Legislative and Regulatory Update
July 2007 by Staff
• Assembly Bill 1032
This is the California anti-dredging bill we reported on last month.
The bill summary states, “…waters designated as wild and heritage trout waters shall be closed to suction gold dredging, except as authorized by permit approved by the Fish and Game Commission, and expands the Department of Fish and Game’s authority to close other waters to suction dredging when necessary to protect wild trout or other sensitive native aquatic or amphibian species.”
The bill was passed in the California Assembly and has moved to the Senate. Businesses, clubs, individuals and counties have been requested to submit letters to their state legislators and Governor Schwarzenegger. The matter was scheduled for a hearing before the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee on June 26, 2007.
If the bill is signed into law, a lawsuit will be necessary to restore the rights of miners.
We will report on further developments next issue.
• Cache County v. USFS
Cache County, Utah, is fighting it out with the US Forest Service. At issue is ownership of existing historic roads.
The county council passed resolutions stating it owns 197 miles of roads in the Wasatch-Cache National Forest and it intends to claim an additional 150 miles in the near future.
Council member Cory Yeates said the council has heard complaints from citizens because forest roads are often blocked and poorly maintained.
The 10th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a southern Utah case two years ago that state laws dictate the meaning of existing roads. In Utah, the law says that “existing” roads are those that had 10 years of continuous use before 1976.
Yeates said Cache County has documented 10 years of use to back up its claims to the roads.
“We have histories going back to the 1870s. Most of these were built with county funds,” said Yeates.
The county doesn’t intend to take the Forest Service to court to prove its claims, but will if it finds its rights infringed, he said.
• CMA appeals cyanide ban
The Colorado Mining Association (CMA) has asked the Colorado Supreme Court to review a lower court decision regarding a ban on the use of cyanide to process ore.
A three judge panel of the Court of Appeals sided with Summit County’s prohibition against the use of cyanide, though one judge dissented.
CMA asserted that the prohibition violates state law, which provides uniform standards for the environmental regulation of mining operations. The state of Colorado also filed a brief citing the need for statewide regulation of mining and outlining the effectiveness of state performance and reclamation standards.
The Montana Mining Association is trying to raise more than $150,000 to pay lawyers to continue the battle to overturn Initiative 137, the 1998 ballot issue that banned cyanide processing at most new or expanded gold mines.
Once a thriving mining community, the town of Lucky Shot, Alaska, also known as Kellyville, is nowhere to be found today. Buildings were either hauled away or burned. The snow loads of the Talkeetna Mountains crushed some of...
Light-colored volcanic tuff or tuffaceous sandstone often contains small amounts of uranium, enough to be detected with a sensitive radiation detector. Sometimes, the mass effect of the radiation is substantial.
A relaxing trip was long overdue. The deadlines associated with assembling a magazine each month tend to wear on you after awhile. I needed a break. Several organizers of Dredge Earth First were...
Walking around the gulch and exploring the upper drainage, picking up different rocks and inspecting them with a good loop, and looking them up in a field guide of rocks and minerals of your region will help you understand how the gold got there.
I started with, "Hey, Rusty, tell me about the time..." and that was all it took.
• Polar bear listed
• Forest Service trying to close off access
The Bawl Mill • Ask the Experts • More Tips for Evaluating Ores • The Mountain Gate Mine • The Basics of Small-Scale Heap Leaching with Cyanide Part I—History, Suitablility and Permitting • Oregon Suction Dredge Permit Update • In Pursuit of Gold and Silver in the Sierra Madres—Buying the Pilot Mill • Life in the Alaska Gold Rush • More Small-Scale Miners Attracted by Gold Prices • Gold in New Zealand • Ready “Ore” Not, Uranium Boom is On Again • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Looking Back