Author Topic: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015  (Read 7117 times)

Rich Robinson

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Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« on: February 12, 2015, 11:01:06 AM »
Hello Coker Creek Chapter Members,
I have been relatively quiet for a while, but I have been very busy working for our prospecting community. I will have a lot to cover at the February meeting so be prepared for a lot of information that is coming there. I have been working on three big issues at the same time that all have similar deadlines but I think you will all be happy with the progress. I am going to address each issue in the order of their priority for me... Please know that my first priority is to get us back in the water with Class 2 equipment... So the Individual ARAP is the fastest way to accomplish that...

1. The GPAA Individual ARAP - The IP is progressing well and we are now in the public notice period... I posted the Public notice signs in Monroe and Polk Counties almost 2 weeks ago. There are 4 signs; 1 at the kiosk entering the Cherohala Skyway near the Tellico Ranger Station, 1 beside the Welcome Center at Coker Creek, 1 at our Rooster Ridge GPAA property and 1 at the T where you can go to Coker Creek Falls or Lower Coker Creek. The Public Notice ran in one of the newspapers in Monroe County on Monday of this week.  The TDEC public notice was posted on their website on Tuesday the February 10th. So, starting February 10th, the 30 day public notice period started... So if all goes well we will be back in the water in Mid-March in the Tellico Ranger District and Lower Coker Creek....

2. New General ARAP Rules - I am sure that all of you were unaware of this fact, as was I, and I will take responsibility for the oversight, but TDEC conducted a public hearing on the new General ARAP on January 13th. They issued the public notice for this hearing in November... We were not expecting this hearing to take place in April but it was moved up. Now before you get upset, TDEC contacted me directly on the 14th to let me know they needed my comments. I got the comments in within 3 days, in plenty of times to have Legal Standing. I have been working with them on a regular basis as they work on the new rules. There should be come good changes coming that will make the process of obtaining the permit easier, the rules more prospector friendly, and the cost of the permit much more realistic...

3. I have also be working for the past few months with members of the Tennessee General Assembly on legislation that will set reasonable guidelines for "Small Scale Non-Commercial Prospecting in Tennessee". The Legislation has been drafted and bills have been filed in the House and Senate. On February 11th I presented to the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee and I will be presenting to the House of Representatives Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee in the next 2 weeks. Senator Frank Nicely is our Senate Sponsor on the Senate Bill. Deputy Speaker of the House Steve McDaniel is the Sponsor of the House Bill. Soon I will be asking all of you to contact your legislators to help rally support for the legislation, but it is not time for that yet... Both bills will come up for their first readings before their respective chambers within weeks. Make no mistake though, this can and will likely be a lengthy process. The bills have 3 readings before their respective chambers before that can be sent to the Governor for signature. Also there will be changes and amendments to the bill as it moves through the process.

 I am spending a lot of time meeting with stakeholders while all of this is happening, meeting with legislators, TWRA, and other organizations who we share the waterways with, using meetings to educate them about our hobby and looking for ways that we can work together for mutual benefits. We can partner with other interest groups and help each other.

TDEC has come to the table with and offered to work with us to make the general ARAP better. So far it is looking a lot better... After my presentation to the Senate, Jonathon Burr Addressed the Committee and he stated that TDEC had not gotten the permit right and told the Senators on the Committee that TDEC is committed to working with us to get this permit right. He was very complimentary of the GPAA and those of us who have been working with TDEC on getting this permit issued. I believe we are very close to getting something we can live with everyone.  Before the hearing yesterday, I met with 2 Attorney's from TDEC, Jonathon Burr and Senator Nicely, and another meeting with Deputy Speaker of the House, Representative Steve McDaniel and we worked through some of the biggest issues. How to regulate Dredges is the hardest to get through, but I think we are close on how to deal with it in a way that will work for all of us... as well as other stake holders. (others who we share the waterways with)

Please feel free to PM me on the forum if you have any questions for me. I want to ask all of you to be patient. Please do not use the forum to slam those who are making efforts to work with us. I will always promote the idea of partnering with the agencies and organizations who we share the waterways with. We all enjoy the waterways differently so we need to be respectful of others and conscious of others rights to enjoy the waterways we share.

I look forward to your questions and I look forward to sharing more with you at the February meeting...

Richard




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samcox

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2015, 03:24:48 PM »
thanks for your hard work and for the time your devoting to the issue
my videos on youtube are under Pastor sam and Victoria. I have several playlist so look at the prospecting list for some goofy prospecting vids, Be blessed, and enjoy!

HappyOldMan

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2015, 07:27:44 PM »
You have been one hard worker for this club. Thank you
Where there is a will there is a way

Prospector Cody

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2015, 07:33:41 PM »
Thank you so much!
Cody Frye
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freddymac58

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2015, 07:39:11 PM »
   yes I do tk you for all the hard work. its not easy. an I understand all you go through. so thanks for the hard work freddymac

Nc/tn digger

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2015, 12:28:35 AM »
Richard want to say thank you for your time  and effort,  if you need anything from us just ask. Hope to hear good news soon

lungster67

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2015, 04:28:59 PM »
keep up the good .im glad we have you on are side  ;)

bugger

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2015, 07:34:25 PM »
Thanks Richard.

daddydave

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2015, 11:35:34 AM »
Rich - You have more 'go to' energy that I ever had when I was younger.  This is much appreciated and just want you to know how much I enjoy seeing a younger person, with stamina such as you have shown, taking the reigns.   

You are such a Blessing to this group.   Daddydave  :)

aufrank

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2015, 11:57:13 AM »
Thank you Rich for all of your hard work.   You give us hope that the system can work with good, reasonable people. 

None of us want to harm the environment, but we do want to be able to enjoy our public and private land in a responsible manner.

hillbillygold

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 01:04:46 PM »
For those with internet access....  TENNESSEE GENERAL ASSEMBLY   HB 0442 and SB 0390  :) :) :)

hillbillygold

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 01:22:42 PM »
 :) Here is the link

chiptrip

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2015, 01:35:18 PM »
http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/Billinfo/default.aspx?BillNumber=SB0390&ga=109  May be an easier way to keep up with the bill, in both the House and Senate.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 01:37:06 PM by chiptrip »
Coker Creek Chapter President 2015-2017

hillbillygold

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2015, 01:56:03 PM »
Thanks chip

Rich Robinson

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2015, 02:28:22 PM »
Hi everyone,
     Please keep in mind that this is a process and will take some time. The bills have been introduced and I have presented to the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. I was scheduled to present to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee yesterday. That presentation was rescheduled due to weather and will take place the first week of March...

    There will also be amendments to the bills as they go through the process. There are a number of changes that need to be made, but we were under the gun to get them filed before February 12, which was the deadline for filing legislation to be considered during this session. Otherwise it could have not been filed until next year. So if you go to the General Assembly website and read the bills, you will find that right now they are the same except for the bill number. SB 0390 in the Senate and HB 0442 in the House.

     I am continuing to meet with TDEC to discuss the new 2015 General ARAP rules for Tennessee. They are working to get them right so they not only work for them but also for us. This is important to us because once we can work out the General ARAP rules, they will become the basis for our legislation... For those of you who have reviewed the Individual ARAP Permit, you will notice that it was the basis for the legislation we just filed...

     We also have to keep in mind that TDEC is not the only interested party here... There are other agencies who have an interest in this permit and legislation. TWRA also has input, as well as the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and other Conservation Groups. As Prospectors we have to promote the fact that we are conservation minded. We will need to work with these groups as well as TDEC....

     I will be meeting with these groups to discuss their concerns as we move forward and working with them to insure that we are all able to enjoy the waterways while conserving and preserving the natural resources into the future.  An example of something we will need to be conscious of is spawning seasons. We will very likely not be able dredge during that time in the streams relevant to trout... But that is just an example. 

     There will also be other changes in language such as removing the word "permit". We do not want to legislate a Permit. There will also be changes to the dredging regulations. The name of the activity we are involved will change slightly. Our Activity will be called, "Small Scale Non-Commercial Prospecting". TDEC will also be using this as the name of our activity. In fact, when the new General ARAP comes out , that change will likely be reflected there. That was discussed at length with TDEC , Myself and the legislators we met with last week.

I will continue to keep you all updated as we go... Please feel free to ask questions or make suggestions anytime... Thank you all again for all of the support...

Richard
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 02:37:27 PM by Rich Robinson »
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Tom Twosocks

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #15 on: March 01, 2015, 03:37:54 PM »
Being the Prior Secretary of the Club,  I took the minutes for a number of years and want to set the record straight. These minute have been purged to make room, and so the Newbies need to know.

It is OK to give Richard credit for making thee presentation, however, that only occurred because David Owens was burying his mother. (very few Chapter members noted that even thought it was posted). 

Those current Rules / guidelines are almost word for word from the previous Cherokee Forest permit that David hand carried when he met with Senator Nicely and 3 other Tn Senators, and proposed doing a State of Tn permit for Recreational prospecting.

Progress today is because of 3 years work by David behind the scenes for ALL prospectors in the State of Tn.

No Fees; No permits; just a chance to enjoy a Hobby.

Chuck Pharis

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #16 on: March 01, 2015, 03:46:54 PM »
Tommy, I have thanked David many times in the past for all he did. Please remember, he resigned from the Task Force and we took it from there.
Chuck Pharis
Chuck Pharis
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DGurley

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #17 on: March 01, 2015, 06:34:10 PM »
Bottom Line Tom he Quit be for the job was done get over it. David is a good person he did all he could do and was Thanked for what he done so get that chip off your back and let it go life goes on.
 
David Gurley

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2015, 08:24:02 PM »
1. I don't have a Chip on my shoulder.

2. I just get nauseous seeing other people ride people into the Ground and then take credit for things they did not do!  I will speak up to set the Record straight. For the Bad to succeed , the Good just have to do nothing.
 
3. David is technically still a Chapter member, as the Board & President failed to follow the Chapter  By laws which call for a 30 day notice before any action can be taken. It remains to be seen what develops next. California would surely be interested, dependent on any further actions.

If you are a Board member you obviously are defending what you did. Who has a Chip?

Chuck Pharis

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2015, 08:55:44 PM »
Ok everyone please calm down. This issue was approved by the GPAA in California before any action was taken. I have always said that if anyone has any issues with the decision, please call the GPAA in Calif and complain.
As far as our Board Of Directors is concerned, this issue is closed. Bringing this up right now is not going to change anything.
When David Owens GPAA membership expires, he may return to our chapter and ask the Board to attend the meetings and chapter functions. The ban was until his current membership expires. After that he is welcome back after he talks with the Board. He is not required to renew his GPAA membership to join us again.
Chuck Pharis
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Tom Twosocks

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2015, 09:01:20 PM »
Why were the Bylaws not followed in the Process?

You, Alley, and Dominic all said they would be.

Chuck Pharis

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2015, 10:51:16 PM »
The GPAA agreed with the way we did this. We did nothing without their approval.
The decision of the Board is final and this issue is closed.
If you have any complaints please file them with the GPAA in California.
I am sorry you still are bringing this issue up at this late date.
Chuck Pharis
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Rich Robinson

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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2015, 11:16:29 PM »
Gentlemen,
I hate to see the forum come to this again. This is a family oriented club. No one came here and joined the GPAA to play petty politics. We came and joined to to share friendship, to prospect and learn togehter and share our love of prospecting with our families and friends... This behavior on this forum is rediculas...

Tom,
Sir, I do not know where you are getting your information but you are mistaken on many points. I have been working on the general ARAP since I became involved with the GPAA. Yes, David did contact Senator Nicely first, and he was on the Task force before me. I have always given David the credit for the relationship he started with Senator Nicely on behalf of Tennessee prospectors and for the work he did on the task force. I can assure you that David has not been involved in this process in a substantive way in at least the past 7 months. I believe we can also thank many other members of the organization who made phone calls to Senator Nicely and other legislators.

In the last 6 months I have dedicated myself almost solely to the purpose of getting the Individual ARAP Permit in place so that our members could get back in the water in the spring. As I recall, David was on a mission to sue us and the GPAA in order to stop the individual permit.

I have also been in constant contact with many members of the State Senate and House of Representatives working on behalf of Tennessee Prospectors to get Legislation drafted to ensure our rights to prospect in the state of TN, and by the way, it was not based on the Tellico Ranger Permit. It was based on the Individual ARAP Permit application that I personally wrote. The Draft legislation was crafted by a staff Attorney for the General Assembly who worked with me using the General ARAP, the Individual ARAP Application and definitions that were taken form the State of Oregon, information I requested form PLP , and various other sources including information I requested from the US Forest service.

Senator Nicely decided in November he wanted to get me on the Senate Energy, Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee agenda as soon as they started meeting, and I was extended an invitation form the Committee Chairman, Steve Southerland during the last week of January. Since January 13, 2015, I have spent roughly 22 days at the state legislature meeting with Representatives and Senators, drafting legislation, doing presentationswhich will continue through this week. I have spent countless hours prreparing presentations for TDEC, Senators , Representatives, and other interested stake holders who have an interest in our rights to prospectors; TWRA, and TWF, Trout unlimited to name a few. I have also had multiple meetings with these agencies and organizations.

 I will be meeting with TDEC tomorrow at their request to work on the new General ARAP permit, and them on to TWRA and TWF. Tuesday I will be at the legislature    meeting with legislators and preparing for my presentation to the House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee which is scheduled for Wednesday.

I beg to differ with you on another point. The reason I am doing these presentations has nothing to do with David burying his mother.  He may not have been able to attend because of that, but he was never on the agenda to speak. He did not work on the legislative piece that we put forth, He did nor recruit the sponsors for the bills not did he participate in the writing or promoting of this legislation. These things have taken place since November 2014.  I can assure  you I do not need to ride anyones coat tails. I have spent many years working for multiple organizations doing exactly what I have been doing for the prospectors of TN. I have taken no credit for work that I have not physically done on my own and I take offense to your assertion that I have, as I am sure that every legislator, attorney, and representative of agencies, and organizations I have workrd with in this endeavor would...

I think David is a nice guy, and I appreciate the work he did early on in getting the ball rolling, but he resigned from the Task Force on his own. The actions that were taken by the Chapter against David were approved by the GPAA. This topic is closed, and there is no point in trying to revive it... It is a dead issue. It is time to move on...

 
Richard
« Last Edit: March 02, 2015, 09:03:06 AM by Rich Robinson »
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Re: Richard's State Director's Update 2/11/2015
« Reply #23 on: March 02, 2015, 12:46:05 PM »
Just a thought! I agree with Chuck, the whole issue, right or not , is history and we need to not discourage new members. The people who were not here or know what happened a long time ago might get fed up with all the verbal bickering. We should agree that every body is right and stop it now. If someone needs to hear something, then state it and whoever needs to answer should say it, right or wrong. Lets get bback to prospecting. I like Gold, but I love Gems, and hate the bickering.

Just a thought......Just a thought

Russ