"Moratorium of suction dredge permits in California "
In case you haven't seen this......
Our adversaries in California are at it again. This time, they are trying to prevent the Department of Fish & Game from issuing suction dredge permits (until a new environmental review is completed) by adding rider language to the 2008-2009 State Budget.
Language creating a moratorium on further issuance of suction dredge permits in California has already been approved through the Senate Budget Subcommittee at:
and the Assembly Budget Subcommittee at:
This means, unless we are able to kill the rider, similar language will be attached to the full California budget bill which will be voted upon by the democratically-controlled California legislature sometime this summer or fall.
By the way, thanks to you guys and gals, it is a very good thing that we have full-time lobbyists on retainer. Otherwise, it’s likely we would not have known about this until it was too late to do anything about it.
I have spent several hours today reviewing the situation with our main lobbyist (Pete Conaty) and our attorney, James Buchal. We expect to have an action plan in place by early next week. Please stay tuned in, because we are going to need your help!
Here is a short summary from Pete Conaty:
It’s hard to tell how long the California budget process will draw out this year (the anti-dredging rider is attached to the annual budget bill, which must be voted upon by the full legislature and then signed by the governor). I gather that there is at least a $12 billion shortfall within the existing budget that must be fought over and resolved. By resolved, I mean that the budget bill requires a 2/3’s majority vote to be passed (leaving us some opportunity to do something about this harmful rider).
Since the budget process will likely draw out, if we are not able to get this rider language removed from the budget bill, the problem is more likely to affect next season.
Still, just to play it safe, for those of you who are planning to dredge this year in California, I strongly suggest that you do not delay in sending in your permit application. Blank forms can be obtained through our office by calling (530) 493-2012. Here is a sample of how I personally fill out the permit application:
While the result is more likely to affect next season, action to get the rider language removed is going to need to happen over the next several weeks. So it would be very helpful if you guys would please spread the word around far and wide about this and let people know that we will need to gather as much participation as possible to overcome this latest move against us by our adversaries.
Please forward this link to the other industry forums, so we can all come together in a coordinated action plan?
Public Lands For the People
Blue Ribbon Coalition
Friends of the Rubicon
Friends of El Dorado