The Western Mining Alliance was formed in the spring of 2011 as a result of proposed changes to the California dredging laws, mandated by court order. During the public hearings of the Draft Subsequent Environmental Impact Report public sessions organized by the California Department of Fish & Game, a small committed group of miners decided to take up the fight in an effort to save the Western Heritage of the independent miner.

In the subsequent months, we decided to form an organization dedicated to protecting our mining rights for ALL independent miners who are being threatened by over-zealous regulation and misinformed environmentalists.  We are not anti-environmental.  In most cases, we live in the back country and rivers all summer, and the suction dredge gold miners responsibly recover and remove garbage and heavy metals such as mercury, lead and iron . California is recognized as the most over-regulated state in the union; this has had drastic and severe economic consequences to the small businessman farmer, logger, fisherman and miner. This over-regulation is partially responsible for a high unemployment rate of small business owners  in California. In the small counties and rural areas, local businesses are being destroyed at an alarming rate. WMA is dedicated to finding ways to allow those hard working people to get back to work in their small businesses WITHOUT excessive regulation. What is the wisdom of having an economy so over-regulated that the core of a productive society- the small businessman- is being run out of business and thrown on the streets? Where does this insanity end?

Independent miners today utilize environmentally sound methods of extracting gold from both the rivers and from the surrounding mountainsides. Today’s river miners use highly efficient suction dredges that leave no impact on the environment.  Numerous studies show that a river completely recovers from dredging at the next seasonal rain.  As miners, property owners and mining claim holders we ALL have a responsibility to be stewards of our lands.

Western Mining Alliance is dedicated to offering education and constructive dialogue to present differing viewpoints, using logic, reason and scientific evidence to constructively discuss these important issues with the appropriate people who can institute change so we can get back to work!

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