Legislative and Regulatory Update
June 2006 by Scott Harn
• SREP appeals
Last month we reported that the Siskiyou Regional Education Project (SREP) had their case dismissed on appeal. They had filed a lawsuit against the Siskiyou National Forest in an attempt to require a Plan of Operation and financial guarantee (bond) for all mining located in or near a waterway.
Judge Cooney originally ruled in favor of the Forest Service. SREP appealed to the District Court and Judge Michael R. Hogan dismissed the appeal.
SREP has now appealed the case to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Public Lands for the People, which intervened to assist miners in the case, has filed briefs in support of the Forest Service. We will continue to follow this case as it progresses.
• No decision yet in Karuk case
The Karuk Tribe’s lawsuit against the California Department of Fish & Game (DFG) in Alameda County, California, is still waiting for a decision by Judge Bonnie Sabraw.
Judge Sabraw will decide whether or not to sign an agreement reached between the Karuks and DFG behind closed doors that would close off several northern California rivers to dredging and place severe restrictions on others.
It appears that DFG did not follow required procedures for rulemaking, nor did they follow required procedures for establishing emergency regulations. Several mining organizations have been granted intervenor status by the court.
We expect the judge will opt out of signing the original agreement and the case will proceed to trial. We’ll keep you posted.
• Right to Access bill
Mike Smith, owner of Pro Mack South, informed us that a legislative proposal has been submitted to US Representative Rick Renzi of Arizona.
The proposed legislation, titled “Our Right to Public Lands Access,” was originally submitted by Arizona resident Deborah Strole. It would remove some of the burden regarding environmental studies and permitting from small miners and place that responsibility back on government agencies.
The proposal has been languishing in Representative Renzi’s office. What is needed are letters of support to show Representative Renzi that there is actual support, in numbers, from concerned citizens.
Interested parties can read the entire text of the proposed legislation in the “Pending Rules, Regulations, Projects” section of our website at www.icmj.com
Smith also provided us with a sample letter that can be sent along to Congressman Renzi. Feel free to use it or develop your own.
In an effort to resolve the controversy over whether certain expenditures made by a mining operation or mining-related business are currently deductible as repair expenses...the Internal Revenue Service has finally released new regulations.
• South Carolina Governor feels violated...
• Biting the hand that feeds you...
• A very seedy business...
• Better cash in some gold if you’re a football fan...
North Carolina was the site of the first well documented discovery of gold in the United States, which occurred in 1799. Not many years later, when the importance of this find was realized, gold miners came to seek their fortunes.
A couple of months ago, folks on the US and Aussie online gold forums started noticing that GP4500 detectors (Minelab’s top of the line gold unit) were selling used for prices significantly more than they cost new!
• US Supreme Court declines to hear dredging controversy
• Why Senate Bill S3422 is bad for America
• Comment deadline extended for new California dredging regulations
Unquestionably, it was the other side of the Atlantic Ocean—that is the European side—that provided virtually all the political, economic and social fireworks during the past month.
It may be no exaggeration at all to state that the past thirty days have seen a collection of headlines that could affect the world profoundly for years to come.
The Bawl Mill • Basic Geology for the Independent Miner—Part VI Geology of Placer Gold Deposits • Mining is Booming in Northern Ontario • For a Few Specks of Gold • The Livengood-Tolovana Mining District • Miners Rescued After Two Weeks • Mining Firms Uneasy Over Bolivia • Wyoming's Billion Dollar Nugget • China to Set Up Strategic Reserves • Mongolia Tax May Chase Off Investment • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices