Ashland police have increased patrols around an environment advocacy group after one of its staffers was threatened by gold miners in posters being circulated at store and social media sites.
The threats began with circulation of a poster at the Roseburg Gold Show, sponsored by the Douglas County Prospectors Association Jan. 31 and Feb. 1, said Joseph Vaile, director of KS Wild in Ashland.
The flier was posted on several social media sites, including the Facebook page of Kerby Jackson, an officer of the Galice Mining District, an organization of gold miners. Jackson was a speaker at the gathering.
KS Wild is a group that works to preserve the environment and wildlife in northern California and southern Oregon.
The threats included posting the staffer’s picture and home address on social media sites. Jackson says the postings aren’t threats, but acknowledges the topic fuels angry feelings among miners.
The “bullying,” as Vaile called it, prompted KS Wild to do an emailing to 3,000 members and 7,000 other supporters asking for signatures on a petition saying they support healthy rivers and fish runs, as well as a “civil dialogue” on how to arrive at best management policies.
The petition notes, “The miners’ threats to harm conservation advocates and their families are unacceptable and reflect poorly on those who are encouraging and promoting violence. I pledge not to let intimidation and threats determine what happens on public lands that belong to all Americans.”
More than 6,000 people signed on and many donated money, he said, noting KS Wild is a small organization on a lean budget.