Obama Protects Siskiyou Wild RiversBy Michael Frank on February 5th, 2013
The Obama White House has approved a Forest Service request to ban mining on more than 5,000 acres of the Chetco Wild and Scenic River, part of the Siskiyou Wild Rivers complex and some of the most sensitive, diverse habitat on the Pacific Coast, for five more years. Prized by fishing enthusiasts and river rafters, the area has also been targeted by suction-dredge gold mining operators. Unfortunately, a lot of other scenic waterways are endangered because so many tributaries that funnel into national parks aren’t protected by the 1872 Mining Law, which gives mining companies “free and open access” to nearly 350 million acres of public land, including areas surrounding national parks and monuments. Adding ugliness: Claimants under the law don’t have to pay one dime back to the feds (i.e., us) when they make money on a claim, even though when rivers are polluted the feds (i.e., us) foot the bill. Via Pew.
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