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Bits & Pieces in Nevada County

This post was written by jd on November 21, 2009
Posted Under: Bits & Pieces
Gold Dredge

Gold Dredge

November 21, 2009 

I don’t know what happened this week. We were suppose to get some large storms starting Wednesday, but it faded to a small storm this Friday, with little rain and some minor snow fall.

Speaking of fall, it’s really here now in Nevada County, the weather has gotten colder and the trees have turned into the beautiful autumn colors.  We are in Downieville today, were the weather is somewhat milder because they are at the confluent of the Downie River and the Yuba River.  The rivers keep the weather cool in the summer time and the town from getting too cold in the winter.

It’s my understanding that the bears are still wandering around the town of Downieville because it’s not cold enough for them to hibernate. The mountain lions have been spotted around the hills and the deer go through town in groups of three or four.

The economy has been hurt here in Downieville because of the moratorium on dredging for gold in the river. I don’t understand what harm a little dredging can do to the river. I was here when the Downie and Yuba River flooded the town, swept away part of one bridge, and went into one of the local hotels and out the other side. I can tell you the boulders the size of small cars were being transported by the river and that did quite a lot more damage to the river than any gold dredging will do in a hundred years. 

My understanding is that the Fish and Game, along with the Forest Service has a bill in Congress to outlaw future flooding of the river by Mother Nature, with a potential fine to Mother Nature in the millions of dollars. 

The Keene family owners of Keene Engineering have been coming to Downieville for 60 years. They are makers of dredging equipment which is shipped throughout the world. Their equipment emoves mercury from the river and enhances the food supply for the fish and wildlife of the river.  Because of the dredging moratorium in California (a bill signed this year by governor Schwarzenegger), this was their last trip up here.  Of course this has hurt the local economy and tax base of Sierra County.

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