SACRAMENTO, Ca. - A bill which would ban suction dredge mining on California's rivers is moving forward.
SB 670 would end the practice of suction dredge mining within riverbeds, lakes, and streams, without an environmental impact study.
The California Senate Committee on Natural Resources voted to approve the measure this week. It now goes to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Senator Patricia Wiggins, who introduced the bill, says it is unfair to ban commercial salmon fishing while allowing the practice of suction mining to continue. Wiggins says it harms fish and habitat.
Wiggins has the support of Northern California tribes such as the Karuk, who filed a lawsuit to stop suction dredge mining on the Klamath River until its impact is fully understood.
Miners from the group the 'New 49ers' say they do not harm the Klamath River system, and believe further studies would prove it. They say members also help support Siskiyou County's economy.