Nov 1 2007 -- Dec 1 2007 Chetco River Gravel Mining
|Curry County, Chetco River, November, 2007: Gravel mining has been a continuing controversy on the Chetco River for a long time. The Chetco is salmonid habitat and provides the domestic water supply for Brookings; it is also one of the few rivers in Oregon based solely on runoff, as it lacks any snowpack. |
The controversy increased when, in October, 2006, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a cease-and-desist order against gravel mining activity by Freeman Rock and Tidewater, the two principal gravel-mining companies on the Chetco River. Through the summer, renewal of Curry County permits were sought by both companies in order to resume mining when the Army Corps of Engineers would lift the cease-and-desist orders. By the end of the summer, Curry County renewed the requested permits, but did not increase the per-annum extraction permitted.
In August 2007, the Corps of Engineers lifted its cease-and-desist orders against river gravel mining in the Chetco for both Tidewater and Freeman. However, the gravel season was nearly over by then. Freeman briefly resumed mining on the Freeman Bar of the Chetco; Tidewater did not mine this season.
Oregon Shores and concerned local residents would like to see Oregon adopt a scientifically-based approach to gravel-mining, that calculates the river's "gravel budget" first, and then fixes the extraction level for the season at a lesser amount than that. This approach was pioneered in Humboldt County, California, in the 1990s, when conflicts between fish groups, environmental groups, agencies and mining companies came to a head. Known as the County of Humboldt Extraction Review Team (CHERT), this process brought all parties to the table and resolved the ongoing conflicts. Basically, the process provides scientific review of gravel extraction on Humboldt County rivers. In 1992, the Humboldt County Board of Supervisors appointed the four CHERT members to review extraction on the Mad River. CHERT's scope was later expanded to include all of Humboldt County. Regulatory agencies incorporate CHERT recommendations for any modifications of operators' mining plans into their permits.
The scientific review consists of two parts: 1) a long-term management approach that limits annual extraction volumes to less than that coming downstream during floods to the mining areas; and 2) reviewing extraction methods annually to ensure riverine habitat is conserved. While there has been discussion of this approach in Oregon, it has not been adopted to the Chetco River mining problems.
5/31/2007, Chetco River report data sources
6/14/2007, Oregon Shores' testimony to Curry County Planning Department
5/31/2007, ODFW Report on Vertical Stability of the lower Chetco River
10/18/2006 Cease and Desist Order
8/29/2006, NOAA Marine Fisheries Letter to Oregon Department of State Lands
8/21/2007, Freeman mining permit from Corps of Engineers
Articles on topic 'Curry: Gravel Mining':
Sep 5 2011 Oregon Shores Seeks Again to Protect Rogue from Mining
May 5 2011 Efforts to Block Tidewater’s Gravel Mining Succeed
Feb 10 2011 Curry Planning Commission Turns Down Gravel Mining
Jul 28 2010 Efforts to Protect the Lower Rogue From Gravel Mining Continue
Apr 5 2010 Gravel Mining Continues to Threaten Chetco River, Rogue Estuary
Feb 15 2010 LUBA: Tidewater May Apply for Wedderburn In-stream Mining
Oct 28 2009 South Coast Rivers: Gravel Mining Continues
Jul 23 2009 Results of Hearing on Gravel Mining on Elk
Jul 21 2009 Curry County Hearing July 21 on Gravel Mining in Elk River
Jun 6 2009 Two More Victories on Gravel Mining on the Rogue
May 28 2009 Third Hearing Scheduled on Gravel Mining near Old Mill Site
Apr 23 2009 Tidewater Requests "Interpretation" of Estuary Boundaries
Apr 1 2009 ACOE Solicits Comments on Tidewater Application on Elk River
Sep 24 2008 Two Victories on Gravel Mining on the Rogue
Sep 23 2008 New Guide to Permitting for Instream Gravel Mining
New Guide to Permitting for Instream Gravel Mining
Aug 7 2008 Gravel Mining on the Rogue
Nov 1 2007 Chetco River Gravel Mining
Nov 1 2007 Rogue River Gravel Mining