Legislative and Regulatory Update
July 2008 by Scott Harn• Latest assault on dredging in California
Lois Wolk, the California State Representative who previously introduced a bill to eliminate suction gold dredging in the state but was halted by Governor Schwarzenegger’s veto, is up to her old tricks.
Jerry Hobbs, president of Public Lands for the People (PLP), reported that Wolk attached a rider to the state budget bill. The rider would call for the state to conduct a two-year study of suction dredging and prohibit suction dredging during the study period.
Hobbs reported that his organization is looking at a couple of options to try and remove the rider. The New 49’ers prospecting club is also working on this issue.
The budget bill has already passed out of the Senate Budget Committee, but it will likely go through many rewrites because the state is looking at severe budget cuts.
• Travel Management Plans
Hobbs and PLP attorney David Young also attended several meetings regarding the Forest Service’s Travel Management Plan in the Eldorado National Forest.
As reported in last month’s issue, PLP filed an appeal along with a notice of intent to sue the Forest Service because of the Eldorado National Forest’s refusal to honor the 1872 Mining Law and access for mining when it decided to close off numerous historic routes across public lands.
Hobbs stated that the meetings went as expected—Forest Service officials were ignorant of the laws and rights pertaining to mining. He stated that at least one claimant has already been denied access to his mining claims. A lawsuit is forthcoming to force the Forest Service to recognize the rights of miners. Unfortunately these issues may need to be addressed with each National Forest as they release their individual Travel Management Plans.
One of the world’s largest kimberlite pipes is located on the Navajo Indian Reservation in northern Arizona. The pipe is larger than any diamond-bearing pipe in South Africa. It is 16 miles north of Window Rock, the capital of the Navajo Nation.
A study showed that between 1930 and 1980, only a quarter of one percent of the land in the United States was used in all mining applications combined, including surface mining, tailings disposal, underground mines, and all mineral processing facilities.
British Columbia made the biggest jump towards improvement in terms of regulations in the Fraser Institute Annual Survey of Mining Companies. BC, historically relegated to the bottom 10 locations to mine in the survey’s Policy Potential Index, benefited from a change in administration. Three years ago it was dead last.
Some Australian lawmakers object to allowing Chinese government companies to buy mining assets that they say are a cornerstone of Australia’s economy.
One prime example is an area that I have talked about in many of my articles. This is a very large area and I will actually describe its location again.
Excerpts from Northwest Underground Explorations' soon-to-be published "Discovering Washington's Historic Mines, Volume 2—Mines of East Central Washington State."
The Bawl Mill • The Lost Silver Triangle of the Sierra Madre—Conclusion: Tayopa, Guaynopa, and Guaynopita • The Greenwood Gold Project • Miners Go To Work In Washington • How To Locate Diamonds • Natural Crystalline Gold • The Vore Mine • Tools of the Modern Prospector: The GPS • Whitehall Mine Foregoing Closure • Work Begins At Rock Creek Mine • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • The National Mining Hall of Fame to Induct Four • Looking Back