Outdoors

Conservationists sue over Salmon River dredge permit

RIVERS — An environmental group has filed a lawsuit against Idaho after officials including Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter approved a plan to dredge the Salmon River for gold, the Associated Press reports. 


The Idaho Conservation League on Tuesday asked a 4th District Court judge to require Idaho to approve a reclamation plan before signing off on any mining projects. 


In September, Grangeville miner Mike Conklin was awarded a five-year lease by the Idaho Land Board giving him sole access to a half-mile stretch about 13 miles downstream of Riggins. 

 
The Boise-based environmental group contends Otter and other board members ignored laws meant to protect Idaho’s water, arguing that miners who use gasoline-powered suction dredges often leave big holes in the riverbed that damage valuable habitat for salmon and steelhead.

 
Some anglers opposed Conklin’s permit, saying it will hurt fishing.




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Rich Landers

Rich Landers’ Outdoors blog


Rich Landers writes and photographs stories for a wide range of outdoors coverage, including a Sunday feature section and a Thursday column. He also writes the Outdoors Blog.

By Rich Landers richl@spokesman.com (509) 459-5508


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