Legislative and Regulatory Update
January 2008 by Staff• Forest Service proposes further changes to mining regs
Mike Doran, from the Locatable Minerals section of the Forest Service’s Minerals and Resource Geology Division, announced at the recent Northwest Mining Association tradeshow in Spokane that the Forest Service intends to make further changes to their regulations governing mining.
They are expected to expand on their recent proposal to issue criminal citations for occupancy and attempt to place further restrictions on the use of public lands by miners.
Doran said one of the proposed amendments would create a new level of approval called a Bonded Notice. A Bonded Notice would require the posting of a financial guarantee for activities approved under a Notice where activities do not warrant a Plan of Operations.
According to Jerry Hobbs, president of Public Lands for the People, this change in the Forest Service mining regulations will make mining activities in the Forests unaffordable to most small miners.
"There are no bonding companies that will bond a small-scale mining operation. The bond would have to be cash, which most small miners cannot afford. We had better get serious about this one and start raising funds now to stop it."
Doran said the Forest Service would publish the proposed changes in the Federal Register soon, though he could not provide a specific date.
A comment period will be provided. No public meetings have been scheduled, so miners will have to make a request for public meetings following publication of the proposed amendments.
See page 28 for more information about Public Lands for the People.
• Preble’s mouse resurrected
Remember all the back and forth decisions by the Fish & Wildlife Service involving the Preble’s jumping mouse?
FWS listed the mouse in 1998. Developers spent millions to mitigate projects, and several new freeway interchanges in Colorado were reconfigured to prevent possible harm to the species. Then, following a lawsuit by environmental groups, FWS proposed critical habitat of another 237 miles of rivers and streams and over 20,000 acres of land in Wyoming in 2002.
FWS made an about face in 2005, proposing to de-list the mouse following two studies that indicated the mouse was genetically the same as another common mouse. The de-listing proposal has been postponed several times since then.
Now FWS has said their decision to de-list the mouse was in error, and they announced in the Federal Register their plan to retain the Endangered Species listing.
A link to the Federal Register proposal can be found under the Pending Rules & Regulations section on our website, www.icmj.com
Republican vice presidential contender Dick Cheney, continuing a campaign swing through the West, said the Clinton administration has failed to step up and toe the mark for the mining and energy industry.
Most dry washers have a feed rate adjustment. It needs to be set so that the material flows evenly over the riffles and does not bury them.
• Look for less federal government land acquisitions in the new budget
• Valley fill ruling overturned
• Two species rejected for listing under ESA
• New Mexico and Montana consider legislation to encourage mining
• Mining, lumber groups seek to eliminate funds for university program
• Backfilling required for new mines in California
• Nevada Congressman named vice chairman of Resources
• Idaho gets deadline extended for bull trout comments
• Murkowski Calls for Resource Assessment on State and Federal Lands
• Comments needed regarding proposal to lock up huge tracts of public land in California
Guyanese gold deposits occur in deformed and metamorphosed greenstones made up of alternating mafic to felsic volcanic and sedimentary rocks intruded by granitoid basoliths and stocks.
Prospectors east of the Mississippi have their share of gold bearing property to explore and prospect upon. There’s plenty of undiscovered gold on the bottoms of the creeks and rivers running through the eastern gold belt.
Ore processing in California?
The view from the pass at 16,500 feet elevation was astonishing. In one direction, one range of the Andes Mountains rose to over 18,000 feet, while in the other direction the peaks soared to almost 20,000 feet.
The Journal Welcomes Chris Ralph as Associate Editor • The Bawl Mill • Global Hunter • New Study of the Formation of Nuggets—Part II • Michigan DEQ Approves Upper Peninsula Mine • Let’s Go Crevicing for Gold • Mining Restrictions Lifted in Southwest Alaska • Silver Bonanza in the Sierra Madre: The Glorious Past of Batopilas—Conclusion • 2007 Annual Photo Contest Winners • Exploring La Trinidad Mine • There’s Still Gold In Oregon’s Umpqua River • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices