Author Topic: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.  (Read 70932 times)

Chuck Pharis

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2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« on: April 14, 2014, 01:56:36 PM »
NOTE: To our first time visitors, please note that there are more than one page in this topic. After you read page 1, look for additional page numbers at the bottom left of each page.

To all Recreational Prospectors.
The TDEC (The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) has just sent us their final draft of the 2014 Recreational Prospecting Permit. The news is not good. Many changes were made from the last draft that we posted and from the way Allen Trotter and I (Chuck Pharis) read it, it looks like over 90% of the gold bearing waters in Eastern Tennessee will be closed to all recreational prospecting. This includes panning and dredging. We just received this and have a lot of reading to do. The final draft refers to web site links that define what waters are restricted and or totally banned. There are 185 pages in the 303d list alone!
Please read the attached Final Draft, then look at ALL the web links and make your comments here. Do not just read the Final Draft.

If this permit goes through on June 30, 2014, recreational prospecting as we know it in the state of Tennessee will virtually be over.
Public hearings will be on Thursday May 15 in the 3 locations shown in the attached notice. Note that anyone may make written comments and send them directly to TDEC. We ask that everyone who reads this notice, send in your comments ASAP. We ask that you do not panic; In addition to your personal comments, tell the state that banning recreational prospecting in Tennessee will hurt tourism, family outings, and a good source of income for the Eastern part of the state. All we need is some simple State prospecting rules and if we follow them we will NOT hurt the Tennessee State waters! Strong words might help but panic and threats will not. Please use common sense when responding with your comments and suggestions. If there is any way you can show up at one of the public hearings, please do so but be prepared to speak and have your facts straight. If you can't attend (I am sure it was set up on a Thursday for a reason), then send them your comments ASAP.
You do not have to be a resident of Tennessee to send in your comments or to attend the hearings. Many come from out of state to prospect here. This permit will affect everyone, not just the prospectors in Tennessee.

What else can we do: Allen Trotter has a call into TDEC to talk with them about the permit. Allen will let us know if anything comes from that phone call when they both talk. TWRA and TDEC had taken over a year to put this together, now we only have a few months to respond.

We suggest that if you have any contacts on the State level: Senators, Congressmen, Governor, etc; Please send them this mess and see if it can be blocked ASAP.

When you read 303d, you will see the Tennessee waterways that will be banned or restricted. On that list is Little River and 11.5 miles of Coker Creek. We believe this means we will lose Doc Rogers and the rest of Coker Creek from the head waters to the Polk County border. Yes that means our GPAA property too. This permit covers all public and private land in the State of Tennessee.

I will not comment anymore at this time. We need to do something right now to stop this madness. Please step up and help keep recreational prospecting in the state of Tennessee.

Please note: All web links are at the end of this permit. I have separated them into one area for easy viewing.

Here is the address to respond to:
Division of Water Resources William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243

Chuck Pharis
President: Coker Creek GPAA Tennessee chapter.
Posted: Monday April 14, 2014.

If you see any posting errors please let me know.
Anyone may re-post or distribute this topic as needed.

This is a DRAFT and is set up to go into affect on June 30, 2014 after the Public Hearings. Do everything you can to STOP IT!
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 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Effective Date: June 30, 2014
Expiration Date: June 30, 2015
Activities Covered by this Permit
This general permit authorizes various methods of recreational prospecting for gold or other precious and semi-precious ores, metals, and minerals in the waters of Tennessee. For the purposes of this general permit, prospecting is divided into two categories or classes. The classification is based on whether the prospecting is done manually or mechanically. The two classes have different limits and conditions under which the work may be carried out.
Class 1 includes non-mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: pans, hand-powered sucker tubes, portable hand sluices and rocker boxes.
Class 2 includes mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, powered sluices and trommels.
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 operator and only to qualifying prospecting equipment owned by that operator. Work shall not commence until a written Notice of Coverage (NOC) from the division is received. A NOI may request coverage for up to three locations totaling one mile or less of stream with no more than one-half mile in any single stream. As noted above, not all activities may be eligible for coverage under this general permit and coverage may be denied when appropriate.
A fee as established in Rule 0400-40-11-.02 will be assessed to applicants intending to conduct Class 2 activities under this general permit. An annual maintenance fee as established in Rule 0400-40-11-.02 will be assessed to those individuals holding general permit coverage for Class 2 activities unless a Notice of Termination is received prior to the one-year anniversary of the NOC. A Notice of Termination form is included as Attachment 1.
Limitations of this Permit
This general permit does not cover land-based prospecting or mining operations or commercial operations. In-stream activities not described in this general permit may require an individual
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 2 of 5
permit under The Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977 or at the discretion of the Director of the Division of Water Resources. 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.
Any authorization under this general permit is valid until the expiration date indicated on a specific Notice of Coverage (NOC). If an NOC expiration date coincides with the date the General Permit is modified, reissued, or revoked, and you have commenced or are under contract to commence this activity before the expiration date, you may have up to twelve (12) months from the date of the modification, reissuance, or revocation of the General Permit to complete the activity under the present terms and conditions of this general permit.
Class 1 Special Conditions
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. Class 1 prospecting is not permitted in any stream or segment thereof, with a wetted width of less than thirty 30 feet, that is 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. Class 1 prospecting shall not occur in any stream reach with a wetted width of less than five (5) feet at the spot of the activity.
3. Disturbance of stream banks is prohibited. All digging activities shall be conducted at least two (2) feet from the water?s edge.
4. Hand operated tools no larger than a #2 shovel may be used to excavate material.
5. All reject material shall remain in the stream. Concentrates may be removed for later, off-site, processing.
6. Panning operations shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.
7. Sluices shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between operations as measured along the stream channel. Only one sluice may be in use at a given site.
8. Sluice dams shall be constructed so that upstream/downstream boat, or other access, is not obstructed.
(9) All sluice dams shall be broken down daily and the disturbed stream substrate returned as close to its original location as possible.
10. 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.
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 3 of 5
Class 2 Special Conditions
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. Class 2 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. All operations must take place in-stream. Operating on stream banks or in the floodplain is not allowed.
3. Operations shall not be conducted within five (5) feet of the water?s edge.
4. Operation in streams with a watershed area smaller than 100 square miles upstream of the area of operation is not permitted. A listing of acceptable streams is available from the department.
5. 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.
7. All engines shall be equipped with a muffler and spark arrestor.
8. The dredge or vacuum hose intake opening may not exceed 4 inches in diameter.
(9) All operations shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel. Only one mechanized form of prospecting may be in use at a given site.
10. 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.
11. Blaster nozzles may only be used underwater.
12. 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.
13. No visible color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than three hundred (300) feet downstream of the equipment discharge.
14. Operations shall be conducted so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational access, is not obstructed.
15. 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.
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 4 of 5
General Conditions
The following requirements apply to all classes of prospecting described in this permit:
1. Prospecting is not permitted in streams designated as Outstanding Natural Resource Waters.
2. Prospecting is not permitted in streams listed on the Division of Water Resources? 303d list for siltation, channel alteration or contaminated sediments.
3. Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, managed for brook trout.
4. All disturbance (i.e., excavation) shall be conducted at, or below, the water surface.
5. Disturbance of terrestrial vegetation shall be minimized; removal is not permitted.
6. 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.
7. No chemical processing of materials shall be conducted in, or within two hundred (200) feet of, a stream, wetlands or in any area where chemicals or waste are likely to enter waters of the state.
8. All operations shall take place during daylight hours.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. This permit does not authorize access to private property. Arrangements concerning the use of private property shall be made with the landowner.
14. This permit does not authorize the discharge of any waste, or other substances that may be harmful to humans, terrestrial or aquatic life, into waters of the state.
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 5 of 5
15.habitat is prohibited.
16. This permit does not authorize impacts to cultural, historic or archaeological features.
17. Supplemental Requirements
The following additional requirements apply to all Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) properties including, but not limited to, Wildlife Management Areas (WMA?s), TWRA public hunting lands, property leased by TWRA for any purpose, and/or TWRA river access and boat launch areas:
1. Class 1 (non-mechanized) activities are not permitted in any stream with a wetted width of less than twenty (20) feet.
2. Class 2 (mechanized) activities are not permitted on any of the TWRA lands listed above.
___________________________________ Sandra Dudley, Ph. D., P.E. Director, Division of Water Resources
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Related web links:
303d link: http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/docs/wpc/2012-final-303d-list.pdf

Outstanding natural resource Waters: http://environment-online.state.tn.us:8080/pls/enf_reports/f?p=9034:34304:8392501094824:::::

Streams managed for Brook trout: http://www.twra4streams.org/brook_trout_locations_maps_compressed.pdf

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PUBLIC NOTICE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION Division of Water Resources William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Proposed General Permit for Recreational Prospecting Notice of Public Hearing
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Where the Commissioner finds that a category of activities or discharges would be appropriately regulated under a general permit, the Commissioner may use a general permit to authorize alterations to waters for specific categories of activities that are substantially similar in nature and that result in no more than an insignificant or de-minimis degradation of water quality. Notice of coverage by the division of activities that qualify under general permits may also serve as a 401 Water Quality Certification pursuant to The Clean Water Act.
GENERAL PERMIT DESCRIPTION
The Division of Water Resources has drafted and proposes to issue a general Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit for recreational prospecting in Tennessee?s waters. This general permit would authorize various methods of recreational prospecting for gold or other precious and semi-precious ores, metals, and minerals in the waters of Tennessee. It would establish limits of work and notification procedures required for approval. The draft permit is attached.
For the purposes of this general permit, recreational prospecting is divided into two categories or classes. The classification is based on whether the prospecting is done manually or mechanically. The two classes have different limits and conditions under which the work may be carried out.
Class 1 includes non-mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: pans, hand-powered sucker tubes, portable hand sluices and rocker boxes.
Class 2 includes mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, powered sluices and trommels.
The division's other ARAP general permits will expire on June 30, 2015. The division proposes to limit the duration of this general permit to one year with an expiration date of June 30, 2015. The recreational prospecting general permit would, if appropriate, be re-issued in cycle with the re-issuance of the other general permits.
PERMIT CONSIDERATIONS
In deciding whether to issue this permit, the department will consider all comments of record and the requirements of applicable federal and state laws. The department will also consider loss of waters or habitat, diminishment in biological diversity, cumulative or secondary impacts to water resources, and adverse impact to unique, high quality, or impaired waters.
LOCATION
Certain surface waters within the state of Tennessee.
ANTI-DEGRADATION DETERMINATION
In accordance with the Tennessee Anti-degradation Statement (Rule 0400-40-03-.06), the division has determined that activities conducted under this general permit will not result in more than de minimis degradation to water quality.
NOTICE AND PUBLIC HEARINGS
The purpose of this notice is to inform interested parties of this draft permit and to ask for comments and information necessary to determine possible impacts to water quality. Persons wishing to comment on the proposal are invited to submit written comments to the department or to attend one of the scheduled public hearings listed below. All comments must be received by May 27, 2014. Comments will become part of the record and will be considered in the final decision.
The department will hold public hearings on this draft general permit on May 15, 2014, utilizing video conferencing to connect each grand division of the state, with Knoxville as the primary hearing location (TDEC staff will also be present in Middle and West Tennessee in advance of the Presentation and Public Hearing to answer questions during the Open House Information Sessions):
Date May 15, 2014
East Tennessee Knoxville Environmental Field Office 3711 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville, TN 37921
4:00 p.m. EDT Open House Information Session
6:00 p.m. EDT Presentation & Public Hearing (primary hearing location)
Middle Tennessee Fleming Training Center
2022 Blanton Dr,
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
3:00 p.m. CDT  Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT  Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.)
West Tennessee Jackson Environmental Field Office 1625 Hollywood Drive Jackson, TN 38305
3:00 p.m. CDT  Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT  Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.)
Persons wishing to comment on or object to the issuance of the general permit are invited to deliver oral or written comment at the public hearing. The hearing officer will limit all testimony to relevant water quality issues and may limit testimony in the interest of time. However, all persons desiring to speak will be given an opportunity to do so. Written testimony will be accepted following the hearing and will be considered part of the official record. Please submit comments in writing to the division at the address printed below. The comments must be
received by May 27, 2014. After considering all public comments, the division will publish a final permit decision and a notice of the division's determinations.
Interested persons may obtain additional information or inspect and copy related documents during business hours at the division?s offices.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is committed to principles of equal opportunity, equal access and affirmative action. Individuals with disabilities who wish to participate in these proceedings (or to review these filings) should contact the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to discuss any auxiliary aids or services needed to facilitate such participation. Contact for services should be made no less than ten days in advance to allow time to provide such aid or services. Contact the ADA Coordinator at 1-866-253-5827 for further information. Hearing impaired callers may use the Tennessee Relay Service (1-800-848-0298).


« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 08:11:35 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]

AgroCoders

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2014, 02:51:06 PM »
As I was only going with a tin pan I'm not too concerned about the new regulations. In Disentis, CH when we visited looking for gold there the river was full of big manmade holes there too. They are probably putting a halt to that there as well.

kyleafdotcom

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2014, 02:56:32 PM »
My wife and I were discussing our next vacation at lunch today.  We live near Lexington Kentucky, where panning in a creek is not likely to attract police attention, but finding gold only happens if you drop your wedding ring.  Anyway we really want to go panning in TN, perhaps take a week and find a cabin or hotel near Tellico Plains and pan at the GPAA claim or in the Cherokee National Forest.  We visited Tennessee twice last year to pan.  Now I see this, and I think we will plan a trip to North Carolina instead.  Since we always pick up trash as we hike, I'm sure we will leave NC in great shape.  We have a "birthday" vacation in Vegas next January, so we want to find somewhere close to home to prospect for this year's vacation.  TN is closest, and prettiest.  NC would be our second choice.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 04:57:46 PM by kyleafdotcom »

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2014, 03:26:04 PM »
I called Tennessee rep. Hall 615-741-2287 he is my Knoxville rep and they were unaware of this. I plan on emailing them more information.  I have also attempted to call rep Forgety 615-741-1725 he is the rep for tellico and coker creek and areas there about.  We need to move quickly on this. Any members outside of Tennessee please contact rep Forgety and express to them that if this goes through you will be spending your money elsewhere and his district will be losing those dollars.
   John.
   Trying to be active on this.

SteveP

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2014, 03:35:56 PM »
My letter will go out tomorrow (Doesn't anyone in TN .gov use email?).  I am sending them the common sense rules that Indiana uses as an example.


SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2014, 03:38:50 PM »
Steve, google coker creek Tennessee state representative and his site has email and phone number on it. And I am just a member but thank you for helping us out in this.
   John

Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2014, 03:50:11 PM »
Someone just asked me if the Tennessee Coker Creek Gold Festival and Kid's Day will happen this year because of this issue, and I can promise everyone, it IS going to happen. We expect a record turnout to demonstrate to the State the we are here to prospect in NUMBERS! We expect to have the Press join us and interviews and photos will be taken. I will be posting information about the Festival early in May on the forum.
Chuck  8)
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]

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2014, 03:51:22 PM »
AgroCoders when these regulations pretty much prevent you going out even with just a tin pan you might get concerned. But that's ok. Do what you feel is best for you. But think about the fact that recreational prospectors have and continue to remove mercury, lead and other toxic and non toxic material from the areas that will be closed off to ALL prospecting. 

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #8 on: April 14, 2014, 03:53:19 PM »
Chuck I hope you don't mind me posting the names and numbers of a couple state representative offices. Especially for coker creek area.
    John

moebiusrc

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #9 on: April 14, 2014, 03:56:37 PM »
After much digging, here is the web site that lists the address to provide written comments for the Public meeting on 15 May 2014.
http://www.tn.gov/environment/ppo/docs/water/recreational-prospecting-general-permit_public-hearing.pdf

Xaero

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #10 on: April 14, 2014, 03:58:21 PM »
"Panning operations"??  Are they insane or does that mean you can have multiple pans in the same area if you are with them?  If they mean per pan then someone with a child needs to ask why Tennessee is wanting children 200 feet away from their parents.

Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2014, 04:02:29 PM »
I only posted this topic a few hours ago and we are getting some really good comments. We need everyone
to mail in your comments to Nashville ASAP
The address is:
 Division of Water Resources William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243
If you live out of State they need to hear from you too! Tell them that you will take your vacations to another state. We are right in the middle of the Tennessee Gold Belt. Why come here now if you can't prospect or are severely restricted? It is very important that you contact your Tennessee State Representatives. When they realize how much money will be lost from tourists and how severe these restrictions are, they might be able to stop this permit before it goes into affect.
We do understand some restrictions and rules are needed, but to ban recreational prospecting in almost all the gold bearing waterways in our area is insane!
Chuck
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]

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2014, 04:07:39 PM »
Chuck,  I am expecting a call back from Rep Forgety the state representative for tellico plains and coker creek area. We can make our voices heard if more of us make calls. Both in and out of state. Out of state expressing their dollars will be spent elsewhere.
     John

Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2014, 04:10:23 PM »
Xaero, just think of a Family. A Father takes his Son and Daughter to the Tellico River to pan. The water is rushing very fast. If the father wants to pan, he has to move 200' away from each kid and everyone has to stand 24" away from the banks in the rushing water?  >:(
We asked for this rule to be changed last year and TWRA/TDEC agreed. That said they had no problems with a small group panning together. The way I read it now, they changed their mind? Allen Trotter will talk to TDEC about this asap. It is possible that "Operation" might mean a small group. We need to get this re-worded.
I can't possibly see this getting passed with that wording? This is a major safety issue. Also what possible disturbance can a family panning together or someone teaching someone to pan, have on any water way anywhere?
Chuck 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 08:14:36 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]

Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2014, 04:17:52 PM »
Everyone needs to remember, it is VERY important that when you talk to anyone about this pending permit, you have your facts straight! Saying the wrong thing could hurt our cause. Simply give them a copy of the permit and have them look at all the links. Send them the link to this forum and let then read our comments!
As I said in my first posting, it is very important that everyone reads the web links. Do not just look at the permit. Go to 303d and review all the water ways that are banned or restricted. Read why. Most of the reasons are insane. A gold panner is not going to disturb the waterways? 
By the way, we do not see any issues with the Brook Trout restrictions at this time.
Chuck
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]

Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #15 on: April 14, 2014, 04:33:16 PM »
I am going to be out of town for a while. Can someone please look up our Tennessee State Reps, Senators and Congressmen. Please post their contact information here so everyone will have it.
Some readers are having problems finding this information.
I will still have email if anyone needs to get in touch with me.
We need as many as possible to attend our chapter meeting this Sat. Bring your comments and suggestions and share them with everyone.
Thanks,
Chuck
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]

shawnhar

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #16 on: April 14, 2014, 04:36:27 PM »
So....if I am reading this right...
You can't pan, at all, in 24 miles of Little River and 11.5 miles of Coker creek...

 "No Sir, I am NOT panning for gold, I am hunting for rusty nails and lead shot, Look at what I've found!"

Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #17 on: April 14, 2014, 04:41:19 PM »
Shawn, you are correct as I read it. There is so much information in 303d that all of it is hard to take in.
I said this was INSANE and I mean it!
If anyone reads something different in the banned or restricted waterways, please let us know.
We can't possibly let this happen!
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2014, 04:46:10 PM »
Chuck all of this is insane.  Do we really pay these beaurocrats to sit and debate shovel sizes? Heck flooding moves FAR more material around than we do and under cuts banks which puts more sediment into the creek. It is frustrating.  Did I read correctly in the 303d they are blaming dredge mining ?
   John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #19 on: April 14, 2014, 04:50:40 PM »
Chuck, when I hear from Rep Forgety is it ok if I give him your contact information and maybe Al's as well.  I am due to be speaking with him directly tonight or tomorrow. 
    John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2014, 04:56:46 PM »
I am unlikely to be at this month's meeting.  I will be making calls and sending emails to the state representative and senators offices. Please remember to be polite with any of them that you talk to. Being rude or offensive will only hurt us in this effort.  That being said.  Get on your phones. Send emails.  Do it daily.  Multiple times a day.  Make our voices heard.  But be nice. Thank them for their time. Ask them for their help.
   John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #21 on: April 14, 2014, 05:02:32 PM »
They should ban fishing in the same waters.  Fishing line, rusty hooks, and lead sinkers are more of a danger to wildlife than some muddy water.

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #22 on: April 14, 2014, 05:04:58 PM »
Amen X. I am also a hunter and I understand the bans in certain areas on lead shot. But we are removing toxic material from the water.
   John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2014, 05:14:06 PM »
SirJohn, I will be out of the country until May 5. Please have them contact Allen Trotter. Send Allen a PM and ask for his personal contact information. Be sure to ask him to read this forum post and the web links.
The main thing we need to do right now is to get this pending permit blocked. Once that is done, we will have more time to work on this issue. I know David Owens was going to work with 2 Senators on a possible Senate Bill. David is very hard to get in touch with. If anyone knows how to get in touch with him, have him call Allen trotter ASAP. I am not sure if David even knows that this permit has been posted?
Thanks,
Chuck
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Goldie

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #24 on: April 14, 2014, 05:33:43 PM »
This is a sad day for the prospecting community....I am a resident physician here in TN and this news will seriously impact my decision  to stay and practice medicine in this state. Prospecting is an essential way I relieve stress and spend time with my family on my very limited days off.   This needs to be stopped.
Rick
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:56:28 PM by Goldie »

larryjrobbjr

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #25 on: April 14, 2014, 05:45:57 PM »
I think everyone should take photo's of what they can of the pollution they have removed from the waters of Tennessee and send them in with their comments or take it to the meeting on the 15th for a visual aid!

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #26 on: April 14, 2014, 07:20:34 PM »
Rick, contact your local representative and rep Forgety 615-741-1725 he is the representative for tellico plains and coker creek area. 
    John

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #27 on: April 14, 2014, 07:22:37 PM »
Chuck I just talked to Al and he is on that already.  Anything else I can do let me know. I am on the road but can help with calls and emails.
    John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #28 on: April 14, 2014, 07:37:36 PM »
Just to let everyone know, I have passed all the information we currently have to the GPAA today. They are also following our forum posts. The GPAA will be interviewing me on Wed for a write up in the next Pick & Shovel. I will pass along the comments posted here.
Everyone of us needs to band together and let the state know that Recreational Prospecting does not harm the environment. I know that in the past year, the Doc Rogers area is looking better than it has in years.
If you look at 303d, the state is using all sorts of excuses to stop prospecting in our local waterways.
The more that contact their State Reps the better. If anyone has contacts at any newspaper please let them know what is going on. As I said before, be sure to have your facts correct before you talk to anyone.
Finally, many have sent me emails today complaining about what the state is doing. Please post them here and send them to TDEC in Nashville. Yes, this is not fair, and if we do not doing something right now, forget prospecting in most of Tennessee after June 30.
Chuck   
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #29 on: April 14, 2014, 07:45:28 PM »
This is disturbing news. Our 9 yr. old grandson wanted to go with us this summer to Coker Creek. Making memories, spending time outside, and camping with our kids/grandkids is the best way to enrich thier lives. Modern technology has kidnapped most of our kids...
I'll be writing a letter or two as well. Don't worry, I can be diplomatic... ;)
Raising children is like being pecked to death by a chicken.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #30 on: April 14, 2014, 08:01:46 PM »
We still want everyone to come to the June Gold Festival and Kid's Day. Show your support and let the state know all we want to do is find some yellow gold. We will not harm Mother Nature with a gold pan.
Chuck
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2014, 08:07:55 PM »
Here is my preliminary assessment of the impact of the permit language. Keep in mind this is only MY OPINION and is based on preliminary review. These are only the creeks that I listed on the Places to Prospect for Gold section of the forum. An exhaustive list would take months.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2014, 08:20:16 PM by BigAl »
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2014, 08:13:47 PM »
Since the GPAA said before they couldn't do anything right now because it doesn't concern there leased property and now it appears it does I had better see some kind of interest or action by them more then I hope you come out ok, or they will be loosing quit a bit of   east coast revenue. They can remember back when there was this chapter out I believe it was in Tn that was one of the fastest growing groups we had thanks to the hard work of the members. 
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2014, 08:17:11 PM »
We still want everyone to come to the June Gold Festival and Kid's Day. Show your support and let the state know all we want to do is find some yellow gold. We will not harm Mother Nature with a gold pan.
Chuck
you should say with anything we use now in the tellico district. to say gold pan would say we would settle for that.
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2014, 08:24:18 PM »
Honestly I feel we have a case for a lawsuit.  They had their minds made up from day one and watched what happened in California.  They involved us in everything and even let us be the only ones in the state to dredge on private property.  They knew we were the strongest force they had to deal with and by holding a carrot they led us to countless meetings, while using our own words to research methods used here. Where has the PLP been in all of this????  Where did my donation go?  Into a phone call? 

Election signs are out.  Use em to our advantage.  Beating em over the head with their own signs is illegal, but feels good.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2014, 08:31:28 PM »
I would love to see  an FOIA report of emails between TDEC, TWRA, EPA, OBAMA, Etc...

corundumaniac

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #36 on: April 14, 2014, 08:35:18 PM »
Being an owner of unpatented placer claims in the Helena National Forest in Montana for more than thirty years, I have learned that the best way to deal with this kind of attack on our rights to enjoy our natural resources while not creating a significant disturbance is to "become a spiny echidna" (or a porcupine) - an animal who has a prickly defense no matter what direction an attack comes from.

All of the ideas I see here are good, but there is one more thng I have found - some people in power only see their power, and any logical attempt to inject common sense into their judgment is trumped unless you show them YOU have the power to kick them out. 

One way to get the point across might be a petition.  If it contained enough verifiable signatures (say of Tennesseee registered voters), it would raise the political issue of unpopularity and the discomforting "prospects" of the dummies not being re-elected (or re-appointed by their re-elected crony dummies). 

Chuck or Al, I would contact William Perry Pendley, Esq., principal of the Mountain States Legal Foundation (info@mountainstateslegal.com), and although his concerns are mainly west of the Mississippi, you will probably get at least some good advice.  I have spoken with legal staff in the past, and found them quite helpful even though they were not invited to represent me in litigation (in my case, against the Bureau of Land Management). 

If all else fails in Tennessee, there's Montana (at least for now)!  Even there, "The Last Best Place to Hide", things are getting more difficult.  I had posted that soap opera earlier. 

Best of luck with the bureaucrats who try to legislate something they apparently know little about, and good hunting!

Will

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #37 on: April 14, 2014, 08:59:27 PM »
I will answer the question about "where is the PLP".
I sat down with Jerry Hobbs last year in Las Vegas and had a long talk about our problems. I have also talked with him on the phone many times. The PLP generally looks after mining claims. Mining claims are generally West of the Mississippi. We do not have claims in the Eastern part of the USA (with a few exceptions). The PLP has been working on the California issues and in other Western states. The PLP did give us some good advice but can't get involved in Eastern mining issues. I know this seems like bad news, but they are a small organization and with the donations they have, only can support so many Western states at one time.
I plan to email Jerry and send him copies of the Final Draft.
We are on our own. We need to band together and fight this mess. TWRA and TDEC went overboard with the permit. We all expected strict prospecting rules and regulations, but they will give us a permit and close down most of the places we can use it.
Chuck 
Chuck Pharis
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #38 on: April 14, 2014, 09:38:32 PM »
The true 'enemy' here is the Clean Water Act and the EPA.  Legislation by regulation.
On a side note, a google search (images) of "TN dredging ban" somehow brings up my profile picture as well as chucks.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #39 on: April 14, 2014, 09:38:53 PM »
this is very sad. in restricting the majority of places available in this beautiful state for a most enjoyable hobby, the few remaining places that they allow are going to be much harder hit. giving them further reason to place more restrictions on the available water-ways later as this progresses. this is being done in a way that gives the enthusiasts of this hobby little time to react and build a case for our side, in comparison to the time that they have had. why do the powers that be want to take away something so healing to the soul?

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #40 on: April 14, 2014, 09:40:33 PM »
Chuck. Al

With what corundumaniac wrote about the petition. With this being a election year if we could get one going and have enough signatures on it speaking out against these insane rules and have a copy sent to every State rep, Senator, and any other person of power that could prove to them that we are serous about this and we will remember come this fall who stood with us and who didn't. I don't know about how the wording should be and all, but if there's any other members that have experience creating or starting a petition I think that could be another way to get our voices heard. 

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #41 on: April 14, 2014, 09:45:26 PM »
We invite everyone to attend our GPAA chapter meeting this Sat at 10 am. Your suggestions to the group will be welcome. Allen Trotter will be running the meeting as I will be out of town, sorry.
A petition is a good idea if we can get the majority to sign it. We are spread out all over the state and in other states. Is there such a thing as an "on line petition"?
Chuck  8)
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #42 on: April 14, 2014, 09:46:34 PM »
ok heres a thought Chuck and Al please reply on this.........If we make groups for each part of this problem and they all get together and come up with thoughts ect to make useful and put it all in to one and send it to Al and then Al/chuck get all of it put in to one and use that then over load emails ect sent to these big dogs we need on are side and to help us battle i think we would come out better and faster.


What im talking bout groups is, (Photo group= to show what we really do other then hunt for gold that we all do good for the creek waters),        (Family Prospecting group= to show how many do stuff with there kids on a bound and time spent with them),      (out of state visitors= group to show the lose of visitors).

This 30/200 foot range i think is more of a control act with the lack of father/mother's mind for aspect for kids that enjoy the time spent out side and bound time with one another,i for one will not leave my kid's 200 feet away on any creek mind it be Doc's or any low water running creek there my kids and no harm shall come before them as i stand tall as a father with 4 kids i'd like to get out and about on the creek beds with me one day.

and this limited creeks to work in is just plan nuts some one on TDEC and TWRA went in for brain fuse and they loaded in the 1 AMP and blowed most of there cells sorry but how many places in Coker Creek run off of us Gold Prospectors i know of a few and i dont want to see them Hurt as well as us.

I enjoy seeing part of the creeks/rivers as well as gold and enjoy prospecting with alot of you all and i think we all need to Fuse as one and unload are brains as a group and pull thu this and get it removed and show em that we not only prospectors we are a group that offers more then Prospecting 24/7 we clean creeks we bust dam's down that could do harm and best part we do this as a team.

nx4cnx4c

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #43 on: April 14, 2014, 09:48:23 PM »
This is what I've sent to every Rep. and Sen. both state and federal, to the Knoxville News Sential and others.
Wesley Cosner
901 Freemason Street
Knoxville, TN 37917
865-216-1016

April 14, 2014

Today the TDEC (The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) sent us their final draft of the 2014 Recreational Prospecting Permit. The news is not good for us Amateur Prospector.  There are not many streams in TN that has Gold in them mostly in the following counties, Sevier-Monroe-Polk.  Because in these counties most of the streams are near The Great Smokey Mountains or near other Forestery Lands that do not allow or greatly restrick prospecting.

The above permit will close 95 percent or close to this the streams that are availabe now, plus on the very few that are left we can only pan, sluice, use hand suction tubes and each prospecter has to be 200 feet apart up or down stream from each other.  If I took my 2 kids with me and each one of them wanted to pan then the permit says that each one of us has to be 200 feet apart.  This is unexceptable because of the safety issue involving my children if they got in trouble.

The permit has cut small time dredging for gold to almost zero with the permit being very time consuming to get.  There is a lot of talk from those who wrote the restrictions in the permit that gold dredging by us damages the streams, causing kinds of things that will harm the streams.  There has not been any data, survays that says this is true to my knowledge.  A gold dredge picks up small rocks, sand from the bottom of a stream, runs it through a sluic and deposits it downstream 10 to 20 feet.  It does not interduce anything into the stream, only picks up bottom material and moves it downstream a short distance.
If you watch videos of gold dredging a lot of time you will see minnows/fish with a foot or so of the intake nozzle and what they are doing is catching and eating crawfish, worms etc that the dredge sets loose.  Gold dredging does not harm a fishery.

Some benefits of gold dredging is although it catches gold in the sluice it also catches lead shot, nails, other metals and to a small degree Murcery which the prospecter removes from the stream and deposits it in the proper containers/garbage cans.

On out forum (http://cokercreekgpaa.com/forum/index.php/topic,2449.0/topicseen.html) there have been a number of folks that live out of state that are/were planning on coming to the Coker Creek, TN area on their vacations and their family enjoying prospecting, sight seeing in our area and because of this permit are changing their plans to go elsewhere in NC or another state to prospect on their vacation.
One person on the forum said he was a Doctor and gold prospecting was how he relieved his tensions and if this permit goes into effect he will move his practice to another state were he can continue gold prospecting.
This is a bad bill that takes away the freedom of prospecting.  This is wrong.
Please go and look at this permit as it is written and think of us the people who supports you and decide if you should take steps to stopped it.

Below is part of the bill and a few web pages that completes the bill.  Please concider stopping this.  Thank you.
Wesley Cosner   (865-216-1016)
To all Recreational Prospectors.
The TDEC (The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) has just sent us their final draft of the 2014 Recreational Prospecting Permit. The news is not good. Many changes were made from the last draft that we posted and from the way Allen Trotter and I (Chuck Pharis) read it, it looks like over 90% of the gold bearing waters in Eastern Tennessee will be closed to all prospecting. This includes panning and dredging. We just received this and have a lot of reading to do. The final draft refers to web site links that define what waters are restricted and or totally banned. There are 185 pages in the 303d list alone!
Please read the attached Final Draft, then look at ALL the web links and make your comments here. Do not just read the Final Draft.

If this permit goes through on June 30, 2014, recreational prospecting as we know it in the state of Tennessee will virtually be over.
Public hearings will be on Thursday May 15 in the 3 locations shown in the attached notice. Note that anyone may make written comments and send them directly to TDEC. We ask that everyone who reads this notice, send in your comments ASAP. We ask that you do not panic; In addition to your personal comments, tell the state that banning recreational prospecting in Tennessee will hurt tourism, family outings, and a good source of income for the Eastern part of the state. All we need is some simple State prospecting rules and if we follow them we will NOT hurt the Tennessee State waters! Strong words might help but panic and threats will not. Please use common sense when responding with your comments and suggestions. If there is any way you can show up at one of the public hearings, please do so but be prepared to speak and have your facts straight. If you can't attend (I am sure it was set up on a Thursday for a reason), then send them your comments ASAP.
You do not have to be a resident of Tennessee to send in your comments or to attend the hearings. Many come from out of state to prospect here. This permit will affect everyone, not just the prospectors in Tennessee.

What else can we do: Allen Trotter has a call into TDEC to talk with them about the permit. Allen will let us know if anything comes from that phone call when they both talk. TWRA and TDEC had taken over a year to put this together, now we only have a few months to respond.

We suggest that if you have any contacts on the State level: Senators, Congressmen, Governor, etc; Please send them this mess and see if it can be blocked ASAP.

When you read 303d, you will see the Tennessee waterways that will be banned or restricted. On that list is Little River and 11.5 miles of Coker Creek. We believe this means we will lose Doc Rogers and the rest of Coker Creek from the head waters to the Polk County border. Yes that means our GPAA property too. This permit covers all public and private land in the State of Tennessee.

I will not comment anymore at this time. We need to do something right now to stop this madness. Please step up and help keep recreational prospecting in the state of Tennessee.

Please note: All web links are at the end of this permit. I have separated them into one area for easy viewing.

Here is the address to respond to:
Division of Water Resources William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243

Chuck Pharis
President: Coker Creek GPAA Tennessee chapter.
Posted: Monday April 14, 2014.

If you see any posting errors please let me know.
Anyone may re-post or distribute this topic as needed.

This is a DRAFT and is set up to go into affect after the Public Hearings. Do everything you can to STOP IT!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Effective Date: June 30, 2014
Expiration Date: June 30, 2015
Activities Covered by this Permit
This general permit authorizes various methods of recreational prospecting for gold or other precious and semi-precious ores, metals, and minerals in the waters of Tennessee. For the purposes of this general permit, prospecting is divided into two categories or classes. The classification is based on whether the prospecting is done manually or mechanically. The two classes have different limits and conditions under which the work may be carried out.
Class 1 includes non-mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: pans, hand-powered sucker tubes, portable hand sluices and rocker boxes.
Class 2 includes mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, powered sluices and trommels.
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 operator and only to qualifying prospecting equipment owned by that operator. Work shall not commence until a written Notice of Coverage (NOC) from the division is received. A NOI may request coverage for up to three locations totaling one mile or less of stream with no more than one-half mile in any single stream. As noted above, not all activities may be eligible for coverage under this general permit and coverage may be denied when appropriate.
A fee as established in Rule 0400-40-11-.02 will be assessed to applicants intending to conduct Class 2 activities under this general permit. An annual maintenance fee as established in Rule 0400-40-11-.02 will be assessed to those individuals holding general permit coverage for Class 2 activities unless a Notice of Termination is received prior to the one-year anniversary of the NOC. A Notice of Termination form is included as Attachment 1.
Limitations of this Permit
This general permit does not cover land-based prospecting or mining operations or commercial operations. In-stream activities not described in this general permit may require an individual
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 2 of 5
permit under The Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977 or at the discretion of the Director of the Division of Water Resources. 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.
Any authorization under this general permit is valid until the expiration date indicated on a specific Notice of Coverage (NOC). If an NOC expiration date coincides with the date the General Permit is modified, reissued, or revoked, and you have commenced or are under contract to commence this activity before the expiration date, you may have up to twelve (12) months from the date of the modification, reissuance, or revocation of the General Permit to complete the activity under the present terms and conditions of this general permit.
Class 1 Special Conditions
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. Class 1 prospecting is not permitted in any stream or segment thereof, with a wetted width of less than thirty 30 feet, that is 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. Class 1 prospecting shall not occur in any stream reach with a wetted width of less than five (5) feet at the spot of the activity.
3. Disturbance of stream banks is prohibited. All digging activities shall be conducted at least two (2) feet from the water?s edge.
4. Hand operated tools no larger than a #2 shovel may be used to excavate material.
5. All reject material shall remain in the stream. Concentrates may be removed for later, off-site, processing.
6. Panning operations shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel.
7. Sluices shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between operations as measured along the stream channel. Only one sluice may be in use at a given site.
8. Sluice dams shall be constructed so that upstream/downstream boat, or other access, is not obstructed.
(9) All sluice dams shall be broken down daily and the disturbed stream substrate returned as close to its original location as possible.
10. 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.
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 3 of 5
Class 2 Special Conditions
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. Class 2 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. All operations must take place in-stream. Operating on stream banks or in the floodplain is not allowed.
3. Operations shall not be conducted within five (5) feet of the water?s edge.
4. Operation in streams with a watershed area smaller than 100 square miles upstream of the area of operation is not permitted. A listing of acceptable streams is available from the department.
5. 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.
7. All engines shall be equipped with a muffler and spark arrestor.
8. The dredge or vacuum hose intake opening may not exceed 4 inches in diameter.
(9) All operations shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between sites as measured along the stream channel. Only one mechanized form of prospecting may be in use at a given site.
10. 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.
11. Blaster nozzles may only be used underwater.
12. 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.
13. No visible color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than three hundred (300) feet downstream of the equipment discharge.
14. Operations shall be conducted so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational access, is not obstructed.
15. 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.
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 4 of 5
General Conditions
The following requirements apply to all classes of prospecting described in this permit:
1. Prospecting is not permitted in streams designated as Outstanding Natural Resource Waters.
2. Prospecting is not permitted in streams listed on the Division of Water Resources? 303d list for siltation, channel alteration or contaminated sediments.
3. Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, managed for brook trout.
4. All disturbance (i.e., excavation) shall be conducted at, or below, the water surface.
5. Disturbance of terrestrial vegetation shall be minimized; removal is not permitted.
6. 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.
7. No chemical processing of materials shall be conducted in, or within two hundred (200) feet of, a stream, wetlands or in any area where chemicals or waste are likely to enter waters of the state.
8. All operations shall take place during daylight hours.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. This permit does not authorize access to private property. Arrangements concerning the use of private property shall be made with the landowner.
14. This permit does not authorize the discharge of any waste, or other substances that may be harmful to humans, terrestrial or aquatic life, into waters of the state.
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 5 of 5
15.habitat is prohibited.
16. This permit does not authorize impacts to cultural, historic or archaeological features.
17. Supplemental Requirements
The following additional requirements apply to all Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) properties including, but not limited to, Wildlife Management Areas (WMA?s), TWRA public hunting lands, property leased by TWRA for any purpose, and/or TWRA river access and boat launch areas:
1. Class 1 (non-mechanized) activities are not permitted in any stream with a wetted width of less than twenty (20) feet.
2. Class 2 (mechanized) activities are not permitted on any of the TWRA lands listed above.
___________________________________ Sandra Dudley, Ph. D., P.E. Director, Division of Water Resources
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Related web links:
303d link: http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/docs/wpc/2012-final-303d-list.pdf

Outstanding natural resource Waters: http://environment-online.state.tn.us:8080/pls/enf_reports/f?p=9034:34304:8392501094824:::::

Streams managed for Brook trout: http://www.twra4streams.org/brook_trout_locations_maps_compressed.pdf

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PUBLIC NOTICE TENNESSEE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND CONSERVATION Division of Water Resources William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243
Proposed General Permit for Recreational Prospecting Notice of Public Hearing
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
Where the Commissioner finds that a category of activities or discharges would be appropriately regulated under a general permit, the Commissioner may use a general permit to authorize alterations to waters for specific categories of activities that are substantially similar in nature and that result in no more than an insignificant or de-minimis degradation of water quality. Notice of coverage by the division of activities that qualify under general permits may also serve as a 401 Water Quality Certification pursuant to The Clean Water Act.
GENERAL PERMIT DESCRIPTION
The Division of Water Resources has drafted and proposes to issue a general Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit for recreational prospecting in Tennessee?s waters. This general permit would authorize various methods of recreational prospecting for gold or other precious and semi-precious ores, metals, and minerals in the waters of Tennessee. It would establish limits of work and notification procedures required for approval. The draft permit is attached.
For the purposes of this general permit, recreational prospecting is divided into two categories or classes. The classification is based on whether the prospecting is done manually or mechanically. The two classes have different limits and conditions under which the work may be carried out.
Class 1 includes non-mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: pans, hand-powered sucker tubes, portable hand sluices and rocker boxes.
Class 2 includes mechanized forms of prospecting including, but not limited to: dredges, highbankers, powered sluices and trommels.
The division's other ARAP general permits will expire on June 30, 2015. The division proposes to limit the duration of this general permit to one year with an expiration date of June 30, 2015. The recreational prospecting general permit would, if appropriate, be re-issued in cycle with the re-issuance of the other general permits.
PERMIT CONSIDERATIONS
In deciding whether to issue this permit, the department will consider all comments of record and the requirements of applicable federal and state laws. The department will also consider loss of waters or habitat, diminishment in biological diversity, cumulative or secondary impacts to water resources, and adverse impact to unique, high quality, or impaired waters.
LOCATION
Certain surface waters within the state of Tennessee.
ANTI-DEGRADATION DETERMINATION
In accordance with the Tennessee Anti-degradation Statement (Rule 0400-40-03-.06), the division has determined that activities conducted under this general permit will not result in more than de minimis degradation to water quality.
NOTICE AND PUBLIC HEARINGS
The purpose of this notice is to inform interested parties of this draft permit and to ask for comments and information necessary to determine possible impacts to water quality. Persons wishing to comment on the proposal are invited to submit written comments to the department or to attend one of the scheduled public hearings listed below. All comments must be received by May 27, 2014. Comments will become part of the record and will be considered in the final decision.
The department will hold public hearings on this draft general permit on May 15, 2014, utilizing video conferencing to connect each grand division of the state, with Knoxville as the primary hearing location (TDEC staff will also be present in Middle and West Tennessee in advance of the Presentation and Public Hearing to answer questions during the Open House Information Sessions):
Date May 15, 2014
East Tennessee Knoxville Environmental Field Office 3711 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville, TN 37921
4:00 p.m. EDT Open House Information Session
6:00 p.m. EDT Presentation & Public Hearing (primary hearing location)
Middle Tennessee Fleming Training Center
2022 Blanton Dr,
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
3:00 p.m. CDT  Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT  Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.)
West Tennessee Jackson Environmental Field Office 1625 Hollywood Drive Jackson, TN 38305
3:00 p.m. CDT  Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT  Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.)
Persons wishing to comment on or object to the issuance of the general permit are invited to deliver oral or written comment at the public hearing. The hearing officer will limit all testimony to relevant water quality issues and may limit testimony in the interest of time. However, all persons desiring to speak will be given an opportunity to do so. Written testimony will be accepted following the hearing and will be considered part of the official record. Please submit comments in writing to the division at the address printed below. The comments must be
received by May 27, 2014. After considering all public comments, the division will publish a final permit decision and a notice of the division's determinations.
Interested persons may obtain additional information or inspect and copy related documents during business hours at the division?s offices.
The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is committed to principles of equal opportunity, equal access and affirmative action. Individuals with disabilities who wish to participate in these proceedings (or to review these filings) should contact the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to discuss any auxiliary aids or services needed to facilitate such participation. Contact for services should be made no less than ten days in advance to allow time to provide such aid or services. Contact the ADA Coordinator at  1-866-253-5827 for further information. Hearing impaired callers may use the Tennessee Relay Service ( 1-800-848-0298)

   

Tom Twosocks

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #44 on: April 14, 2014, 10:11:58 PM »
I suggest we RENAME the GPAA Property (with Jimmy's permission ) to Bengahzi or the Border.

The Powers to be will automatically STAY away! LOL

Nc/tn digger

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #45 on: April 14, 2014, 10:12:05 PM »
Al,
 One thing that I did not see in the details was what where the requirements to have to have a permit class 1 or 2, I mean if I had mine would my kids be included or my family like a GPAA membership or would it be all people over a certain age, just something else to get clarity on when asking about the 200 ft issue for panniers / sluicing 

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2014, 10:22:05 PM »
We invite everyone to attend our GPAA chapter meeting this Sat at 10 am. Your suggestions to the group will be welcome. Allen Trotter will be running the meeting as I will be out of town, sorry.
A petition is a good idea if we can get the majority to sign it. We are spread out all over the state and in other states. Is there such a thing as an "on line petition"?
Chuck  8)

Yes there are tons of online petition sites , from what I can tell most are free, if not it could be as simple as sending an email along to each member have them cut and paste petition add there name and send it to the next person, or family member , friend  with the instructions of how to add there name and to who to return the petition to so there would be a updated list at all times with the names, in other words when they email to there other people have them also email back to the person keeping tract of it,  just another way of doing it.

Whiteknight

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #47 on: April 14, 2014, 10:35:01 PM »
Ok Folks I want all of the pic's you have taking of rusty stuff,mercury covered gold,glass all the bad stuff that shouldnt be in a creek/lake you'v taking out please email all to knoxvilleman16@gmail.com   with name and creek you got it out of so this can be used.


I talkedwith Chuck and and Bigal and they know and Bigal gave me the go ahead on this Project to put together and Give it to him to show for us.So Please Folks find these Pic's so i can get this rolling we have Short TIME to get it done.

D-Ferguson

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #48 on: April 14, 2014, 10:41:34 PM »
swimmer you wrote "Some benefits of gold dredging is although it catches gold in the sluice it also catches lead shot, nails, other metals and to a small degree Murcery which the prospecter removes from the stream and deposits it in the proper containers/garbage cans"
we do not deposit mercury into garbage cans , Just saying
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Tom Twosocks

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #49 on: April 14, 2014, 11:08:10 PM »
Sorry White Knight I did not take pics of all the Trash.

Just took and disposed of it properly.

Whiteknight

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #50 on: April 14, 2014, 11:14:41 PM »
Np Tom But Thank you im sure all of us has done same but it will be counted as for we all do are part Pic's or not.

eawebb

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #51 on: April 14, 2014, 11:34:03 PM »
As a retired wildlife enforcement officer of the State of Mississippi and a former resident of Tennessee I can honnestly say that I have never seen more of a stupidest  of regulations ever posted by an agency that is supposed to help out the sportsman in the state. It is very clear to me that these people have never seen a gold dredge in person on been underwater and observed fish fighting the dredger out of his dredge hole for fresh turned up food. I am an avid hunter,fisherman and gold prospector and have hunted in Tennessee,fished in Tennessee and Gold prospected at the GPAA claims in Tennessee and I can tell you that I will never spend another dime in the State of Tennessee on Gas,drinks,groceries,licenses of any kind if these idiots pass these nonsense regulations. I have been stewing all night just sitting here trying to vent enough frustration out to be calm enough to sit here and write a message without calling all prospectors and sportsmen out on an armed take over of the State Government, but we all know that the Obama regime is all behind this movement and it is just the start. If we stand by and sit on our hands and let the governments run over the people instead of the people putting the governments on a leash and keeping them there we will see every state fall like a row of dominoes. These people only see money!! They do not give a flip about the enviroment. I would suggest since the State of Tennessee tends to greatly over regulate it's sportsmen and now prospectors that someone suggest that some sort of prospectors license come into existence. This way the people can prospect, the State of Tennessee gets revenue from it and  a true means of regulation that will be fair can  be done. This will give the greatest voice for the prospector. This will also give the politicians a head count of the people that are involved that are votes either for or against them!!   This will hold their feet to the fire. A meager $50 per year to dredge and high bank would be a great start on a price for the license and a $20.00 fee to sluice and pan. Persons under 16 would pay only $5.00. Folks money talks and this is what politicians understand! Most of them have probably only seen prospecting on TV and think we are all using bulldozers and track hoes digging huge pits that are left for people and wildlife to fall into. I have dealt with these type of people nearly half of my life and education is the best policy with these idiots. Also remember to let your politicians know that they were voted in and can get voted out!!! Believe me this works. It is time to pull off the velvet gloves and stand up and fight! Once a feedom is gone, it is gone and almost impossible to get it back!

Roger Lindsey

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2014, 12:03:02 AM »
I have been prospecting around NC for many years and spend many summers with my family camping and prospecting. I wanted to go to Coker Creek this year and do some high banking with my grandsons but I guess that is out. I do hope GPAA and others get involved; California is not the only gold producing state. Oh, and by the way, we capture more mercury with our little dredgers than big gov or EPA ever thought of capturing and it doesn't go back into the environment.

hillbillygold

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #53 on: April 15, 2014, 12:50:59 AM »
SirJohn, I will be out of the country until May 5. Please have them contact Allen Trotter. Send Allen a PM and ask for his personal contact information. Be sure to ask him to read this forum post and the web links.
The main thing we need to do right now is to get this pending permit blocked. Once that is done, we will have more time to work on this issue. I know David Owens was going to work with 2 Senators on a possible Senate Bill. David is very hard to get in touch with. If anyone knows how to get in touch with him, have him call Allen trotter ASAP. I am not sure if David even knows that this permit has been posted?
Thanks,
Chuck
He will no first thing in the morning

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #54 on: April 15, 2014, 05:27:06 AM »
Chuck or Al here is just one of many online free petition making sites. http://www.ipetitions.com/ I would get it rolling but I feel it best for one of you to do the wording for us. Once petition is started it can be passed along here, thru email or any other methods. 
    John

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #55 on: April 15, 2014, 05:34:56 AM »
Also on a petition.  Once it is started EVERYONE share it on social media.  Facebook Twitter.  Anywhere and everywhere.  We can and will get many people supporting us against over regulation and of course insane regulation. And many more signatures.
    John

Goldie

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #56 on: April 15, 2014, 06:27:23 AM »
Here is one example of how much lead can potentially be removed from our waterways by one person dredging. Contrary to the belief of some, dredging actually improves water quality removing harmful mercury and lead from the river bed.

http://youtu.be/R5YHnqRSbXE
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 06:42:09 AM by Goldie »

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #57 on: April 15, 2014, 07:07:09 AM »
Although I will be unable to attend the meeting Saturday I urge everyone who can to attend.  And if you're calling your state representative and senators offices invite them to attend.  Let them see first hand the family nature of our hobby and how we love and respect nature.
    John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #58 on: April 15, 2014, 08:18:18 AM »
We need someone with some time to step up and start that on-line petition. They need to be sure it gets passed around. I can't do it as I will be out of the country in a few days. I am gone until May 5.
I would think we only need one mass petition.
Zero rain this Sat so everyone please come out to the meeting at our GPAA property at 10 am. Bring your Kids and pan in the creek. We need someone to take photos and email them to me. I will set up a topic on the forum with photos of everyone prospecting. We need to show the state how many use our area to prospect.
I will also start up a Gold Festival and Kid's Day topic in May. I will take reservations starting in on May 19.
We need as many to show up as possible. Let's make this the largest chapter event ever.
We can't fix this mess without your help. Please don't sit and wait for someone else to do something. Get involved ASAP!
More soon.
Chuck  8)
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GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #59 on: April 15, 2014, 09:36:38 AM »
I just got off the phone with rep Forgety he is the state representative for tellico plains and coker creek area.  Yes I spoke directly with him. He was unaware of this regulation until last night.  He has Al's name and number.  I invited him to the meeting this Saturday.  Chuck I hope you are ok with that.  He said he was going to be getting with other representatives as well as TDEC and TWRA.  This is a start. We need EVERYONE to start calling his office and their own representative as well.
    John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #60 on: April 15, 2014, 09:58:38 AM »
If your not leaving for a few days it will only take you a few min to start  the petition online and then you can word it the way you want it, that way when it's over there won't be any I wish they hadn't worded it that way. If your not going to be here for the fight at least leave us with something to work with.

Don
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SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #61 on: April 15, 2014, 10:05:21 AM »
Just got off the phone with rep hall's office.  They have received several emails and calls. Enough for them to start a file just for this issue.  Keep the calls and emails going.  If you are from out of state please contact rep Forgety at 615-741-1725 as coker creek is in his district.
    John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #62 on: April 15, 2014, 10:09:44 AM »
SirJohn, of course we are ok with what you are doing.

Don,
I am sorry everyone. I can't manage everything. I will be out of the country and busy organizing my Daughters wedding in England. I won't have time to set up and monitor the on-line petition. I will need someone to step up and help with this. I have been working 24/7 on the permit issue the past few days.
I can't take on too much when I am out of the country with limited access to the internet for 2 weeks.
I will be able to get on line and have email most of the time, but my Daughter and her future Husband will take priority right now.
Thanks for understanding,
Chuck  8)
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SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #63 on: April 15, 2014, 10:11:00 AM »
Chuck if you or Al can give me some guidance on the language for the petition I  get it started tonight.
   John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #64 on: April 15, 2014, 10:19:32 AM »
We want to thank everyone for what you are doing. This just was just posted yesterday and look at the progress we have made so far! Our issue is all over the Country already!
The GPAA will be interviewing me by phone tomorrow (Wed.) Please keep me posted as to your progress so I can pass what we are doing onto the GPAA Pick & Shovel. We are all in this together!
If you contact someone, let me know. The more information I have for this interview, the better. My email is chuck@pharis-video.com
It seems that everyone is on our side except TWRA and TDEC. I am sure we can convince them that we do not cause water disturbance and environmental damage. Once we block this permit, we will have more time to organize and get your point across.
As I said in an earlier post, it is very important that we have recreational prospecting rules and regulations in Tennessee. No one will argue about that. The state just went overboard with all of this. Don't shut us down, just set up some simple rules and enforce them.
Keep it up everyone!
Chuck  8)
Chuck Pharis
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Whiteknight

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #65 on: April 15, 2014, 10:22:27 AM »
Ok Folks i got a Few questions that i would like your out put on.

1:This 30/200foot range are you really able to spend time with your kids on this rules ground.

2: limited Prospecting on creeks/lakes.



for me my kids will never leave my side on creek or on a walk path whom made these rules dont have kids or have the thought of the safety for human life.


and for my thought on limited creek's/lakes the more we dont have prospecting the more lead and harmful items left to do harm to fish,humans,drinking water,and all the trash that will stack up on the beds of water lines that others will not do what we US the prospecters Do why we are on are way to hunt for gold or to enjoy what we like.

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2014, 10:28:39 AM »
Chuck in talking to rep Hall's office this morning I was asked if this could be coming from federal level.  I suggested they contact the tellico ranger station and get a copy of their rules. Seeing as the rangers are federal authorities and they have no issues with us why can our state regulations match the rangers. 
   Again I am calling Nashville a lot. There are now three representatives that are hearing my name. And again I talked directly with rep Forgety this morning and coker creek is in his district.  Again his number is 615-741-1725. Call his office..
   John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #67 on: April 15, 2014, 10:48:43 AM »
 WhiteKnight:
I brought this issue up in an earlier post. When our Task Force met with TDEC and TWRA last year, we questioned the 200' rule. We told them this was a safety issue. They agreed to change it to small groups at each location. That would mean 200' between groups, not single operations. As we read the wording in the Final Draft, it seems they changed their mind and went back to the 200' rule and did not add the small group wording. This is totally wrong and a major safety issue. We need to fight to change this rule! No small group is going to disturb or harm any waterway with a few gold pans in one area. This just shows us how ridiculous this entire permit is. They took a simple list of rules and turned them into a major headache. This one issue alone should convince our Government that this permit needs to be blocked ASAP!
What was originally a decent set of rules is now a nightmare. Now look what they are doing.
Chuck   
Chuck Pharis
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Whiteknight

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #68 on: April 15, 2014, 10:58:31 AM »
Right Chuck it is and i think its to much and they do not see the best of what US the prospector's do as they all sit behind a desk all day and dont get out to do it them selfs or see it for there selfs.There is more to prospecting then hunt for gold we keep the banks cleaned from trash from floods and people thowing junk out of there cars.

When i first started Prospecting for gold i thought to my self all these creek's i'v hit look so good to what they looked before US even started.

We are not seen for are good in the water and out of the water.

I for one would like to Thank Each and every one of you for what you have done for these creeks.

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #69 on: April 15, 2014, 11:12:56 AM »
I just spoke with rep Dunn of Knoxville.  He said he would like to attend an event.  So if Chuck or Al could extend an invite for the June event it would be great. He also suggested contacting the operations committee members . They are wrapping up sessions this week so the fact that today I have spoken directly to two representatives says a lot to me that they will listen and hear us out. Keep making calls people we are being heard. The more the better. Do not wait.
   John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #70 on: April 15, 2014, 11:26:59 AM »
Chuck: Thanks for posting this information. I let Representative Forgety know that my week-long family vacation in Tennessee last spring was built around being able to spend at least one day prospecting in the Coker Creek area and asked him to support some "common-sense" rules for recreational prospecting. Otherwise my family and I will be making the shorter trip to North Carolina for future vacations. We really did enjoy that week in Tennessee!

P.S. I have to add that our Contrary Creek Prospectors Lease has done some awesome work maintaining a gold-bearing creek in Mineral, Virginia. That would not happen if recreational prospecting was too restrictive.

Steve Bridges
Chesapeake, VA
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 11:31:32 AM by sdbridges3 »

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #71 on: April 15, 2014, 11:33:46 AM »
Thank you Steve. I for one appreciate your help. Keep up the good work.  I have been thinking about visiting contrary Creek sometime myself.  Please pass along Forgety contact information to as many people as you can. I know the message will get thru. Hopefully in time. Again thank you for the help.
    John

Whiteknight

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #72 on: April 15, 2014, 12:34:35 PM »
OK Folks Here is a Link find your spot and contact These people let them know what a effect this will take hold up on the creeks and lakes we will no long be able to get out the harmful items and other stuff.



http://www.capitol.tn.gov/districtmaps/

ratttn

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #73 on: April 15, 2014, 12:50:58 PM »
You can find all the contact info for the Senate, Representatives and House Congress on this site! You can also find the contact information to each as well! All legislators may be reached at 1-800-449-8366, then enter the last five digits of their office phone number listed.


http://www.capitol.tn.gov/districtmaps/index.html#house

Here are the ones that will be most affected hopefully! I will list for Pigeon Forge, Townsend and Tellico Plains Representatives, and then senate. At the bottom with be the congressional contact information!

Pigeon Forge=
Rep. Dale Carr

R-Sevierville
 District 12  Part of Sevier County  Map
district address

2150 Murphys Chapel Dr.
 Sevierville, TN 37876 

nashville address
301 6th Avenue North
 Suite 107 War Memorial Building
 Nashville, TN 37243
 Phone (615) 741-5981
 Fax (615) 253-0303
rep.dale.carr@capitol.tn.gov

Townsend=
Rep. Art Swann

R-Maryville
 District 8  Part of Blount County  Map

district address
1507 S. Court Street
 Maryville, TN 37803 

nashville address
301 6th Avenue North
 Suite G-19A War Memorial Bldg.
 Nashville, TN 37243
 Phone (615) 741-5481
 Fax (615) 253-0220
rep.art.swann@capitol.tn.gov

Tellico Plains=
Rep. John Forgety

R-Athens
 District 23  McMinn and part of Monroe Counties; Tellico Plains, Rural Vale, Coker Creek  Map

district address
120 County Road 447
 Athens, TN 37303 

nashville address
301 6th Avenue North
 Suite 109 War Memorial Bldg.
 Nashville, TN 37243
 Phone (615) 741-1725 Fax (615) 253-0309
rep.john.forgety@capitol.tn.gov


Pigeon Forge and Townsend Senate=
Senator Doug Overbey

R-Maryville
 District 2  Blount and Sevier Counties  Map

district address
1105 N. Heritage Drive
 Maryville, TN 37803

nashville address

301 6th Avenue North
 Suite 306 War Memorial Bldg.
 Nashville, TN 37243
 Phone: (615) 741-0981
 1-800-449-8366 ext. 10981
sen.doug.overbey@capitol.tn.gov


Tellico Plains=
Senator Mike Bell

R-Riceville
 District 9  Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe and Polk Counties  Map

district address
261 County Road 757
 Riceville, TN 37370

nashville address

301 6th Avenue North
 Suite 309, War Memorial Bldg.
 Nashville, TN 37243
 Phone (615) 741-1946
sen.mike.bell@capitol.tn.gov

And here is the Congressional Information

Pigeon Forge=
District 01 Phil Roe         http://roe.house.gov/

Washington, DC Office407 Cannon House Office Bldg Washington, DC 20515
Phone:(202) 225-6356Fax:(202) 225-5714

Kingsport Office PO Box 1728Kingsport, TN 37662
Phone:(423) 247-8161Fax:(423) 247-0119

Morristown Office1609 College Park Drive, Suite 4Morristown, TN 37813
Phone:(423) 254-1400Fax:(423) 254-1403


Townsend=
District 02 John "Jimmy" Ducan  Jr           http://duncan.house.gov/   

 My Offices
Washington, DC Office

2207 Rayburn HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5435
Fax: (202) 225-6440

Knoxville Office

800 Market Street, Suite 110
Knoxville, TN 37902
Phone: (865) 523-3772
Fax: (865) 544-0728

Maryville Office

331 Court Street
Maryville, TN 37804
Phone: (865) 984-5464
Fax: (865) 984-0521


Tellico Plains=
District 03 Chuck Fleischmann          http://fleischmann.house.gov/

My Offices
Washington, DC

230 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3271
Fax: (202) 225-3494

Athens

6 East Madison Avenue
Athens, TN 37303
Phone: 423-745-4671
Fax: 423-745-6025


Chattanooga

900 Georgia Avenue, Suite 126
Chattanooga, TN 37402
Phone: (423) 756-2342
Fax: (423) 756-6613

Oak Ridge

200 Administration Road, Suite 100
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Phone: (865) 576-1976
Fax: (865) 576-3221
« Last Edit: April 15, 2014, 01:11:18 PM by Chuck Pharis »

ratttn

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #74 on: April 15, 2014, 01:06:54 PM »
You can also find most of the senate, representatives and congress on facebook and twitter just by searching their name!

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #75 on: April 15, 2014, 01:17:31 PM »
rattan, thank you so much for posting this. Every Prospector and anyone else who loves the outdoors, needs to flood every person on that list with what has happened to us. The more they receive, the more they will understand that we are here in numbers. There are thousands of people who visit Tennessee and not only prospect, but spend money in local stores. One of the main Tourist areas is the Tennessee Eastern gold belt. Who will take a vacation here now? TDEC and TWRA have done more to destroy Tourism in one day than any bad weather we have even had.
Chuck
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #76 on: April 15, 2014, 01:19:49 PM »
I have been in contact with Rep. Evans' office (Robertson Co), they asked that I email him the details.
Coker Creek Chapter President 2015-2017

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #77 on: April 15, 2014, 01:35:28 PM »
Thanks everyone for helping get contact information out. Rep Forgety called me personally today and has Al's info and hopefully he will call Al. When you call or email invite them to a meeting or event so they can see for themselves what we do.
   John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #78 on: April 15, 2014, 02:22:44 PM »
I'm Away From The House Right Now, But I'll Try To Start Writing On A Petition When I Get Home And Put What tI've Come Up With Before Releasing It See How Y'all Feel About The Wording . And If There Needs To Be ANy Changes.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #79 on: April 15, 2014, 02:28:31 PM »
We need live feed set up for a few trips around Coker creek to show what help Prospectors bring to the creeks i feel that by these set of rules tring to force up on us is disrespecting each and every one of you,that has put in your very on time to clean up trash on creek beds and for those to now see that and us doing are best to get all the harmful stuff out of creeks and say we make more problems by moving around in creek piff thats just a load of poop they handing out.


Ok heres a thought of a 100% death a fish goses to eat on a algae covered rock well in that is gold covered by mercury and the fish eats that,ok now that day or few days later a fisherman comes down and toss his line in the water and catchs that fish that eat the gold covered by mercury,he takes it home and guts the fish and knocks some if not all the gold covered by mercury off in to his meat what happens and why did that happen........the why part b/c tdec and twra dosnt know how big of a effect we the Prospecters play a roll on this deadly item in the creeks as well as all the other harmful stuff.

This is why its a big deal,and putting my kids 200 feet away wont happen on my part if passed Tn wont hold my money on prospecting and if need be ill move out to a state with folks that do understand what we really do for the state and that state respects there prospectors.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #80 on: April 15, 2014, 02:37:19 PM »
Here are my thoughts on Mercury.
The state thinks that we stir up mercury from the bottom of the creeks when we dredge, then move it downstream. This SO wrong! If our dredges, sluice boxes and even gold pans are set up to catch heavy material, we will pick up the mercury and remove it from the water. Add lead to this list too.
It seems that TWRA and TDEC are going out of their way to stop all recreational prospecting in the state.
If the rules are not strict enough, they add outrageous fees on top of them?????
Chuck
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #81 on: April 15, 2014, 02:42:55 PM »
I guess I will have to spend my 10 to 15 thousand a year in georgia or north carolina if this happens . Why does the state want to loose the dollars from us out of state people?

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #82 on: April 15, 2014, 03:41:18 PM »
TDEC can change their name to Tennessee department of economic collapse for many businesses if this goes thru.

SirJohnD

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #83 on: April 15, 2014, 03:43:24 PM »
Mike have you contacted rep Forgety office and explain to them that you will be spending your dollars elsewhere I'd this happens?  If not please do asap.
  John

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #84 on: April 15, 2014, 03:47:56 PM »
I wonder how many of our hard earned tax dollars TDEC/TWRA spent on all of this mess? They HAD to know we would protest it? Did they actually think we would say "SURE, thanks for all the hard work you put into this wonderful permit"? What were they thinking?
Chuck  >:(
Chuck Pharis
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Whiteknight

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #85 on: April 15, 2014, 04:00:24 PM »
Class 2 permits nearly 900 bucks what in the world is going on with that,do they really think doing that to class 2 that they are using backholes this big gold rush tv show stuff and able to just toss that out lol.


im sorry but we should find out the 1800 prospecting laws and see if they are walking over few writing laws they are breaking just by doing this i bet there are some.


as i see it the water act come in at 1977 to where prospecting was being done in the 1800s so from my eyes prospecting laws from then shouldnt be messed with or bothered as for it is know as a Historic part of Tennessee they are taking away and removing from the state.....what a shame.....b/c i have looked back and saw old photos that shows what hard work they did and no telling how much fun they had doing it.


Folks lets all just blow there phones up show em we fight for the rights and what we care bout.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #86 on: April 15, 2014, 04:07:02 PM »
Ok guys here's what I have so far as a proposed petition. I took what was listed from chuck before and reworded or changed some things around if there's anything I need to add or take out let me know I wouldn't post it until I get the go ahead. The only thing I didn't do was put the draft in the petition but was going to put a link to the petition in so anyone that want to read it could,




Citizens Against The Proposed General Permit for Recreational Prospecting Regulations


To all Concerned Citizens,
The TDEC (The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) has just sent out their final draft of the 2014 Recreational Prospecting Permit. Many changes were made from the last draft that was posted and after researching the draft and referring to the referenced documents, it comes down to over 90% of the gold bearing waters in Eastern Tennessee will be closed to all prospecting. This includes panning and dredging.
If this permit goes through on June 30, 2014, recreational prospecting as we know it in the state of Tennessee will virtually be over.This permit covers all PUBLIC and PRIVATE LAND in the State of Tennessee.
 Banning recreational prospecting in Tennessee will hurt tourism, family outings, and a good source of income for the Eastern part of the state. All we need is some simple "Common Sense" State prospecting rules and regulations , the same ones that are already in place in the Tellico Ranger district.

Public hearings will be on Thursday May 15 in the 3 locations.East Tennessee Knoxville Environmental Field Office 3711 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville, TN 37921
4:00 p.m. EDT Open House Information Session
6:00 p.m. EDT Presentation & Public Hearing (primary hearing location)
Middle Tennessee Fleming Training Center
2022 Blanton Dr,
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
3:00 p.m. CDT  Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT  Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.)
West Tennessee Jackson Environmental Field Office 1625 Hollywood Drive Jackson, TN 38305
3:00 p.m. CDT  Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT  Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.) 

 You do not have to be a resident of Tennessee to send in your comments or to attend the hearings. Many come from out of state to prospect here. This permit will affect everyone, not just the prospectors in Tennessee.


Here is the address to respond to:
Division of Water Resources William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243

We suggest that if you have any contacts on the State level: Senators, Congressmen, Governor, etc; please contact them and let them know you do not support this draft becoming law.


Please step up and help keep recreational prospecting in the state of Tennessee. By adding your name to this petition you are letting TDEC , TWRA, and all local and states representatives know we do not agree with the proposed permit draft and want " Common Sense " Regulations.





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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #87 on: April 15, 2014, 04:12:04 PM »
I didn't want it to be to long or get way to in-depth adding the link will allow anyone that wants to know more can read for them self's. I was going to add the part about 200 feet distance and , and so forth but was worried it would became to long.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recrational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #88 on: April 15, 2014, 04:21:05 PM »
WhiteKnight. For everyone's information, the 1870 General Mining Act only covers mining claims west of the Mississippi (with a few exceptions). They do NOT apply in Tennessee as we do not have mining claims here. TDEC/TWRA are citing the 1972 Clean Water Act. After you read it, you will see that recreational prospecting is not mentioned. They are trying to add to the act after it was published and make changes. If they want to add additions to the CWA of 1972, there is a legal process they must follow.

Read this for basic information.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Water_Act
Chuck Pharis
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #89 on: April 15, 2014, 05:02:23 PM »
Ok All Some will get upset with me over this some wont.......I called tdec and feed my thought and was told it was a very good comment and for me to take this email and send all of my comments in to it and i got the OK to post it here for you all to use to send in your comments.

NOW you'll have to follow this as this is what they told me to set it up for them to send it to the right part of tdec to be read and added to the writing hearing.

Rule one from me to those who use it........Always Be NIce Respectful followed by to whom reads this ect you know the ropes.


Ok Email for your comments is              water.permits@tn.gov            make the            SUBJECT           Gold Prospecting Final Draft             with out that Subject that will trash                             

Please Respect and watch your words and be nice.

let them know how good we are bout cleaning creeks and the banks and busting up debris from trees and the hiking paths ect show what good we do to where if these creeks taking away wont get cleaned due to us not there to do it and tdec and no one else is going to walk the creek like we do to clean it up.


Please Please be nice and respectful on doing your email comments and the use of that email.





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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #90 on: April 15, 2014, 05:02:50 PM »
ok guys I have just few questions for the petition, First to you guys approve with the wording, second is there another link to the draft or should I use the link here on this site, and third it does give me an opinion to add a picture is there any certain picture you guys would want me to use or does it matter to you. ( I don't want to use a pic with members in it without there permission)

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #91 on: April 15, 2014, 05:13:57 PM »
I sent you an email. Please let me know if you received it. What type of photos would you like to post?
In my email I made a few minor additions and changes. I sent it to Allen Trotter. After we are happy with it you can re-post the petition here for final comments.
You may use the link on this site. That way everyone can also read our comments and suggestions.
You will notice that I added this site to your petition in the email. 
Thanks,
Chuck
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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #92 on: April 15, 2014, 06:17:45 PM »
I spent all morning teaching gold prospecting and conservation at the high school today I have talked to 2 of the offices today as well as talked back and forth with sir john in regards to those conversations I had taken a lot of other metals and some mercury as part of the demonstrations on types of materials removed from the waters this was my second year teaching at the high school and will most likely do it again next year if asked to. will try to make photos of items removed and post if possible. i also have issue with what will be involved with the plan of intent and what all will be involved with that process as I haven't found out much about that yet
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #93 on: April 15, 2014, 08:02:44 PM »
Been a long day for me. It seems that I am the name that rep Hall's office is attaching to this issue. PLEASE keep calling.  Each of us is helping our collective voice be heard. 
  John

corundumaniac

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #94 on: April 15, 2014, 08:35:00 PM »
Hi all,

I live in Texas and mine gold in Montana and do not know what the legal climate is in Tennessee, but Here are a couple of additional thoughts regarding how you might put up effective opposition to the new regs that are looming on the horizon. 

First, if there are going to be public hearings prior to potential enactment, your reps might appear in a public comment" period and present your arguments so convincingly stated in the posts here (preaching to the choir is a great way to formulate the game plan but others need to hear).  These hearings are often on streaming video and may be rebroadcast or copied and put on YouTube or other "Internetworks".  Publicizing the material widely can cause an upwelling of protest and can have a great influence on the political ambitions of the hearing officials.   We are currently using these tactics in opposition to red=light cameras in Sugar Land, Texas, and I can say we've got'em thinking!   

Second, regarding the petition, in order to be anything more than an opinion paper it has to ask for something.  Ironically, it may be too soon; but if the disaster occurs it may be for a ballot regerendum to rescind the regulation.  (Again, I do not know what the relevant Tennessee laws regarding petitions are, or what other state or federal agencies might be involved).  There may be other possibilities - if so, go for it! 

It is a good idea to write your public offiials, but your correspondence should be individualized (not a form text), well thought out, and polite.  If not, it may not get past an aide and reach the intended person's eyes. 

One problem with the mercury issue is if there is metallic mercury or mercuric oxide in the streambed gravels, the issue is that agitation may put "unacceptable levels" into solution, invoking the water quality 600 pound gorilla.   Ditto lead, plumbic oxide and possibly a few other lead compounds. 

If we don't fight the constant erosion of rights our founding fathers formed this country to preserve, our descendants will suffer even more; and we will have ourselves partly to blame!

Remember:  "Time flies like an arrow.  Fruit flies like an overripe banana!"

Cheers,
Will

 

ratttn

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #95 on: April 15, 2014, 09:55:29 PM »
Here is something I got on another site in reply to our problem:

The major problem is that "Recreational Prospecting" is not covered by the Mining Law of 1872; therefore, it can be regulated out of existence. If GPAA, and others in the state of Tennessee, had defined themselves simply as "prospectors" or "miners", then you would be covered by the Mining Law, and would have a better hand, especially when going to court. By calling yourselves recreational, you allowed Tennessee to define recreational prospecting, so you are now at the mercy of the state. Most other states, including Colorado, have this problem - lord knows, I am guilty of recreational prospecting (I have only gone to the "recreational areas" and a little private property), but I do this only to test my equipment, and will be doing serious prospecting this year. I do not call myself a recreational prospector, though. I AM a real prospector, but one with little experience in the field. Change your viewpoint - you are a prospector, and if Tennessee still has areas open to mineral entry, you CAN still prospect, with the intent of finding an area to claim. Then you will be covered by the law. Do not accept the tag "recreational", because you are then giving up your right to prospect. There is a good write up on this in the ICMJ (International California Mining Journal) Magazine in the letters section covering this. In a letter from R. Fritz, he states "the bottom line - and the proper legal term - is 'casual' miner. You are a casual prospector until discovery, then you are performing casual exploration." Recreational activities are not a right, but a privilege, and a privilege can be regulated to death or taken away by the state at any time. Change your self definition, and maybe you can gain ground. Good Luck!

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #96 on: April 15, 2014, 10:01:02 PM »
Good explanation , rattn.

Words mean everything in a Court of law.

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #97 on: April 16, 2014, 06:40:02 AM »
Rattn has a point recreation is a privilege.  I don't understand why my privilege is being taken away when I've done nothing against the rules or outside the law.  I find it unfortunate that the we  are being so unfairly punished.  But if we lose, I am curious if the fishermen in the nice boat, or perhaps the hunter on his ATV will be next.  I'm just wondering where we might be able to find some allies.
Coker Creek Chapter President 2015-2017

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #98 on: April 16, 2014, 08:21:27 AM »
Just to let everyone know, today I will be giving interviews to the GPAA Pick & Shovel Newspaper and to the AMRA. American Mining Rights Association. http://americanminingrights.com/ Please visit their website.

I will give them the facts and let everyone know here on the forum what we talked about.
We encourage everyone to continue to contact anyone who might be able to help us. Just be sure to have the latest correct and updated information. Re-read the Final Draft and the web links.
It is very important that you attend our chapter meeting this Sat at 10 am eastern time. Voice your opinion. Anyone may step up and speak. If we do nothing, TDEC and TWRA will win, and we will end up taking our money to other states to prospect. It seems that our state Reps and other Government Officials seem to know nothing about this permit. We need to tell them our side ASAP!
Call us whatever you want: Recreational Prospectors, casual miners, weekend prospectors, gold miners, it all means the same. We are NOT commercial miners and need simple rules and a permit system set up that we can afford, that will open all waters in the state for everyone to enjoy. None of us want to destroy the environment. The state has gone overboard with all of this.
As I get ready to leave the country for a few weeks, I wish everyone the best of luck. I will have email and will monitor the forum and other sites. I will not have phone service as it costs a fortune to call out of the country.
Please contact me via email or send me a PM if you need to talk with me. We have some very good people in this area who are stepping up to help. I will return to the USA on May 6. 
Good luck and God's speed.
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]

D-Ferguson

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Re: 2014 Tennessee Recreational Prospecting Permit Final Draft.
« Reply #99 on: April 16, 2014, 09:59:26 AM »
since you have so much going on with the trip and all maybe you should have the pick and shovel contact Al Trotter for the interview. I'm sure he can handle it and will have the most updated info since we want everything known to be in this.
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