Idaho officials consider changes to dredge mining rules

LEWISTON, Idaho - Idaho officials are considering altering suction dredge mining rules on the South Fork of the Clearwater River just before the monthlong season is set to begin.

The Lewiston Tribune reports the Tenmile Mining District asked state regulators to clarify or simplify permits for the river.

Deputy Director Mathew Weaver says they're considering minor, common sense changes that won't impact the water or wildlife in the river.

Both Oregon and Washington state also allow suction dredge mining, though environmentalists and conservationists have pushed for changes aimed at preserving the waterways.

The Idaho agency has committed to analyzing other changes requested by miners. Since doing so would require significant scientific and technical review, they won't be considered until after the season closes Aug. 15.

Weaver says there were other requested changes that won't be considered because they are contrary to state law or the state water plan.

© 2017 Associated Press


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