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News >  Pacific NW

Permanent ban on suction dredging passes Oregon House

Associated Press

SALEM – Suction dredge mining could be permanently banned from Western Oregon’s wild salmon habitat under a bill that has passed the Oregon House.

The Mail Tribune reported the bill creating stream protection passed Wednesday and is awaiting Gov. Kate Brown’s pledged signature.

The bill would make permanent 2016’s temporary ban on suction dredging within creeks and rivers deemed “essential salmon habitat.” The bill also bans dredging in habitat of Pacific lamprey, which are also present in the Rogue Basin.

Salmon and stream advocates see the measure as a good way of protecting wild salmon while still allowing dredging in places such as Eastern Oregon.

Miners have argued current laws already protect salmon habitat and that no peer-reviewed study on suction dredging proving it ruins salmon habitats exists.

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