Author Topic: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014  (Read 23366 times)

Chuck Pharis

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Please note: This is old information and we will keep it posted for historical reference. There is a new topic on the forum about the updated permit.
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To all Tennessee Recreational Prospectors:
Please read this post BEFORE your read the enclosed permit and fee schedule.
 
Your Task Force just received the Tennessee State Recreational Prospecting Permit. It has been signed and is in force as of August 27, 2014 and expires on June 30, 2015.
 
Before you read any further, please be aware your Task Force is working with TDEC to draft an individual ARAP permit for all GPAA members. This permit should be better than the posted State Permit. As Richard Robinson discussed at the August meeting at the Chapter property, the individual permit should allow us to apply more reasonable rules to the waterways we prospect in, These waterways will be listed in the individual permit and will include most of the East Tennessee gold bearing waterways and their tributaries. As soon as we can, we will post the details of the Tennessee Individual ARAP Permit. This permit is NOT the permit posted here. This process will take from 45 to 90 days to complete.
 
 There will be no more public hearings, meetings or changes to this permit. It is what it is and there is nothing we can do about it but protest to our state government.
Your Task force has been working diligently on this permit. We can promise everyone, we have tried very hard to work with TDEC to draft a permit (from the Prospectors side) that would be similar to the Tellico Ranger District Permit. We were informed that was not possible. TDEC informed us that the Tellico Ranger District Permit was, in a number of areas, not in compliance with the Clean Water Act or the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act. These Acts are already the law of the land, one Federal and one State.
 
You're Task Force and many Tennessee Prospectors have already been in contact and have been working with our State Government before this permit came out. They were not happy with what TDEC, TWRA and other agencies have written in the past. As they read this "now implemented state permit", maybe they will realize that it basically gives us a permit and does not allow us to use it.
 
As you read this permit, some of it might be difficult to understand and might seem to contradict itself. We totally agree. If you have any questions about this permit, do not contact your Task Force. Call TDEC, as they wrote it. 888-891-8332. To contact the Division of Water Resources directly the number is 615-532-0635
 
It is up to each prospector who wants to use Class 2 prospecting to look up the state regulations and figure out how to file for their own Class 2 NOI. As of 7:30 PM, on August 29, 2014, nothing has been posted on the TDEC website. http://tn.gov/environment/, but the permit IS IN FORCE.
 
The Class 2 correlation of extreme stream width to dredge size will make it difficult for almost anyone to dredge, unless you are operating a 2" dredge or unless you are you are able to find streams that meet the extreme stream width requirements necessary in order to operate a 3 or 4 inch dredge. These issues will also be addressed in the Individual permit.
 
No permit is needed for Class 1 prospecting anywhere in Tennessee, but the minimum stream width of 5' at the point of the activity is definitely too restrictive and will be addressed in the individual permit. TWRA managed land will be a 20' wetted width. No, we do not like this either! This will also be addressed.
                                         
Since we just received this permit we have not had the time to go over each state listed regulation and website link. We ask the readers of this forum to look up these regulations and post them here. We also ask our readers to post their comments here about this permit. Please do NOT post slander or profane comments. Thousands of Prospectors will be reading this post, so keep your comments clean and to the point. Yes, we are upset with all of this, and we do expect you to voice your opinion, just use common sense in your comments.
 
We are not happy with most of this permit. We hope our State Senators and other Government Officials will agree with us and change or block this permit ASAP. We do not expect everyone to understand it. Neither do we, at this point. Most of the confusing language in the Permit deals with the Clean Water Act and the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act.
 
The 2014-15 fee schedule is posted after the permit.
 
Finally, your Task Force is working with TDEC to draft an individual ARAP permit for all GPAA members in the USA. This permit should be much better than the posted State Permit. As soon as we can, we will post the details of the Tennessee Individual ARAP Permit. This permit is NOT the permit posted here.
 
Final comments:
VERY IMPORTANT!
We have talked with Katherine Foster, the Head Tellico Ranger. She said, as of Aug 27, 2014 the Tellico Ranger Recreational Prospecting Permit is no longer valid for class 2 prospecting in the Tellico Ranger District. All Class 2 prospecting (dredging, high banking, etc) in the state of Tennessee is no longer aloud without a TDEC issued ARAP permit. This includes all waterways in the Tellico Ranger District, plus all public and private land. (the Sept 1st 2014 Doc Rogers opening dredging day is cancelled) This also includes our GPAA Coker Creek property. Class 1 Prospecting, (Non-Mechanical) is allowed and does not require a TDEC permit, but you will need to become familiar with the General conditions as well as the special conditions for Class 1 prospecting. You will need to check with the Tellico District Ranger Station or the Coker Creek welcome center to confirm that you do not need a Tellico permit in order to class 1 prospect on US Forest Service land.
 
Posted: 9:50 pm, August 29, 2014.
 Above comments written by:
Chuck Pharis
President:
Coker Creek Tennessee GPAA chapter.
Task Force member
 
Reviewed and edited by Richard Robinson, Task Force member and Chapter Vice President.   

We ask everyone to print out their own copy of this permit.
This is a cut and paste from an email I received tonight. We believe the Official Permit will be posted soon on the TDEC website. I will also try and attach a pdf copy as soon as possible to this posting. Please excuse any typos as our forum software does not like some cut and paste postings. I will repair the posting issues as I find them. It was very important that we get this posted on our forum ASAP. 
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Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation General Permit for Recreational
Prospecting
Effective Date: Aug 27, 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 prospecting does not require the submission of a written request nor does it require 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 must obtain coverage by submitting a signed and completed Notice of lntent (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 five stream segments totaling one mile or less of stream. As noted above, not all activities may be eligible for
coverage under this general permit and coverage may be denied when appropriate.
An application fee as established in Rule 0400-40-11-.02 will be assessed to applicants intending to conduct Class 2 activities under this general permit.
Limitations of this Permit
This general permit does not cover application fee as established in Rule 0400-40-11-.02 will be assessed to applicants intending to conduct Class 2 activities under this general permit.
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 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 access or 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.

Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 2 of 5, August 27, 2014
Each Notice of Coverage under this general permit is valid until the expiration date specified on the
NOC. If the expiration date on an NOC extends beyond 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 segment 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, or aquatic species deemed in need of management. Class 1
prospecting is not permitted in any stream segment designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service 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 or destabilization of stream banks is prohibited. All digging activities shall be
conducted at least one (1) foot from the water's edge on the day of the activity. In areas where
the stream bank is solid bedrock, deposited material closer than 1 foot to the water's edge may
be removed by the use of sucker tubes or other crevicing tools provided that special condition (11) is not violated.
(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, replaced to mimic original conditions.
Concentrates may be removed for later, off-site, processing.
(6) Panning activities shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between dig sites as
measured along the stream channel. More than one pan may be in use at a given dig site.
(7) Sluices shall maintain a distance of two hundred (200) feet between installations as measured
along the stream channel.
8. Sluice dams shall be constructed so that upstream/downstream boat, or other recreational
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) No objectionable color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than three
hundred (300) feet downstream of the prospecting activities. No visible solids shall be
deposited on the streambed downstream of the prospecting activities.
(11) 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.

Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 3 of 5, August 27, 2014
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 segment 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 2 prospecting is not permitted in any stream on the Division of Water Resources' 303d
impaired waters list for channel, physical substrate, or habitat alteration.
(3) All operations must take place in-stream. Operating on stream banks or in the floodplain is not
allowed.
(4) Operations shall not be conducted within five (5) feet of the water's edge on the day of the
activity. In areas where the stream bank is solid bedrock, deposited material closer than 5 feet
to the water's edge may be removed by mechanized methods provided that special condition (15) is not violated.
(5) Minimum streams sizes relative to dredge sizes are as follows:
Dredge Size* Stream Size
2 inches or less
Up to 3 inches
Up to 4 inches
Minimum wetted width of 15 feet at the spot of the activity
Minimum wetted width of 50 feet at the spot of the activity
Minimum wetted width of 100 feet at the spot of the activity
The maximum dredge size may not exceed four ( 4) inches in diameter.
* Dredge sizing refers to the suction hose size, not the intake opening diameter.
(6) The permit number shall be prominently displayed on any in-stream equipment, using two (2)
inch or larger characters and numbers.
(7) Pump engines shall not exceed eight "8" horsepower.
8. All engines shall be equipped with a muffler and spark arrestor.
(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.

Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 4 of 5, August 27, 2014
(13) No objectionable color contrast, or plume, shall be visible in the stream greater than three
hundred (300) feet downstream of the equipment discharge. No visible solids shall be deposited on the streambed downstream of the dredging operation.
(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 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
contaminated sediments.
(3) Prospecting is not permitted in any stream, or segment thereof, managed for brook trout.
(4) All disturbances (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 between the hours of sunrise and sunset.
(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 for class 2 operations and the limitations, requirements and conditions set forth herein for both classes of prospecting.
(11) All activities shall be carried out in such a manner as will prevent violations of water quality
criteria as stated in Rule 0400-40-03-.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 0400-40-04. 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.

Aquatic Resource Alteration Permit
General Permit for Recreational Prospecting
Page 5 of 5, August 27,2014
(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.
(15) Adverse impact to formally listed state or federal threatened or endangered species or their
critical habitat is prohibited.
(16) This permit does not authorize impacts to cultural, historic or archaeological features or sites.
(17) This general permit expires June 30,2015.
Supplemental Requirements
The following additional requirements apply to all Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency properties
including, but not limited to, Wildlife Management Areas, 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) prospecting is permitted is the South Cherokee National Forest and
Wildlife Management Area. However, Class 2 activities are prohibited on all other TWRA
lands.
Signed:
Tisha Calabrese Benton
Director, Division of Water Resources
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(Note from Forum Administrator) We do not expect you to fully understand these fees. We do not either.
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Fees:
GENERAL ARAP Permit Application Fee Schedule
General Permits for projects requiring notification to, or Notice of Coverage authorization from the Division (per language in a specific general permit)
Note: Projects seeking Notice of Coverage under a General Permit for multiple impact points may be assessed one $500 General Permit fee if:
Multiple impact points are of the same general permit type, such that each impact would be subject to identical general permit conditions,
AND
The cumulative degradation or other aspect of the activities does not require coverage under an individual permit. $500

Personal residence or family farm: $50

General Permit for projects not requiring notification to, or Notice of Coverage authorization from the Division (per language in a specific general permit)   
0400-40-11 Environmental Protection Fund Fees
Effective July 1, 2014, application fees for the processing of applications for 401 Water Quality Certifications and Aquatic Resource Alteration Permits and Notices of Intent for Coverage under an individual or general permit shall be as Above.
INDIVIDUAL ARAP Permit Application Fee Schedule
Projects with five or more points of impact, and compensatory mitigation required:   $5,000

Projects with less than five points of impact, with or without compensatory mitigation required: $2,500

Projects with any number of points of impact, and compensatory mitigation not required: $2,500

Watershed District Projects (T.C.A. 69-7-101 et seq.) $1,000

Personal residence or family farm: $50


« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 04:38:47 PM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
East Tennessee Coker Creek GPAA Chapter President (June 19, 2010 to June 20, 2015)  Member of the Board Of Directors.
GPAA Lifetime member, Former LDMA[/size]

BigAl

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In the absence of Legislative Intervention or the aforementioned Group Permit, this strikes a serious blow to recreational gold prospecting in the State of Tennessee.

My 2 cents worth for now.

Al
Coker Creek Chapter President
Former Coker Creek GPAA Chapter Vice President (Sept 2008-June 2014)
atrotter3563@yahoo.com
www.ProspectorAl.com
YouTube.com/prospectoral
(865) 748-9818
GPAA Membership # 240748

eawebb

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Am I Correct to assume that there is no more dredging or high banking on the GPAA property in Tennessee ??   What did I buy a membership for if the GPAA does nothing to stop this bull@#$%^%, but eagerly takes our money !!! 

Chuck Pharis

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Yes, you are correct. Until we get our Individual GPAA ARAP permit, you can only pan, sluice and use a sucker tube. No dredging anywhere in Tennessee including our GPAA property. Direct your anger towards the State. The GPAA had nothing to do with this. We will do everything we can to get dredging back ASAP. We hope it will take 45 to 90 days. We are working on the permit right now. You are not the only GPAA member who is unhappy with this new permit. We can't dredge either. If this works out, the GPAA will pay for one ARAP permit for all GPAA members. There will be no additional cost to any GPAA member.
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

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On Sept 1st. a large group of miners should show up and start dredging like they did in Iowa no tickets and they backed down they just hope everyone will go along with there stupid rules and not give them any bad PR EPA wants to take over every thing under agenda 21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RINI82Ofkh4#t=59
http://www.westernjournalism.com/american-dream-american-nightmare-epa-attempting-take-private-property/


chuck

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some one has to pay for Tom and his family to travel around the world Tenn.is nothing to them that the way i feel why should i pay for his vacations and not be able to take one myself

Tom Twosocks

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While your working on the ARAP permit; please work on GPAA headquarters.

I would expect that GPAA should extend all of our expiration dates as our GPAA membership is worthless at the present time.

They need to pay the piper also, as they did NOTHING to assist us in fighting this.

Once again I wish to go on RECORD thanking Bryan and ACE for all this commotion.

I still believe both of you need to stand in front at the next meeting and SINCERELY Apologize to all of us!

Tom Twosocks

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I don't blame Tom Massie for selling out. Take the money and run. The handwriting is all over the bathroom walls, we are being taken over by Government Bureaucracy plain and simple.

Chuck if my check has not been cashed please stop my membership renewal.

I need to think about this expenditure.

hillbillygold

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Unbelievable..... they will ok permits for multi billion dollar companies to come in and withdraw millions of gallons of water from a river and turn around and let them dump it right back in down stream ( us nitrogen - Greenville, Tn. or the paper mills in NC, etc. ) but want to stop us from what nature does on a continuous basis and charge us thousands of dollars to do it.  :o and  >:(.

 Class 1 special conditions
 ARAP - page 2 section 6 ---  How big is a dig sight? can you stand 10 feet apart or do you have to take turns digging in the same hole? There was 3 of us digging on the river the other day but we were spread apart some distance but we were not 200 feet apart - who determines how big a dig sight is and how many can be there? Are they saying only one person can be on a sight but can use more than one pan or more than one can be on a sight?  section 7 ---- 200 feet apart is unreasonable  which leads to section 10.... never seen a sluice put plume more than a few feet down stream before it drops back out and unnoticeable. section 9--- If I build a sluice dam I break it down.... I try to use natural rock formations in stream when possible but that isn't always possible but I don't see them on the rivers asking the tubers and local people to tear there dams down every day and this can be seen on any river that is being used for these purposes ( another example of the state making $$$$ and overlooking the obvious damages )



  If we don't get something better than this I see a lot of $$$$ leaving the state of Tn. and going to other states and a lot of local business going under. Better start flooding your state reps and senators with emails and phone calls and letting them know this permit is unreasonable and should be blocked and rewritten.


   

hillbillygold

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 I will be sending my application in to WEGM next week.... If I have to spend thousands on top of the money I spend in this state already it will be in a state that still appreciates getting the revenue.

hillbillygold

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On Sept 1st. a large group of miners should show up and start dredging like they did in Iowa no tickets and they backed down they just hope everyone will go along with there stupid rules and not give them any bad PR EPA wants to take over every thing under agenda 21

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RINI82Ofkh4#t=59
http://www.westernjournalism.com/american-dream-american-nightmare-epa-attempting-take-private-property/

 You going to be the first in with your dredge? If so I will be right behind you with mine. Just say were and when and I will be there

hillbillygold

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 I think David Owens resigned prematurely and hastily and should be called and asked to come back on board with the Task Force. We need his contacts with the state more than ever in my opinion.

chiptrip

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The timing on this couldn't be more frustrating.  I had hoped to dredge this weekend with my son.  It would have been his first time using a dredge, and I was excited about it.

This permit is no surprise, if it is a surprise to you, I have to ask "did you read the previous drafts?"  As I read it, I know that not everyone is a conscientious as we try to be in the water.  We have removed the stuff they have left behind, filled in their holes, etc.  This permit is designed for those folks.  Those who would destroy the environment I'm taking my son out to enjoy.  That doesn't make it any better but maybe more understandable.   This permit is designed to keep them out of the water.  It is not the permit that I hope to dredge with later this year.

This is why I will be renewing my membership in October.  I know that Our Club officers, and task force members (past and present) are striving to make it possible to get back in the water as soon as possible.  They have been working on a custom permit just for the Club members, that is expected to reopen many (if not all) of these waterways.   There are two things I find really cool about this permit: 

1)  It gives us as GPAA Coker Creek Chapter Members the opportunity to prove to the state that WE are responsible with our prospecting behavior.  WE as a chapter can set the precedent for the whole state,  by demonstrating how to "recreationally mine" responsibly.  The down side is some of that behavior starts now.

2) It gives us as GPAA Coker Creek Chapter Members the ability to change some of the rules to meet our needs.

So I guess the bottom line for me is this,  I am not happy with the General Permit,  I really like dredging.   But honestly, if this keeps the knuckleheads out of the water so I can continue, I'm OK with it for now, with the expectation it's going to get better with the custom permit.

My son and I will be on the lease later today.  If you see us there, the stuff oozing out my ears will be the frustration I feel from the timing of this permits release.  However, my son and I will be panning, sluicing, AND still finding gold. 
Coker Creek Chapter President 2015-2017

Chuck Pharis

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   Everyone needs to realize that the GPAA has nothing to do with this new TN State Permit. Tom Massie and his Family can't fix it. The GPAA can't fix it. Your Task Force has been working on this for over 2 years. We were told by TDEC that the permit would be better than the previous drafts they sent us. We waited for months, even years, then we get THIS? There were broken promises here and we expected a much better permit than the last "Final Draft" we received months ago. I believe that the Prospectors in Tennessee now have the strictest recreational prospecting regulations in all 50 states. Eastern Tennessee is rich in gold prospecting history. Soon that history will be lost forever.
We are currently working on the Individual ARAP GPAA permit. If we get this, we hope the GPAA will pay $2,500.00 for a 5 year permit that every GPAA member in the USA can use, with no additional cost to them (except their yearly GPAA membership). At this time we do not know what rules will be in the Individual  ARAP permit. We hope to be able to change many of the current rules in the state permit in our favor. We will post everything as soon as it is filed.
Right now, what can YOU do about this State Permit? The same thing you did when the last "Final Draft" came out. Call your Senators, local Government, the State Tourism Board, even the Governor's office.
We still need YOUR support to fight this new permit, so call everyone you know and tell them how unhappy your are.
After over 2 years of stalling, we finally have our Recreational Prospecting Permit, but where can we use it? There are only a few waterways available (under the new rules) that we can prospect in.
Would you pay $500.00 to use a 2" dredge in a few restricted public creeks in Tennessee? I won't! The state wanted us out of the water, and that is exactly what they got.
Chuck Pharis 
 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 09:06:01 AM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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Rich Robinson

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Hillbilly Gold,
I agree with you that David was a true asset as a member of the Task Force. I do not know all of the reasons he stepped down, and he will be missed. While I am a newer member on the Task Force, as well as the new Coker Creek GPAA Vice President, I am very well connected as well. David's absence does not mean that have lost ground. I have all of those same contacts and have been working with all of them, and more, and I can assure you that all of those critical relationships that can help are actively working with the Task Force still... David's reasons for leaving are his reasons alone, and I will not speculate why. He is a good man and I have a great deal of respect for the work he did on behalf of the chapter.. But I can promise you that we will not be losing any ground when it comes to getting the Chapter and GPAA  back in the water.

Chip,
you are absolutely right in your statements about the permit. This General ARAP Permit was designed the way it was for a few reasons.
1. To keep incidents like what transpired at little River 2 1/2 years ago from ever happening again.
2. To keep anyone from trying to make recreational prospecting a business that would bring a flood of people to TN to prospect.
3. To keep the non environmentally conscious people from destroying the waterways.

There are always people that do not abide by the rules , and those of us who do abide by the rules always pay the price...

For all who do not know, I have a long history of working for Conservation Organizations as a Tennessee State Representative. I have actively been working on this permit issue,utilizing every contact I have. I can assure you that this permit was not going to be stopped at this point... We will have to live with these rules until our individual permit is in place which can take up to 90 days. I am currently working on that permit application now. So  have faith in the efforts of your Task Force. Chuck and I will be meeting with TDEC as well as with Katherine Foster as I work through the application over the next couple of weeks. The individual permit application is very detail oriented and by the time it is complete will likely be 25 - 30 pages long. I want to make sure when we submit it that they have everything they need so the process goes smoothly.

Also, As Chip said in his post what we do from this point forward matters not only to obtaining the individual permit , but also to the next TDEC Draft Permit. This is extremely important..... The permit that TDEC has just issued is in place until June 30 2015. It will be up for renewal starting in January, which means it will be posted publicly again, and there will be public hearings again, and will have to be approved again.  The reason this is important to us is when we get our individual permit as the GPAA, it can become the model for what the TDEC's recreational prospecting rules should look like..

Over these past few months, being local to the Nashville area, I have spent a lot of time working on the permitting process. If you have any uestions about the General ARAP permit , I will be happy to try and explain to the best of my ability... Just PM me here on the forum... I do not expect any of our members to actually apply for this permit... Once we have our individual permit in place, all of our GPAA members will be covered under that permit and you will be able to get back in the water. With the Individual permit we will be able to deviate from some of the restrictive rules in the TDEC General ARAP permit... but those deviations will stillhave to be approved by TDEC.   But that is why the individual permit exist, to allow those obtaining the permit to make changes... Your Task force will keep you updated as we move through this process

Everyone, We will be back in the water, and what we will get in this Individual Permit will be better than the General ARAP.. Since Chuck will not be at the September meeting I will be there to handle that. I know you will all have many questions and I will answer all I can... but as Chuck said in the original post direct as many questions as you can to TDEC. We listed the numbers above...

To address your questions about dig sites, There is no limit to the number of people at a dig site.. What they have told me is for example, if a group has an outing and you have 10 people in a group, you can all work the same spot, but if another group shows up they will need to find a different spot.. But your group could be 2 people por it could be 25 if you wanted...

While we are on that subject, the same applies to sluices. As we all know it can be difficult sometimes to find a good spot to set up a sluice box, so there can be multiple sluice boxes in one installation....

Richard
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 08:53:59 AM by rrobinson »
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Chuck Pharis

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Richard, your comments about panning and sluice distances, just show how confusing this permit is. It says 200' between sites. It does not list how many can pan and sluice at one site.
This is why I posted that many will not be able to understand some topics in this permit.
When your say "they have told me", how do we expect prospectors to know what you were told verses what is in the permit? This is where the confusion starts.
Everyone, keep posting your questions and comments. We will do out best to clear some of this confusion up. It will take some time to understand what TDEC really means with their wording.
Richard has been working almost 24/7 on this prospecting issue. Our thanks go out to him.
The results are not what we expected. Now we work on a "Plan B".   
Chuck
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 09:34:07 AM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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hillbillygold

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 Richard .... I and the members thank and appreciate all that you are doing and I am not giving up on our quest to keep prospecting nor should any of the other members. We need to keep on working on this matter until we get back in the water and we need all our members to stay together on this. No one person can accomplish this on there own.... you have your contacts - he had his... was in no way doubting your abilities or contacts.... just saying we need everyone in on this matter. We have more strength as a group than individuals and everyones efforts should be appreciated. I only dredge a few times a year but would still like to be able to do that when time and finances afford it .... until then I will keep on panning and sluicing and cleaning up the messes of those that are truly affecting the water ways.

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To our GPAA Members,
May of you may have received a text message this morning concerning our GPAA Chapter filing for an Individual ARAP Permit. What everyone needs to understand is that the reason we are doing this is to give our members the opportunity to continue the hobby we love and enjoy.. Any person or organization  in the United states can file for an individual permit to do the same activity. Had we known this was an option we would have filed for this permit 2 1/2 years ago....  As we all know, there will be very few people that will file for a General ARAP permit, It is cost prohibitive and extremely restrictive...

Yes the people of the US have rights, I agree completely, but in our form of Government we have avenues to fight back against the heavy handedness of government regulation. This takes time and patience...Please voice your opinions to your legislators and to the agencies involved. Change can not come if you remain silent... But I do want to say, No Officer, board member or individual is fighting this permit alone... This fight is not about glorifying any one person or only representing one group.  Currently we are taking this one step at a time... We are not the NRA who has over 150,000 members in the State of Tennessee, We are the GPAA and everyone knows that we have 2 chapters in the state and our membership is small by comparison.. Our voice is not as strong , but working together , we have a voice.. Anyone who truly cares about this hobby and what we represent, and wants continue the tradition of prospecting in Tennessee should stand with us to make our efforts stronger. I can assure all of you, there is not a quick fix. No one at this point can or will stop the permit ... It is issued and in effect... We have an opportunity to continue our hobby through the Individual permit, and this is the first step toward to regaining some of what we have lost.  Any person that wants to sue to keep us from from obtaining our permit does not have the interest of Tennessee's prospectors or the preserving of this historical tradition at heart... Respectfully, that is my personal opinion...

Respectfully,
Richard

« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 10:32:49 AM by rrobinson »
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Hillbilly Gold,
Absolutely, I could not have put it better myself... I will have much to update our members on at the September meeting... I look forward to sharing all I have on the topic. I hope to have a draft of the Individual permit Application to share, by then... Katherine is out of town and we can not meet with her until after Sept. 8... I know you were not questioning what I have been doing. I just wanted to reassure everyone that Davids Contacts are not lost. I have been working with them as well. So our efforts should not skip a beat in that regard... I promise you I am not in this for any glory. I am in this because I believe in the cause... I truly believe that we will regain much of what we lost. and while we will still have some restrictions, we will be back in the water. The individual Permit is a good thing considering what we were facing otherwise. This will get our members back in the water with no permit cost to the members... A great first step, I think.

Richard
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 10:06:19 AM by rrobinson »
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corundumaniac

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   What a mess!  Fortunately I do not do my prospecting in Tennessee!  If I itemized my disagreements I would be preaching to the choir, so let me instead use my energy to continue the fight against oppressive regulation in Montana where I do hang my hat for a month or more every summer.

     Regarding that, there is a D.C. based Forest Service investigation into the treatment we received, and I get a whiff of serious consideration (not just the "take the licking and keep on ticking" judgment many of my friends have told me to expect).  Even a steer can dream, right?

     In any event, we're going to mine in 2015.  The question is whether we will do so under the costly  micromanaging scrutiny of Forest Rangers and numerous other federal agencies or as responsible small miners free to seek and find.  I will let you know how it goes, and how we did it if indeed we are able to bring some common sense into the management policy of our natural resources.   

     When attorneys and bean counters determine how loggers can log, firewood cutters can cut firewood, hunters can hunt, and small miners can mine, it's a problem.  In our case, it's one we must deal with strenuously in order for our passion to survive! 

     Thanks to bulldogs like Chuck and the rest of you guys, we have a chance!    Sic 'em!!!
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 12:10:24 PM by corundumaniac »

baldar77

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I've noticed a lot of anger being directed at the GPAA and the Coker Creek chapter members......Why?  This isn't their fault....quite the contrary, they've worked their ass off to keep it from happening.  So where does the fault lie? There are basically two ways the bureaucracy uses to discourage "unwanted" behavior....tax it to death, or regulate it out of existence.  The question is...why do they not want recreational prospecting?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2014, 01:01:24 PM by baldar77 »

andy taylor

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as im not now a gpaa member and may not rejoin can anyone sort thru the crock of bull in that permit and even figure out creeks to use a pan in other than the club prop.
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

baldar77

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Sure....it appears you can still pan in any creek as long as it's 5' in width and doesn't harbor an endangered species, such as the soon-to-be extinct "dredger."

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Panning creek width depends on a few things. On private land and non-TWRA managed waterways, you use the 5' wetted stream width rule. On TWRA managed waterways, the wetted width is 20'. The will cut out many creeks to gold panning in the gold bearings areas of Monroe County.
Read the last page of the permit (Supplemental Requirements item (1). 
Chuck
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Rich Robinson

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Also you have to understand what is meant by TWRA managed.  ALthough TWRA manages the hunting and fishing permits For the state of TN. It does not mean that they manage every waterway in the state, TWRA just manages the the wildlife laws.   The land that they manage is wither owned by them or the state, leased from companies or corporations or Federal lands that they manage, Such as some US Forest Service land... They generally Manage the lands for wildlife, and therefore regulate the permitting process for wildlife. They have to enforce Federal and State Law on lands they own, lease or just lease... YOu can look at any hunting guide or look at their website to can see what properties they manage...

Richard
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Goldie

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Just curious, and I may have missed it, but who enforces these rules and what are the penalties if they are broken?  There must be some sort of legal loophole to keep dredging on TN waters?

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TDEC enforces the prospecting permit. There have been no posted fines yet if you are caught violating the permit. The permit is not even posted on their web site yet. It still is in force as of Aug 27, 2014. Many issues are not clear. Meetings will be set up soon to get some answers.
Chuck
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ARC

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I saw the writing on the wall reading the drafts leading to this. I am not surprised by this bunch of BULL at all!! If I do any more prospecting it will be outside the state of Communist Tennessee. I am sure bordering states will appreciate the extra revenue this will generate.

I might knock the dust off my equipment after the COMING! I'll be armed to the teeth and dig where I want during the lawlessness.

Good Luck to you all!

ARC  :(

Goldie

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Will TDEC have officers that patrol the prospecting waters of TN?

andy taylor

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sounds like alot of gold bearing streams will not be open to panning its trying to sort out the 303d streams as well as others that may have critters that may need protecting.after the ranger gets back will there at least be a better way of knowing what streams will still be open in the tellico district.
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

sysbee

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Maybe you should post a list of stream you can prospect in might make it simple for the tennessee prospectors and width, endangered fish etc.., and streams with rocks( lol ) what streams are left in the gold bearing area maybe 5 at the most, and you pay 500 bucks lol.

Good luck
Dredgers like it deep

sysbee

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Will TDEC have officers that patrol the prospecting waters of TN?

They don't have resources for that yet, they will rely on rangers and public to patrol for free as dredging is a long process someone will see you through out the day!
Dredgers like it deep

Larry Jordan

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Although it is confusing, it does appear we can now pan in the wilderness areas. Is this a correct interpertation?

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Yes, we should be fine to pan on WMAs.. Of course, the stream has to be 20 ft wide... I will be working on that next week...
Richard
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We DO plan to eventually list all the waterways we can pan and eventually dredge in. We were hit with this permit like a ton of lead. We have some recovering to do ASAP. As we see it, all the waterways we used to pan in are still open. BUT as Richard said, the ones that are managed by TWRA have to have a wetted width of 20'. All the waterways on private land need to have a wetted width of 5'.
We also plan to post links to all the websites available to get an NOI plus other related sites. This just happened a few days ago. We need some time. Meetings are scheduled soon.
We promise to get as much information posted as soon as possible.
Chuck
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I would post a list of "open" streams right now if I could figure it out.  ???

Al
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I wonder what would happen if someone not reading this topic and had a Tellico Permit showed up in that area with his dredge and started dredging on the 1st?

As you say it is not on their website yet.  How is one to know? 

Also, I am curious - Since when does a State have authority over a Federal Forest and their laws?

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what about smokey mountains? you know west prong little pigieon up the spur

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unless they change the laws on wma's your not allowed to remove any rocks or minerals from there managed area's. The twra didn't like me using rocks to build a fire ring.
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its just a shame that gatlinburg can pump raw sewage into the creeks in the smokeys but we can no longer enjoy our hobbies without fear of breaking the law and getting fined. >:(tdec a waste of my tax dollars i think since were out a hobbie we should become whistle blowers.every time gov. caught doing wrong make a big stink about it like you miss uuse of funds and or equipment you know like sevier county high ups and there familys getting to use county equipment ,oh im sorry i mean my equipment.some people have forgot were bread gets buttered.anyway at first chance could someone maybe tell use list of rivers that can still be prospected in or are all rivers in tn. just for shitin and pissin in

s.knox38

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what about smokey mountains? you know west prong little pigieon up the spur
unless they change the laws on wma's your not allowed to remove any rocks or minerals from there managed area's. The twra didn't like me using rocks to build a fire ring.
Yes, we should be fine to pan on WMAs.. Of course, the stream has to be 20 ft wide... I will be working on that next week...
Richard
can we or not propect in WMAs

s.knox38

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i guess i'll go throw crap and fertilizer at creek all thats left to do now.hey thats kinda what gov. does to us so that should be fine with them

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No more breaking apart rocks  with pry bars and wedges, either.

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Tom, I think what they are talking about is prying apart or breaking apart  stable exposed Bedrock...

Richard
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what about smokey mountains? you know west prong little pigieon up the spur
unless they change the laws on wma's your not allowed to remove any rocks or minerals from there managed area's. The twra didn't like me using rocks to build a fire ring.
Yes, we should be fine to pan on WMAs.. Of course, the stream has to be 20 ft wide... I will be working on that next week...
Richard
can we or not propect in WMAs
I will check on this to be sure... Dont do it until I can get a confirmed answer.. Sorry Guys, there will definitely be a learning curve on this thing...
Richard
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In the absence of Legislative Intervention or the aforementioned Group Permit, this strikes a serious blow to recreational gold prospecting in the State of Tennessee.

My 2 cents worth for now.

Al
I have a Pen and a Phone just like Obama. I'm ready to go
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I am totally confused at this point.  Can or can I not sluice at Doc Rogers now?

I've been going at least once a week and am really Teed off at the negative scare tactics that TDEC has passed to the press on this subject. I don't have the temperament or the education to debate my side of this with them.  At my age it will be too late to enjoy my past time before this issue is resolved.  I am finding it very difficult in thinking like a Christian right now, all I can think is what Charles Heston said about prying his dead fingers off of his gun.  So I better stop rite here before I say something that may cause negative issue with progress with this problem.

So; someone; can I or can't I sluice up there Tuesday of this week?

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Yes, you can pan and sluice on the same creeks that we have always used, as long as the wetted width of the creek is 20' or more. It is 5' on private land. 20' in the Tellico Ranger District. You do not need a permit for Class 1 prospecting. The Tellico Permit is no longer valid.
What do you know about TDEC and the Press? Send me a PM or email me.
Chuck
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Chuck Pharis
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andy taylor

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chuck are you saying that most of the streams in the tellico district are under tdec or twra control.i thought the 20 foot wetted width was for a wma which i believe most of those would either have  naturally reproducing trout or other critters that need protection.also does anyone know if little river would be open to pan and sluice.does anyone have a link to the 303 d list of streams as i assume those are off limits.ive tried to read the rules sevral times and they have been wriiten as to cause confusion.i dont expect anyone to sort out where we can and cant prospect for a while as the rules seem to have been written by a colledge educated idiot.
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

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The 20' rule will be confusing until we can sort out what TN waterways are under TWRA management.
I can tell you that Little River and the creeks we normally pan in (in the Tellico District) are probably under TWRA. Use the 20' wetted width rule except on private land.
Yes it is confusing. There are 185 pages on the list. Good luck figuring all of it out.
The link to the 2014 303d list is:
http://www.tn.gov/environment/water/docs/wpc/2014-draft-303d-list.pdf
Chuck
« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 06:33:46 PM by Chuck Pharis »
Chuck Pharis
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To make searching the TDEC 303d list a tiny bit easier, the gold bearing waterways we are concerned with are on pages:
59 to 63
73 to 80
81 to 82
85 to 87
101 to 108.

Be sure to read pages 1 to 10, if you want to be more confused.
All questions should be referred to TDEC.

These pages cover the following Tennessee Counties:
Sevier
Monroe
Knox
Blount
Bradley
Polk.

I only listed the Counties in Eastern Tennessee that contain gold that we prospect in. There might be others, but with 185 pages to search through, this will make it much easier. I did some of the work for you.
I now have a headache. You're welcome,,,,,,,,,,
Someone else can do the rest of the state.
Chuck 
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andy taylor

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as do all of us thank you for narrowing the search down some.if i read the new permit correctly on page 4 under general conditions number 2 means all streams on the 303 d list would be off limits to all classes of prospecting.coker and lil river are on that list from what i understand.i cant look at the list on my phone  and had someone else look it up.
if'n i had my druthers i'd druther be huntin' purdy yeller rocks.

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You are correct about this permit being confusing. On page 5 TWRA added "(2) Class 2 (mechanized) prospecting is permitted is the South Cherokee National Forest and Wildlife Management Area. However, Class 2 activities are prohibited on all other TWRA lands." This is still confusing as you can also pan in LR and at Coker Creek but we are still stuck with the 20' rule.
They are leaving the Tellico Ranger District open to dredging but try and find a creek wide enough for anything over a 2" dredge! Plus you have to file an NOI for $500.00!
Again, they are giving us a permit and not giving us places to use it. Right now you will be lucky to find a place in Coker Creek that has a wetted width of 20' to simply pan in. Yes, there are places in Coker Creek when the water is up and running fast. Would you take your Kids to a rushing river to pan 12" away from the banks? Coker Creek is the center of all the historical gold prospecting in Tennessee. This history will soon be lost.
The state is going out of their way to STOP Recreational Prospecting. Tell this to your Senators!
Chuck
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so what your saying is there is no panning or sluicing at Doc Rogers any more. or at the GPAA property, there is only 1 spot on the club property and that would be in the Y that goes under the driveway. If I'm reading the 20ft rule right and understanding your comments.
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Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2014, 12:06:40 AM »
I see now, how tough this permit is to understand. No matter what it says, it sucks.
On private land you use the 5' wetted width for Class 1. That includes our GPAA property. On TWRA managed public land, you use the 20' wetted width rule for panning. That includes the waters in the Tellico Ranger District. Yes, you can pan and sluice at Doc Rogers, but bring a long tape measure with you. When the water is low, there are not too many places left that have a wetted width of 20'.
Use the 5' wetted width rule on our GPAA property, as it is private land.
This is for Class 1 prospecting ONLY. You need an NOI to dredge or high bank (Class 2) anywhere in Tennessee. As I said earlier, Tennessee now has the strictest Recreational Prospecting rules in the 50 US states. What have we done to deserve this? I am glad my Kids have grown up. If they were young, there would be only a few places where I could take them to prospect.
The state seems to have done a lot of research to stop us from doing any prospecting anywhere. Your best bet right now is Little River for panning.
Chuck
Chuck Pharis
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rockchuckerdon

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #55 on: September 01, 2014, 02:04:38 AM »
Chuck, has anyone contacted the TWRA headquarters in Nashville for their interpretation on the WMA width restrictions for the Cherokee National Forest? They have certain lands that are leased by them with funds obtained thru license sales and federal excise taxes, and they have certain private lands that have been purchased, donated, etc. These lands they have control over, and are specific WMA's, such as Prentiss Cooper, or Catoosa WMA. I do not believe they have a lease agreement with the National Forrest Service. The Tellico Ranger and Ocoee Ranger districts are general WMA's, and they only manage the wildlife and hunting and fishing seasons in those areas. They cannot close or control ingress and egress in those areas.  Has anyone been told specifically, and seen in writing, that they have exclusive rights above the Ranger on Federal land? This needs to be completely searched. The 20' restriction may be an overreach on their part. The class 2 restrictions the TWRA has imposed may be an overreach also. A good lawyer can get to the nuts and bolts of what powers they have, and what they think they have. We need some legal guidance on these interpretations. On all WMA's, they have to spell out all restrictions in writing in the Hunting and Fishing Guide and indicate the boundaries with signs. Perhaps we need to discuss this with the state powers to require the TWRA to clearly post signs and restrictions of all affected streams and stream segments. They may want to drop some of the restrictions then. It's possible they have control over the Cherokee National Forest, but I'd like to see it in writing. Thanks, Don.

eawebb

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #56 on: September 01, 2014, 08:22:18 AM »
For yearssince I retired as a Mississippi wildlife enforcement officer I have fished and hunted and prospected and even lived in Tennessee. I  have been buying an out of state license to hunt and fish which is almost $300 each for me and my wife. I will no longer hunt or fish or spend a dime in Tennessee. They are a communist state now!  It is a shame that a kid will not be able to wade the creeks and turn over rocks to even look for crawfish and explore like kids do. This is crazy!!  Prospecting does less harm than a small flood!!! Can the idiots at the TDWC not understand this or are they just too dang lazy to want to fool with prospectors, so they just ban it ?  People of Tennessee I would protest this action and as tax payers I would demand for them to cancel this crazy new law!!!

Chuck Pharis

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #57 on: September 01, 2014, 08:44:45 AM »
Don, I will let Richard Robinson respond to you post. He has meetings set up this week in Nashville.
Chuck
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rockchuckerdon

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #58 on: September 01, 2014, 02:19:21 PM »
Thanks Chuck, this issue needs to be fully addressed and challenged. I normally support the TWRA, as I'm a Lifetime Sportsman License holder and avid outdoorsman. They do a lot of good work for Tennessean's, but this is over-reach concerning the Cherokee National Forest. They should be paying us for lead removal. By weight, I always have ten times more lead shot in my pan than I've ever had in Gold, and I only get to prospect 4 or 5 times a year with a shovel, pan, and sluice box. We should be in every stream of every size, except during reproduction cycles of truly endangered species, doing our good deeds in enviornmental-lead recovery. Hopefully Richard can work with them to simplify the language and help them to realize an ethical Prospector/Lead-Mercury Recovery Specialist is the only outdoors person using the waterways, who actually contributes to the protection of the enviornment. Good people only need regulation for guidance, not restriction. There is a fine line between the two. Thanks, Don.

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #59 on: September 01, 2014, 03:09:55 PM »
Who is in control of the permits, then find out who put them in power, 3rd then vote there ass out this fall start a petition against them online might work a little faster if there supporters know there picking on outdoors people, file a petition against boaters for pollution gas/ exhaust  leaking in our drinking water supply and they pay $50 a year to do it. Believe me the tree huggers don't like boats no more then they like us, but you get 100,000 boaters pissed off then maybe they will make our permit more realistic just a thought sometimes you have to go in a different direction to make your cause noticed
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little louie

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #60 on: September 02, 2014, 06:46:44 PM »
sorry I maybe really slow but is wetted width the wet area where there is water at the time we are there or the actual area of stream bed that is wetted when full ? there are many areas I prospect that are low lying and swampy and there are areas 100 yards wide that are "wetted".
second question is how will a separate permit for gpaa members work? I have not had my dredge in the water for 2 yrs now due to this mess   
   

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #61 on: September 02, 2014, 07:31:04 PM »
I've noticed a lot of anger being directed at the GPAA and the Coker Creek chapter members......Why?  This isn't their fault....quite the contrary, they've worked their ass off to keep it from happening.  So where does the fault lie? There are basically two ways the bureaucracy uses to discourage "unwanted" behavior....tax it to death, or regulate it out of existence.  The question is...why do they not want recreational prospecting?

Baldar77,

One of the reasons why I am no longer a member of the GPAA, there are several GPAA members that have no regard for the simple rules of   "Leaving The Area, The Way You Found It"   There are only a very few that actually cares. Those very few are the ones standing up for this sort of stuff.

One of the reasons the GPAA chapter is receiving grief about this is they are looked at as a mediator in the new government rulings. Members expect the GPAA to step in and protect their rights as a prospector. All I get out of the GPAA is a nation wide Leasing agency, nothing more... 

Recreational prospecting has been demonized by the "Green Groups" and paint a prospector as a destroyer of aquatic life and seek the destruction of the environment just to mine tiny pieces of gold and gems.  Which if you walk up and down Doc Rogers, You can see the evidence of their concern.

It is all True.

Laws change when people change.     

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #62 on: October 19, 2014, 01:58:35 AM »
I'm writing this post because I dill with tdec on a regular basis and I want you to know how they affect so many people by the decisions they make! I work for a wastewater  plant and we as a facility want the permission to discharge our water to the little river! Even though it's only a mile from being called fourt loudon and is realy the lake but because it is considered the little river and the Tdec considers it a endangered habitat we can't at this time! But the impact this decision has is more than one would realise! The electricity it takes to pump this amount of water 8-40 mgd out to fort loudon every day costs us 1.2 million dollars annually!! Which is passed down to the local utility bills! If we could discharge below our plant we could gravity flow the water and eliminate the 1.2 million anualy! The water we put out looks exactly like drinking water, it would help the d.o. (dissolved oxygen), balance the ph, clarify the turbidity aka murkey water test! And has so many goods and no real bads! When you dill with tdec they tell you what it will be and years of negotiating to get half of what you want! This is a long process and I know with gold panning it is frustrating, the only way to negotiate is to invent ways to make whatever they fill the problem is, cleaner! Things like advanced filtration systems, restoration projects, doing proper tests, like turbidity after a dredge, suspended solids which is the concentration of solids in the water, look at a sample under a microscope to see what it consists of! Things like that is how you truly negotiate with the state in my opinion! When you negotiate you dress properly and know what you are talking about as far as the environment! I know it is no differant than the average hippie tuber digging rocks and spray painting the banks, but they fill anytime you dig holes or turnover the aquatic environment that we are monsters! I love prospecting and I hope to see things improve! I hope my kids can do the same as we do!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 03:06:43 AM by diggindave »

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Re: 2014-15 TDEC General Permit For Recreational Prospecting. Posted 8-29-2014
« Reply #63 on: October 19, 2014, 02:08:41 AM »
No hate toward the hippies, and dressing proper meaning dont ever negotiate looking like your unprofessional, I love over halls but they probably wouldn't think that guy knows a lot about the environment! And I know Chuck is very professional!!! thats not what I mean but I mean anyone who takes the role of negotiations!
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 02:12:39 AM by diggindave »