State-Federal Gorda Ridge Task Force as a Conflict Resolution Mechanism

by Don Oswalt, Oregon Dep of Land Conservation, & Development, Salem, OR, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


In 1983 the Minerals Management Service of the U. S. Department of the Interior proposed leasing of a large submerged area off Oregon and California for polymetallic sulfide mining. The draft environmental impact statement was seriously deficient in information regarding the mineral deposits and environment of Gorda Ridge. In response, the Secretary of the Interior and the Governor of Oregon agreed to create the Gorda Ridge Task Force, a joint federal-state working group. The purpose of the task force is to obtain or produce sufficient information for a credible EIS. Early problems with the task force regarding public participation and preemption of subsequent comment by state government were resolved. The task force has been successful in bringing together the various government and academic researchers who are knowledgeable of the geology, biology, and mining of seafloor spreading centers. Field survey cruises on Gorda Ridge have been conducted during the summers of 1985 and 1986. Research costs have been kept to a minimum by 'piggybacking' task force research projects on to ongoing Gorda Ridge projects of other agencies.

Subject Headings: Dispute resolution | Federal government | Minerals | Sulfides | State government | Project management | Submerging | Joints | United States | Oregon | California

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