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.
The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in 1848 started the great gold rush to California. The account that drew national and worldwide notice was a small, two-inch item at the bottom of the front page of the March 15, 1848 issue of the “Californian,” published in San Francisco. The article was attributed to B.R. Buckelew, and mentioned quantities of gold just being “gathered.”
I am learning more about gold deposition in this area than I knew previously. I am passing this information on with the hope that many of you will be able to locate patches and lines a little easier in the future because of this article.
This mine was a real wonder of engineering, and the water supply and drifts had to be carefully managed to keep it in operation. In fact, it didn’t close due to lack of gold, but instead closed with the fall of the Roman Empire.
The hard-learned lessons, humor, tragedies and issues of work in mining have long been the subject of poetry, stories, songs and visual art by mineworkers and their families.
Coin and bullion dealers confirmed in mid-August that the US Mint was refusing orders from dealers.
Alaska Governor Tony Knowles signed a bill making several beneficial changes to Alaska mining claim location law.
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