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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
I grew up in Eastern Oregon and now live in Portland. I understand the urban/rural conflict better than most.
Hunting and fishing are healthy family activities that are unfairly criticized by urban dwellers who have no knowledge of their cultural significance.
Ranching, farming and timber harvest are necessary economic activities but we need to use the best methods so they are sustainable.
Gold mining is different - we do not need more gold except to satiate our greed. We have plenty already for industrial uses (I am an engineer and I am well aware of gold's industrial uses and how little is really needed compared to what is available). There is no justification for the environmental damage done for the entertainment and occasional financial reward if the miners.
The 1879 mining law is a ridiculous "give-away" of public resources. A family friend who was a hobby miner gave me a tour of the old mines in the Sumpter area 30 years ago. At that time most of the mining claims seemed to be excuses to put a private hunting cabin on public land.
But this mis-use of the law for hunting cabins was preferable to the irreparable destruction of the lands and rivers that was being done by the hobbyists who were actually mining. One miner can do an amazing amount of damage. Whole hillsides disappeared into the muddy river as they looked for a few ounces of gold. Hundreds of feet of river bed were sucked up and run through sluice boxes and every living creature in the riverbed was probably killed for no reason other than greed.
I don't buy gold jewelry as presents. I don't buy gold for investments for the same reason I don't buy tobacco stocks.
posted 2 years, 11 months ago
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