Legislative and Regulatory Update
September 2020 by Scott Harn
• Pendley nomination withdrawn but will remain BLM director for now
The Trump administration has withdrawn the nomination of William Perry Pendley from consideration as the permanent director of the Bureau of Land Management though he will continue as acting director for the foreseeable future.
As explanation was not provided, though it’s clear that Democrats in Congress do not like his prior record of suing federal agencies when he was the head of Mountain States Legal Foundation.
The agency is set up so that the deputy director of policy and programs, which is currently Pendley, takes the default leadership position when the spot is vacant. So, even though his nomination was withdrawn, Pendley can remain as the agency director while a more permanent director is sought.
After joining the government, he declared that his past support for selling public lands was irrelevant because his boss, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt, opposes the wholesale sale of public lands. Since Pendley’s arrival, agency officials said the bureau has acquired more than 25,000 acres of land and sought to expand recreational access.
Pendley also recused himself from work involving dozens of former clients following conflict of interest allegations from Democrats and environmentalists. The former clients ranged from farming and mining organizations to energy companies.
• Comments needed for Midas Gold project in Idaho
The US Forest Service published the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for three open-pit gold mines proposed by Midas Gold that are planned for an area about 40 miles east of McCall, Idaho.
Comments are due by October 13, 2020, and miners are encouraged to provide constructive comments. The DEIS is available on the Internet at www.midasgoldidaho.com/news/deis-released/
All of which brings us back to the question of why we rely so heavily on China in the first place. America’s economy is heavily dependent upon energy and telecommunications, but does that require Chinese manufacturing? Clearly not.
Retired geologist Dave Taylor of Farmington, New Mexico, predicted the disaster in a letter published by the Silverton Standard a week before it occurred.
• Oregon proposed withdrawal
NOI or POO for small backhoe
It was a milestone day in the battle to maintain the rights of miners to dredge on federal mining claims in California.
This ruling comes at an opportune time, just as suction dredge miners are dealing with new proposed regulations in several western states. Be sure to cite this case when you provide comments on the regulations!
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