Miner clashes with Forest Service over claim

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Associated Press

Posted on February 25, 2013 at 8:02 AM

PENDLETON, Ore. (AP) — The U.S. Forest Service has threatened criminal charges against a man seeking gold in Eastern Oregon.

The Forest Service contends 68-year-old John Wasson does not have the right to stay year-round at the prospecting site near Ukiah, saying it interferes with the public's access to a scenic portion of the North Fork John Day River.

Wasson, however, tells the East Oregonian newspaper (http://is.gd/vDcEd8) he's not infringing on anybody's rights and this is just a government agency picking on the little guy.

The Forest Service approved Wasson's operations plan last April. Agency officials say he has violated his plan by staying too long and putting two trailers on the site instead of one.

District ranger Robert Varner says the agency wants to work with Wasson and would rather avoid legal action.

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Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.info

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