Dredge scrapping updates

Here’s a quick update to yesterday’s post. After reading the Anchorage Daily News article, it seemed that the Bureau of Land Management was working with Tri Metal International to procure dredges and other mining equipment for scrap metal, as the article states “The company is also pursuing abandoned mining equipment and machinery via the Bureau of Land Management.” A poster on the AKmining forum also had the impression that the BLM owned the dredges.

I tried contacting the Fairbanks office of the BLM, but their online form was broken. Eventually I found a few email addresses and sent essentially the same thing that I posted here, CCing the main contact from the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) website. Here’s what I got back, apparently the BLM was not involved in the dredge removal:

BLM_AK_FDO_GeneralDelivery to Gabe:

Mr. Emerson — Thanks for your message about the gold dredges. I talked with the archeologists in our office and learned that the two dredges in question were not on BLM-managed public lands at the time of their removal. The BLM was not involved in dismantling or removing the dredges, and we have no information on who undertook the project or why they did  so. At the archeologists’ recommendation, I am forwarding your message to Mark Rollins at the Alaska DNR Office of History and Archaeology. He may be able to shed more light on what happened.

I’m sorry you had problems using the BLM-Alaska contact page. I’ll look into that problem and get it fixed.

Please let me know if I can be of further assistance. — Craig McCaa

Craig McCaa
Public Affairs Specialist
BLM Fairbanks District Office

——————————————————————————————————————-

Paul Lusignan (NPS NRHP) to Gabe

Gabe,

You may want to direct your concerns to both the Alaska State Historic Preservation Officer and the Federal Preservation Officer for BLM.  Under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), federal agencies have to evaluate the impact of their actions on properties listed in or determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places prior to proceeding with their projects.  Federal agencies consult with the State Historic Preservation Officers (SHPO) and interested members of the public regarding the identification of historic sites and ways to mitigate or lessen the potential negative impacts of their actions.  It is not always possible to stop federal projects, but at least there is a process for considering alternatives.
It may be that BLM and the SHPO did consult on this project under the provisions of Section 106, as one of the articles did note an agreement was reached with the state to document elements of the project.   The Federal and State Preservation offices will be better able to discuss their specific actions.
Paul R. Lusignan

Historian
National Register of Historic Places
National Park Service

(Paul also included contacts for the BLM and SHPO)

So, while Tri Metal may be soliciting scrap metal sources from the BLM in the future, it appears that they sourced the two Fairbanks dredges some other way, perhaps directly from the owners? It’s still disappointing that they’re gone, and I’m still disappointed in the BLM for demolishing the Jack Wade dredge, but it doesn’t sound like they’re on a systematic dredge hunt at the moment!
I’ll be interested to hear if their archeologist has any more information, and I’m still waiting to see what else Tri Metal gets their hands on…
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