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• Pendley nomination withdrawn but will remain BLM director for now
The Trump administration has withdrawn the nomination of William Perry Pendley from consideration as the permanent director of the Bureau of Land Management though he will continue as acting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 So, even though his nomination was withdrawn, Pendley can remain as the agency director while a more permanent director is sought.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/
• Idaho continues toward elimination of EPA suction dredging regulations
• EPA makes preemptive strike against Alaska mine
• Proposed Mines Act permit fees
• Backdoor Wild Lands order
• PLP reports on latest dredge lawsuit
• Massive lands bill avoided
• No cap and trade for now
• RS-2477 rights affirmed
Manderfield’s ruling opens the way for Kennecott Eagle to begin blasting. The company has declined to say when it will start. A spokeswoman said drilling would begin “in the coming weeks".
We are in the planning stages for our next trip to DC. Clark and I are looking at returning after the mid-term elections, probably around the end of November or early December, to continue discussions with members of Congress…
• No Adventure Pass needed
• Supreme Court of Canada rules on aboriginal title claims
• No agreement reached in suction gold dredge permitting case
The petition seeks specific changes to existing Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management regulations to restore the intent of Congress and federal preemption.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - What is the difference between heavy and light rare earth elements? • Ask The Experts - What are the tax implications for partners on a claim? • Ask The Experts - What should my plan be for testing quartz for gold in North Carolina? • Ask The Experts - Did gold deposits come from space or were they created underground? • Ask The Experts - Is a shaker table going to work on my flour material? • Subtle and Not So Subtle Dangers of Hard Rock Mining • How Should I Work This Prospect? • Tips and Tricks: Preparing Your Dredge Engine for Storage • Fluorescent Mineral Prospecting • More Tips on How to Find Gold with A Detector • What Do You Need For A Successful Micro-Scale Mine? • Using Favorable Rock Types to Find More Gold • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Of Mice and Men • Discovering New Territory • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices