Mining Dispute Harkens Back To Calif. Foothills' Wild Gold Rush Era

"PLACERVILLE, Calif. - California's Gold Rush was more than a century-and-a-half ago, but its Wild West spirit lives on in a dispute between government agencies and a landowner in the Sierra Nevada foothills that some officials describe as one of the most egregious cases of illegal mining they have ever encountered."

"The dispute between local and state officials and the owner of the Big Cut Mine is coming to a head after a bureaucratic stalemate that has dragged on for three years, with the county district attorney filing 14 charges, including four felonies, and the state leveling fines approaching $900,000.

Authorities say the land owner has refused to comply with cease-and-desist orders, pay any fines or even to submit to an arrest warrant. He became a fugitive last week after failing to turn himself in as promised."

Don Thompson reports for the Associated Press February 8, 2012.

Source: AP, 02/08/2012