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PostPosted: April 21st, 2017, 8:43 pm 
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Okay folks, read up and speak up.
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_ ... 2111328881


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PostPosted: April 22nd, 2017, 9:38 am 
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This needs a solid turnout at the hearing, as well as emails and phone calls to committee members. Let them read your comments, hear your voice, and see your face in opposition to this bill. There is absolutely no reason to allow motorized dredges into any trout or salmon stream. The existing regs, negotiated with gold prospectors in 2014, are more than fair.

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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 8:18 pm 
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If you can attend, do so if not, email,call, whatever you can do to help.


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PostPosted: April 23rd, 2017, 9:16 pm 
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Talked with Amy Volkswagen today about this. She didn't think it was going to go too far. She also said the whole mining issue (not just powered dredging) is a quite volitile and contentious issue in the statehouse right now.

Got my point across.


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PostPosted: April 24th, 2017, 12:56 pm 
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Hi,

David and I will be there on Thursday.

We've been involved with all this for about six years, and have history and research if anyone has questions. PM is fine, or dpvbkjs@tdstelme.net

The last bill, which we labored with Jeff to work out with the prospectors, was simple to enforce, made all rules consistent across the state, and protected Class AA streams from motorized prospecting - they (the prospectors) are proposing these changes now.

Using the word "motorized" was not an accident - any size or configuration with a motor is simple to spot if you are a warden near a Class AA stream, and easy for a newcomer to understand (remember all those out of State folks who showed up on the Cupsuptic, new to Maine?). So no motors were allowed there.

There are lots of trains of thought on their new proposals: A smaller dredge, it will be argued, does little harm. Less still isn't good, to my way of thinking. A smaller dredge, it will be argued, does no more damage than a shovel and sluice. I'm wondering why not use the shovel then? And what about five prospectors in one spot with smaller dredges? If you are a guide and doing it professionally, does a recreational use of noisey motors on Class AA streams impact your clients?

There is much to debate: no license required, no registration with a biologist, landowner permission but landowners don't own the fish or bugs, prospecting doesn't make you an authority on aquatic organisms or stream morphology. Etc. But sticking with the rules we agreed upon seems to be the best protection for the fish.

And last time, many many prospectors showed up, though only a few testified, so, if you can show up, and are so inclined, please do. Or, at least, make a call (thank you, B.), or write someone or everyone (follow the link).

Kat


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PostPosted: April 24th, 2017, 6:04 pm 
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I wrote s letter last time and did so again this time. I am a home owner in Maine and non-resident. I built in Maine for a few reasons: trout and salmon. Follow the link and write even if you are a non-resident.

Ken


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PostPosted: April 24th, 2017, 8:17 pm 
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Joined: December 5th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Manchester, ME
Anyone who cares about this issue owes Kathy Scott a huge "thank you". She has been tireless about this since about 2011, and bills that were passed on 2013 and 2014 were largely due to her efforts. Lots of other people have been involved--Kathy's husband David, Reggie Hammond, Mike Holt, Ken B, Granger, and many others--but Kathy has done most of the organizing.

I'll add a couple of things. First, the two bills that passed in 2013 and 2014 to strengthen the rules both had huge bipartisan support. In 2013, LD 1135, An Act To Provide Consistency in the Regulation of Motorized Recreational Gold Prospecting, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate.
In 2014, LD 1671, An Act to Prohibit Motorized Recreational Gold Prospecting in Certain Atlantic Salmon and Brook Trout Habitats, passed the House unanimously, and the Senate by 119-23.

Second, LD 1671 required reports from both the Maine Department of Marine Resources and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife regarding whether the streams closed in 2014 were appropriate, and whether any additional streams should be added. Both agencies suggested some minor changes to the list, primarily to include some waters like the Sunday River and tributaries to the Sandy River where DMR is planting salmon eggs--and that also have some very nice wild trout populations.


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 9:43 am 
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Hi Jeff and Kathy, This is Rob. I just want to present the other side of this coin so folks can understand the reason for LD1350. For those reading this I am an avid fly fisherman for more than 25 years and started prospecting in 2009. It's a great hobby that keeps me out on the stream enjoying the outdoors. As a group, prospectors are good stewards and are not looking to tear apart streams looking for gold at the cost of the fishery. We were just as upset with what happened on the Cupsuptic and we wish to prevent this type of activity also. If good regulations are in place and followed then the impact is minor. If you look at the Byron area which is the most prospected area in Maine you will find great brook trout populations even though these streams have been prospected for over 100 years and suction dredging has been used for the past 40.
The past legislation in LD1135 was good because it provided a suction dredging work window to protect redds and early life stages and set similar regulations for LUPC and DEP juridiction. The problem was LD1671 which claimed to close only 19 streams to motorized activity to protect trout and salmon spawning habitat. I hope folks take the time to review this bill in it's original form located here http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bill ... 064601.asp Please consider this from a perspective that someone only wants to close a few streams to fishing then map out the proposed closers. LD1671 was nothing short of a massive "land grab" to prevent any "motorized" activity throughout most of northwestern Maine. The fear of habitat loss was stressed and the amount of habitat loss was reported by David and Kathy to be massive to the point of a 4" suction dredge would move 12 yards of material per hour and a 2" dredge could move 2 yards per hour. In reality a 4" will move about .5 yards and a 2" dredge about 10-15 gallons (not 2 yards or 405 gallons) and we presented this information to them recently when discussing LD1350. However the damage was done in LD1671 and many of the stream closures were passed. These closures meant that any form of "motorized" equipment cannot be used on these streams whether they were suction dredges or simple small equipment that only use a bilge pump to provide water flow for a sluice. As a landowner, I have lost my right to use even the smallest tools because the law puts all "Motorized" equipment under the same umbrella. LD1350 addresses equipment by it potential impact to the environment and re-establishes some rights.
As far as the small suction dredges go, these have very small capability and move about 15-30gallons of material per hour under even the best digging conditions. Why do we want to use them and not be limited to a stream sluice and shovel. Ever try cleaning dirt out of a crack between floorboards. Can be done with a dustpan and brush, but a vacuum cleaner simply works better especially underwater. Why should we not be allowed to use modern tools if they have minimal impact? Should we restrict people to use an ax and not a chainsaw to cut down a tree because the noise may interfere with someone elses activity on private property? Both accomplish the tree being cut. Stream sluices require very specific stream flow to work properly and limit where a person can setup. Powersluices/highbankers use a pump to replicate the stream flow needed in a sluice for it to work properly. They do not do any digging for you. You still must manually dig everything going into it like a stream sluice.
I hope I clarified some of our problems with the current law and why we submitted this bill. Just want some of the history understood.


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 10:12 am 
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Fair enough Rob.

And if all you were proposing were a few tweaks to what was changed in 2014 (list of closed streams), I'd be more than willing to work with you, as we've discussed. LD 1350 also proposes to overturn the LUPC rules that have been on the books since at least 1999 (when I first remember commenting on them). That's a big change.

I'd also point out that the link you provided is not the the law that was passed in 2014, but the law that was proposed. As you are well aware, there were some pretty big changes before the bill was passed. That can be found here: https://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0646&item=3&snum=126


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 10:41 am 
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Joined: March 26th, 2014, 8:44 am
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Jeff,
I think we could have worked out some very good regulations also if Kathy and David put their own agenda aside and focused on potential impacts to habitat. I have reviewed the history of the LURC regs from 1999 and the same fears were suction dredging. The NRPA "motorized" law limited what LURC could address as far as equipment types and they actually were never given authority to make up their own regulations or stream closures until the passage of LD1135. You can argue their intentions for all "motorized" equipment, but the history doesn't support this.

I provided the link to the original LD1671 so people could see what was being forced upon us and why we fought it. Just because we removed a few of these doesn't make them right. I think we would all be better off if LUPC, DEP, and IF&W got together to study the different equipment impacts and make appropriate rules.


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 12:08 pm 
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Hmmm. Agenda...interesting perspective. Protection of Class AA streams, yes. An agenda seems more like banning dredges everywhere, which we didn't do. Or insisting on a permit or licence, which we didn't do.

I thought we were all talking and listening, and coming to compromise where we could, and agreeing to disagree where we couldn't.

Kat


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 2:08 pm 
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Kathy, Please don't forget that it was I who submitted AA waters throughout the state and it wasn't included in your submission for LD1671. It was only after I researched the reason for the specific stream closures under LUPC territory that we found out that these closures were largely based on AA water classification. Using the same criteria for DEP areas made sense if the rules were to be consistent for both DEP and LUPC areas and we submitted the amendment. Now you talk about AA waters like they were your idea.
Your submission for closures in LD1671 basically mapped everywhere gold is found in western Maine except the town of Byron. No need to close this activity to all of Maine. You only needed to focus on where prospecting occurs and LD1671 shows this clearly. Your listing of the Swift and it's tributaries above the town of Byron would have taken the right of prospectors to work the very streams where they have purchased property and built camps because they enjoy prospecting. Thankfully this one was dropped and the outcome was different but don't deny your attempt to try.
When we sat down to discuss LD1350 you took the position that no gas motor use would be allowed anywhere for any reason. We came into this ready to work out a compromise. Compromise is a 2 way street.


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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 2:25 pm 
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so....you're condemning me for compromising with you on the waters?

Remember, you have no agenda, you simply represent your club as best you can. You seem to be labeling me a "bad guy" - I once read that I was responsible for shutting down dredging on trout streams in Michigan, and I didn't even know it happened - so realize that I, too, am the elected head of a group, and we have a mission statement, etc. I don't think you are a "bad guy".

We disagree on motors. We agree on some other things, granted not all.

This is democracy.

Kat

edited to add: for the record, you must have misunderstood or I wasn't clear - I came in willing to let the previous bill stand, which does allow gas motors on certain streams


Last edited by Kathy Scott on April 25th, 2017, 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 2:34 pm 
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Here's a compromise I'd support- no suction dredges in Maine, period, without a permit. Endangered Species Act, Section 7 consultation anybody?

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PostPosted: April 25th, 2017, 3:20 pm 
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not condemning you on compromising Kathy, but LD1671 went way too far to begin with and not informing your own supporters on how far this went does show something is wrong. The impact to habitat by claiming 12 yards per hour ie.. 72 yards in a 6 hour day would scare anyone into needing to stop this activity including myself if I didn't have any prior knowledge of this activity.
LD1350 puts a 5 yard per day maximum on a 4" dredge and 2 yards on the small dredges and I don't think many people will be able to move even half that.
We want to keep people from using the existing regs to perform any commercial "mining" I'm sure we agree on that.
We agree completely on creating better regulations to protect the fishery and stop illegal activity.
We don't agree over whether Landowners should have the right to allow an activity if the activity can be shown to be minor.
We aren't looking to allow larger dredges just break equipment into impact levels and regulate each accordingly. It's a common sense approach to balance use vs impact.

Let's focus on habitat and not whether some activity might upset someone fishing. It's a rare thing for a fisherman to see a prospector anyway. I never did until I took up prospecting and I have fished all over.

Sorry Kathy I didn't state your position on motors correctly in the previous post. I meant to say on any currently closed streams and I understood this at the meeting.


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