Judge nixes North Fork plan
Ruling means no dredge mining allowed in Clearwater River tributary
Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:09 am, Tue Jun 18, 2013.
The U.S. Forest Service prevailed in its bid to keep the North Fork of the Clearwater River off limits to suction dredge mining.
In a 27-page ruling, Administrative Law Judge Robert Holt from the U.S. Department of Interior said recreation like fishing and the river’s archeological history are more important, both economically and culturally, than suction dredge mining. He also said the government successfully proved there is no evidence of sufficient gold deposits in the area to warrant exploration.