Gold, Dredging, Dams, Environmentalists, and Truth



Dear Readers: It is my privledge to be a member of a wonderful chat room of Conservatives. Some of the most articulate, bright and interesting people I know post there regularly, and expand my knowledge and horizons.

One such member is Matt Mattson, who wrote the following piece. I am delighted he has allowed me to publish it here, as it demonstrates how harmful the bad-science generates poor environmental policy that is ultimately deterimental to the very Earth it seeks to protect.


Above on the left, is a picture of the S. Umpqua River, opposite space 78 at the River’s West RV Park, on Jan. 20, 2002 when the river is at its normal winter flood stage. Note the color of the water, a soupy red/green. This date is also the height of the winter steelhead trout season, as any State Oregon Fish and Game booklet will attest. The picture of the dredge working on the right is taken at the same location during the 2001 Dredge Earth First Rally. Note the dredge is not: making the river cloudy; moving so much water it covers the boulder beside it, affecting the steelhead trout (which have long since gone out to sea), or turning the river red/green — only Mother Nature has the power to do that! The next time you hear xyz environmentalist say gold dredges are harmful, take a moment to reflect on this picture. Each year the gold bearing rivers flood, at the same time steelhead and salmon are running up them to spawn, so reddish-green water produced by Mother nature is no impediment to them, and hasn’t been for eons. That is a fact. Mother Nature, each year, is moving millions of pounds of material and boulders the size of Cadillac cars at flood stage, and no dredge yet designed by man does that, let alone a small gold dredge. Second, reflect on this: all states have dredge seasons, ahead of the spawning cycles, because forest managers know that loosened and aerated river gravel is exactly what salmon and trout look for to spawn in, and that is exactly what the dredge produces.

The Gold Dredge of yesteryear (and what greens want you to always think of as “gold dredging”):

The enormous, awkward-appearing gold dredge was operated in the Goldstream Valley starting in 1928 and extracted 7.5 million ounces of gold before being shut down in 1959.

Gold dredging today:


Dam Removals Vs Gold Dredging:

I am not an expert in dam removals but everyone should keep a watchful eye on them as they are slated for places all over, especially when the dams have out-lived their life’s purpose in some cases and some have even totally filled so they are merely a man-made “waterfall”.

The reason to keep an eye on these is based on the fact that even in the case of a “dinky” little dam there are tens of thousands of cubic yards of sediments that will be flushed downstream (which is the equivalent of more than centuries of what the collective suction dredge gold miners could move in a state (and the miners are spread out over dozens and dozens of separate places and not a single stream).

The point should be that the results from these removals with the massive volumes should put a nail in the coffin of the suction dredge critics based merely on the silly contrast of the drop in the bucket to the ocean in volume comparisons, area effected and persistency. Of course the intellectually dishonest hypocrites of the naturalist movements will never settle for letting the “truth” keep them away from something.

The big question specific to these power generating dams and reservoirs for steady flows of water and irrigation has to be for what reasoning are they going to be taken away?? If they are to be sacrificed on the “holy grail” of salmon they need to have their heads examined. No salmon species is threatened with extinction in N.America …and though they are in decline presently in different streams or watersheds there is not even the complete knowledge as to all the reasons why. I think that logically speaking if portions of the watershed (branch tributaries)that are not in fact affected by dam flow, temp., etc. are not demonstrating that there are in fact significantly more fish then what is the point???

I don’t believe the evidence suggests that is true that certain parts of streams are fine but quite the contrary, these portions of watersheds though not influenced by the dams are similarly seeing reduced numbers compared to historical amounts (where any real good information existed)….that has to PROVE without a doubt that the declining trends are rooted somewhere else and these efforts to try to squeeze out small little increases here or there are essentially “witch hunts” and not the primary problems. They have to try to make people believe that traveling some miles up the main tributary is lethal I would love to know if they have anything that shows that is the fact. Consider the Fraser River for example up in B.C. where the natural geologic conditions based on the sediment types have the River flowing 35 NTU all summer long and yet they have a strong salmon population…I do not know about temperature differences.

I went to the University Library to look up old records from the State game wardens office on these matters and wasn’t at all surprised to see that right around 1900 they were encouraging all who were out and about to eradicate the sea lion by whatever means necessary….in addition they had hatcheries releasing millions of fish every year all along the coast in the late 1800’s. Let’s just say that back in the 1950’s the game dept. decided to ship in some Roosevelt elk from Canada into places in the Oregon Coast range….approximately 50 years later are the elk there now “wild” and “indigenous”????

The fact that fish can be “planted” anywhere we want shouldn’t be ignored as anything different than replanting a forest that burns up. Yet they scoff at “planting” fish?? If released outside the hatchery they will forever more populate a totally indistinguishable fish from any other in the life cycle.

The real problems is the Gaea (Greek, Earth Mother – plug it into your search engine for some real enlightenment) folks and their quasi-RELIGIOUS war that they are waging which in reality hits alot more than merely the farmer, rancher, logger, fishermen, miner, factory owner, city sewage treatment… in reality it is a disdain and hatred for humanity.


6 Responses to “Gold, Dredging, Dams, Environmentalists, and Truth”

  1. Greg Says:

    A placer gold miner on the Fraser River claims next to mine had a bad day thanks to being attacked by the environment. He was sitting at his camp at the river when 1 million tons of clay cliff-side, on the opposite side of the river suddenly gave way. The resultant cross-river wave washed him and his camp 100 feet inland. He considered himself lucky to survive. Anyway, the river quickly cleared itself of the debris, hiding most evidence of the disaster. Such is the day in the life of a natural river. However, us unnatural entities (placer miners) are not permitted to disturb fish habitat in any way. Suction dredging is banned in Canada because they cause sediment problems to fish habitats, according to official doctrine. What is really annoying to me is that mining claims near any water course are so heavily regulated that the claims might just as well be called eco-parks. I trust that my little tsunami anecdote reiterates the fact that nature can be the monster while the little miner is just another struggling natural organism. Peace!

  2. Sal Says:

    you should tell reasons not to have them. All your saying is what they do.

  3. Sal Says:

    And this is realllllllllyyyy boring.

  4. Marlene Says:

    The minor sediment from a recreational suction dredge has no significant impact and acturally improves fish habitat. Many of the ‘green” folks are well intended, but uninformed.

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