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RIGGINS, Idaho -- A small group of miners used their suction dredges on the Salmon River to protest new regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency.

About 40 people assembled Monday afternoon at Island Bar and about six operated their dredge mines. The protest is expected to continue throughout the week, culminating with a Friday afternoon rally at Riggins City Park.

The EPA last year ruled that suction dredgers need National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permits to operate in the state.

Permit regulations forbid suction dredges in streams with threatened or endangered species such as salmon, steelhead and bull trout.

Indian reservations and rivers that are part of the National Wild and Scenic River system are also off limits.

John Crossman, an organizer of the Occupy the Salmon River protest, told the Lewiston Tribune that people are traveling from Idaho and across the West to attend.

There was no reaction from federal officials.

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