Gold Beach Resident Cited For Dredging On The Rogue River
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  1. #1

    Jul 2003
    Gold Beach, OR

    Gold Beach Resident Cited For Dredging On The Rogue River

    Randy Waters, a 25 year resident of Gold Beach, was dredging for gold at Foster Bar on Monday, September 26, 2011 when U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Michael Fakier cited him for "Dredging in an area withdrawn from mining/causing a significant surface disturbance."

    The area in question is 35 river miles up the Rogue River. Foster Bar is located one mile downstream from Watson Creek which is the lower boundry of the Wild and Scenic River System.

    Our story begins in September 2010 when Randy Waters approached the Forest Service in Gold Beach about using the Big Bend area of the Rogue River to hold a gold prospecting outing. You would have thought the world had come to an end. April Skaraan of the Forest Service informed Randy that if more than 75 people attended a special use permit would have to be issued and it needed to be applied for 6 months in advance. If less than 75 people attended then the area might not be available. Then Randy informed the Forest Service that he was providing a Porta Potty for club use. April Skaraan about had a fit. Under NO circumstances was he allowed to have a Porta Potty in camp. There was a great restroom just 2/10 of a mile down the road. Our club is made up primarily of 40-80 year old people. Can you imagine holding your water long enough to walk to the restroom. As it turned out the Porta Potty had been delivered the day that Randy was talking to April Skaraan and the company providing the Porta Potty only picks up and delivers one day a week. Then Randy was informed that the Forest Service was planning to burn the field at Big Bend that week-end and Randy was told that he should consider having his outing somewheres else. He informed the Forest Service that the area in question was public property and he had every right to use it. The smoke might be very bad for all of the older folks who planned to attend.

    The outing went as planned and over 30 people attended, some staying for 3 days. On Monday morning the Forest Service began burning the field just upriver of the campground. Smoke was very strong and visibility was less than 25 feet. Randy went down to the river to teach a couple of guys how to pan for gold and he found a large gas operated water pump sitting on the ground waiting to fill any tanker trucks up that needed it. Randy had been informed that NO MOTORIZED EQUIPMENT was allowed in this area of the river for the purpose of looking for gold but it was alright for the Forest Service to run motors if they chose. I think a little discrimination is evident. Later that evening U.S. Forest Service Ranger Alan Van Dervere came into the campground and asked how the smoke had been during the day. Randy explained to him how unhappy he was about the Forest Service using motorized equipment in the river and forbidding Randy the same freedom to use our river. Then Randy proceeded to educate Ranger Van Dervere about the 1866 mining laws, 1872 mining laws, Wild and Scenic River Act and the injustice at large of not being able to use motorized equipment to get gold. (This all happened the last week of September 2010)

    Fast forward to July of 2011 and Randy received a call at home around 8:00pm one evening. It was Ranger Alan Van Dervere and he said that he had been going through some paperwork and found that the Foster Bar area had been "Withdrawn from mineral entry" and Randy could no longer prospect for gold there. Randy informed Ranger Van Dervere that "Withdrawn from mineral entry" meant that Randy could not locate a mining claim in that area but it was still open to prospecting.
    Later that month Ranger Van Dervere called Randy and arranged to meet him at Oceanside RV Park in Gold Beach to hash over their different understandings of the mining laws. When Ranger Van Dervere arrived he was accompanied by April Skaraan as a witness. Ranger Van Dervere was completely convinced that there was NO prospecting at Foster Bar where Randy had another outing planned with the North Bend Prospectors and the Douglas County Prospectors.
    In late August or early September, on a Friday night, Randy was at the High School Football game when his cell phone rang. It was Ranger Van Dervere. He told Randy that he was headed off to Eastern Oregon to fight fires but he didn't see any reason Randy couldn't have his scheduled outing using non motorized equipment. Then he told Randy that"IF YOU PUT A DREDGE IN THE WATER WE'RE GOING LOGGERHEADS."
    On the following Tuesday afternoon Randy went to the Curry County Sheriff to apprise Sheriff Bishop of the situation. Sheriff Bishop told Randy that he was not as knowledgeable about mining law and the Wild and Scenic River as he should be and told Randy that he was not allowing or forbidding using motorized equipment in the river. The only way to find out for sure what the law was, is to have an incident at Foster Bar "so we can get it into court for a final ruling. Randy told him at that time that he was going to take his dredge and put it in the water.
    Fast forward to September 21st 2011. Randy arrived in camp and paid for 7 days camping at the Foster Bar campground. That afternoon he put his dredge in the river for about 2 hours finding a little gold and a lot of lead and other man made trash. Thursday morning he put his dredge back in the river and was just coming into a promising area when his motor died. After several attemps to get it started he finally gave up and loaded up his equipment and returned to camp.
    At about 2:30pm a Forest Service truck pulled up and officer Fakier got out. As Randy approached the truck, officer Fakier said "Mr. Waters I presume?" Randy acknowledged that he was indeed "Mr. Waters" and was asked for his drivers license. A picture was taken of the dredge loaded up on the utility trailer then officer Fakier asked "Mr. Waters" what made him think he could use that equipment in the river. "Mr. Waters" proceeded to show officer Fakier the 1866 mining law, the 1872 mining law, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, The Executive Summary ( The mining Law:The Extent of Federal Authority Over Public Domain,) Then preceeded to read one of three e-mails explaining that Foster Bar was NOT in the Wild and Scenic Waterway. Mr. Fakier asked "Mr. Waters" for his dredging permit. After recording the permit number, while "Mr. Waters" was still reading from the e-mail, officer Fakier got in his truck and left.

    On Saturday one of the miners at the outing suggested to Randy that he blow down the carberator and maybe dislodge whatever it was that was preventing the motor from running. Randy did this and the motor started right up. Randy waited until Monday afternoon to put his dredge back in the river. After dredging for about 1 1/2 hours the dredge ran out of gas. Randy surfaced and removed his mask, regulator, and weight belt and was leaning on the dredge catching his breath when he heard "Mr. Waters" and turned around. Officer Fakier was standing on the bank taking a picture then ordered Randy out of the water. After writing Randy a citation of $200.00 plus $25.00, officer Fakier stated that "I ride for the brand, I don't necessarily agree with the decisions"and left the area.
    Now it's up to Randy to prove that the Forest Service is in the wrong.
    Randy had just completed a concealed carry permit and a Utah concealed carry permit class but was denied a concealed carry permit until this misdemeanor was settled. If Randy loses in court he will have to wait 4 years to apply for a new permit.

  2. #2
    Oct 2003
    Syracuse, ny
    AT Pro, xl500 (27 yrs) XLT (17 yrs)
    7 times
    Beach and Shallow Water Hunting

    Re: Gold Beach Resident Cited For Dredging On The Rogue River

    I hope that those of you who work or want to work those areas will use this opportunity to take back some of what has been taken by bureaucrats and enviro-libs.
    Make the state prove it's case, show that siltation is harmful to the waterway and then we can stop rain from falling too.

    Haven't we been "nudged" far enough?

    Good luck!

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    May 2010
    White Plains, New York
    Minelab GPZ 7000 -- Equinox 600 -- Vanquish 540 -- Minelab Pro Find 35 // Grave Digger Tools Nemesis shovel, Sidekick hand digger // Bunk's Hermit Pick // Sponsored By Fort Bedford Metal Detectors
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    Metal Detecting
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    Re: Gold Beach Resident Cited For Dredging On The Rogue River

    Great story. Who do you think will play Randy, in the TV movie?

  4. #4
    Jul 2010
    Central Florida
    A Propointer tied to a stick
    43 times
    Metal Detecting

    Re: Gold Beach Resident Cited For Dredging On The Rogue River

    Why cowboy, had you heard that such areas are limited solely for the use, benefit, and enjoyment...of the forestry service??

  5. #5

    Jul 2003
    Gold Beach, OR

    Re: Gold Beach Resident Cited For Dredging On The Rogue River

    Quote Originally Posted by Smudge
    Why cowboy, had you heard that such areas are limited solely for the use, benefit, and enjoyment...of the forestry service??
    Don't forget the boaters, floaters, and fishermen who throng to this area all year long.
    And I'll bet if the Forest Service LEO got off his can he could find some pot growers unless he'swatching the front door for them.


  6. #6
    Jun 2007
    Shenandoah Valley
    Minelab EXP II w/ Sunray X-1 probe, Garrett AT Pro/Propointer
    608 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Re: Gold Beach Resident Cited For Dredging On The Rogue River

    Bureaucrats.....makes me want to slap all of them
    Oldest U.S. Coin: 1787 Connecticut Copper, (five of them)
    Oldest non U.S. Coin: 1777 Spanish half reale
    Best civil war finds: Line A confederate button, NC button, Virginia button,3 Connecticut buttons,New York officer cuff button, 3 Union officer sword belt plates, US box plate, Union breast plate, blood letter or “fleam”



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