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.
First, the US Forest Service does not have any authority to enforce or administer any “claim jumping” laws, period.
Nearly everyone who has drywashed or metal detected for placer gold within hardrock gold-mining areas is aware of "residual placers" (a.k.a. seam diggin's)...
Cobalt and nickel are tough silver-white metals, with similar physical properties, that frequently occur together in nature, along with copper sulfides. Cobalt and nickel are used as alloys, providing great strength and resistance...
When you think of gold mining, you probably don’t consider Alabama to be the place to find your treasure. However, in the early 1800s, jobs were few, and the smell of gold drew men into the search. History records 13 districts in which mining was done at all stages—from pick and shovel, to an area like Hog Mountain.
• Alabama Governor says they can't afford the Affordable Care Act
• To secede or not to secede?—That is the petition...
• By the numbers...
I had some success following this premise this summer, finding a few nuggets in places I think I overlooked in the past.
This is just the type of specimen that could have been easily ignored by the old-time miners. It felt a little heavier in my hand than a chunk of quartz of that size ought to have been.
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