"Miners Dredge Protected Idaho River in Protest of Federal Oversight"

"Protesters gathered to illegally dredge for gold on Tuesday in an Idaho river where such mining is banned, in an open challenge to the U.S. government's authority to regulate public waters and lands in Western states, an organizer said.

Six of nearly 60 miners at the rally were using portable pumps and hoses to collect gravel and sand from the streambed of a stretch of the federally protected Salmon River, which is closed to suction dredging and other mining by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to protect imperiled fish.

'It's a matter of states' rights,' Organizer John Crossman, head of the Southwest Idaho Mining Association in Boise, said in a telephone interview in which he described as overreach a recent rule by the EPA requiring permits to mine rivers in mostly Western states."

Laura Zuckerman reports for Reuters July 2, 2014.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014