BLM Alaska provides guidelines for state's gold miners

Nov 21, 2014

BLM is coordinating with the Alaska Miners Association, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and others to provide guidance to miners.

There are already federal regulations for placer-mined streams placed into law in 1872.  These regulations make sure that, among other things, when these mines are set up there won’t be excess degradation on federal land.  On Monday the Bureau of Land Management in Alaska announced its new plan to help the placer mining industry comply with these regulations.

Placer-mined streams have particles of gold that transported from eroded bedrock.  Fisheries program lead for BLM Alaska Matt Varner says over time the sediment is moved around in the stream.

“Placer gold miners go in and mine those resources to extract the gold.”

BLM is coordinating with the placer mining industry, the Alaska Miners Association, the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and others to provide guidance to miners. 

“So as we review proposed plans for mining we have to review the reclamation plan of course and determine if that plan will indeed result in the rehabilitation of fish and wildlife habitat.  And that in turn allows us to say or no or it needs to be modified and prevent unnecessary or undue degradation.”

There are no federal mining claims in the Bristol Bay Borough according the BLM. 

For more information on the mines and the guidelines BLM is enforcing visit their website at www.blm.gov/ak

Credit Bureau of Land Management