October 2018 by Scott Harn
Public Lands for the People joined fourteen other public interest groups in supporting Alaska’s proposed Pebble Mine and sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, requesting he fix a dangerous precedent set by the Obama administration.
Under former President Obama, the EPA issued a preemptive veto of the Pebble Mine before a permit application was even made by the companies exploring the project’s potential. Under the former president’s policy, the US Army Corps of Engineers is precluded from issuing any permits.
The letter asks Acting Administrator Wheeler to revoke the preemptive veto issued under section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to remove this dangerous precedent.
The online version of this article contains a link to the actual letter.
Plans are underway to return to Washington, DC, in late November or early December to continue seeking regulatory relief for small-scale miners. Priorities will include meeting with the EPA regarding suction gold dredging permitting and with the Forest Service regarding revisions to CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 228A regulations related to mining and access on public lands. Additional meetings will be scheduled with those members of Congress who have already expressed an interest in sponsoring or cosponsoring PLP’s proposed “Small Miner Amendments.”
In September, PLP announced they intend to settle the lawsuits against the State of California regarding suction gold dredging rather than continue the current appeal. PLP stated they continue to receive contributions from individuals and small prospecting clubs, but some of the major contributors dropped their monetary support. While the PLP board believes they have a “good chance of knocking out the 2012 Environmental Impact Report and the state’s prohibitive regulations,” incoming contributions have been insufficient to cover the costs. The group has established relationships with top-level members of the Trump Administration and many influential members of Congress; they will continue to focus on making the necessary regulatory changes at the federal level to address issues related to suction gold dredging, lack of access or restricted access, and more.
We are heading into 2019 with a cautiously optimistic view. We feel we are very close to obtaining regulatory relief for miners, and believe this NDAA cycle will prove fruitful.
The changes we are seeking will most definitely help prospectors, small operations and dredgers. If you haven’t yet read our proposals, you’ll find a link to it at the end of the online version of this article.
The current administration is receptive; we believe the time is ripe to push for a return to reasonable regulations and to restore mining to a priority for public lands as long as some new crisis doesn’t take precedent.
We have found strong support from legislators in both the House and Senate for several proposed bills that will provide Mining Districts with a greater role in the decisions that affect access to mining claims, oversight and regulations.
The automatic discrimination and exclusion of man from nature, like his access and use of the land, presupposes man as a destructive force for change, absent a relative hard look at the natural forces of change. Setting aside lands for non-use does not encourage wise use symbiotic tenets, which man has traditionally formed in his coexistence with nature.
We now have supporters who are well known and connected in Washington, DC, and who state they will assist us in bypassing lower level staffers and getting us face-to-face meetings with Senators.
The Bawl Mill • Legislative and Regulatory Update • Ask The Experts - A few questions about 'peak gold' • Ask The Experts - Seeking advice on processing pocket gold • Ask The Experts - How do I recover gold in pyrite? • Ask The Experts - Can a British citizen purchase a mining claim? • Ask The Experts - Is California dredging going to return in 2019? • Ask The Experts - Were you aware of the new recording fee in California? • The Unusual Forest Nugget Patch • California Sniping • Large Gold Deposit Types • A Father’s Day to Remember: 24,000 Ounces Gold in Quartz • How to Beat the Heat--and The Bedrock • Gold Prospecting: For Better or Worse--It Was A Dark and Overcast Night • Using Geologic Publications to Discover Collecting Sites • Prospector Unearths Huge 'Duck’s Foot' Nugget • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices