Placer gold mining trouble waters in the Udege Legend National Park
Dwellers of the villages of the Krasnoarmeisky district and the Udege Legend National Park have been ringing all the bells about this problem since 2018, sending appeals to the Rosprirodnadzor Administration for the Primorsky province, to the Ministry of Natural Resources of Russia, and in 2019 to the President of the Russian Federation.
Comments Boris Litvinov, director of the Udege Legend National Park:
The Bolshaya Ussurka River is the main waterway of two districts of northern Primorye; 21 settlements are located on its banks. These taiga places rich in fish have always attracted tourists from different parts of the country for recreation, rafting and fishing. The Bolshaya Ussurka (Iman) is a habitat and spawning ground for valuable fish species: Siberian taimen, lenok, grayling, as well as chum salmon. The national park "Udege Legend" was established in 2007 for the protection of the territory and the development of organized educational tourism, its activity directly depends on the ecological state of the Big Ussurka. Therefore, here, they especially clearly understand the threats from the negative activities of careless gold miners.
consequences of the goldsmiths work are shocking. A wide dried strip in the
taiga and piles of earth in the place where just a short time ago a spring
flowed that carried its clear waters to the Bolshaya Ussurka. The same
terrifying picture opens up at the entrance to the village of Melnichnoye.
As follows from the response to the appeal of the Udege Legend National Park, the Far Eastern Administration of Rosprirodnadzor in 2019 carried out 4 checks in relation to gold mining companies. There were revealed 3 violations of environmental legislation in terms of the protection of water bodies, as well as 10 violations of the terms of a license for the extraction of minerals. Legal entities and officials were brought to administrative responsibility. In 2019, the Primorsky Administration of Fisheries revealed 5 violations of environmental legislation and the amount of fines imposed on gold mining companies in the Krasnoarmeysky District amounted to 548 thousand rubles. It seems that there are checks and results. However, the situation is not improving, this activity of mining placer gold is too destructive for nature.
WWF Russia, together with public environmental organizations, developed the position on the issue of placer gold mining. The text is posted on the site zolotari.net and is open for general discussion until the end of the summer. The position contains such proposals as:
· to establish a moratorium on the development of deposits on rivers that were not previously affected by gold mining; in areas adjacent to protected areas and settlements; areas important for economic activity;
· to increase the role local people, local administration bodies and government authorities in the regions of gold mining in making decisions on launching the development of a particular deposit;
· to improve the efficiency of government regulatory bodies and toughen penalties against gold mining enterprises that violate environmental legislation.
Based on the results of the discussion and submitted proposals, an appeal will be prepared to the Government of Russia to reduce the impact of placer gold mining on the environment and living conditions of the population in the territories where it is carried out.