The past month has been a very productive one for the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) and Public Lands for the People (PLP). MMAC founder Joe Martori, and PLP northern director and MMAC advistor Clark Pearson, spent a week in Washington, DC. To say their trip was a success would be an understatement.
They had dozens of meetings with legislators to discuss our proposed bill, the Minerals and Mining Regulatory Reform Act—A Clear Path Respecting Mining Rights.
They met with members of the House, Senate, and their staffs, editors and writers, including influential members of the Armed Services Committee and the House Resources Committee. There were 36 meetings throughout the week, with a few additional meetings squeezed in on the weekend.
Martori and Pearson heard the same story over and over again from legislators—just like miners and other public land users, they were frustrated by federal government control and excessive regulation in their home states related to road closures, water, public lands, private lands, etc. They were later joined by Don Fife, a geologist and president of the National Association of Mining Districts.
The legislators soon came to the realization that Mining Districts and our proposed bill can solve many of the problems they currently face in their home states.
After presentations about the history and power of Mining Districts and the proposed bill, many of the legislators and their staff members asked for further assistance in crafting bills to promote multiple-use of public lands. Pearson, Martori and Fife were invited to come back at their earliest convenience by many of the most influential legislators for more meetings and to assist with related bills.
As always, the first step is to try to locate the original by-laws, which can be found in a number of ways. We’ve been able to track down by-laws for hundreds of traditional Mining Districts, and you’ll find that list available on our website at www.icmj.com. Look for “Bylaws for Traditional Mining Districts” under the “Resources” tab. You can also locate original bylaws on the Internet, in historical books, at local museums and historical societies, and in searches of county records.
I was invited to speak at the BLM Roundtable Committee meeting in Ridgecrest, California on March 24, along with Clark Pearson, Joe Martori and Don Fife, which is just after this press deadline.
My presentation will be on Mining Districts, including their history, how they were formed, Congressional approval for such districts and their current status.
My fellow presenters will be talking about the 1955 Multiple Surface Use Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, related mining laws and our proposed bill, and Clark Pearson will present “Multiple Use Lands, Symbiotic Relations and Conflict Resolutions” which you can find in this issue on page 23.
I will be giving an expanded version of my presentation on Mining Districts on Sunday, April 17, at 11:30am at our Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit in Placerville. This will be followed by a question and answer session with assistance from Clark Pearson.
I also want to mention that a large raffle will be held both Saturday and Sunday at the Gold Prospecting and Mining Summit with thousands of dollars in prizes, and all proceeds from the raffle will go to Public Lands for the People in support of their continued efforts on behalf of miners and other public land users.
January 2013 Thomas Tierney has been a long-time subscriber to ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal and has read about the many battles between miners and overzealous regulators. Then he faced his own battle.
Mining Districts are the private regulatory authority granted by Congress recognized to regulate the mineral lands held by the United States and for the disposal to citizens of the United States, by means of development and potentially perfected by patent.
During discussions with other property rights advocates and members of the current administration, Karen Budd-Falen’s name was mentioned many times as a possible director for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The settlement did not grant an immediate approval for the project, but it did begin to clear the way for the company to apply for federal permits—a path the Obama administration previously had thwarted.