Professional Equipment for Serious Detectorists!

Magazine

All Articles

Legislative and Regulatory Update

• Roadless Rule temporarily halted by U.S. District Judge
Many of you have already learned that a federal judge in Idaho blocked  the federal government’s ban on road building, commonly referred to as Clinton’s “Roadless Rule.”

U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge made his decision less than one week after the Bush administration decided to allow the rule to take effect on May 12.

Judge Lodge agreed that allowing the rule to take effect “poses serious risks of irreparable harm.” The plaintiffs included the state of Idaho, Boise Cascade timber, snowmobilers, farmers and others. There are at least seven other suits pending.

Judge Lodge commented on the Bush plan to allow the rule to stand while obtaining more local input during a revision process. He said that allowing the rule to stand “ignores the reality...that once something of this magnitude is set in motion, momentum is irresistible, options are closed and agency commitments, if not set in concrete, will be the subject of litigation for years to come.”

Idaho Senator Larry Craig said, “In issuing the preliminary injunction, he saw this rule is a flawed rule and [part of] a flawed process.”

Environmentalists have appealed to the liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. The federal appeals court has already stated they will issue a quick ruling. Briefs were required to be in by May 31, and a decision may come as soon as July.

Forest Chief Dale Bosworth issued a memo to agency staffers that outlines the Forest Service focus at this point. His memo states that “decisions will continue to be made consistent with applicable forest plans, as provided by the National Forest Management Act, and with the involvement of local communities, tribes, states, regional and national interests... This direction...will also provide full and fair public consideration of local conditions, cumulative effects, and other critical information and analysis affecting roadless values...”

Bosworth also removed the authority to approve or deny some projects from local foresters. The memo states, “Effective immediately, I am reserving to myself, the decision authority for timber harvest and road construction in inventoried roadless areas...”

Bosworth said he will relinquish control after local officials get approval for their local plans.


• Republican defection
For you cave dwellers, let me bring you up to date on changes in the U.S. Senate. Vermont Senator Jim Jeffords abandoned the Republican party and declared himself an Independent. This swung the balance of power in the Senate, giving Democrats a 50 to 49 advantage. Democrats took over lead positions in all committees. Jeffords’ desk was literally unbolted from the Republican section of the floor and moved to the Democrat’s side.

Only time will tell what this will do to Bush’s plans. He will truly have to be a “uniter” to get anything through the Senate.


• Congressmen fight for National Monument changes
U.S. Representatives Jim Hansen and Chris Gannon, both Republicans from Utah, addressed a gathering in southern Utah recently, gauging support for resizing the Grand Staircase-
Escalante National Monument. Hansen said he is in favor of reducing the size of the monument by two-thirds.

Local Mayor Phillip Bimstein received only scattered applause when he spoke of his support for the monument designation. The audience cheered when Cannon reiterated his opposition to the monument.

Hansen sarcastically referred to the monument as the “Grand Sagebrush” national monument.

Cannon said any measure in the House to repeal the monument would fall short by at least 35 votes. They are still hoping to get the boundary lines revised.

Cannon and Hansen have also co-sponsored HR 2114 IH, the “National Monument Fairness Act of 2001,” an amendment to the Antiquities Act that would require public input and notification for any proclamation that would give monument status to an area greater than 50,000 acres. The amendment includes “...any such proclamation shall cease to be effective on the date 2 years after issuance of the proclamation unless the Congress has approved such proclamation by law.”

Show your support for this proposal by contacting your Representatives. Click on “Info & Links” on our web site, followed by “U.S. House of Representatives” for access to your Representative.


• 3809 rollback decision expected soon
Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton is expected to issue a decision by July 19 on the proposed rollbacks of 3809 regulation changes. Hopefully you have all submitted your comments to BLM. We recently learned from a long-time subscriber that he received an email from the Mineral Policy Center after he submitted his comments in support of the proposed rollbacks.

The Mineral Policy Center thanked him for “opposing the rollbacks” and directed him to their website for more information. The Mineral Policy Center apparently has access to the email addresses. They claim that 30,000 comments have been received that oppose the rollbacks.

The National Mining Association (NMA) recently issued a statement criticizing the Mineral Policy Center for relying on “selective distortion, mischaracterization, and misinformation-through-omission.”

Comments can be mailed to:

Director (630)
BLM Administrative Record
Room 401 LS
1849 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240


Comments can also be e-mailed to: WOComments@blm.gov and be sure to include “Attn AD22” in the subject field.


• Yucca Mountain: Done deal or “dead?”
In the months since Bush announced his energy plan, there has been an interesting new take on nuclear waste storage. Instead of deciding when construction of a nuclear waste facility will begin at Nevada’s Yucca Mountain, questions have been asked regarding the suitability of the site for safely storing 77,000 tons of nuclear waste.

A big part of this redirection is as a result of the change in leadership in the U.S. Senate. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada is now the assistant majority leader. The new Senate majority leader, Tom Daschle, said recently he thought the Yucca Mountain project would be a “dead” issue as long as Democrats were in control.

Nevada still faces a tough battle since the Department of Energy is moving forward with the suitability study.


• Miners battle for their rights in southern Oregon
Miners in southern Oregon are still battling with the Siskiyou National Forest (SNF). It’s already been a year since the SNF announced that due to their interpretation of a court ruling, all mining activity of any type would require an approved Plan of Operation. Over 2,100 Plans of Operation were submitted by January 2001.

Former Interior Secretary Babbitt then pushed through a Mineral Withdrawal, segregating SNF and adjoining BLM land for two-years, effective January 22, 2001.

Members of the Waldo Mining District (WMD) have been working hard to correct the situation.

Tom Kitchar, Vice President of WMD, stated their investigation into the withdrawal revealed that the specifics of the segregation were not published in the Federal Register as required in 43 CFR 2310.3-1(b)(2)(ii).

Kitchar stated that after numerous letters and phone calls to Washington, D.C., he has been assured that the Interior Dept. is aware of the situation and is looking into it.

Kitchar also filed Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for the names and addresses of all persons who have filed a Plan of Operation. His request was denied—he appealed, and was denied again. Then he learned that the Siskiyou Regional Education Project (SREP), an environmental group, had requested and received the same information under a FOIA request!

“This is obviously preferential treatment,” said Kitchar. The next step may be legal action for the WMD.

The group is currently awaiting word on an appeal to USFS Chief Dale Bosworth. Kitchar encourages miners to support their efforts by writing letters. Letters can be addressed to:

Sec. of the Interior Gale Norton
Dept. of the Interior
1849 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20240


Dale Bosworth, Chief, USFS
US Dept. of Agriculture
201 14th St SW at Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC 20250
© ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal, CMJ Inc.
Next Article »« Previous Article

Add a Comment

Additional articles that might interest you...

The Verde Copper-Gold-Silver-Zinc District, Jerome, Arizona


When I was a student in the College of Mines at the University of Utah, the Verde district was used as an exploration model for “submarine volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits.” So I looked forward to visiting this district and the town of Jerome in central Arizona in the spring of 2012.

Gold Mine Becomes "Golden Partner" of California Sesquicentennial


Original Sixteen to One Mine Inc., the second oldest United States publicly traded gold mining company, became a Golden Partner of the California Sesquicentennial last month.

Prospecting Knowledge -- Pass It On!


I had two of the guys go down into the creek and each one picked out a small island of bedrock. I had them detect their piece of bedrock and then gave a critique to all on how they did.

Four Miners Die in Mine Accidents in Ukraine


Four miners were killed in eastern Ukraine in two separate accidents during one week in May in the country's troubled mines, emergency officials said.

Creating Your Own Luck


Now that you are actually going to be out there doing some prospecting, I may be able to help.

Mining Law—A Short History


The General Mining Law of 1872 is not antiquated, but its roots are ancient, stemming from Greek and Roman law, and continued in English and Spanish law. The recorded laws and practices of mining extend back nearly 3000 years.

Cold Water Gold


It was June 2011, and my wife Fran and I with Grandson Lucas and good friend Ernie Cruz were attempting to get to our gold mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Feather River about ten miles from Quincy, California. Rain had poured down in the previous few days and the road in a large number of low places was under water. Following two hours of slugging through the mud...

Subscription Required:
The Bawl Mill   • Our Readers Say   • Global Warming—The Press Gets it Wrong, Our Report Doesn't Support the Kyoto Treaty   • Former Sunshine Miners Find Work in Montana   • CMA Conference Summary   • Uranium Deposits   • Washington Gold & Fish Update   • Prospecting for Diamonds: Is It a Diamond or Crystal Quartz?   • Basic Information About Gold Detectors   • Oil Seeps in Northern California   • Diamond Dealer Prevails in Congo   • Company Notes   • Picks & Pans: The Gold Bullion Mine   • Arizona's Border Silver Camps   • The Stonewall Jackson Mine, San Diego County, California   • Proposal Submitted for Lab at Homestake   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices   • Melman on Gold & Silver

Free:

Advertisements

Precious Metals Recovery plants and equipment
Fighting to keep public lands open to the public
Specializing in the processing of precious metal ores!
Watch prospecting shows on your computer right now
Free Online Sample Issue