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Salmon River: Beware of Mining and Exploratory Claims
Posted by: salmonriverhotrock
Date: March 05, 2011 08:35PM
:usmc: Before you go Prospecting, Suction dredging, Gold panning, Electronic prospecting, or any other activity where you would look for and or remove for example Gold, you better check if there are any active Mining Claims. Here in Idaho, the Federals typically handle most Mining Claims as best I know but there is another kind of Mining Claim handled by the Idaho Dept. of Lands and if you want to go one more further, Recreational Dredge Permitting is under the Idaho Dept. of Water Resources and there is a season and only certain waters open to it. The IDoWR regulations and permitting on recreation dredging are pretty clear but when it comes to something as low impact as panning or a hand sluice, it's not very well defined or at all and when done under the Federal eye, it's in effect considered Mining. Just to gold pan Slate Creek on USFS lands, I was told by them I would have to fill out a 9 page form so they do not recognize Recreation Gold Panning as Recreation anything.

The Claim Notice in the picture is a Idaho Dept. of Lands Claim by a local I do not personally know but know of him and he is a dredger from what I hear. He has two Exploratory Claims that amount to one mile of river, bank to bank, high water to high water. Idaho Dept. of Lands has all authority over any and all minerals in the river bottom through this portion. I think the sign explains it all for the DON'T Do.

Right or wrong, I have seen a huge increase of new Mining Claims in 2010 and many with just a couple of names on them to others with more names and have several Claims as if hording everything they can get their hands on. Personally, I believe a number of the more recent claims are just people making claims just because they can and are having a bout of Gold Fever. Anyhow, if you come to this area or parts of Idaho known to have any Gold, it may pay to do some checking before you electronic prospect or even Gold pan. I'm familiar with one fellow here on the river who has two active placer mine claims. A new placer mine claim on the river has been filed with the federals by two brothers and will take up I'm thinking maybe 1-1/2 miles of river and above high water at that. I'm just suspecting they are also dredgers and are in effect going to tie up that stretch of water so recreation dredgers can not dredge there. If they were to actually use large earth moving equipment to mine this place, they will go broke finding Flour Gold. There is too much overburden to get to bedrock and reclamation costs would be prohibitive. Many recreation dredgers have worked this part of the river each year and me and a number of others have tried panning it way before they came along and I can say from my experience at any place I've tried pan or sluice on this river, you would starve to death first.

Robert of Idaho
Veteran U.S. Marine Corporal

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