More than 50 volunteers showed up at the site of an old Kittitas County gold mine and moved 2 tons of rock by hand to help the owner comply with Forest Service regulations.
The effort last Sunday was organized by state Rep. Matt Manweller of Ellensburg on behalf of 75-year-old Tony Nicholas of Kittitas. The disabled Vietnam veteran has operated Anthony J&T Mining for 24 years, near the community of Liberty.
The Daily Record reports a debris slide covered the entrance four years ago, and Nicholas has been trying to win permission from the federal agency to use an excavator.
Until the Forest Service approves a plan, including spotted owl and steelhead protections, he cannot use mechanized equipment at the site.