Legislative and Regulatory Update
October 2008 by Scott Harn• Voters say "yes" to mining in Alaska
Alaska voters defeated an attempt by environmentalists to place severe restrictions on mining.
Measure 4 would have imposed two water quality standards on any new large-scale mines in Alaska. Had it passed, it would have restricted new large mines, like the $300 billion Pebble project, from releasing chemicals that could be deemed toxic into waterways.
The measure was defeated, 43% in favor to 57% opposed.
• Colorado cyanide ban case presented
The Colorado Mining Association’s challenge of a cyanide ban in Summit County reached the Colorado Supreme Court. Arguments were presented on September 9.
Summit County banned the use of cyanide for mining in 2004. The mining association was able to get the ban overturned in district court, but the state Court of Appeals later sided with the county. Additional counties followed with their own cyanide bans, including Conejos, Costilla, Gilpin and Gunnison.
The case is No. 05CA1996.
• New small-scale regulations released in Washington State
The Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW) released new regulations governing small-scale mining in mid-August, following literally years of negotiations with stakeholders.
While the resulting regulations are much better than what the WDFW was trying to force on miners at the start of the process, the new regulations still leave much to be desired. The agency still attempts to rely on data that they have not been able to back up with science to establish "timing windows" for prospecting in waterways in Washington State.
Unfortunately, the comment deadline on the new regulations was September 26, 2008. The short deadline did not allow us time to notify all of our readers who may have been interested in submitting comments. We did, however, post this information on our website, and many concerned readers have commented on the regulations.
Mark Erickson of the Resources Coalition, a group that has been leading the battle to rewrite Washington’s overzealous regulations, stated, "The regulations are much better than what Fish and Wildlife tried to implement initially. We’ve made some really good progress. But they still won’t provide the science to support these timing windows."
• Colorado roadless areas
The US Forest Service has published rules pertaining to roadless areas in Colorado. The full document is lengthy—23 pages total—and can be viewed at: http://roadless.fs.fed.us/documents/colorado_roadless/fr_co_rule.pdf
We have also placed a link to the document on our website under the Pending Rules & Regulations tab.
Those who wish to maintain access to current or historic mining areas should send in constructive comments. Comments are due by October 23, 2008.
Written comments can be submitted to:
Roadless Area Conservation—Colorado
PO Box 162909
Sacramento, CA 95816–2909
Comments can be faxed to: (916) 456-6724
Comments can be emailed to: COcomments@fsroadless.org
Who were the earliest prospectors in the Western Hemisphere? Is there any way to tell?
Another California Assembly member, Jared Huffman, is attempting to ban dredging in the state on a more permanent basis.
Once all the numbers from all the samples and water tests are compiled, a snapshot of the performance of each tank in the process circuit can be seen side-by-side.
The recent increased public attention given to Revised Statute 2477 rights-of-way also has been accompanied by an increase in misinformation being spread by some anti-access environmental groups and federal bureaucrats.
Is three-dollar gas cutting into your gold prospecting? Tired of gas engine maintenance? Gas engine fumes and noise bothering you? Then go solar.
These were the men who periodically picked up the gold amalgam from the tables and sluices in the dredge, processed it, and transported the gold ingots to the railroad express office in Alder. Their trustworthiness must have commanded a prominent wage.
Not being a psychiatrist, this writer is not aware of the specific term for a condition laymen refer to as “split personality.” However, whatever that term might be, it would be wholly appropriate for the news background during the past month. We were first subjected to one news story after another that suggested that our economic world was on a truly shaky foundation—and then, suddenly, we were “blessed” with a barrage of positive developments.
The Bawl Mill • Dredging at Real Del Castillo, Baja • Finding Paystreak Gold With A Metal Detector • General Metals Continues Toward Production • Cedar Rim Opal—Discovery of a Giant Opal Field • "I Got Dusted" • The Trail of ‘98 • Newmont Steps Up For Laid Off Workers • Benton’s Rich Silver • Gold Trader, Employee Charged with Wife’s Killing • Is There A Gold Shortage? • Wyoming Governor Pushes for Uranium Study Release • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices • California State Open and US National Gold Panning Championships