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Legislation & Regulation

Forest Service v. Michael & Linda Backlund

On Tuesday morning, August 26, 2010, my clients Michael and Linda Backlund were forced to plead guilty to a charge of violating 36 CFR §261.10(b), which criminalizes maintaining a residence on Forest Service land without authorization “when such authorization is required.” This is a new regulation pursuant to which virtually anything, even a tent, is an unlawful “residence” unless authorized in advance.

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MMAC & PLP Update


On July 4, we are reminded of the sacrifices our Founding Fathers made to establish this great country of ours, and in that spirit, the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) has created a draft Declaration of Miners.And MMAC has been hard at work writing a bill, with the unwavering support of several members of Congress, to reaffirm the rights of miners operating in traditional mining districts.

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Another California Assembly member, Jared Huffman, is attempting to ban dredging in the state on a more permanent basis.

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• Oregon bill 838
• California suction gold dredging update

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• Critical minerals bill
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• Critical minerals a priority
• Montana miners win again
• MSHA backs down
• Environmental groups as foreign agents

The Perfect Response


In May, 2016, the Andersons received a letter from Steve Niemela at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife requesting access to their property to conduct surveys for “foothill yellow-legged frogs and other amphibians.”

Today's MSHA


We all know that it was never Congress’ intent to regulate gold panners and other individual mine operators through MSHA. In fact, I believe the concept of owner-operated mines with no employees was so strange a concept to the lawmakers that they never even thought there would be a need for such an exemption.

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Legislative and Regulatory Update   • Know Your District

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