In 2014, a federal judge ruled that mining gold was not illegal, but the U.S. Department of the Interior reversed itself, saying it was illegal to mine gold in certain areas of the Pacific Northwest.
Now, Oregon is looking to get rid of that outdated law.
The mining of gold in the Oregon Panhandle, known as the Oregon Gold Rush, is not allowed under federal law.
But a new mining law will make it easier for miners to go ahead with the process of finding gold in this vast territory of America’s West.
“There is no legal limit to the number of ounces of gold that a mining operation may conduct, nor is there any prohibition on any person from mining gold,” according to a press release from the Oregon Department of Mineral Resources.
“This law does not require that mining operations be operated in any particular location, but rather that they be conducted in a manner that meets the regulatory requirements of the mining laws.”
Under the new law, miners will be able to open mines up to up to 30,000 tons of gold per year.
It will also allow miners to open up mines to up the maximum amount of gold they can mine per day.
Mining is also expected to be much easier, because the state will allow them to operate without a permit.
“With the new mining and exploration permitting, the mining and prospecting of gold will be more streamlined and easier than before,” the press release reads.
“All the current restrictions have been lifted, and the new legislation will make permitting, and mining, a lot easier.”
The mining law, which takes effect in 2020, was proposed by the Oregon Public Service Commission and signed by Governor Kate Brown.
“We have been fighting the law for decades, and now it is finally finally here,” said Steve Haney, chairman of the state’s Mining Commission.
“I am thrilled that we are finally moving forward on a law that will ensure that mining in the Pacific West is legal.”
The law will also require that miners use a minimum of two permits, which will allow for more flexibility in terms of when and where mining is allowed.
It also will allow mining to be done on private land, though it’s unclear whether mining will be allowed in open areas like the Pacific Crest Trail.
“The mining laws are based on the best science, and we know that they work,” Haney said.
“As a state, we need to be mindful of the environmental impacts that mining has on our environment.
We are going to make sure that the mining in Oregon is environmentally sound and not create new problems.”