ICMJ.com / Ron Kliewer / 12/13/2014
The DREDGE REPORT
Today was a milestone day in the battle to maintain the rights of miners to dredge on federal mining claims in California. As a plaintiff in this case, I was in the courtroom on Friday, December 12, 2014, along with fifteen miners who gathered to show their support in the ongoing fight with the various parties arrayed against them, trying to extinguish their way of life, their way of supporting their families and their way of boosting the local rural economies. It has been an upstream fight and we got to rest a bit today in a pool of tranquility. Judge Ochoa, after months of reading endless briefs and supporting cases that were cited by both sides, told us plainly where he stood on several aspects of the combined cases and what he intended to rule in the coming weeks. First I’ll get into the tall grass with some details of the court proceedings so you get a taste of how things work; then I’ll spread out the paydirt in the gold pan for you.