Small scale mining is a right not a hobby. Its cleans the waterways by removing heavy toxic metals and other trash. It also takes the gravel beds and renews them allowing countless species to spawn and aquatic plants to thrive. Small scale mining uses no chemicals or toxics to mine or process the material. It is entirely 100% done by water. Nothing is added to the water column and only heavy metals and trash are taken out of the water and stream beds. There are no toxic spills, there are no negative impacts to the enviroment. California has tried to ban this process and now is forced to pay private companies millions of dollars a year to go and dredge creeks and rivers using giant excavators and other contruction equipment in krder to make gravel beds for aquatic life. The dirt and mud that is turned up in the water all year is less than that from one storm that happens naturally.