Legislative and Regulatory Update
April 2006 by Scott Harn
• USFS cost recovery
The US Forest Service issued final cost recovery rules on February 21, 2006, for special use permits.
Special use permits do not apply to locatable minerals under the Mining Law. Mining activities are non-discretionary and are governed by 36 CFR 228 regulations.
• Measure 37 affirmed
Measure 37 was passed by Oregon voters in 2004. Measure 37 provides: “If a public entity enacts or enforces a new land use regulation or enforces a land use regulation enacted prior to December 2, 2004, that restricts the use of private real property or any interest therein and has the effect of reducing the fair market value of the property, or any interest therein, then the owner of the property shall be paid just compensation.”
In lieu of providing just compensation, the measure allows the governing body responsible for enacting the land use regulation to modify, remove or not apply the regulations.
A Circuit Court had ruled that Measure 37 violated the state and federal constitutions and intruded on the authority of the legislature.
The Oregon Supreme Court overturned the lower court.
The case is Macpherson, et al v. Department of Administrative Services, et al (CC No. 05C10444; SC S52875). The case is available on the Oregon Supreme Court website at www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/S52875.htm
• Court declines to hear Canyon Resources claim
The US Supreme Court declined to hear Canyon Resources’ claim that the anti-cyanide initiative passed by voters in Montana in 1998 amounted to an illegal taking.
Canyon Resources already lost in the Montana Supreme Court. They may try to take their case to the US District Court in Montana. Canyon Resources has stated that the initiative prevents the company from bringing the Seven-Up Pete Joint Venture into production.
• Kempthorne nominated to head Interior
President Bush chose Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne to be the next Interior Secretary following the departure of Gale Norton.
Kempthorne spent six years in the Senate. He was elected as governor in 1998, and re-elected in 2002.
The League of Conservation Voters, the main lobbying arm for environmental groups, said its scorekeeping shows Kempthorne hostile to their interests.
What it takes to move gold is turbulent, fast-moving water. Normally the water is heavy with clay and all sorts of sentiments that have been ripped up from the bed of the river or carried down from the tributaries above.
Because the old timers were so good at locating the better paying deposits—most of them along clay seams in this particular area—it makes good sense to try and locate these clay lines at old mining sites.
Eleven year old Josh Evans’ words said it for all of us at the rally: “Finding gold is really fun!”
• Congress deals with other priorities
• Alaska miners get relief on state lands
...while the public appears sold on the idea of imminent recovery and government politicians continually issue statements in support of that concept, several responsible columnists have issued their own predictions, and they are hardly optimistic.
One of the largest underground copper mines in the world officially closed mid-January, as demolition crews blasted its twin smelter stacks.
The Bawl Mill • Federal Court to Address Dredge Permits—The Tulloch Rule • Basic Geology for the Independent Miner—Part IV Geology of Hardrock Gold Deposits • Economic Impact of Mining in Alaska • The Kenai Peninsula Goldfields • Copper Price Keeps Canadian Miners Busy • The Business of Mining: Financial Recoveries for Mandated Changes • Utilizing Geologic Maps • The Rich Hill Outing • Picks & Pans: Detecting at Ganes Creek • Copper Mine Opening in Utah • Future of Mining in Bolivia Uncertain • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices