Come to our Christmas party.  You are invited to bring friends and family to Santa Rosa Gold Diggers annual holiday celebration on Wednesday, December 16th at 7:00 PM at the Sonoma County Veterans Building. There’s no charge, other than your attendance, for a dinner, drinks, and condiments.  If you attend we do ask you bring a food dish to share, something you like and would like to share with others, such as a dessert, salad, beans, or anything you chose to bring. We have a short meeting, VERY short, then we have our meal and the raffle.  There will be small gifts for you to take home, and things for the kids.  And remember, if you bring something to donate to the raffle, you receive a free raffle ticket. We have lots of fun and there is an abundance of good cheer.  It’s also a chance to learn more about us, but most of all, to enjoy a good meal, and good company. I hope to see you there!  That’s the Vet’s Memorial Bldg on December 16th at 7:00 PM. You’ll know what room by the laughter and the smell of good food.  Please come check us out if you’ve never been to a meeting, and if you are a member or a former member, please join us. We’ll be looking for you! Kathe, for SRGD

Gold Rush Histories


I’m sure you have all heard the stories of the California Gold Rush of 1849; how from 1848 to 1858, a mere ten years, 24.3 million ounces of gold was found. At today’s prices, that’s about 31 BILLION dollars.

We’ve all heard about James Marshall finding a few pebbles in the water below Sutter’s Mill on January 24, 1848; of how his find launched the first Gold Rush in American history. We’ve heard how thousands braved long dangerous ocean voyages, or treacherous overland treks, to reach the land of GOLD. About the colorful life of the gold fields teaming with hard-scrabbled bearded Sourdough Sam’s. The gold just littered the land, shining in the California sun, waiting for people to become rich picking it up. That is, until the late 1850’s, when the majority of California’s gold was gone.

Okay, so that’s what some people think, especially if they aren’t from California. There are so many falsehoods about the California Gold Rush that they could fill an ore cart, starting with the 1848 rush was the first in America.

The first “rush” was in North Carolina in 1799. A young man with the last name of Reed found a yellow rock. He was a little boy at the time, so he took the yellow rock home to play with it. It soon became just a door stop and was used as one for years until someone finally really looked at it and realized, “Wait a minute! That’s actually GOLD!” That “door stop’ weighed out at 22 pounds.

Yes, many people did make a lot of money during the California Gold Rush, but not everyone in the position to make millions, did so.

There is no dispute that the California Gold Rush made many transformations to the territory, and America itself. In January 1848, James Marshall was standing in about 3 inches of water when he looked down and saw pieces of gold. Thousands of people and billions of dollars later, this act becomes known as the start of the California Gold Rush.

The Gold Rush transformed America. It brought about the largest migration of people in U. S, history, bringing some 300,000 from over a dozen countries, built cities such as San Francisco and Sacramento, and thrust California into the Union. The West became a place where you could change your life, IF you were up to the challenge.

As I said, the discovery of gold in California sparked mass migration west, and made many people very rich. But it surprised me to find that one man responsible in part for the discovery never profited and let opportunity pass him by.

The Marshall Gold Discovery State Historical Park is located in Coloma, California, where there is a replica of the original Sutter Saw Mill. James Marshall was hired by John Sutter as a carpenter, and together they built and ran the mill in 1847 and 1848.

John Sutter came to California in 1839 in a round-about way. Originally from Germany where he was pursued by the police for debt, he came to America via New York, and then St. Louis. When the bar he started there failed, he migrated west by way of Santa Fe, New Mexico. In his travels he met and was befriended by many prominent and influential people. From these people he asked for and received letters of introduction. Eventually, John reached California, where all his many letters of introduction impressed the Mexican government. They gave him a whopping 11 leagues of California land, some 44,000 acres. Although leagues are no longer used as units of measure, the measure was approximately how far a healthy man could briskly walk in an hour. Or so I’m told.

John Sutter picked his spot to build his saw mill, and he hired James Marshall to do the majority of the carpentry work. On January 24, 1848, with the mill almost complete, the two men decided to do a test to make sure everything was working thus far. They opened the flood gate and this allowed the water to rush through a ditch they had just completed. That morning, January 24, John Sutter was at the flood gate and Marshall was standing in the water ditch when he happened to look down and there were small particles of gold shining up at him. He reached down and picked some of them up, and as the saying goes, “that’s all she wrote, folks!” They started mining for gold.

Although John Sutter demanded that they tell no one, he immediately wrote to General Vallejo, boasting of his find. He then started boasting to all his acquaintances, writing glowing letters. Soon people were flocking to the area, squatting on his land, over-running his 44,000 acres. This first wave of miners was not known as the 49r’s but the 48er’s. Sutter is literally watching his dreams disappear due to his big mouth.

In 1849, John Sutter realized he couldn’t keep all his property, so he started selling some of it. But just as often, people were sweet-talking him, telling him what a great guy he was, and patting him on the back, then presenting him with deeds to sign over to them, or receiving ‘gifts’ from him of land. Suddenly, he only had 600 acres left. But, instead of using it, or selling it, he packed up his family and moved to Pennsylvania. He had so many opportunities to prosper and to get rich, but sadly he blew all of them.

In the1840’s and 1850’s when everyone was risking everything, including their lives, moving Heaven and Hell to get to California, they could have saved a lot of trouble, if only they knew where to stop on the way.

When the California Gold Rush Fever began to fade, many miners feared they would have to return home empty-handed, but as it turned out, they had passed even bigger riches on their rush to the West. One square mile in Colorado held BILLIONS in gold.

The Colorado Gold Rush began in 1858, almost ten years after the California Rush. As the gold in California became hard to find, miners with “the fever” needed some place else to go. Independent miners went back to the Rockies, and they moved fast considering that most had to walk and carry their gear. But in approximately one year, claims went from 1000 to 5000 in 1858. And in 1860, there are journal entries reporting upward to 10,000 people crowded in Gregory Gulch, Colorado, which bore the name of the Richest Square Mile on Earth.

This little region, which is approximately one square mile, was incredibly rich with gold bearing veins. The veins were found in rapid succession and the caliber of the gold was remarkable. In monetary value today, in the period between 1858 and 1859, eight to ten BILLION dollars was pulled out of just this small, almost one square mile area.

Today, this area in Colorado is mined by the Hidee Gold Mine. It is co-owned and is an extremely profitable, active mine. They grant some visits, and are proud to show the geology and history of our earth, as well as the gold rich veins lining some of the tunnels.

This is where I’ll stop on this installation of some of the history of gold and mining in America, along with some of the side stories we don’t always hear about. If you enjoyed this presentation, I will do another one for next month.

Major Decision in Suction Dredge Ban

See original post at Public Lands for the People

To: Jerry Hobbs, Public Lands for the People
From: James L. Buchal
Date: September 24, 2014
Re: Court of Appeals decision in People v. Rinehart

Yesterday the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, issued a unanimous opinion generally affirming our theory of federal preemption in the mining context. This is a big win for mining community, which has been attempting for roughly five years, through multiple cases in multiple forums, to secure a judicial ruling on the 2009 moratorium and its successors.

What is especially helpful is that the Court gave great weight to our position that particular regulations might become “‘so severe that a particular land use [in this case mining] . . . become[s] commercially impracticable’ (Granite Rock, supra, at p. 587)” (Opinion at 19.) The Court did not adopt the State’s position that only an outright ban of any and all mining might possibly run afoul of federal supremacy, much less its position that there was, in substance, no such thing as federal supremacy in the mining context. Rather, the Court indicated that federal preemption doctrine did provide a potential defense to Mr. Rinehart’s prosecution, but the record was not complete enough in this case to finally resolve the question.

This was because the Superior Court of Plumas County had refused to let Mr. Rinehart present his evidence that the inability to obtain a permit for suction dredging in fact made it “commercially impracticable to exercise [his] . . . mining rights granted to him by the federal government”. (Opinion at 19.) Thus Court of Appeal remanded the case back to Plumas County for a trial on this issue. Mr. Rinehart will now be permitted to testify that mining by hand is not practicable, and we expect he will have an opportunity to present expert testimony as well. A full-blown trial will be more expensive than the initial proceedings.

It is also possible, however, that the State will determine to dismiss the case in what it might call “the interest of justice”. The State might do this because the Court declared that the opinion should not be published, while a second opinion following the trial would be much more likely to be published.

The nonpublished nature of the opinion means, in theory, that other litigants in California are forbidden to cite it in court filings. However, we are entirely confident that the Judge overseeing the coordinated cases in San Bernardino County Superior Court will become aware of the decision, and that it will have a positive effect on the ongoing settlement negotiations. Moreover, under Rule 8.1120 of the California Rules of Court, “any person” may request that an unpublished opinion be published. I would recommend that the PLP and as many other miners and mining entities as possible file requests for publication.

We have appreciated the important and generous support we have received from PLP, and hope that PLP will continue support Mr. Rinehart as it becomes necessary to develop a full factual record in the Superior Court of Plumas County. PLP should be proud of its material contributions toward making a real difference for the mining community in California.

Murphy & Buchal LLP
3425 SE Yamhill Street, Suite 100
Portland, Oregon 97214
telephone: (503) 227-1011
fax: (503) 573-1939

SRGD Nugget News September 2014

                            SRGD NUGGET NEWS FOR SEPTEMBER 2014


Can you believe it? I’m finally getting a newsletter out again.

I had problem after problem with my computer after I moved to Sebastopol over a year ago; I finally just bought a new computer and thought my problems were solved. Then I realized that I didn’t know how to use version 8 of Windows, so after threatening to run over this laptop and throw it at BestBuy, I THINK I finally figured the Word program out. Time will tell.

I truly hope you start coming to the meetings again if you haven’t been attending.  We’ve had some really good informative discussions, and a lot of sharing.  A lot of new members too.  And, some people are returning after a few years, and that is always nice.

If you haven’t been to a meeting for a while: we had the first club outing at Bear River in August, and also the Roaring Camp outing; you missed Randy talking about his adventures there, and you missed some good fun.  Randy is always entertaining, and always makes us smile and laugh, often at his expense.

We’ve had some guest speakers again.  In May, Shannon Poe gave us some important and very sound information.  Shannon is with AMRA, American Mining Rights Association.  Look the group up on line or contact them at: or  This group will willingly give you much needed information on most things concerning your quest for finding gold.  They work closely with the PLP, and keep themselves (and us) informed on rules, regulations, laws, andthe progress PLP is making on our behalf. Charlie Cockle talked to us about bazookas for mining.  Kim talked about the Memorial Day gold trip.  Go to YouTube and check out the stuff on black sand.  Elmer has info on auto-classifiers. These are just a few of the topics we’ve been discussing.  Heck, Randy Ricci even talked about setting the world record for Nascar cereal boxes.  He’s been written about and even interviewed for TV.  Bill’s been to the Carolinas, Ponderosa Bar, the North and South Forks of the American River.  Overton went to Placerville to the Gold Show, then to Bear and Mineral Bar, and the Iowa Hills.  And if you haven’t been attending the meetings, you missed it.

Rob Kinney has taken over the Gold Purveyor position, and it is as important as it sounds.  Roger Pruitt  filled the position for years and after an excellent run, decided it was time to ‘retire’.  That’s when Rob volunteered, and he’s really putting a LOT of effort into making the raffle prizes useful and appealing.  With gold prices so high, Rob has taken the time to shop and put together useful tools and ‘kits’ that we actually want and will use.  He takes the job seriously, and is expending lots of energy for the benefit of our club.  Show him your appreciation and buy LOTS of tickets.  J

I’m going to start mentioning businesses doing their part to help us out and keep our expenses as low as possible.  This month I want to talk about Sam’s Donuts on Petaluma Hill Road.  They have other locations, but each month these people give us our donuts at such a huge discount!  We are always given a variety of fresh tasty treats, and always by a smiling, friendl clerk.  I won’t divulge the cost here, but I will say they make NO money off us. They know we are a club struggling with the high costs everyone faces right now, and because they are such nice people, they want to help us out.  They ask nothing of us except that we enjoy the treats.  I would like to give them a huge thank you and ask that you patronize them.

I only have one joke today, but I will be back with more next month.  This is another “blonde joke”, which you know are my favorites. I posted it on FaceBook, so I apologize if you already saw it.

Two pretty women, a blonde and a brunette, got on the elevator at the same time.  The car was already occupied by a good looking man, and he flirted with both women as the elevator car ascended.  When the car stopped at his floor, he smiled, said goodbye, and exited.  As the car continued to their floor, the women discussed the man.  The brunette stated that while he was really good looking, he had a dandruff problem that needed treatment.  The blonde agreed and decided that next time she saw him she would try to broach the subject.  The brunette said, “Hey, you could just give him Head and Shoulders! No need to say anything.”   The blonde looked perplexed, and for the next floor, she was deep in thought.   Finally, she looked at the brunette, said “Okay” then asked, “But how do you give shoulders?”

Have a good week and we hope to see you on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 7:00 pm, Vet’s Memorial Bldg in Santa Rosa.

Have fun!


Santa Rosa Gold Diggers

PS: Remember if you share anything during the meeting, bring something for the break, bring a guest, donate something for the raffle, you receive a free raffle ticket. Thanks.

Ok, let’s see if I can print this……………………..And if you didn’t want a ‘hard copy’, tough!  I did it and I’m glad.  Next time.

Roaring Camp Outing: July 13, 2014


Roaring Camp 3rd Annual SRGD Club Outing Organized by Randy Richie!


When:    Sunday July 13th, 2014

Directions Vets Hall to Roaring Camp

Time:      9:45a Arrive in Pine Grove

Price:      $36.00 per person

Who:      Roaring Camp is fun for all ages! Everyone is welcome.

What to Bring:    

Bring your prospecting equipment! Buckets, shovels, classifiers sluice box etc… Bring lots of water and some food too! Roaring camp has a place where you can buy food but you can also bring your sack lunch and other snacks. You can buy gold! Roaring Camp sells bags with gold to bring home, as well as gold nuggets collected from the mine, bring money if you are in the market for some gold.

Outing Information:

Roaring Camp is approximately 3 hours away from the Santa Rosa Veterans Hall. Please be sure to arrive at the Roaring Camp Office in Pine Grove, no 23_jpglater than 10a. Be sure to leave Santa Rosa in time, to make it to Pine Grove. Once you arrive at camp, you will need to register at the small office.

From there, we will caravan to a parking location as a group. When we get to the parking location, grab your gear and anything you will need for the day because once at camp you will not be able to go back to your car. We then load up and down we go!

Roaring Camp Information:

Roaring Camp is something special in the way of family recreation. It is an old goldmining camp on the Mokulmne River. In the past, it was accessible only by horseback. Roaring Camp was once a camp for Forty Niners, but since it was so inaccessible, most of the gold still remains. Visitors can see our operating gold mine an can mine their own gold by panning, sluicing, dredging, and dry washing.

16_jpgIn the Mokulumne Canyon, the three forks of the Mokelumne River come together. It is a river unsurpassed in natural beauty. The water is so clear that one can watch the tadpoles and fish swim. There are waterfalls and natural rock formations forty feet high.

There is also a quiet, secluded “swimming hole” with rocks of varying sizes, ideal for diving by those who dare!

Enjoy an ALL-DAY ADVENTURE into the Mokelumne River Canyon. We take you into the beautiful remote Mokulmne Canyon, once mined by the 49ers and still being mined today. See our Placer Gold Mine Operation, our Wildlife and Mining Artifacts Museums, the ruins of the past, pan for gold, collect rocks, fish, hike and enjoy river swimming in nature’s most beautiful swimming hole. Enjoy lunch in our Trading Post or bring a picnic lunch. Great for school field trips, birthday parties, company outings, etc. Tours go Sunday – Friday check in time 10:00am.


Roaring Camp Website

Roaring Camp Pictures


Meeting Topics

The meeting topic’s poll is still active, check it out at

Current results are this:

  1. Reading a Topographical Map and General Orienteering
  2. Everything you wanted to know about finding and staking a claim
  3. Fine Gold Recovery
  4. How to read a river
  5. Gold formation and general geology

Place your votes soon, the poll closes April 4th!!



The EPA Used Excessive Force on Alaska Prospectors

Gold Prospectors Get the Short End of the Stick from EPA

Chicken Alaska gold prospecting camp, Alaska has seen an influx of gold prospectors in recent years.

Last year’s Environmental Protection Agency raid on the gold prospector town of Chicken, Alaska, constituted a clear case of overkill by federal authorities seeking violations of environmental regulations, according to an official review of the controversial incident released Thursday.

The review also concluded that EPA officials have been uncooperative in some cases in releasing information on how the raid was conceived and carried out.

The federal agency caused an uproar in the tiny community and across the state when about 10 armed agents, accompanied by helicopters, raided the mining operations on Aug. 19 in order to investigate whether they were violating the Clean Water Act, or, as Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell, a Republican, described it, “to see if the family-run mining businesses were making the water too muddy.”

But the new report by Alaska special counsel Brent Cole also concluded that federal and state agents did not violate the law when they conducted the surprise criminal raid, even though there was “little factual support of serious ongoing environmental crimes being committed.”

“This criminal investigation unnecessarily placed people in harm’s way,” said Mr. Cole in the 37-page “Report of the Fortymile Mining District Investigation.”

“While the method of conducting this environmental criminal investigation may meet proper legal protocol, the novelty of it in the region introduced a potential for confrontation and harm that was unnecessary,” the report said.

Mr. Parnell, who ordered the investigation after a public outcry over the August raid, asked the House Natural Resources Committee in a letter Thursday to help bring to light more information about the raid at the federal end, saying that the investigation “was hindered by a lack of cooperation from the EPA.”

“The notion of armed federal agents showing up unannounced to ‘investigate’ hard-working Alaska mining families disturbs me,” Mr. Parnell said in a statement. “… Further, I am disappointed, but not surprised, that the special counsel was met with resistance in attempting to access documents and witnesses pertinent to his review.”

Mr. Parnell said the inspection was another example of federal overreach on environmental enforcement in Alaska.

Read more HERE:
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Is Facebook Worth Its Weight in Gold?

Gold Industry Market Cap Relative To Other Companies, OCM Gold Fund, Feb 27 2014 Presentation
The entire gold mining industries market capitalization compared to large tech firms.

California’s $80 million OCM Gold Fund produced the chart for a presentation at a Denver Gold Group industry forum last week in New York, entitled “Gold Equity Investing for Value Seekers and Contrarians.”

The presentation, which pitched unpopular gold mining equities, comes amid recent calls by some investors that gold miners’ shares represent an attractive bargain, especially if gold reverses its dismal 2013 performance.

“A little bit of money moving into the sector out of other sectors would have a significant impact on the market cap of the whole industry,” OCM Gold Fund portfolio manager Greg Orrell told IBTimes. “The gold industry overall has become quite insignificant in some ways.”

“For what Facebook was paying for WhatsApp, you could buy the entire South African gold sector, plus throw in North America and all the [gold] reserves and all the capital that went with it,” Orrell added.

Orrell wasn’t the only one circulating charts comparing Facebook and gold miners at the industry conference, according to another participant at the event. At least three speakers made similar comparisons. Some compared the $40 per user Facebook paid for WhatsApp to the $50 you’d pay for precious metals ounces still in the ground among junior miners.

Orrell sees more upside for gold mining shares relative to gold itself. Choosing to bet on precious metals by investing in mining companies versus the actual metals is a perennial and popular debate in the sector.

“Do I like the shares more than the physical metal right now? You know, I tend to lean in that direction right now,” Orrell said. “If you have a view that the gold price is going down, that’s not going to give you a warm and fuzzy feeling that gold shares are going to outperform gold.”

“But even in a relatively stable gold price environment, there’s room for gold shares to appreciate, as companies address these issues they’d stumbled over previously,” he added.

Corporate governance problems and high capital budgets, along with little consideration shown to shareholders, plagued the gold mining industry over a decade-long boom of gold prices. Gold equities have fallen steeply in the past years, since about 2011, and have done worse than gold itself.

Original Article from International Business Times