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With gold prices sky high, environmentalists and others are worried about a potential gold rush in southern Oregon. In fact, members of Oregon's Congressional delegation just introduced bills that would make parts of the Chetko river off limits to suction dredge mining. Dave McCracken runs a gold prospecting association in northern California. He says when California put a moratorium on suction mining last year, it left some of his members looking north to the Rogue river. But he adds that, during a recent trip the Rogue, he didn't see anything he would describe as a rush. Meanwhile, a very different kind of mining operation looks like it's about to get underway near Coos Bay. The Oregon Resources Corporation is poised to become the state's only commercial strip mine — getting chromite, zircon and garnet out of land near the ocean. Though ORC is just one permit away from a green light, some environmentalists and community members remain staunchly opposed.
We'll hear from our EarthFix reporters about the latest efforts to transport oil and gas through the Pacific Northwest, putting a price on carbon, suction dredging, and new orca research.