In defiance of federal regulators, dozens of rogue miners continue to illegally dredge for precious minerals in Idaho rivers, with a fair amount of success.
"This is the United States of America, not the 'United State' of America," John Crossma, spokesman for the Southwest Idaho Mining Association, told Reuters earlier this morning. "The feds can't come in here like storm troopers and start running our lands and rivers."
Simply put, the miners won't acknowledge the Environmental Protection Agency's rule that requires permits to mine rivers.
But this week's Idaho County Free Press reports that the illegal miners have found a "pay streak" on the South Fork of the Clearwater River.
Additionally, the influx of rogue miners—some came from as far away as Florida and Arizona to thumb their noses at the EPA—has pumped thousands of dollars into the economy of the small town of Elk City.
Meanwhile a number of state legislators in the district, including Rep. Paul Shepherd and Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll, have expressed their support for the miners, according to the Free Press.
"We're getting some stuff out of here that's a quarter-inch, maybe a third of an inch," miner Shannon Poe told the Free Press.