A five-year lease application to dredge a portion of the Salmon River near Riggins has been approved by the state land board, according to an AP story in the Idaho Statesman. The permit says the dredging is primarily for gold.
In the story, Lawrence Wasden, attorney general and a member of the land board, says, ”The Legislature and state agencies adopted rules stating that this stretch of river is open to recreational dredge mining. This is a pristine and beautiful river. It’s had many uses over time, including mining.”
The dredging operation will use motorized rafts and a suction hose to draw material from the bed of the river. There are other dredges on the river, with a number of conservationists and environmentalists objecting to mining along and in the river because of its impact on fish habitat and water quality.