Legislative and Regulatory Update
April 2020 by Scott Harn
• Washington State copies California’s wayward regulations
On March 9, the Washington State legislature sent a bill to Gov. Inslee’s desk that will prohibit all forms of motorized mining in streams where Endangered Species Act listed fish are present. The governor is expected to sign the measure.
House Bill 1261 passed 60-35, while companion bill SB 5322 passed in the Senate 37-10, with votes passed along party lines; Democrats were in favor, while Republicans were against it.
The bill would make all motorized prospecting and mining illegal in ESA-designated waterways. Uneducated legislators swayed by extreme environmental groups continue to ignore the benefits provided by suction gold dredgers.
The evidence is clear that dredge miners remove heavy metals like mercury and lead and create desired thermal refugia as they clean our waterways. Dredging “seasons” were already in place so that dredging operations did not interfere with spawning seasons.
Bills like these passed in Washington State are the reason why we continue to focus our efforts on changes at the federal level. Utilizing federal preemption on federal mining claims, we believe these types of frivolous regulations can be overcome, and we continue to advocate for changes at the federal level during our trips to Washington, DC with Public Lands for the People. (You can read more about our efforts in the “PLP Update” column.)
Only one word truly describes the greatest source of headlines during the past month and that word is “politics.” With the November 6 Congressional and Presidential elections drawing ever closer and with both party’s conventions having been recently concluded, we take a serious look at the political situation below.
• He can manage the taxpayers' money, but not his own?
• Government debt to reach yet another milestone...
• Speaking of ObamaCare...
Armed with my heavy bucket of gravel and, most importantly, my gold pan, I anxiously waded knee-deep into the mucky water. At the ready, the swish-swash splish-splash was all I heard as I hurriedly shook my gold pan, turfing out all the bigger bits of rock and clumps of mud. My clean clothes and even my face were soon splattered with mud in my race to pan as much gold in 20 minutes as my spindly arms would allow!
As usual, the decision process was extremely difficult, but we managed to pick our 10 winners.
Rumors, myths, legends, folklore and oral histories—all of these are part of the framework that make up the core belief systems of the elements of society that persist to this day to go in pursuit of illustrious gold.
• Comment deadlines approaching for frog listings and habitat
• EPA seeks more control
• Comments due in Washington
• California dredging moratorium
• PLF sues to delist polar bear
The Bawl Mill • Sampling for Success—Part II • Ask The Experts - Investing: How do you know which companies have potential? • Miners Fight Back When BLM Says 'Your Claim Is Too Long' • It's Another 'Ben Day' • How to Research Prospecting Locations and Mining Claims • Some Tips and Tricks for Dredgers: Determining Pulley Size and Belt Length • Where Will The Gold Price Go From Here? • Holcomb Valley Gold, Southern California • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: The Good Luck and Bad Luck of Prospecting With Animals • Lode Miner Continues to Find Pocket Gold • Judge Backs Minnesota's Twin Metals Mine in Lease Dispute • Over the Divide: Rick Lague • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices