Oroville council OKs miners' rally

July 13, 2004

By Ed Merriman
Omak Chronicle staff

Oroville, WA - Oroville City Council members granted Northwest Miners Rally organizers a conditional use permit within the city's shoreline management area following a July 6 public hearing.
Based on comments from Greg Christensen of the resource council and city planner Chris Branch, council members approved the conditional use permit allowing small-scale mining demonstrations to take place along a designated section of the Similkameen River during the rally, according to city clerk Kathy Jones.
The resource council is sponsoring the rally.
Branch said miners plan to use one or more dredges within the jurisdiction of the city's shoreline management area.
He said the state departments of natural resources, ecology, and fish and wildlife are involved in preparations for the rally and must sign off on various permits and authorizations.
"Even though we approved the permit at the local level, the Department of Ecology can still say no," Branch said.
Christensen told council members that this year's rally is expected to be much larger than last year's event, which was held in mid-August. It also will provide a greater economic boost to Oroville, Tonasket and other area communities than last year's event, he said.
Branch said the event has been expanded to five days, including two days of mining demonstrations and educational programs specifically for agency staff.
The other three days will be open to the public so people can try their hand at gold panning and other small-scale mining, according to rally organizers.
The council also agreed to ban use of "Jake" brakes within the city limits. The council received complaints about noise from the brakes.


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