From the Native Fish Society:
Last week, the House Energy and Environment Committee in the Oregon State Legislature passed the Suction Dredge Mining Reform Bill (SB 3 – A) out of committee. Now, this bill will move onto the floor for a full vote in the coming week.
Suction dredge mining is a practice in which miners use a floating, gas-powered vacuum attached to a sluice box to look for gold in rivers and stream channels. The activity involves vacuuming up river bottoms and running the sediment through a mechanized sluice that separates out gold flakes from other rocks and minerals. The sediment is then released back into the river, causing turbid plumes of fine sediment and threatening water quality and sensitive populations of wild, native fish and their habitats. (More info here)
If passed into law, this bill will permanently protect Oregon’s sensitive and threatened salmon, steelhead, and Pacific Lamprey, in waters listed as essential salmonid habitat from the harmful effects of suction dredge mining.
To help get this bill passed, we are asking for your support to contact your state Representative (find your state legislator here) and urge them to vote YES on the Suction Dredge Reform Bill (SB 3 – A).
Thank you for your support,
Jake Crawford, Southern Regional Manager
Charles Gehr, Rogue River Steward
Stan Petrowski, South Umpqua River Steward