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CSPA and coalition of tribes, fishermen and environmentalists seek injunction in suction mining lawsuit; DFG and miners oppose


CSPA joins commercial fishermen in supporting Wiggin's SB 670 banning suction mining on critical streams


May 3, 2009 -- CSPA is attempting, in this lawsuit, to prevent the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) from spending state money to support suction dredge mining until the Department completes a long-overdue court ordered EIR.  The harmful effects of suction dredge mining on fragile ecosystems and the remobilization of mercury in the streambed has long been established.  Yet, DFG has blatantly refused to adequately regulate these harmful activities to protect fisheries and public health.  

CSPA, the Karuk Tribe, Center for Biological Diversity, Friends of the River, Klamath Riverkeeper, PCFFF and the Institute for Fisheries Resources have filed for a preliminary injunction against DFG and its Director asking the court to enjoin the Department from spending any state general funds on activities which allow suction dredge mining to occur until the case is heard on its merits.  The points and authorities for the preliminary injunction are attached for your information.

The hearing is set for 9 June 2009 at 9:00 am in Oakland before Judge Frank Roesch.  Judge Roesch, as you may remember, was the Judge in CSPA's lawsuit against the Department of Water Resources for failing to obtain an incidental take permit under the California Endangered Species Act for operation of the State Project pumps.

DFG and the “Miners” are strenuously opposing our efforts.  Their opposition papers are due on May 18 and there are a series of ex parte matters that will be heard by the Court this week.

As you know, CSPA is also supporting Senate Bill 670 (Wiggins [D- Santa Rosa]) which also seeks to prohibit suction dredge mining on streams that provide critical habitat to spawning salmon until DFF completes its court-order overhaul of regulations governing suction dredge mining.  SB 670 was recently approved by the Senate Committee on Natural Resources & Water and now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee before being considered by full Senate

CSPA and coalition motion for Injunction