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MailTribune.com
  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

  • I am writing to thank Sen. Alan Bates for recognizing the urgent need to protect our waterways from the damaging process of suction dredge mining. In a word, it "sucks." Anyone who questions the need for such a measure should spend some time below the Gold Ray Dam site in spring and summer.
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  • I am writing to thank Sen. Alan Bates for recognizing the urgent need to protect our waterways from the damaging process of suction dredge mining. In a word, it "sucks." Anyone who questions the need for such a measure should spend some time below the Gold Ray Dam site in spring and summer.
    The Rogue's gold lies in the riverbed indeed, but not in the form of precious metals. Instead it is in the gravel, where salmon and steelhead lay their eggs, and where insects provide needed food for fish.
    Dredge-miners change this riverbed structure with their machines. I have experienced first-hand the disappointment of finding a miner staked out in a favorite fishing hole, filling his engine with fuel, the rainbow of spilled gasoline slowly dissipating downstream. I have spoken with heartbroken and frustrated property owners, who are invaded by dozens of these loud machine operators, many from out of state, who set up operations sometimes just feet from the banks.
    I have personally picked up the litter left by out-of-state gold-dredgers who camp and foul our public land. Our rivers are meant to be shared and protected, and this bill is right on the money. — Mike Nelson, Talent
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