California moratorium brings miners to Oregon

California has shut down gold mining with suction dredges for environmental reasons, bringing more miners to Oregon.

Share this article!

California has enacted a moratorium on gold mining with suction dredges to study whether the practice is bad for salmon.

This has brought many gold miners north to Oregon, seeking to cash in on soaring gold prices.

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality reports it issued 1,205 dredging permits this year, up 30 percent from 934 last year. The number of Californians went from 51 in 2009 to 85 this year, up 67 percent.

“I think we have a little gold rush going on,” said Jim Billings, a compliance specialist in DEQ’s water quality division. “I get calls from all around the country. A lot of people who would have vacationed in Northern California to suction dredge have called me to ask about what requirements are to suction dredge in Oregon, because they’re going to move their vacation to Oregon.”


{biztweet}gold mining{/biztweet}

Latest from Oregon Business Team