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CSPA Action Alert


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Just in time for spawning and trout season

CSPA joins in suit to halt suction dredge mining: Asks for injunction until California Environmental Quality Act review completed and other mitigations take place

March 22, 2009 -- CSPA has joined the Karuk Tribe, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the River, Klamath Riverkeepers, Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen's Associations and Institute for Fisheries Resources in a Second Amended Complaint against the California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) over DFG's use of state General Fund money to support suction dredge mining. 

Suction dredge mining has seriously degraded habitat and fisheries where it is conducted.  Although DFG is on record as acknowledging that suction dredge mining harms fish, it does not have valid regulations controlling the activity.  Despite the lack of necessary regulations, DFG continues to issue approximately 3,000 permits each year.

DFG stipulated to a court order in 2006 requiring it to conduct a CEQA review of its regulations and to mitigate harms through formal rulemaking.  This process was supposed to have been completed by June 2008.  Unfortunately, DFG has not yet begun the CEQA process and claims they lack the money to bring the program into compliance.

However, over the last two year, the Department has continued to spend state General Funds to operate the program, which has already been found to be out of compliance with the law.  The minor fees charged by DFG do not begin to cover the costs.

CSPA and the other plaintiffs are seeking an injunction to prevent DFG from continuing to use General Funds to operate the suction dredge mining program until the Court's 2006 order is satisfied, the required environmental reviews are completed, the harms are mitigated through a formal rulemaking process and the new regulations are in place.

CSPA Suction Dredge Complaint