One Creek As A Test Of Western Land Use

A miner who owns claims along an Oregon creek brings a suit that could shift the balance between development and preservation.
December 9, 2003, 7am PST | Chris Steins | @urbaninsight
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"...Southern Oregon['s] Rough & Ready Creek lives up to its name. It tumbles through rugged, forested canyons of Port Orford cedar and Jeffrey pine. Wildlife is abundant. More than 300 plant species.. grow in what is one of the most biologically rich areas of North America. But the creek drainage is also the scene of a classic old West-new West fight over natural resource extraction and property rights. And a $600 million lawsuit by miner Walt Freeman could affect not only the future of this patch of mountainous terrain but the balance of economic development and environmental protection across the West. Mr. Freeman holds 161 mining claims here...But so far, federal agencies have delayed the project on environmental grounds. So Freeman wants Uncle Sam to pay him for the loss of his property -- in this case, the mining claims he... staked on government land."

Thanks to Chris Steins

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