st draft from our Task Force:

 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
General Permit for Recreational Gold Prospecting__________________

Effective Date: TBD
Expiration Date: TBD

Activities Covered by this Permit:
This general permit authorizes various methods of recreational prospecting for gold.

Limitations of this Permit:
This general permit does not cover land-based gold prospecting or mining operations or commercial operations. In-stream activities not described in this general permit may require an individual permit under The Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977. No property rights or rights of ingress or egress are conveyed by coverage under this general permit nor does it supersede any local, state or federal restrictions associated with zoning, parks, natural areas, wilderness areas, wildlife management areas or other designated use areas.
Accept as written

General Requirements:
The following requirements apply to all classes of prospecting described in this permit:

(1) Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, designated by the state or federal government as containing threatened or endangered species or designated as being critical habitat.
A link to a web site would is needed to avoid confusion. This topic is too general and could close down most or all waterways to recreational prospecting. Should not apply to class 1. Needs more discussion for class 2. This would eliminate most all larger waterways that contain gold. The dredging regulations should be sufficient as to not affect endangered or threatened species. Land based endangered plant species listed for certain watersheds should be excepted.
 

(2) Prospecting is not permitted in streams designated as Outstanding Natural Resource Waters.
 A link to a web site would be needed to avoid confusion. This should not include Exceptional Tennessee Waters, only ONRW.
 

(3) Prospecting is not permitted in designated wilderness areas or wilderness study areas.
A link for all designated "Wilderness areas and Wilderness study areas" need to be provided to avoid any confusion.  

(4) Prospecting is not permitted in streams listed on the Division of Water Resources 303d list for contaminated sediments.
A link needs to be listed to a web site to avoid any confusion. It needs to be clarified that this "contamination only applies to legacy pesticides and heavy metal toxins. Should not apply to class 1. Would this involve Coker Creek for Mercury?

(5) Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, managed for brook trout.
These areas need to be listed on a web site to avoid any confusion. All water ways that might only contain small amounts of "overflow" Brook Trout need to be open for recreational prospecting. All waterways that "might" contain Brook Trout should not be closed. Yearly reviews can be done to see where the trout might be. 
 
(6) All disturbance (i.e. excavation) shall be conducted at, or below, the water surface.
Accept as written

(7) Disturbance of terrestrial vegetation shall be minimized; removal is not permitted.
Accept as written

8. All reject material shall be replaced as close to its original location as possible. Holes shall be filled and no piles of material shall remain. No material from the streambed shall be placed on the stream bank.
Accept as written

(9) No chemical processing of gold-bearing materials shall be conducted in, or within
two hundred (200) feet of, a stream.
Accept as written

(10) All operations shall take place during daylight hours.
Accept as written

(11) When moving between different waters, equipment shall be cleaned in accordance
with guidelines furnished by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency to minimize
The spread of undesirable flora or fauna.
The State needs to provide a website link to define its "guidelines".

Class 1:
This class covers non-mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: pans, hand-powered sucker tubes, portable hand sluices and rocker boxes. In addition to the General Requirements, the following requirements apply to this class of prospecting activities:

(1) Prospecting shall not occur in stream reaches with a wetted width of less than thirty (30) feet and/or a depth of less than eight inches.
Change to: Prospecting shall not occur in stream with a wetted width of less than 3 feet and covered with water.

(2) Disturbance of stream banks is prohibited. All activities shall be conducted at least two (2) feet from stream banks.
Change to: 12" from stream banks. Stream banks to be defined as where the water level touches the banks on any given day. 

(3) Implements used to excavate materials shall be no larger than a #2 shovel.
Modify: All hand operated tools no larger than a #2 shovel may be used.

(4) All reject material shall remain in the stream.
Add: a reasonable amount of concentrates may be removed for processing out of the stream.
 
(5) Panning operations shall maintain a distance of one hundred (100) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.
This item needs to be removed. Note: The TWRA has posted on its web site: Tennessee has a long tradition of people "panning for gold" using sieves, homemade sluice boxes, buckets and hand tools such as shovels and trowels. "Panning for gold" is considered by many to be an enjoyable family activity. Small scale panning using traditional techniques and hand tools does not pose a threat to Tennessee's extraordinary aquatic resources.

(6) Sluices shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between operations as measured along the stream channel. 
This item needs to be removed. Note: The TWRA has posted on its web site: Tennessee has a long tradition of people "panning for gold" using sieves, homemade sluice boxes, buckets and hand tools such as shovels and trowels. "Panning for gold" is considered by many to be an enjoyable family activity. Small scale panning using traditional techniques and hand tools does not pose a threat to Tennessee?s extraordinary aquatic resources.

(7) Sluice dams shall be constructed so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational access, is not obstructed.
Accept as written

8. All sluice dams shall be broken down daily and the disturbed stream substrate returned as close to its original location as possible.
Accept as written

(9) The use of pry bars, chisels, wedges, shovels, etc. to separate layers of bedrock is not permitted.
Modify: The use of pry bars over 3 feet in length, to remove layers of bedrock is not permitted. Small hand tools may be used to separate layers of bedrock to remove (crevice) gold bearing material. All bedrock must remain in place. Crevicing with hand tools above the water line is permitted in exposed bedrock.

Class 2:
This class covers mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, power sluices and trommels.
Modify: This class covers mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, power sluices and (trommels, 3' or less in length).

In addition to the General Requirements, the following requirements apply to this class of prospecting activities:
 
(1). All operations must take place in-stream. Operating on stream banks or in the floodplain is not allowed.
Accept as written

(2) Operations shall not be conducted within twenty (20) feet of the stream bank.
Change to 12" of the stream banks.

(3) Operation in streams with a watershed area smaller than 100 square miles is not
permitted. A listing of acceptable streams is available from the department.
Delete this item. Some protected streams would be acceptable but must be listed. This topic is too general and could close down all or most of the waterways to recreational prospecting.

(4) The permit number shall be prominently displayed on any in-stream equipment, using two (2) inch or larger characters and numbers.
Accept as written

(5) Pump engines shall not exceed eight horsepower.
Change to: 10 HP as in the 2013 Tellico Ranger District rules.

(6) All engines shall be equipped with a muffler and spark arrestor.
Accept as written
 
(7) The dredge or vacuum hose intake opening may not exceed 4 inches in diameter.
Accept as written

8. All operations shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.
Accept as written

(9) All fueling or servicing operations shall be performed at least twenty-five (25) feet away from the stream.
Add: Propane operated equipment excluded.

(10) Blaster nozzles may only be used underwater.
Accept as written

(11) Operations shall not be conducted within one hundred (100) feet of any bridge
supports or within fifty (50) feet of other road crossings, weirs, ramps or other
public structures.
Change to: 50 feet from any bridge.

(12) No visible color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than
three hundred (300) feet downstream of the equipment discharge.
Accept as written

(13) Operations shall be conducted so that upstream/downstream boat, or other
recreational access, is not obstructed.
Accept as written

(14) The use of pry bars, chisels, wedges, shovels, etc. to separate layers of bedrock is
not permitted.
Modify: The use of pry bars over 3 feet in length, to remove layers of bedrock is not permitted. Small hand tools may be used to separate layers of bedrock to remove gold bearing material. All bedrock must remain in place.

Obtaining Permit Coverage:
Class 1 activities do not require the submission of a Notice of Intent (NOI) or written authorization from the Division of Water Resources prior to commencement of work. Although written authorization is not required, the activities under that class shall be performed in accordance with all limitations, terms, conditions and requirements of this general permit.
Accept as written

Class 2 activities may obtain coverage by submitting a signed and completed NOI, along with any other required information, to the division. Each NOI shall apply to one owner and one piece of prospecting equipment only. Work shall not commence until written authorization from the division is received. As noted above, not all activities may be eligible for coverage under this general permit and coverage may be denied when appropriate.
Change to: Class 2 activities may obtain coverage by submitting a signed and completed NOI, along with any other required information, to the division. Each NOI shall apply to one owner and all class 2 prospecting equipment. Work shall not commence until written authorization from the division is received.
 
Explain: This item needs to be explained to avoid confusion. (As noted above, not all activities may be eligible for coverage under this general permit and coverage may be denied when appropriate). What ?activities?? What is ?appropriate??

Terms and Conditions of this Permit:
All activities covered under this general permit shall comply with all terms and conditions contained hereinafter.

(1) All activities shall be accomplished in conformance with the approved plans, specifications, data and other information submitted in support of the NOI and the limitations, requirements and conditions set forth herein.
Accept as written

(2) All activities shall be carried out in such a manner as will prevent violations of water quality criteria as stated in Rule 1200-4-3-.03 of the Rules of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. This includes, but is not limited to, the prevention of any discharge that causes a condition in which visible solids, bottom deposits or turbidity impairs the usefulness of waters of the state for any of the uses designated by Rule 1200-4-4. These uses include: fish and aquatic life (including trout streams and naturally reproducing trout streams), livestock watering and wildlife, recreation, irrigation, industrial water supply, domestic water supply and navigation.
Web links need to be provided to explain all issues and to avoid confusion. This topic is too general and could close down most or all waterways to recreational prospecting.

(3) The applicant is responsible for obtaining the necessary authorization pursuant to applicable provisions of 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899; 404 of The Clean Water Act and 26a of The Tennessee Valley Authority Act, as well as any other federal, state or local laws.
This permit needs to cover any issues relating to water quality related to the Clean Water Act, Section 404. These activities should not require authorization under the guidelines of the Rivers and Harbors Act or the TVA Act.

(4) This permit does not authorize access to private property. Arrangements concerning the use of private property shall be made with the landowner.
Accept as written

(5) This permit does not authorize the discharge of any substance into waters of the state.
Change to read: This permit does not authorize the discharge of any foreign substance into waters of the state.

(6) This permit does not authorize impacts to cultural, historic or archaeological features or sites.
Accept as written
 
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Submitted, 1st draft comments to TDEC, Jan 30, 2013
Representing the State of Tennessee Recreational Prospectors
Task Force members:
Chuck Pharis
Allen Trotter
David Owens
    Note: We as Task Force members do not purport to represent ALL recreational gold prospectors in the State of Tennessee. We were selected by consent of members present at an open and advertised meeting in Tennessee. Other opinions and representation may be working separately from us. We have no vested or monetary interest in the creation of this permit.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2013, 01:47:11 PM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
East Tennessee Coker Creek GPAA Chapter President (June 19, 2010 to June 20, 2015)  Member of the Board Of Directors.
GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

Marty D.

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #81 on: February 03, 2013, 04:37:02 PM »
Thanks for all the hard work to you and those on the Task Force....that draft looks so much better than what was first drafted by the State......

Chuck Pharis

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Re: First draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Dec 11, 2012
« Reply #82 on: February 03, 2013, 04:52:17 PM »
Thanks, maybe they will accept most of it, LOL!  8) Cross your fingers!
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

BigAl

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Thanks for the comment. I hope something will be resolved soon. We are still working on it nearly every day in some form. Progress has been made even if it seems to be very slow.

Al
Coker Creek Chapter President
Former Coker Creek GPAA Chapter Vice President (Sept 2008-June 2014)
atrotter3563@yahoo.com
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YouTube.com/prospectoral
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GPAA Membership # 240748

Chuck Pharis

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I have all my fingers and toes crossed we will get a 2nd draft soon  ::)
My dredge is ready to find some gold.
Chuck Pharis
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GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

BigAl

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I think the 8hp engine is fine no need to change that to 10 hp with. 4 inch dredge or less nobody will have one bigger then 8. A 10 hp will sink most 4" or smaller just my 2cents


James

I agree, but we did it to match the Tellico District regulations. Just trying to be consistent.

Thanks for the comment,

Al
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digi

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Wow, been out of the loop for months, you guys are making good progress and it is appreciated.  I tried to convince my wife to let me take a job out that way, but no dice, I thought that gold was getting lonely.:)

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We hear that TDEC is currently working on the 2nd draft. Once the Task Force receives it, we will post it here for review. I am sure more changes will have to be made. After we are happy with the final wording it still has to go up for public hearings.
For what we started with, it is moving quite fast through the State.
Stay tuned for more information as soon as we get it.
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

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Wow, been out of the loop for months, you guys are making good progress and it is appreciated.  I tried to convince my wife to let me take a job out that way, but no dice, I thought that gold was getting lonely.:)

I promise to keep the gold good company until you can get back over again.  ;)

Al
Coker Creek Chapter President
Former Coker Creek GPAA Chapter Vice President (Sept 2008-June 2014)
atrotter3563@yahoo.com
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YouTube.com/prospectoral
(865) 748-9818
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BigAl

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Any word if we can pick up a permit at the welcome center or they still working on it

You can get it there 7 days a week.
Coker Creek Chapter President
Former Coker Creek GPAA Chapter Vice President (Sept 2008-June 2014)
atrotter3563@yahoo.com
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YouTube.com/prospectoral
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Tn Guy

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i agree 100% with the safety being too far apart, 2 years ago i had a big rock fall in on my foot, it scared the hell outa me, i got out myself but i didnt know that at the time, but if i needed to holler for somebody and they were 200' away with a dredge motor running they would never hear you :(

digi

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Thanks Al.  There is no such thing as 100% recovery, but the cons I have on the porch right now I think are officially there. :P  It's about time for the Gold Digger Shovel to come out of retirement.