Miner Withdraws Salmon River Dredging Lease: 'Not Enough Gold'

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Environmentalists are cheering the withdrawal of a gold miner who had been given the OK to suction dredge the Salmon River last month.

When Mike Conklin's dredging application was approved by the Idaho Department of Lands, he faced a lawsuit Oct. 12 from the Idaho Conservation League. But Conklin insists that his decision to withdraw was based "on reasons of his own" and not the lawsuit.

"There's just not enough gold there," Conklin told the Idaho County Free Press.

The Free Press reports that Conklin declined to sign the lease for exclusive rights to gold on a section of the Salmon River 13 miles downstream from Riggins.

But the ICL will believe Conklin's withdrawl when it sees it in writing.

"We are awaiting written confirmation from IDL that Conklin is in fact withdrawing his application and whether the land board will be withdrawing their approval," said the ICL's Jonathan Oppenheimer.

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