Some National Forests are Closed

VALLEJO, Calif., September 7, 2020—Most of California remains under the threat of unprecedented and dangerous fire conditions with a combination of extreme heat, significant wind events, dry conditions, and firefighting resources that are stretched to the limit. Due to these conditions, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region is announcing the following temporary closures and fire restrictions to provide for public safety and reduce the potential for human caused fire starts. They will go into effect at 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time on Monday, September 7, 2020, and will be re-evaluated daily as conditions change.

  1. Closure of the following National Forests: Stanislaus National Forest, Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest, Inyo National Forest, Los Padres National Forest, Angeles National Forest, San Bernardino National Forest, and Cleveland National Forest.
  2. Prohibition of the use of any ignition source on all National Forest System lands (campfires, gas stoves, etc.) throughout California.
  3. Closure of all developed campgrounds and day-use sites on National Forests in California.

“The wildfire situation throughout California is dangerous and must be taken seriously. Existing fires are displaying extreme fire behavior, new fire starts are likely, weather conditions are worsening, and we simply do not have enough resources to fully fight and contain every fire,” said Randy Moore, Regional Forester for the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region. “We are bringing every resource to bear nationally and internationally to fight these fires, but until conditions improve, and we are confident that National Forest visitors can recreate safely, the priority is always to protect the public and our firefighters. With these extreme conditions, these temporary actions will help us do both.”

September General Meeting at Big Bear Cancelled

Unfortunately, our traditional members' appreciation outing/general meeting at Buckshot in September is cancelled due to the pandemic.  However, I am sure there will still be members on our Big Bear claims searching for gold that weekend.  Perhaps I will see some of you digging for gold out there with social distancing.  You can still camp there, but absolutely no campfires in Big Bear due to the extreme fire hazards.  

San Bernardino Fire Restrictions (no stoves, no engines)

Current Fire RestrictionsFire restrictions and guidelines effective Friday, May 29, 2020, on the San Bernardino National Forest are as follows:

1. Building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire or stove fire, except in a Forest Service provided campfire ring or BBQ within a Developed Recreation Site. 36 CFR 261.52(a).

2. Smoking, except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
36 CFR 261.52(d).

3. Operating an internal combustion engine off paved, gravel or dirt National Forest System roads and trails, except boats on a water surface. 36 CFR 261.52(h).

4. Welding, or operating acetylene or other torch with open flame. 36 CFR 26 1 .52(i).

July Meeting at Big Bear cancelled

We are going to cancel the outing and general meeting at the Buckshot claim on the July 4th weekend.  However, the claims are still open and mining continues despite any viruses with social distancing.  We are hoping for the Labor Day meeting in September to be possible at this point.  We are also considering an outdoor meeting at the Lion's Club in August, so stay tuned.  We have also changed the date for dues due to COVID.  Dues of $50 are now due for this year only on 8/31/20 or sooner.  There are higher rates if paid later and if not paid by 11/15/20, membership will lapse.  Please see the form on this site under the membership tab.  Thanks!

June Events Cancelled

We are cancelling the June general meeting, board meeting, and outing to Buckshot due to the pandemic and concern for group gatherings.  However, the claims remain open and many members are still finding gold while using social distancing methods.  The June elections have also been postponed until a later date.  We will announce the new election date when it is feasible.  The July general meeting in Big Bear is still scheduled, but we will have to wait and see if this can go on.  Thanks for your patience!

May Outing Cancelled

We will be cancelling the May outing for the club during Memorial Weekend at Yellow Gopher in Coolgardie.  However, it looks like there will still be some club members on the claim that weekend mining in a social-distancing fashion.  Mining is considered an essential function for our nation and we are all small miners.  Stay safe out there!

Another Ploy to Remove Access to Mining Claims

Here is some information from Jim Wharff of First Class miners, concerning adding Jushua Trees to Threatened Species Listings. Included is a sample petition letter.

Good afternoon members,

Below is an email sent out by San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe.  This has to do with the Center for Biological Diversity wanting the California Fish & Game Commission to list the Joshua Tree as a threatened species.  First of all, anything having to do with the Center for Biological Diversity is not or cannot be good for mining, professional, recreational, small scale or whatever.  Nor good off roading, hunting, etc..  As for us it will another way to shut off the Rattlesnake area claims.  Take my word for it if the Joshua Tree gains protection under the California Endangered Species Act we will lose the Rattlesnake claims.  How?  By closing the roads, it has been done before.  If you give a damn write your letter and it can be sent by email (address shown below) or snail mail (address is in the attached sample letter).  First read everything, use the sample letter as a guide, turn it into your own words.  Members outside the county and write also.  Do it today.



“I am writing to make sure you are all aware that the Center for Biological Diversity has submitted a proposal

 proposal to list the western Joshua tree as a threatened species is under consideration by the California Fish and Game Commission. If this proposal is approved, the Joshua tree would be protected under the California Endangered Species Act, a move that would effectively halt the development of private property within large swaths of the California desert and bring the state government into the backyards of desert residents uninvited.  


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