MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Miners are asking the federal government to intervene and prevent Oregon from shutting down certain types of mining in wild salmon rivers like the Rogue.
The Mail Tribune reports that a consortium of mining interests filed a lawsuit Monday challenging the state’s five-year ban on most suction dredging. The group says federal mining laws trump state restrictions on federal lands.
The legislature passed a bill in 2013 that placed restrictions on dredging. It was designed to end at the end of 2015, giving lawmakers time to devise permanent rules. They never did.
If a lawmaker introduces legislation that would keep dredging restrictions on the table, it may be allowed to continue without a problem.
The suction dredging ban is set to begin in January. In-stream work usually begins in mid-June.