All articles about Jerry Hobbs

Tribute To Jerry Hobbs

It is with extreme sadness and regret that Public Lands for the People announced the passing of one of its founders, Jerry Hobbs. Jerry passed away peacefully in his sleep Dec. 28th, 2014, after six weeks of struggling with heart issues. He will be missed terribly by Public Lands for the People, the mining community and especially by his family and friends. The Board of Directors for Public Lands for the People pledged to continue to carry the torch in the fight for public lands and mining rights. They have always been committed to doing this, but they are now even more determined to do so in Jerry’s honor. In lieu of flowers, it was Jerry’s wish that people would join PLP; not only donating funds, but getting involved, volunteering to link arms in the cause that he gave his life represented.
Some men seem larger than life by their size, others by what they accomplish in life. Jerry was definitely the latter. He accomplished so much in his life for small scale miners, and especially for property rights and for freedom granted us by the Constitution, that any one tribute could not cover it all. Jerry was a mountain of a man when it came to fighting to keep our Public Lands rights, and he stood up to everyone no matter the odds, fighting for what he knew to be right, fair and just.
He was a visionary, seeing the onslaught of the environmentalist groups and government regulations long before anyone else hardly had an inkling of the threat to our freedom. He was rare in that he not only identified the threats, but acted proactively to thwart those threats by forming what is now known as Public Lands for the People, a 501-c3 non-profit organization that has been spearheading the fight to restore dredging rights in California over the last 5 years, as well as many other, lesser known battles (with many victories!).
Even while lying in his hospital bed, Jerry was more concerned about the affairs of PLP and the legal battles that are underway than his own welfare. Those of us that have known and worked with him over the years were not at all surprised with his dedication to his life’s work, right to the end. You see, these past many years he has dedicated his entire life, morning till night, to helping others. He would often do legal research for anyone that requested answers to public lands/ mining rights/ roads issues. When he wasn’t doing that, he was working on fundraising to keep PLP able to stay in the legal fights.He always had a good sense of humor, except if you were on the wrong side of the issues, then, well, you just don’t cross a man on a mission!
Jerry Hobbs, we will miss you. Your legacy will continue in the capable hands and leadership of PLP. We will continue to build on the solid foundation you have laid. We will never give up my friend; for you, for our kids, and for their kids. We will continue to carry the freedom torch in your honor, the one you inspired to be lit in each one of us. You were a rare leader, a man among men; and in many ways, larger than life. We were blessed to be counted among your friends. You are missed. Good bye friend.Ron Kliewer,
On behalf of the Board of Directors,

2015 WWATS Rendezvous Two Day Open Hunt

May 22nd – 24th 2015
(Memorial Day Weekend)

K River Campgrounds—Antlers, Oklahoma

(Camping/Primitive/all size campers/some full hook-ups and few cabins.)

WWATS (World Wide Association of Treasure Seekers)
Metal Detecting Hunts.
Gold, Silver, Copper and more prizes to give away.
Saturday May 23rd and Sunday May 24th

 You and your family are invited to a fun-filled weekend. Enjoy and Learn Metal Detecting, Dredging, Panning, Coin Hunting, Nugget Shooting, Water Hunting, & Gold Prospecting

 Northeast, Texas GPAA Chapter of Gold Prospectors will be there to give you hands-on experience from the professionals in the field!

“Gold Panning Training This Weekend”
(YES: Gold has been found here on the Kiamichi River at this campground!)

You will notice in this event on Memorial Day Weekend on May 22nd thru May 24th that we have a “Copper Hunt” that has all copper planted to find including many type US coins and prizes tokens for one ounce copper bars, rounds, 5oz rounds and 1 & 2 pound bars. THIS hunt is dedicated to Jerry Hobbs of PLP (Public Lands for the People); to our loss of Jerry a few months ago. All proceeds of this Saturday Hunt will be forward to PLP in Jerry Hobbs name. For the many years I have worked supporting the hobbies, Jerry was of great help and a strong supporter. His advice will be greatly missed, for PLP is the only defense I known of that has been dedicated in the fight and on the front lines all these years. Please support this event and enjoy our Sunday ALL DAY HUNT as well!

The New Prez Sez!

First, I would like to wish all a healthy, happy and prosperous 2015. Great things are happening this year for the small scale mining community and all public land users!

For those of you who are not aware, we lost our President and our most courageous advocate, Jerry Hobbs, on December 28, 2014.  Jerry will be sorely missed.  I am honored to take over where Jerry left off.  I am grateful for the time we spent together, what he taught me and the experience I gained by watching his actions over the years.  I am also grateful for the new board of directors that have stepped up to support PLP as we move forward.

Jerry left us with very special gift.  On January 12, 2015 Judge Ochoa ruled in PLP’s favor regarding Federal preemption overriding the State’s blanket prohibition on suction dredge mining.  PLP is very excited about this ruling and I know Jerry would be too.  We would have not achieved this victory without Jerry Hobbs.  We would not have been able to fight this fight without the financial support from GPAA/LDMA.  They have been the #1 contributor to support this battle over the past five years.  Thank you GPAA/LDMA!  In addition Keene Engineering, Prospecting and Milling Journal, American Prospector and Treasure Seeker, Gold Cube, Jobe Tools, MineLab, Whites and Fisher are all major contributors to our cause and we Thank You!  We are especially grateful to the individuals and clubs who are members of PLP for your support for all these years.  PLP wishes to thank everyone.  A win for PLP is a win for the small scale mining community and all public land users.

Now what does this ruling mean to the small scale miner now?

PLP argued several points before Judge Ochoa:

  • Miners and prospectors on Federally managed land have a statutory right; not just a mere privilege;
  • Administrators may not unreasonably restrict or prohibit, temporarily or permanently, the exercise of that right;
  • The issuance of a permit from DFW is a non-discretionary act
  • SB670, AB120, SB1018 and the 2012 regulations are PROHIBITORY not regulatory in their fundamental character and that they are in direct conflict with Federal laws and violate the Supremacy Clause and Article IV of the United States Constitution.
  • And on a Federal mining claim where a waterway runs through it that a suction dredge is the ONLY viable, economic and environmentally sound manner to recover placer gold.

In the Judge’s ruling he declared that “prevailing parties to prepare notice and order”!
That means that PLP, as one of the prevailing parties, will write the order of the court, file it with the court and upon approval of the judge he will sign it. Once again, PLP is very pleased with this (!) while the State and the environmental extremists appear to be very frustrated with this.  

We are scheduled to resume the Mandatory Settlement Conference on January 23,2014 with the intent of settling on reasonable regulations that will not prohibit us illegally.  The momentum is clearly on our side.

Now, the question is, “Can we go dredging”?

That, as far as the State is concerned, is still illegal!  As far as Federal law goes, you have statutory rights to mine that cannot be preempted or prohibited by an arbitrary State action.  Since the State still does not concede your right to suction dredge mine, despite Judge Ochoa’s ruling, the individual will have to determine what actions to take or not to take at this time.  PLP strongly recommends that if an individual should decide to exercise one’s federally granted rights that one should first apply for a suction dredge permit from CDFW. If you are denied a permit, record the date, time, location and the name of the CDFW official that has denied your request.  This will be valuable in the event that one is cited by either a Federal or state agency.
As the newly elected President of PLP, I will continue to fight to keep our rights to mine and access our Public Lands!  PLP needs your continued help.  Please join or renew your membership now to keep this winning juggernaut going!  Go to to become part of this movement and let’s TAKE IT BACK AND KEEP IT!