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.
Imagine for a minute the year is 1850. You’ve read and heard that gold was discovered in California and the creeks are so rich you can just scoop it up with your hands.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Washington D.C. is reviewing a land swap with a private company because the bureau allowed an employee of the company to arrange the deal.
During the summer of 2001, Hunter Exploration Group conducted a regional mineral exploration program on the Melville Peninsula in Nunavut, in search of predominantly gold, platinum and copper.
The year was 1956. The place was a silver mine in Silverado Canyon, California. To familiarize you with the area, Silverado Canyon is located in Southern California near El Toro Marine Base, which is located near Majeska Peak.
Superintendent Tom Phillips soon returned to the mines with fellow worker Thomas J. Findlay, and began repair work. Phillips had already determined that the machinery had been operated at various times by armed forces...
On February 16, 2001, in Olympia, Washington, a very unusual thing happened—prospectors and officials of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) finally engaged in a true dialogue and discovered that they weren’t enemies after all!
...the area around Eureka, Nevada is well mineralized and seems to have a bright potential for future production of all sorts of metals.
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