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.
How would you like it if you could make the actual rules and regulations governing your own business? A dream, right? Well, the existing Federal Mining Law gives a claimholder this ability in the context of organized Mining Districts.
Rep. Grijalva (D-Arizona) assumed chairmanship of the House Natural Resources Committee after Democrats took control of the House. He introduced Mining Law Reform legislation that would set us back decades…
…I’ll be heading back to Washington, DC, on June 4 with Clark Pearson of PLP for nearly a week of meetings with the Mine Safety and Health Administration, US Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency, and numerous members of Congress in both the House and Senate.
I’ve received quite a few inquiries from miners who are beginning to realize that traditional Mining Districts are powerful entities and they are looking to get their district organized if it’s in disarray.
After many decades of closures, land-use restrictions, and over-regulation, miners and all other public land users may finally see some real relief due to the efforts of MMAC.
Those miners present immediately recognized the benefits of becoming members of MMAC and joined up on the spot. I spent some time answering a few questions, and then the miners took over.
If you need more proof that having an organized Mining District can help you, look no further than the recently proposed Methow Headwaters Withdrawal in north-central Washington State.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Seeking advice on setting up an operation and the agreement with the landowner • Montana Gold and Sapphires Revisited • Crumb Hunting With A VLF Detector • 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