2015-04-09 / Front Page

Board to ponder mining restrictions

The county is dotted with old mine shafts from decades of mining activity. (Western Lands Community Alliance | CONTRIBUTED)The county is dotted with old mine shafts from decades of mining activity. (Western Lands Community Alliance | CONTRIBUTED)Friday, April 10, 2015 - 3:45 p.m. - The board of supervisors on Tuesday, April 14 will consider restoring a permit requirement for large-scale mining on county lands.

The current policy leaves agricultural land vulnerable, some advocates of a change claim.

In 2006, the board of supervisors altered the county's general plan to loosen mining regulations. Restoring permit requirements would bring the county's policy into line with other counties in the Mother Lode, Mary Ann Visher of the Western Lands Community Alliance said.

"There was no good reason for the county to change (the rules) in 2006," Visher said. "It leaves us vulnerable to exploitation from commercial mining operations."

County Planning Director Sarah Williams called the matter "unusual" in a staff report.

"The board initiated one (mining) project, and the final recommendations from the Agricultural Advisory Committee and Planning Commission do not support the initiated project," Williams wrote.

The meeting starts at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 14 in the board of supervisors chambers at 5100 Bullion Street.

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