Legislative and Regulatory Update
May 2012 by Scott Harn• NEDC surrenders in Oregon
The Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) has backed out of a lawsuit involving the Eastern Oregon Mining Association, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the suction dredge permit process in Oregon.
The NEDC decided to withdraw from the case rather than face discovery requests from the Eastern Oregon Mining Association and a deposition on standing.
That’s one less roadblock in the case as it moves forward. Congratulations to EOMA and attorney James Buchal.
• The California saga continues
Public Lands for the People (in conjunction with the Western Mining Alliance), the New 49’ers, and the Karuk Tribe (along with the Center for Biological Diversity) have all filed lawsuits against the State of California over the recent suction gold dredging regulations published by the California Department of Fish & Game.
In the meantime, a previous lawsuit filed by Public Lands for the People continues in San Bernardino County Superior Court. In this case, PLP is seeking an injunction against the state to get suction gold dredgers back in the water as soon as possible. Briefs from all parties are due at the end of April, and the next hearing is scheduled for early May 2012.
We can’t stress enough the importance of supporting these lawsuits. We have one shot to overturn this unlawful taking of our property rights and restore our right to mine.
PLP is supporting five lawsuits simultaneously involving the rights of miners. They don’t have big donors to support them—just us. We know times are tough for many of our readers, but we can win this with sufficient funding and PLP can seek reimbursement of attorney fees to fund future efforts.
PLP is a 501(c)(3) registered non-profit, staffed by volunteers. Donations are tax-deductible. Information on PLP is available at www.plp2.org
• Refunds coming to Nevada claimholders
• More wilderness proposed
• Forest Service planning rule
- Zinke leaving office
- Property rights triumph over critical habitat says Supreme Court
- Water of the United States
• Republican bill would reopen Grand Canyon withdrawal
• Obama recommends additional fees and taxes on miners
There are some miners who are under the impression that an organized Mining District will immediately get the regulatory agencies off their backs so they can start digging or dredging again.
Those miners present immediately recognized the benefits of becoming members of MMAC and joined up on the spot. I spent some time answering a few questions, and then the miners took over.
Landowners complained that mineral mining on or near their property could damage property values while leaving them without a cut of potential profits.
Mr. Hughes was obviously shaken by our interaction and we are quite confident he assumed we were all missing teeth, long-haired, uneducated, backwoods miners who would immediately become submissive. That didn’t happen...
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