Update on the SF Clearwater in Idaho

We have just received confirmation from the Nez Perce NF that Supervisor Probert signed the proposal to limit the number of dredges on the SF Clearwater to just 15 total dredges.

Now, you can only dredge where they say you can. You have to put up a bond. You have to move your rocks back to where they were. On most claims, the limit is one or two dredges total…if you are one of the lucky 15. You cannot make any new paths in the grass. You cannot camp anywhere on your claim, only where “they” say you can. You can only dredge during certain times.

We could go on and on, but we’ll just let you read this jaw dropping new rule.

This is in spite of the study which conclusively showed suction dredging does not meet any of the thresholds to be determined it would cause any significant impact. Out of the 10 impacts they had to study, all 10 came back “less than significant”. All 10.

This is in spite of the fact that there was an overwhelming opposition to this proposal.

This is in spite of the fact that Supervisor Probert stated in writing that the District Ranger said dredging causes a “significant impact”. Ranger Nevious, during the public meeting went on record to state he NEVER said that, but Probert put that in her draft proposal that he did. So the Ranger never said that, but the Supervisor had to put that in there because it is the miner and Ranger who determine what it a significant impact. Well, Ranger Nevious just called Supervisor Probert a liar.

The documents in the links below contain much of the language we are all familiar with …… “may” cause something at sometime. May, might, possibly, could, all this language and no facts. Even their own TMDL (turbidity) guidelines state the river could accommodate 85 5″ dredges.

There is only one thing we small miners can do now.

Please consider making a donation to AMRA or joining AMRA and getting access to our claims. We could use the legal funds.

Below is the letter sent to all small miners who participated in opposing this unbelievable proposal.

Dear Planning Participant,

Thank you for your interest in the Small Scale-Scale Suction Dredging in Orogrande and French Creeks and South Fork of the Clearwater River planning effort. I have prepared a prepared a Decision Notice and selected Alternative 2 – Proposed Action. The updated environmental assessment and decision notice are available online on the Nez Perce-Clearwater webpage at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=46844.

The Forest has completed the administrative review process, pursuant to 36 CFR Part 218, Subparts A and B. A legal notice advertising the start of a 45-day objection period was published in the Lewiston Tribune on February 29, 2016. The Regional Forester received and processed ten objections. The Forest updated the analysis in response to instructions received from the Deputy Regional Forester.

The Forest analyzed two alternatives, No Action and Proposed Action. The selected alternative is the same as what was described in the draft decision notice. The decision allows for the programmatic approval of up to a maximum of 35 operations in any year (20 for the Orogrande and French creeks and 15 for the South Fork of the Clearwater River).

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Rebecca Anderson at 208-476-8351 or rebeccaanderson@ fs.fed.us.

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