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Idaho Gold Miner Says He's Not Interested in Salmon River Anymore


BOISE, Idaho — A gold miner who got the go-ahead to dredge a half mile section of the Salmon River in Idaho may be calling it quits.

Mike Conklin of Grangeville, Idaho told the Idaho Department of Lands he won’t be signing the lease he worked for this past summer. The lease approved by the State Land Board would have given him the exclusive right to mine on a half mile of the Salmon River three hours north of Boise.

Jonathan Oppenheimer with the Idaho Conservation League says he couldn’t be happier — and that he’s not the only one.

“Ultimately its the anglers and the boaters and all the people that treasure the Salmon River and frankly the river itself that’s a winner here,” Oppenheimer said.

The Idaho Conservation League had filed a legal challenge to stop the mining. Oppenheimer says the league’s lawyers will now decide if they should drop the case.

Emily Callihan, the spokeswoman with the Idaho Department of Lands says the Department has asked Mr. Conklin for written confirmation.

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