Sacramento, CA — California’s new budget includes legislation extending the moratorium on suction dredge mining “indefinitely.”
The state has had a moratorium on the practice since 2009, but it was scheduled to expire in 2016. Suction dredging is a popular technique to find gold along the bottom of rivers and streams.
Environmental groups have long countered that it disturbs habitat and has harmful effects to the natural ecosystem. The Mother Lode region has traditionally been a popular spot for suction dredge mining.
There are reports that the new moratorium could draw lawsuits because it did not go through the typical legislative hearing process.