Legislative and Regulatory Update
July 2005 by Scott Harn
• Pombo to introduce ESA reform bill
House Resources Committee chairman Richard Pombo will publish a draft bill that will address many of the problems inherent with the Endangered Species Act.
An aide to Pombo disclosed that the bill will move critical habitat designations to later in the process, require peer reviewed science, provide incentives to landowners to protect species and provide states with a greater role.
Even some environmentalists are agreeing that the current process is flawed.
John Kostyack of the National Wildlife Federation stated, “Congress should push back the deadlines to three years after listing, thereby giving the wildlife agencies the time they need to get the science right.”
Pombo’s target date for the draft bill is August.
The Fish and Wildlife Service currently is under orders from 42 lawsuits to designate habitat for 87 species. Another 35 lawsuits involving 57 species are pending.
• Utah addresses roadless areas
Utah Governor Jon Huntsman will not petition the federal government for protection of roadless areas in his state said a spokesman for the governor’s office.
Under the recently announced changes to the Clinton-era Roadless Rule, individual governors can petition the federal government to manage roadless areas in their respective states.
Lynn Stevens, Utah’s state public lands policy coordinator, said the state will allow the US Forest Service to complete forest management plans already in progress in four of the state’s six national forests.
Utah environmentalist Kevin Mueller believes this amounts to bad news for the state. “It sounds to us like they’re going to come up with something that amounts to minimal protection. The fewer areas that are petitioned and included for protection, the quicker and easier the process will be. The less roadless areas, the less hassle,” said Mueller.
• Appeal by active duty soldier
In a recent Interior Board of Lands Appeals decision, Judge H. Barry Holt ruled that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) should consider the request of an active duty soldier for an exemption from paying annual mining claim assessment fees.
The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act (SSCRA) provides for a six-month exemption from the fee if all parties to the claim are on active duty.
It was June 2011, and my wife Fran and I with Grandson Lucas and good friend Ernie Cruz were attempting to get to our gold mining claim on the Middle Fork of the Feather River about ten miles from Quincy, California. Rain had poured down in the previous few days and the road in a large number of low places was under water. Following two hours of slugging through the mud...
• California Senator proposes locking up 2.5 million acres with "Wildnerness" designation
• Battle over the rights of people versus fish continues in the Klamath Basin
• Sound science or "fairy tales"
Rocks and minerals associated with clay seam gold deposits in southern Oregon are often in sedimentary rock units at least partially metamorphosed into argillite. They are also associated with mafic volcanic rocks, basalts and gabbro that...
In retrospect, I can now see that the thoughtless breaking of one of my safety rules regarding not dredging alone was to be a lesson I won’t soon forget.
In developing a mineral property or mining claims, one of the first goals is to identify and quantify valuable deposits. The classic method of doing this is by drilling holes into the ground to sample what is below the surface. The problem is that one or two holes usually are not going to tell you a whole lot...
About 10 years ago the Forest Service told a miner that he could not stay on his claim for more than 14 days in a row. I told the miner that he could stay as long as he wants, providing he was mining.
The Bawl Mill • Our Readers Say • The Montana Tunnels Discovery • Spreading the Fever • Forest Service Final Rule—When is a Notice or Plan Required? • Looking Back • New Regulations for Major Precious Metal Dealers • The Paradox Basin—Part I • The Safety in Tax Deductions for Safety • Understanding and Evaluating Desert Mineralization for Nuggetshooters • A Search for Tantalum • Copper is King in Arizona • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • Melman on Gold & Silver