Monday, November 5, 2012

Suit Challenges Suction Dredging in Oregon

A coalition of three environmental groups, Cascadia Wildlands, Rouge Riverkeepers and the Klamath-Siskyou Wildlands Center have filed suit against the Rogue River-Siskyou National forest for failing to protect ESA listed coho from the impacts of suction dredge mining.  In recent years, the rising price of gold has created an explosion of small scale suction dredge mining in southern Oregon and northern California, prompting major concerns over the impact of the industry, and it's legality given the consequences for  ESA listed coho salmon and other anadromous fish. The three groups, as well as other concerned organizations and citizens are argue that  the government must conduct reviews of proposed suction dredging operations to evaluate their impact on listed salmon, and in the meantime have asked them to suspend all ongoing operations. Ultimately though, the practice is fundamentally inconsistent with society's values. Having spent millions of dollars on recovery and restoration of wild salmon in the region it is ridiculous to allow a few individuals benefit from a practices that can result in severe harm to salmon populations.

More information from Cascadia Wildlands:

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