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Legislative and Regulatory Update

• FWS to delist gray wolf
The Fish & Wildlife Service announced February 27 the delisting of the gray wolf as an imperiled species under the Endangered Species Act.

At press time, the delisting was scheduled to be effective March 27, 2008, though several environmental groups promised to seek an injunction to stop the process pending a lawsuit.

FWS reported that states have sufficient protections in place to protect the wolf.


• Miners need to be heard on wilderness bills
Several Congress members from Nevada are laying the foundation for new wilderness in Esmeralda, Lyon and Mineral Counties.

Senator Reid’s office stated their staff has been meeting with stakeholders regarding the various wilderness designations.

In addition, a pending energy bill includes 106,000 acres of Wilderness in the Wild Sky region of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest in Washington State (Senate Bill 2616). The wilderness designation is supported by Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) and Representative Rick Larsen (D-Wash).

Miners are encouraged to contact their representatives in Congress to make sure their voices are heard and potential mining areas are considered for exclusion.


• HR 2016
HR 2016, a bill that would create a National Landscape Conservation system, passed out of committee and has moved to the full House for discussion and a possible vote.

The bill would subject 26 million acres of public lands, currently under the care and control of the Bureau of Land Management, to additional regulations.

It appears to be another attempt by environmental interests to place public lands off-limits to miners and other public land users, and would drastically expand the role of government in land use decisions.

The committee vote was mostly along party lines. Democrats voted for the bill and Republicans against it. Rob Wittman, a Republican from Virginia, was the lone exception and voted for the bill.

Please contact your state representatives in Congress to make your opinions known.
 
© ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal, CMJ Inc.
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