Introducing the Gyro Separator Corbus 7000!

Magazine

All Articles

Oregon Governor Asks For Mineral Withdrawal

Grants Pass, Oregon—Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski wants to head off miners in Oregon after California stopped prospectors from using suction dredges.

The governor sent letters on October 15 to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar asking them to impose a mineral withdrawal on federal lands surrounding the Kalmiopsis, Wild Rogue and Copper Salmon wilderness areas on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

Conservation groups hope to meld the three wilderness areas and surrounding parts of southwestern Oregon into one big wilderness covering 1 million acres—a move Kulongoski has endorsed. Mining is already restricted in the wilderness areas, but the mineral withdrawal would stop new claims in the areas surrounding them. The region includes portions of the Rogue, Illinois and Elk rivers.

The Siskiyou and Klamath mountains of southwestern Oregon were the site of Oregon’s gold rush in the 1850s, and Kulongoski noted that the region has some of the best remaining salmon and steelhead habitat on the West Coast.

“With climate change increasing the pressures on plant and animal species, this area is a critical lifeboat providing intact habitat over a range of elevations from north to south,” Kulongoski wrote. “We are very concerned that the suction dredge miners are now heading for Oregon.”

The governor’s policy director, Mike Carrier, said conservation groups had been urging the governor to call for the mining ban, and he decided to act now because of the potential for increased mining in the area causing harm before a formal wilderness designation is considered by Congress.

The area is just over the hill from Happy Camp, California, where mining on claims along the Klamath River owned by the New 49ers Prospecting Club was practically shut down in August when Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation imposing a statewide moratorium on suction dredging until a new environmental review is completed.

Joel King, Wild Rivers district ranger on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest, said he had noticed an increase in recreational gold mining that he attributed to rising gold prices and the California dredge moratorium.

“Just about anybody who was mining in Northern California has been looking at Oregon for the next season because it’s being litigated in California right now and we don’t know how that litigation will come out,” said Mike Higbee, a Grants Pass gold miner and member of the New 49ers.

“If we are unable to overturn it before next season, it would only be a natural fact that California miners are going to be looking at Oregon—and Washington and Idaho.”

Montine Blevins of the New 49ers said club president Dave McCracken has scouted out public-access mining locations in Oregon and shared the locations with club members, but he has not made any new claims.

Higbee said he brought his own dredge over from Happy Camp to state-controlled land on the Rogue River. There were 10 other miners from California working the river, he added.

“There are 3,000 licensed suction dredgers (in California) that they have never proved killed a fish,” Higbee said. “They also have 3.2 million licensed fishermen, and their goal is to kill fish.”

Gloria Forest of Sutherlin, treasurer of the Douglas County Prospectors Association, said they regularly pull more lead fishing weights and other garbage out of rivers than gold.

Representatives from the departments of Interior and Agriculture said they had received Kulongoski’s letter and were reviewing it.

© ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal, CMJ Inc.
Next Article »« Previous Article

Add a Comment

Additional articles that might interest you...

BLM Runs Check on Assay Services


The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently conducted a multi-year study of sixty-five assay laboratories to determine the accuracy of their testing procedures. The laboratories, all located in North America, were provided with ore samples of known concentrations without benefit of identifying the source as BLM. Payment was rendered for the service provided.

The Bawl Mill


Greenpeace sued for racketeering

Melman on Gold & Silver


One such aim is to infiltrate the education system and thereby insure that our children and grandchildren become thoroughly indoctrinated with the environmental point of view.

Please Note:


Due to technical difficulties, the photos in the September 2004 issue of ICMJ are currently unavailable for the online version of the magazine.  Please know we are working on this and will get the photos loaded as soon as we can.  In the meantime, please enjoy the articles as usual! Thank you for your understanding!  ICMJ

Original Issue Now Available as a Free Download


An original copy of our very first issue was recently found at the North Star Mining Museum in California by Carol Marshall, and the museum was nice enough to return it to us! (Read the full story.)

The issue is now available as a free pdf download. The file is approximately 7Mb.

(A black & white reprint is also available for $6.00 plus postage.)

Click here to download a copy.

How to Beat the Heat--and The Bedrock


The pit was a classic one—exposed shale bedrock with all the material being washed out one end of the pit. Within a few minutes I had a nice mellow signal that was in open ground.

Uncovering the Find of a Lifetime


• The 75-ounce Butte County nugget is the largest found in California since the 156-ounce Mojave nugget in the 1970s...

Subscription Required:
The Bawl Mill   • Molycorp Minerals Reopens Mountain Pass Mine   • Utah's Crescent Creek Placers   • The Business of Mining—Home Office Tax Deduction   • Peshastin Creek, Washington   • Michigan Proposal Would Restrict Mining Operations   • No Gravel, No Gold   • Nevada Regulators Reach Agreement With Queenstake Resources   • Stillwater Recovers Without GM’s Business   • Gold Has Shown Its Mettle, But How High Can It Go?   • Utility Agrees to Remove Four Klamath River Dams   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes & Mineral and Metal Prices

Free:
Legislative and Regulatory Update   • The Very First Issue of the Mining Journal

Advertisements

Garrett Electronics - trusted by real miners & prospectors!
Precious Metals Recovery plants and equipment
Fighting to keep public lands open to the public
Specializing in the processing of precious metal ores!
Watch prospecting shows on your computer right now
Free Online Sample Issue