Dec 3, 2014 12:17 PM by News Staff
MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) - An Oregon task force is recommending that gold dredging be banned on rivers running through private lands considered essential to the well-being of salmon.
The Mail Tribune reports that on federal lands, the task force recommends gold miners be required to get a special permit after providing documentation that their operations would not harm wild salmon or their habitat.
The Legislature created the task force in 2013 as part of a stop-gap bill limiting gold dredging permits.
Hobby and small-time commercial miners use portable, gasoline-powered dredges to suck up gravel from river bottoms and sift out gold left from the 1850s gold rush.
Restrictions have been tightening to protect water quality and salmon habitat and to deal with the influx of miners from California and other states with moratoriums.
Information from: Mail Tribune
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