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Forest Service Department of Agriculture.

OROGRANDE — A plan for gold exploration on an upland ridge south of McGuire Creek — a bit less than a mile southeast from McGuire’s confluence with Big Creek — received Forest Service approval June 15.

The project area overlaps the Forest Service’s Big Creek closure area, but according to the order, the proposal is exempt because “they are receiving specifically permitted authorization through their Plan of Operations in accordance with [regulations that state] “nothing in this part shall preclude activities as authorized in the Wilderness Act of 1964 or the U.S. Mining Laws Act of 1872 as amended.”

Permission for the work to be done by a crew of two or three was sought by Victor Schneider and approved by Red River District Ranger Terry Nevius. It is to involve trenching four-hundredths of an acre down to bedrock to extract rock samples for analysis. A total of 25-30 trenches two to three feet wide and five to 15 feet long are proposed to total cumulative length of about 500 feet, with only one trench open at a time.

The idea is that as work at each trench is completed, it will be backfilled.

Further information is online at www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=58300.

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