Author Topic: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13  (Read 27334 times)

Chuck Pharis

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Updated: Aug 31, 2014. Please note, this post is no longer valid as the 2014-15 state Prospecting Permit is out and in force as of Aug 27, 2014. I am leaving this post on the forum, for historical reference only.
Chuck Pharis
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Here is the 2nd draft that we received via email from TDEC. Not much has changed from the 1st draft. We are most worried about the General Requirements 1-4 and item 3 in class 2. It those are left in the permit we might get the permit but TWRA could close all or most of the water ways to recreational prospecting by inforcing all or even one of those items. We did gain a few things we wanted but still have a lot of work to do. Item 5 in Class 1 still needs to be deleted and all distances need to be lessened. Please read the 2nd draft and post your comments on this link. You task Force has already reviewed this and we have our own suggestions. You will notice (provide link/list) after many items. We asked for this to avoid confusion. We will ask for each link to be explained in detail at the next meeting. We do not want any surprises later.
We also need to deal with the confusion about crevicing and competent bedrock. Their wording is confusing. 
What happens next: TDEC has asked us for our comments and we are trying to set up a face to face meeting with them asap. We have asked that all state agencies be present at the meeting. Only then will we know exactly where we stand and where we want to go after the 2nd meeting. If we need to progress up the chain of command we plan to do so. remember, this is only a DRAFT and not a permit. It is posted here for your review and comments. 
Your Task Force
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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 aquatic species, aquatic species deemed in need of management or designated as being critical habitat.
(2)   Prospecting is not permitted in streams designated as Outstanding Natural Resource Waters. (Provide Link)
(3)   Prospecting is not permitted in streams listed on the Division of Water Resources? 303d list for contaminated sediments. (Provide Link/List)
(4)   Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, managed for brook trout. (TWRA to Provide Link/List)
(5)   All disturbance (i.e. excavation) shall be conducted at, or below, the water surface.
(6)   Disturbance of terrestrial vegetation shall be minimized; removal is not permitted.
(7)   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.
8.   No chemical processing of gold-bearing materials shall be conducted in, or within
 two hundred (200) feet of, a stream or in wetlands.
(9)   All operations shall take place during daylight hours.
(10)   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. (TWRA to provide 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 width of less than five (5) feet.
(2)   Disturbance of stream banks is prohibited.  All activities shall be conducted at least two (2) feet from stream banks.
(3)   Hand operated tools no larger than a #2 shovel may be used to excavate material.
(4)   All reject material shall remain in the stream.  A reasonable amount of concentrates may be removed for later, off-site processing.
(5)   Panning operations shall maintain a distance of fifty (50) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.  Only one pan may be in use at a given site.
(6)   Sluices shall maintain a distance of one hundred (100) feet between operations as measured along the stream channel.  Only one sluice may be in use at a given site.
(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 break layers of bedrock is not permitted.  Loose rock may be moved and returned to its original position but competent bedrock shall not be disturbed.

Class 2:
This class covers mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, powered 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 five (5) feet of the stream bank.
(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 "8" 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.  Only one dredge may be in use at a given site.
(9)   All fueling or servicing operations shall be performed at least twenty-five (25) feet away from the stream or wetlands.  Propane powered equipment is excluded from this requirement.
(10)   Blaster nozzles may only be used underwater.
(11)   Operations shall not be conducted within fifty (50) feet of any bridge supports, other
  road crossings, weirs, docks, ramps or other public and private 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 break layers of bedrock is
        not permitted.  Loose rock may be moved and returned to its original position but
        competent bedrock shall not be disturbed.



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 this 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 only one owner and only to qualifying prospecting equipment owned by that applicant.  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 waste, or other substances that may be harmful to humans or terrestrial and aquatic life, into waters of the state.
(6)   This permit does not authorize impacts to cultural, historic or archaeological features or sites.


APPROVED:_____________________________________     DATE:____________
                       Dr. Sandra Dudley, Director, Div. of Water Resources
« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 08:17:46 AM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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Tn Guy

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well all i can say is that 90% of the #2 draft is WRONG and IF they make that the rules they will KILL prospecting in TN.  50 foot apart from you wife and kids and you???? that is just assine for crying out loud do they not think of SAFETY???? i got little grandkids that i can take panning BUT im suppose to leave them 50 foot apart???? on of them falls down and starts floating away and im 100 or more feet away how am i supposed to get too them in time......   MY thought right now is that there will be lawsuits against the state for people/kids getting hurt/killed because there parents were following the states rules.....  and God forbid if something happens to a child i  hope the parents sue the state into bankruptcy!!!!   

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TnGuy, we totally agree with you on this. It was 100' apart in the first draft. Any distance between panning in wrong and we will not agree to it. We need to sit at the table and explain to TDEC/TWRA about safety and family prospecting. We will fight for this one no matter what.
Chuck
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DALEBEC

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Sounds better for dredgers, but is killing panning, half of the fun of panning is going with someone and talking as i work @ 50 feet apart we will need mega-phones. Makes it hard to teach others and outings will be next to impossible.Not to mention the stream limitations, sounds like to me they could outlaw most of them the way this is written.   

Weldin it

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Yea, I have a problem with the panning and sluice distances too.

This is to Class 1 where I fall in at:

So apparently we cannot go messing around in a 3 - 4 foot creek. Kills a bunch of spots up here. Maybe when its flooding it would be ok but then water currents are another problem. 12" from each bank in a 3' creek at least leaves me 1 foot of wiggle room.

Another thing, since this is going legaleese, you might want to have all the waterways defined  under the coverall term "Stream". We have Branches, Forks, Creeks and Rivers.

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5 ft from the banks would do away with all of coker creek  pretty much. and I've never been to wildcat but from the pictures I've seen it would be out also. 50 ft apart for panning  and 100 ft for sluicing where do they come up with these numbers? that would be like saying you can only have 1 person in a boat and you have to be 100 ft apart. I suggest you invite the people your supposed to be meeting with to come down to the club property and do a little schooling for them. its hard to try and make them understand something when they have no real idea of what your talking about. If they are truly interested in resolving this then they would jump at a chance to learn all they can about the process . I might be wrong, I have been before.   
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winnit

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I agree with family and friends panning together. My son is 9 years old and loves panning. He loves just finding an odd shaped rock as much as a gold flake. I do trust the State of Tennessee will consider his options when making a decision about his future as a prospector. I trust they also remember how they got into office and the people that made that decision.

Chuck Pharis

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If we can get TWRA to attend the meeting with TDEC we will try and educate them on recreational prospecting. Some of the items are totally wrong. We thought we would gain more after the 1st draft but we have not. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. We called TDEC Friday and left a message. We will try again Monday morning.
We have a lot of work to do.
Chuck
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winnit

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Thank you Chuck for all you do. I am glad you are looking out for all of us.

It is the entire Task Force that has worked very hard on this. I am just a part of it.
Thanks,
Chuck
« Last Edit: April 06, 2013, 07:15:46 PM by Chuck Pharis »

Auprospector

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Wow! it is quite obvious the TWRA dose not want any prospecting anywhere in Tenn.  All of the items in the draft are exstreamly neggative. How about having the TWRA making a list of what kind of prospecting can be done in detail with a list of places instead of all the NO this and NO that. Telling people how far apart they must be is crazy. Are they going to be there to measure or are we supposed to measure ? God forbid you were a few feet off. Rules must be spacific.  What if the TWRA show up and point out violations that were there before you and now you loose your equipment and money. The  only safe permit would be for designated areas with no restrictions, Think about that instead of all those rules.

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That is the main reason we want TWRA to attend a meeting at the TDEC office ASAP. Everything needs to be fully explained. Yes it does sound like they want to keep us out of most of the Tennessee waterways but we are not done yet. There is still work to do. So far we have only met with TDEC and not TWRA. We are sure most of the tough items are coming from their office. We just need to sit down across the table with them and talk about recreational prospecting and that we do not hurt Mother Nature.
Chuck
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digi

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It is really sad the TWRA is trying to flex.  Heck, their anglers they have no problems with cause more damage than we do.  Can't walk anywhere without seeing hooks, lines, and sinkers in trees and the creeks.  Not to mention the trash.  They obviously don't understand it and I am glad you are trying to get them in to listen to reason. 

winnit

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Would a letter campaign to our Representatives Help?

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Not yet. We need to meet with them first and ask a lot of questions. Allan talked to TDEC today and they are going to contact TWRA to see if they will attend the meeting. No date set for it yet but we want it ASAP.
If we need a "plan B", we will let everyone know.
Great idea, hold onto it.
Chuck
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 TDEC has contacted our Task Force and set up a meeting on Tuesday April 23. We asked if TWRA could attend and TWRA said they would be there. This is very good news as we can sit across the table with them and have them explain to us about items 1-4 in the General Requirements and other topics that we do not agree to in the 2nd draft. I am sure we will know where we stand with the permit after that meeting.
We will go over every topic, line by line and word by word. Please understand, we will not get 100% of what we ask for. There will have to be a compromise so both sides will be happy. A good permit is better than no permit. One of the main questions we have is: where will we legally be able to prospect and dredge. If TWRA plans to restrict some waterways, tell us now what they are. We also will ask to have no panning distance restrictions. Education on what we do is very important here. No Family wants to have their Kids 50' away from them when panning?
Once the permit is agreed to and issued, we plan to ask for a meeting before the permit expires. We will review how it worked and see if any changes need to be made. We do that with the Ranger in December of each year concerning the Tellico permit. 
If we still have issues at the end of the meeting, that would be a good time to contact others in the State to help us.
We will post everything that happens in the meeting here on the forum for your review and comments. Your Task Force is speaking for YOU. We can't do this without your help.
We still need your comments and suggestions on the 2nd draft posted here. We will take your suggestions with us to the meeting.
As we said earlier, no one is stopping you from doing something yourself. This is your right so set up a rally, talk to others and pool your information. Write letters, etc. Just be sure that you have your information correct and do not post rumors. If you do write to any state official, be sure to include everything that has happened from the beginning. All that information is right here on the forum.
Finally if we believe that we can't make any further progress with the 2nd draft, we will need everyones help and will ask for it. We will know a lot more on April 23.   
Hang in there,
Your Task Force.
Chuck Pharis
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really the only distance limitations we need in the panning and sluicing part of the permit  is the distance from the bank, putting a limit to pans or sluices in a given area is nonsense . anything without a motor on it or connected to it should be able to be worked  in the same area so families can stay within arms reach.
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They are asking for different distances for differant typs of prospecting. We have no problem with the dredge distance as it is the same in Tellico. We would like to make the bank distance shorter and of course totally get rid of any panning distance. I am sure when we talk directly to TWRA and explain safety and teaching panning that distance will go away. This will be the frst time TWRA has been at a meeting.
Chuck
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D-Ferguson

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it was 20 ft in the 1st draft I believe, and it should try and be the same as the other permit. if not you would be restricted to a stream 15 ft or wider.  and you can bet if twra  is in control of the state permit they will enforce it even in the nat forest. they enforce the hunting laws there and you can bet they will be there too.
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Chuck Pharis

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5' means no dredging in a 10' wide waterway. we need to reduce this. That would shut us out of most creeks in the state.
Chuck
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This is EXACTLY why we wanted TWRA at this meeting. We are going to ask them the same question!!!!!!!!
 :o  :o  :o  :o  :o
By the way, those remaining 3 rivers will have some kind of endangered tadpole in them,,,,,
« Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 07:35:10 AM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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Do you think the Tellico Ranger would be an asset at the meeting? My thought is, if there is a State employee who can attest to the rules we are asking to change and how they have not impacted the Tellico, it may add some validity to our statements about the lack of impact on streams in general. Just a thought. Chuck seems like he has a pretty good relationship with the Ranger Station.

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The Task Force has already talked about that. We believe the topics we have issues with are from TWRA. The Ranger is on the states side in drafting the permit so it woulld be a conflict of interest for us to invite her. She met with TDEC to help draw up the 1st draft. She is for recreational prospecting and that might help us out in the long run in her district.
Thanks,
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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Please check out this forum topic Tuesday evening April 23 for information about what happened at the meeting with TDEC and TWRA. Your Task Force wants to thank everyone for their great comments and suggestions.
We will put those comments together and bring them up at the meeting.
There is still time for your suggestions so please post them here. 
Your Task Force
Chuck Pharis
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chuck,
dredging apears to be a class 2 type  does this mean we will have to file a noi for any dredge operation and will it need tobe filed for every individual outing or use? also we would have to wait for each noi t be approved, seems like they are treating all dredge use as  though it were a mining operation , another point are the water restrictions . they have already excluded 65 to 70 % f the waters in which we use our dredges simply by stream size and will close the others for species protection or water quality reasons. we have gained nothing and lost alot.   

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If we end up with anywhere to dredge the requirement would be to file a NOI with TDEC. The NOI would be against the State General Permit (ARAP) and would only need to be done once per individual for the duration of the permit. This duration is 5 years beginning with the date of issuance of the Permit, but not necessarily the date of approval of your NOI.
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Thanks Al
That makes more sense but the restrictions in the permit as i read them are very open ended to the the side of restrictions. The water shed issue is not to bad asmost of the areas are very large . the endagered species clause is concerning , you can find endangered or threatened species in almost any waterway if you look hard enough. Has anyone spoken with PLP about this or are there any plans to take this to the next level? I came from California 12 yrs ago and still have family there we have always been avid prospectors\treasure hunters and now I am seeing the same things happening here only we dont have any mining law precedent to help our situation . I think we need outside help. A wait and see attitude will cost us any right or freedom we have to pursue our hobby on PUBLIC OR Private property   

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They should adjust fishing permits to have only one fishing pole per 50 feet.  Now that would cause fireworks. ;D

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Louie, I have spoken with Gerry at the PLP and there is nothing they can do. The PLP covers the western USA where they have a different mining law and claims. I met again with him at the Vegas gold show.We talk often on the phone and he gives us general advice but our issues are out of their hands.
We do need outside help and as soon as the TWRA posts their current regulations in a few weeks we will know more at where we stand. Right now all we have is a draft. We will talk more about this at our chapter meeting this Sat. The Task Force will gove a full report about our last meeting with TDEC and TWRA.
Rght now we would be fighting blind until we see what they come up with after out last meeting. They said they will post something early in June.   
Chuck
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They sure drag their feet when it comes to something that would benefit our case, but be late on a payment to them or something and they will stalk you like Freddie Kruger with everyone available and sub out for others.

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Chuck could you post an update here?


TDEC is no joke. Neither is an NOI or ARAP. I worked 3 years for a civil engineer, who got paid to fill those forms out and submit them to TDEC along with their fees which start around $250 range (if I remember correctly?).


Does anyone have any links to research on the impact of recreational prospecting or related topics? If so please send them to me.


Thanks,
Bryan



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Yes the Task Force will post an update as soon as TDEC posts their current recreational prospecting rules and regulations in a few weeks. Right now we have nothing to update. We are waiting to see what they will post. After that we will be putting together a group to contact Tennessee State Officials.
Hang in there, we are waiting too.
Your Task Force.
Chuck Pharis
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Xaero

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Chuck could you post an update here?


TDEC is no joke. Neither is an NOI or ARAP. I worked 3 years for a civil engineer, who got paid to fill those forms out and submit them to TDEC along with their fees which start around $250 range (if I remember correctly?).


Does anyone have any links to research on the impact of recreational prospecting or related topics? If so please send them to me.


Thanks,
Bryan

Chuck's before and after pictures from California would make great evidence to what nature can do to fix what prospectors have done.  Anything in an actual creek is gone the next day or gone in a few minutes if we fill in our own holes.

Simple searches on the internet yield bad things about gold mining (not prospecting but come up when you use prospecting as a search term).  While its all mostly irrelevant it is still not good for our cause.  Maybe we could hit up UT and see if they were willing to do actual research on what a gold pan and shovel can do to a creek?

I still think my fishing pole argument is also valid against gold pan distance on the current draft.

Chuck Pharis

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Thanks, you bring up some great ideas. We will need all we can get when TDEC/TWRA posts their recreational prospecting rules any day now. Your Task Force is gathering up everything we can for the next step. We ask everyone to stand with us and post your suggestions and ideas. We should know very soon what our next step will be.
As soon as we have an update we will post it here. So far we have heard nothing from the state.
Of course at any time, anyone may contact any state official and let them know what is going on. It is tough at this point to fight a draft. We have had our last meeting and ran into a brick wall. We will be asking for everyone's help and support very soon.
Thanks,
Chuck
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digi

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Man, any word? 

sysbee

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Yeah come dredging with us bro lol leave the good tards in tennessee
Dredgers like it deep

digi

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My dredge will be warming up soon with vengeance.  If I get this job Monday I might get one with a robot arm just to give me a shoulder massage while I am under the water.:)

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yea right IF you wife says you can :) :) :)  8)

digi

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Keep your fingers crossed for me Shan, this is a job I WANT!!!!

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TDEC had a meeting the first week in July at their Nashville office. I know they are behind on getting the regulations posted but we hope they will come out very soon.
We will let you know as soon as we hear anything.
Chuck
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digi

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Seriously, what is the hold up?  Everyone works hard to pay taxes and give these people jobs, but they are dragging their feet.  Is there any line of communication?  The state can rush to try and crush the spirit of the teachers in the state that the country's future relies on, but they can't come to a consensus on something like gold panning which actually has no negative effects on the state.  What a twisted country we live in.

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Seriously, what is the hold up?  Everyone works hard to pay taxes and give these people jobs, but they are dragging their feet.  Is there any line of communication?  The state can rush to try and crush the spirit of the teachers in the state that the country's future relies on, but they can't come to a consensus on something like gold panning which actually has no negative effects on the state.  What a twisted country we live in.


only in america can you get a pizza to your house faster then a cop :( :(

Chuck Pharis

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We believe the State and their Lawyers are having problems adding new rules to existing clean water act laws. This is only a guess but they are over 2 months late posting the new permit rules.
We can and should only wait so long. We talked about this at our chapter meeting today.
We now have some help from the American Mining Rights Association. The President Shannon Poe called me a few days ago and we talked for 1 1/2 hours. They are going to investigate the legal laws in Tennessee concerning TDEC/TWRA stopping dredging and implementing state recreational prospecting rules without public hearings and going through the correct channels. The state might have moved to fast and legally can't do what they are currently doing.
AMRA might even have some money to help us out. Right now they need some time to check into our state laws and regulations. This is the first time anyone from out of Tennessee has offered to help us. Their website is: americanminingrights.com They are based in Coulterville, CA but help out states with mining and prospecting issues all over the USA. Mr. Poe is an expert on the law and should be able to read our current laws and figure out if TDEC/TWRA is doing something against the law.
I will keep everyone informed when I get more information. I will also pass all information to our Task Force. I am sure Shannon will want to talk to Allen and David too. This just happened a few days ago so we need to give AMRA some time to investigate.
Chuck Pharis
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 06:38:08 PM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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sysbee

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Here's the deal I did my research and pulled some favors for contacts in tennessee my work does a lot of work for state and federal agencys in 5 states that i dredge in so here's the deal there will never be dredging in tennessee and alowing it at coker is against the law but they over look it some how right now?kathy the main ranger has some pull which is super nice of her to do! Is the only thing i can think of ( so thanks kathy )But with that said in 2015 the dredging will be at a zero tolerance its all but been voted on because its small change to them.. could they change it maybe but they would have to take it to a federal level. So ppl need to save there cash if they wanted to fight it be glad you have it for two more years!. What they will vote on and decide is gold prospecting in general what they will allow you to use pan and small hand scopp is all they have to give anybody...but they might allow different districts to vote( ranger districts) tellico might allow sluices and shovel..while the ocoee district they might allow onny pan and small hand scoop etc...now there is a way to dredge private property I will not say how to go about doing it but if you follow the paperwork they can not denie you but that's for you to figure out untill then have fun dredging is the small area tennesse has for now.Also dredging will be stopped at coker you know why because of indangered fish species yet in coker I never knew either lol but there there!
Dredgers like it deep

BigAl

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Here's the deal I did my research and pulled some favors for contacts in tennessee my work does a lot of work for state and federal agencys in 5 states that i dredge in so here's the deal there will never be dredging in tennessee and alowing it at coker is against the law but they over look it some how right now?kathy the main ranger has some pull which is super nice of her to do! Is the only thing i can think of ( so thanks kathy )But with that said in 2015 the dredging will be at a zero tolerance its all but been voted on because its small change to them.. could they change it maybe but they would have to take it to a federal level. So ppl need to save there cash if they wanted to fight it be glad you have it for two more years!. What they will vote on and decide is gold prospecting in general what they will allow you to use pan and small hand scopp is all they have to give anybody...but they might allow different districts to vote( ranger districts) tellico might allow sluices and shovel..while the ocoee district they might allow onny pan and small hand scoop etc...now there is a way to dredge private property I will not say how to go about doing it but if you follow the paperwork they can not denie you but that's for you to figure out untill then have fun dredging is the small area tennesse has for now.Also dredging will be stopped at coker you know why because of indangered fish species yet in coker I never knew either lol but there there!

What you're saying is exactly what I've been "reading between the lines" over the past few months.
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Chuck Pharis

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We do not need to roll over and play dead to any of this. If we do they will walk all over us. They will use harmfull chemicals, fish, snails, frogs and anything else to keep us from prospecting. This is happening in many states and if we lose hope they will get their way and we will could lose almost everything.
If there are endangered critters than we all should work together to protect them. In California the state has stopped dredging because of Salmon. Most of the waterways never had a Salmon in them for a million years. The prospectors would gladly respect Salmon spawning in any waterway that actually HAS Salmon. Why close down every creek in the state that never had Salmon in it?
Do not give up the ship. There should be a compromise but we WILL lose something in the long run. Asking for everything now days is just not going to work. I am watching HOFFA on Netflix right now and those days are over. No one should be able to "strong arm" anyone. Both sides have rights and this needs to be balanced out so each side gains something. We will never get back what we had but we need to fight for a "compromise". 
The state is stalling right now because what they are trying to do might be against the law. 98% of the prospectors in Tennessee want to respect nature and do not want to tear our waterways up. There are a small handful who do not care. Those are the ones that the state needs to go after. If one driver speeds they might get a ticket. The state does not ban driving. If one person steals from a store, the state does not close all the stores and ban everyone from shopping.
We are at the beginning of a long road and together we should be able work something out. We just need to avoid demanding everything but be strong and try to get all we can and not let the state take everything.
They can't say "close Coker Creek because of mercury. Over the years dredgers have removed most of the mercury in the waterways and NOT moved it downstream. We take out virtually ALL of the mercury we dredge up so the state should be PAYING us for what we clean up. If they can prove we kill endangered fish and other critters I will be the first to stop dredging in that area. The Tellico Ranger District still lets us in there because we clean it up and respect nature. The Rangers cite violators and leave the "good prospectors" alone. What would I do: Set up strict but reasonable prospecting rules in Tennessee. Give heavy fines to the violators and take all their equipment. Auction if off to the highest bidder. Do NOT punish everyone for what some idiots do. The forest is in better shape now because of us. Two years ago we set up a dredging season at Doc Rogers with the Rangers and it is working fine! The state can do the same thing during fish spawning season. Rodney King said "why can't we all just get along". Those words should be engraved in stone.
The ship might seem to be sinking so BAIL, BAIL, BAIL! Together we can get back some of what we love to do. Apart we might lose almost everything. We are recreational prospectors NOT commercial miners.
Many might not agree with my views so step up right here and tell us what you think!
Our forum is open to all comments, suggestions and ideas. 
Now back to my movie and another cold beer.
Chuck   
« Last Edit: August 17, 2013, 11:11:20 PM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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s.knox38

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dang chuck thats your buddies you what to throw under the bus

sysbee

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Dredging is out trust me we need to educate the state that using a sluice and a full size shovel has little impact ( if any)
Dredgers like it deep

s.knox38

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Dredging is out trust me we need to educate the state that using a sluice and a full size shovel has little impact ( if any)
sounds good to me sysbee were do we start

Chuck Pharis

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s.knox38. Not sure what you mean about throwing anyone under the bus? I am on our side and am not ready to give up on dredging. We now have some help (AMRA) and they are looking into our clean water laws. If the state thinks we might give up on dredging they will walk all over us.
Of course education is very important here and we might be educating our Congressmen and Senators very soon. You and sysbee can be in the front line to meet with them.
I am very interested in what AMRA will come up with. We might find out that TDEC/TWRA can't stop us from dredging right now and can't legally change or add regulations to the existing clean water act without going through proper channels, public hearings and the Government above them. I respect the laws like most of us so whatever legally passes so be it and I will follow all the laws. Until then we need to be strong and not let them take advantage of us. I have no intention of "throwing any of us under the bus"?
Chuck
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s.knox38

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from everything posted since last year it was your friends that you're wanting fines and equipment seizers to happen to is what i ment

Chuck Pharis

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I have no sympathy for anyone who caused this issue or will break the rules in the future. The past is over and we need to move forward. If anyone breaks future rules I hope the state socks it to them.
Friends or no friends, this happened and now we need to dig ourselves out together.
I am just as upset about this whole thing as you and everyone else is. 
Chuck
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laws and rules can be changed..........just as they are trying to do now, but that doesn't mean we have to like it  - but lay down and quit- never, that's how they win and keep chipping away at everything else. Clean Water Act.... they ought to be thanking us for getting all the trash out of the creeks. On little River I have seen rafters ($$$$), people fishing ($$$$), locals come and use this area and just get up and walk away and leave their trash were its at. What about the nasty foam bubbles floating by ???($$$$) - I don't believe that is natural :o. If you have been to LR you no what im talking about  :o. Seems like a lot of people are contributing but only a few are being blamed..... just seems they would be more worried with all the pollution getting in than someone moving a little dirt and taking it out of the waterways.

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It was going to happen one day or the other either way it came.if some agency can help great  but until they can change a federal law good luck as long as we can sluice,sucker tube and crevice that's not to bad 95% of people don't have a dredge anyway, and most folks don't use high bankers either. But to hope for anybody to lift a dredge band is foolish wont happen on (public land) be thankful like I said there over looking Coker and tellico at the moment, it's kinda like the pot law the states allow it but the federal says no,once again the state say you can have this area but if the federal level ever comes in on this lol well the state and whoever is pushing buttons will fold
« Last Edit: August 18, 2013, 07:14:36 PM by sysbee »
Dredgers like it deep

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Sysbee, I see you have been doing some homework, that is good. The dredging thing is going to be a tough sell on our end, and to fight only for that may get us hit harder than necessary. We need to look at this from a couple of angles and go from there. Not going to put too much up on here right now. We all need to put some heads together and take some course of action.

Hillbilly, add a few more dollar signs to you last post and you will see what we will be fighting. Furthermore in the court of public opinion we will lose thanks to some bad press and some "reality" gold shows.

Al
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sysbee

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #54 on: September 13, 2013, 10:48:21 PM »
Ok I have been holding back sorry guys ..here's the skinny wait maybe a month the state will post the new guidelines not (rules) they have not posted anything cause they have been wanting to approace this without hurtng either side..any motor equip is gone new that was coming no dredge no highbankers in the state including gpaa and forest property. The us foresty gives us a permit to dredge tellico right......ok..but....they do not have the authority to give us a discharge permit hmmmmmm.still with me ok if so to dredge you have to discharge it like a hand and glove....anyway some creeks will be off limits and some ok panning ok.....sluicing shovels well maybe its up in the air...that's all ill say for now I have some nuggets to find. :)
Dredgers like it deep

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #55 on: September 13, 2013, 11:02:07 PM »
Ok I have been holding back sorry guys ..here's the skinny wait maybe a month the state will post the new guidelines not (rules) they have not posted anything cause they have been wanting to approace this without hurtng either side..any motor equip is gone new that was coming no dredge no highbankers in the state including gpaa and forest property. The us foresty gives us a permit to dredge tellico right......ok..but....they do not have the authority to give us a discharge permit hmmmmmm.still with me ok if so to dredge you have to discharge it like a hand and glove....anyway some creeks will be off limits and some ok panning ok.....sluicing shovels well maybe its up in the air...that's all ill say for now I have some nuggets to find. :)

Discharge what?  Dredges do not add anything to the stream that was not already there.  Is stream water or the stream bed is a confined substance?  This is the improper use of the word in more than one way.

Definition of discharge with example (from Google.com search "Define Discharge"):

1. tell (someone) officially that they can or must leave, in particular.
2. allow (a liquid, gas, or other substance) to flow out from where it has been confined.
"industrial plants discharge highly toxic materials into rivers"

Yea, we are discharging highly toxic materials into rivers that were never there to begin with.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2013, 11:03:48 PM by Xaero »

sysbee

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #56 on: September 14, 2013, 09:35:21 AM »
Its silly in some ways and understanding in some the main reason in my opinion is when dredging we do create a silt layer and that silt will cover the eggs of fish and in return will starve the eggs of oxygen. Will it kill fish no in most cases no but eggs yes.also dredge holes when they fill up all that material is concentrated in one hole when should be in nature spread out over the creek either way fill in ur holes with as many rocks as possible. And also be careful when dredging in the tellico even tho us forestry and gpaa property has given permission to use there land they have no authority to give us a discharge permit if one person complained like at the little river they would shut it down there too. But you ask if we dredge or highbank we have to discharge our material yes that's where they stop it. I can give give you permission to hunt my land ...but its your responsibility to make sure you have all the correct paper work and permits. Imagine if you were deer hunting u have the land owner permission to use his land u have a hunting license so can you still hunt yes absolutely all you want but.... you have no deer tags so can you shoot the deer no....you can dredge but no rocks any size must be discharged from your sluice
Dredgers like it deep

winnit

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #57 on: September 15, 2013, 12:37:24 AM »
Maybe we should get UT involved, apparently they got the state to approve fracking on state land,,,, we just need to say our panning is science based,, I just wonder,,,, how did they get the state to approve removing anything from state owned land,,, oh I see they just read the rules,,, not call the state and ask ,,, because if they called the state they would have been told they could NOT remove ANYTHING from state property,,, huuuummmmmm read and follow the printed rules 

Gathering or collecting for personal use reasonable quantities of natural products of a renewable nature including but not limited to fruits, berries, and driftwood is permitted; however, the gathering or collecting of such products for the purpose of commercial sale or other commercial use is prohibited.
The gathering or collecting of small quantities of pebbles or small rocks by hand for personal use is permitted; however, the collection of such objects for the purpose of commercial sale or other commercial use is prohibited. 

They probably told the state they were going to fracture the rocks by hand and take the samples for "personal use" to study and see if they held natural gas. Then bring the samples back and put them right were they came from after they were through.

Remember we pan in the name of science

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #58 on: September 17, 2013, 03:42:09 AM »
they got the state to approve fracking on state land,,,,

I just heard about that too.  Lets trade something that does nothing to the environment (gold prospecting) for something that will damage the area its done in AND discharges toxic waste elsewhere.

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #59 on: September 18, 2013, 07:24:55 AM »
I realize that proper forestry requires tree removal in areas.  But have you seen what is left behind after the heavy equipment is finished?  Not just the tree removal; but where they cross streams, hillsides, etc.  Empty hydraulic containers laying about as well.

This is just a side note to act as a comparison.  The timber folks need to be required to have an inspection following their activities with extreme fines if they are in violation.   Saying all of this is to say;  that in view of dredge folks that do damage, seldom do they get caught.  In the event they are caught and found guilty the fines and punishment needs to be extreme as well.  By writing this into the potential permits we may get it would give them a deterrent.

I would also be in favor, (along with participation), of contributing time as an observer in various needed areas to help deter violators.  I feel this is distasteful as well; but our rights are being violated by a few that need to be caught.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2013, 10:08:10 AM by daddydave »

Kodiak Charlie

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #60 on: February 19, 2014, 03:53:35 PM »
As you can see how this topic keeps sliding down the list of current topics and the age of the last post you can tell what has happened to the promised "Regulations".
There will never be any. IMHO
Just a continuation of the ban.
I've sent emails and letters to the state asking for an update!
Have you ever heard crickets churping on a summers eve?

Any updates would be appreciated.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2014, 03:56:42 PM by Kodiak Charlie »

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Re: 2nd draft of the Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit. Posted 4/5/13
« Reply #61 on: February 19, 2014, 05:58:36 PM »
We talked about this subject at our Feb meeting. We will be posting more about this soon.
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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