Placer Miner Mechanization Bill Dies
A bill to allow small scale miners to use more mechanized equipment died in a legislative committee.
Under current law those who take part in small scale placer mining can only use hand tools when digging and panning for gold.
Those backing this bill argued that small scale miners should be able to use pumps, mechanized gold pans, and other equipment to extract gold.
Republican Representative Mike Verchio (VER-chee-oh) of Hill City opposed the bill. Verchio expressed concern over unintended consequences--including damaging pristine trout habitat and destroying streams.
"I think one of the real thrills of fishing in the Black Hills and one thing that brings people there is the ability to catch some native trout they are not stocked fish they actually are born and bread in those Black Hills streams and that's a concern to me," says Verchio.
The House Agriculture and Natural Resources committee killed the bill 7 to 6.
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