January 15, 2021 

Correspondence from the President of OAU


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 By Michael Miller

09/21/2001  3:52PM

For those of you who follow the day-to-day issues of the 16:1 that cross my desk, I thought it might be enlightening to share some of the correspondence that I send. The following letter was sent to Senator Tim Leslie and Assemblyman Sam Aanestad. As always, I welcome your comments.

September 21, 2001

My employer, Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc., has been conducting its business in California since 1911. The ownership of our properties dates back to the late 1850’s. Over the past 100 years, we have employed thousands of Californians, paid millions of dollars to the local, state and federal governments and purchased millions of dollars of supplies. This has been accomplished by mining gold and managing our natural resources. Our productivity directly contributes to the assets and wealth of our state and our country.

Today, we are the largest non-governmental employer in small Sierra County as a result of the ruthless decimation of the timber industry. Some of us are referring to the wholesale slaughter of the culture of rural America and specifically the upstanding occupations of men and women who produce the fundamental materials that our citizens use as “rural cleansing”. Sounds un-American, doesn’t it?

Various state agencies either knowingly or unwittingly act in support of rural cleansing. This has been in motion for some time. My purpose today is not to discuss the merits or disservice to the public welfare by ridding the backcountry of people. I am writing you specifically because agents in the water resources bureaucracy told me directly that what they were doing in Alleghany resulted from you and our state legislatures. I ask you if this is true and if so, explain the rationale and legality of it.

Here is the situation: The division that oversees water rights was recently funded by the state legislature to go into the field and cancel existing water rights. Is this true and if so, please provide me with the legislative acts or other authorization to do this.

We have maintained our water rights for over 100 years without problems. I enclose the letter I received last month from water resources, which unilaterally proclaims it is diminishing our water rights. What governmental arrogance! I also enclose my reply.

Now, without provocation, I am forced to spend our limited financial and work time resources to defend an existing right. This is costly and to the detriment of our employees, community and shareholders. We are financially damaged by the state’s action against us and seek your involvement.

Instead of our state agents relentlessly assaulting our business with questionable paper work, the self-perpetuating collection of fees and outright interference in our difficult work of surviving and making each payroll, tax recipient government employees should be offering positive assistance. It has become a sad reflection on our American way of life that the majority of current state financed monitoring or regulating activities conflict with the long established American way of life.

You should be proud that Original Sixteen to One Mine is in your district. All California legislators should be proud that this small California company has become the oldest United State’s gold mining corporation. This operation has protected its heritage and the wonderful region in the high Sierra Nevada called home. For the hard working miner, the patient owners, the local economy and all whose spirits have been uplifted by purchasing or renewing the products of this company, I seek your help and understanding to clarify the directives of those you oversee. It is a senseless exercise to allow the current practice of the water board’s actions towards legitimate water rights holders to continue.

Sincerely yours,
Michael M. Miller
President, Director and C.E.O.

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© 2021 Original Sixteen to One Mine, Inc.
PO Box 909
Alleghany, California 95910

(530) 287-3223      
(530) 287-3455

      Gold Sales:  

(530) 287-3540


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