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Citizens Against The Proposed General Permit for Recreational Prospecting Regulations

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To all Concerned Citizens,
The TDEC (The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation) has just sent out their final draft of the 2014 Recreational Prospecting Permit. Many changes were made from the last draft that was posted, and after researching the draft and referring to the referenced documents, most of the gold bearing waters in Eastern Tennessee will be closed to recreational prospecting. This includes panning and dredging.

If this permit goes through on June 30, 2014, recreational prospecting as we know it in the state of Tennessee will be severely impacted and most of the waters now open will be closed.This permit covers all PUBLIC and PRIVATE LAND in the State of Tennessee.

Banning recreational prospecting in Tennessee will hurt tourism, family outings, and a good source of income for the businesses in the gold bearing region of the Eastern part of the state. This will impact primarily small businesses inrural areas that depend on tourism for survival. Many families would no longer have the opportunity to pass on the tradition of gold prospecting that dates back to the 1820s in East Tennessee.All we need is some simple "Common Sense" State prospecting rules and regulations , the same ones that are already in place in the Tellico Ranger District.

Public hearings will be on Thursday May 15 in the 3 locations.East Tennessee Knoxville Environmental Field Office 3711 Middlebrook Pike Knoxville, TN 37921

4:00 p.m. EDT Open House Information Session
6:00 p.m. EDT Presentation & Public Hearing (primary hearing location)
Middle Tennessee Fleming Training Center
2022 Blanton Dr,
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
3:00 p.m. CDT Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.)
West Tennessee Jackson Environmental Field Office 1625 Hollywood Drive Jackson, TN 38305
3:00 p.m. CDT Open House Information Session
5:00 p.m. CDT Presentation & Public Hearing (join Knoxville presentation and hearing by videoconference.)

You do not have to be a resident of Tennessee to send in your comments or to attend the hearings. Many come from out of state to prospect here. This permit will affect everyone, not just the prospectors in Tennessee. If you make comments and suggestions make sure your comments are factual and appropriate. Alwaysuse common sense and be polite.

Here is the address to respond to:
Division of Water Resources William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower 312 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, 11th Floor Nashville, Tennessee 37243

We suggest that if you have any contacts on the State level: Senators, Congressmen, Governor, etc; please contact them and let them know you do not support this draft becoming law.

The latest information and links to the permit are posted on the GPAA ( Gold Prospectors Of America ) Coker Creek Tennessee chapter website. http://cokercreekgpaa.com . Log into the forum and scroll down to the 2014 Tennessee Permit Topics. Comments are welcome.

Please step up and help keep recreational prospecting in the state of Tennessee. By adding your name to this petition you are letting TDEC , TWRA, and all local and states representatives know we do not agree with the proposed permit draft and want " Common Sense " Regulations and Permit fees

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