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 LUBA: Tidewater May Apply for Wedderburn In-stream Mining
Tidewater Sand and Gravel wants to re-open, and possibly expand, its instream gravel mining operation at the Wedderburn site on the north bank of the Rogue River. To do that, they had to get Curry County to agree that the site is not in an"estuary natural" management designation in the Comprehensive Plan, which prohibits mining. The Curry County Board of Commissioners agreed with Tidewater in a series of hearings in 2009. Oregon Shores, Kalmiopsis Audubon Society and Curry Sportfishing Association appealed Curry County's decision.
Unfortunately, LUBA upheld the County's decision on all points. Though LUBA agreed with us on some of the tax lot designations, they held that it was ultimately unimportant to the larger question of whether the County could rely on the Comprehensive Plan for guidance, as the estuary maps are exceedingly imprecise. This problem is aggravated by the estuary's constant shifting.
What's next? This decision does not give Tidewater the right to mine at the Wedderburn site. It only allows Tidewater to apply to Curry County for a permit to mine again at Wedderburn. If they do apply, and if the County grants a permit, Tidewater would still have to acquire permits from the state (Department of State Lands, most likely), and also from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Since there are federally-threatened salmon in the estuary, the Corps will also have to undertake a consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service concerning any permit proposal.
So while we are disappointed in this decision, it will be a long time before we know if Tidewater will ever mine again at the Wedderburn site. There will be many permits and hearings (none currently scheduled) before any activity takes place, and many opportunities to further participate in public processes that protect the Rogue River's extremely important estuary and salmon habitat.
For more information:
2/9/2010: LUBA's Decision regarding Tidewater's Wedderburn site
12/9/2008: DOGAMI letter to ACOE regarding Regional General Permit concept for gravel mining

Articles on topic 'Curry: Gravel Mining':
  Oregon Shores Seeks Again to Protect Rogue from Mining
  Efforts to Block Tidewater’s Gravel Mining Succeed
  Curry Planning Commission Turns Down Gravel Mining
  Efforts to Protect the Lower Rogue From Gravel Mining Continue
  Gravel Mining Continues to Threaten Chetco River, Rogue Estuary
  LUBA: Tidewater May Apply for Wedderburn In-stream Mining
  South Coast Rivers: Gravel Mining Continues
  Results of Hearing on Gravel Mining on Elk
  Curry County Hearing July 21 on Gravel Mining in Elk River
  Two More Victories on Gravel Mining on the Rogue
  Third Hearing Scheduled on Gravel Mining near Old Mill Site
  Tidewater Requests "Interpretation" of Estuary Boundaries
  ACOE Solicits Comments on Tidewater Application on Elk River
  Two Victories on Gravel Mining on the Rogue
  New Guide to Permitting for Instream Gravel Mining
  New Guide to Permitting for Instream Gravel Mining
  Gravel Mining on the Rogue
  Chetco River Gravel Mining
  Rogue River Gravel Mining
Contact: Cameron La Follette, Land Use, (503) 391-0210, or EMAIL