[env-trinity] Sacramento Bee Editorial 01 29 09

Byron Leydecker bwl3 at comcast.net
Sat Jan 31 09:27:34 PST 2009

Editorial: Mining protected as salmon dwindle

Sacramento Bee - 1/29/09


The California Department of Fish and Game said "no" to fish this week and
"yes" to gold miners. Even though experts within DFG have said that suction
dredge gold mining is having "deleterious effects on fish," including
endangered coho salmon, the department declined to further restrict gold
miners who use giant dredges to vacuum up rock and sand from creek and river
bottoms, likely killing fish in the process.


In a petition to the state, the Karuk Indian Tribe and several environmental
organizations had asked the department to curtail dredging on sensitive
stretches of waterway. The department said it could not act until it
completed a court-ordered review of the issue. But DFG was supposed to
complete that review last July. It hasn't even begun.


Meanwhile, so serious is the decline of salmon that federal regulators
banned fishing off the coasts of California and Oregon last year. State
officials say the mining restriction requested by the Karuks would do
nothing to address ocean conditions, which are suspected to be the main
cause of the decline. Suction dredge gold miners insist that global warming
and dams are the culprits and that their mining operations actually improve
fish habitat. 


No doubt global warming, dams, logging, pesticides and other human
activities kill fish and destroy habitat, but the bulk of the science
strongly suggests that suction dredge mining harms fish, too.


As salmon populations dwindle, the state agency charged with protecting them
protects gold miners instead


Byron Leydecker, JcT

Chair, Friends of Trinity River

PO Box 2327

Mill Valley, CA 94942-2327

415 383 4810 land

415 519 4810 cell

 <mailto:bwl3 at comcast.net> bwl3 at comcast.net

 <mailto:bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org> bleydecker at stanfordalumni.org

 <http://fotr.org/> http://www.fotr.org 




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