Legislative and Regulatory Update
July 2019 by Scott Harn
• Administration issues proposals to fix mining access and permitting
The Trump Administration released an interagency report titled, “A Federal Strategy to Ensure a Reliable Supply of Critical Minerals.” The document establishes goals and makes recommendations to achieve President Trump’s objectives laid out in Executive Order 13817 in order to create a reliable US supply chain for critical minerals.
The recommendations related to minerals involve all types of mining, not just mining for critical minerals. Specific recommendations are made to expedite permitting, revise Travel Management Plans, curb mineral withdrawals, and much more.
We are encouraged that many of the recommendations we made during out trips in Washington, DC, with Public Lands for the People are included in the proposals.
Check the PLP Update column later is in this issue for a full review.
• Online “webinar” and request for comments for proposed Forest Service NEPA regulation revisions
On June 13, the Forest Service published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking and request for comments as the agency seeks to revise its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations.
The agency states it intends to increase efficiency, reduce timelines for approval, and possibly utilize categorical exclusions in some cases.
The agency will provide an online “webinar” on July 12, 2019, from 3:30-5:00pm Eastern Time. You can call in at 1-877-369-5243 or 1-617-688-3633. The access code is 0849770#.
Or you can watch it on your desktop or device by visiting https://usfs.adobeconnect.com/neparule-1000/
Public comments are due in writing by August 12, 2019.
Comments can be submitted by one of the following methods:
Public participation portal (preferred):
NEPA Services Group
c/o Amy Barker; USDA Forest Service
125 South State Street, Suite 1705
Salt Lake City, UT 84138.
• Critical minerals a priority
• Montana miners win again
• MSHA backs down
• Environmental groups as foreign agents
Mining claimants who wish to retain their mining claims on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands through the 2022 assessment year must pay a maintenance fee or file a maintenance fee waiver certificate on or before September 1, 2021, to prevent forfeiture.
We soon found that our discovery post and other claim markers were gone and replaced with new posts and a notice of location with an earlier date than had been on our notice of location.
We can’t say it wasn’t expected. The California Department of Fish & Game released revised suction gold dredging regulations on February 17, 2012, and it’s obvious the agency wants to make life as difficult as possible for dredgers.
We can either surrender or draw a line in the sand and fight to hold the remaining mining rights we still have.
We spent our evening at some informal get-togethers at two private residences in the DC area, which provided the opportunity to talk with staff members from Congress, other agencies, and a few consultants working on public land issues. We found common ground with many of them, and found a strong ally in a former Congressman turned consultant who agreed that Mining Districts provide the smartest legal route...
It's a proven civil remedy to put an end to harassment by notifying a person who is either overstepping their authority, or failing to act as required, that they will be sued personally for an act or omission.
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