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

Oct. 18, 2012 | Boise State Public Radio/Idaho Public Television
CONTRIBUTED BY:
Aaron Kunz

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  • Mike Conklin had worked this summer to obtain a land lease from the Idaho Department of Lands so he could exclusively mine on this half mile section of the Salmon River. credit: Aaron Kunz
  • The Idaho Conservation League filed a legal challenge over how the state approved Mike Conklin's land lease. They are working to determine if that challenge is still necessary. credit: Aaron Kunz
Mike Conklin had worked this summer to obtain a land lease from the Idaho Department of Lands so he could exclusively mine on this half mile section of the Salmon River. | credit: Aaron Kunz | rollover image for more

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.

© 2012 Boise State Public Radio/Idaho Public Television
Salmon River Gold Mining Idaho
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