The John Day Basin Resourse Management Plan has finally been signed and gone through all the administrative process and is final and ready for implementation.
One of the things in it is a new public recreational mining area (their phrasing) in the Dixie Creek / Standard Creek area just north of Prairie City in central Oregon. This area produced gold in the past and is in the northeast/central gold belt.
They are now going to have to start the withdrawal process, so it will probably take a couple of years, and the restrictions are going to be really tight, but at least we have a spot we didn't have before. I asked for it at one of the public meeings early in the process and it got in. Don't know how many others voiced the same idea, but thanks to those that did.
Here are what the restrictions are going to be once in place:
Must comply with state rules and regs. Sites minimum 100 feet apart. No disturbance of area larger that channel width squared. No mechanized equipment, sluice boxes prohibited. No removal of bank material. Only 1 cubic yard disturbance per 100 feet of stream length. Pan and hand tools only.
These streams are spawning/rearing habitat for salmoniods and bull trout, so they are really tight with what you can do. When it is in place and open, please adhere to the restrictions or it will go away real fast.
I am going to a RAC meeting this next week and will talk to the District Manager on what the schedule looks like to get it up and going and will post that when I get back, and will also let people know when it does open. Have to talk to her about some OHV stuff as well and an issue another miner has over there who is worried about a road issue.