November 2019 by Scott Harn
Public Lands for the People (PLP) is challenging the California Department of Fish & Wildlife after the agency attempted to expand their authority to regulate a lawful activity.
PLP is providing expert help on behalf of a member who was cited for not having a stream alteration permit for drywashing in an area nearly above the timberline where the only water that runs through there is during a rainstorm or during the snow melt.
The miner was drywashing using a small, gas-powered drywasher for a short period of time—maybe an hour—when he was asked by a ranger to see his permit, which is not required to prospect at this small of a scale. PLP has provided several relevant decisions to the court that relate to this case and is offering expert testimony on the member’s behalf.
We will keep you posted as this case progresses.
Clark Pearson (PLP northern director) and I have maintained contact with officials in Washington, DC regarding the recent petition for rulemaking related to suction gold dredging. As explained in the petition, the Clean Water Act clearly states there must be the addition of a pollutant to trigger the need for a Section 402 permit and there is no such addition involved when using a dredge. We will continue to seek action on the petition and will schedule a return trip to DC in early 2020 to follow-up on this issue, and we’ll also seek a meeting with Tim Charters, the new executive director of the Western Caucus.
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 process of updating the Rand Mining District is underway and you’ll see a Public Notice in this issue requesting interested parties to submit an application to serve on the board.
We will be bringing the first of several bills that were requested by Congress during a previous MMAC trip and presenting maps depicting all the MMAC-assisted Mining Districts.
Public Lands for the People (PLP) has come up with a guide for miners and prospectors that they believe will alleviate many of the problems faced when operating on public lands managed by the US Forest Service.
Keep in mind there are specific steps that must be taken to get your traditional mining district organized if it has fallen into disarray.
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.
We have been playing defense for 100% of the game, and now we are finally playing some offense.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Seeking advice on setting up an operation and the agreement with the landowner • Montana Gold and Sapphires Revisited • A Third Generation Small-Scale Hardrock Revival • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Respect the Angle of Repose • The Summer of ‘81 • The “Chuck It Out” Nugget • High Sulfidation Epithermal Deposits • Gold and Silver Deposits of Bodie, California • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices