February 2020 by Scott Harn
After reviewing the Oregon suction dredging case we highlighted last issue, Eastern Oregon Mining Association v. Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Public Lands for the People has agreed to support the US Supreme Court appeal with financial assistance and with the filing of an amicus brief. (We here at the Mining Journal have also agreed to participate in the amicus brief.)
Pacific Legal Foundation believes the case has strong merits and has agreed to handle the bulk of the Supreme Court appeal without cost, but there will still be attorney costs associated with the filing of amicus briefs.
Planning is already underway for my next trip to DC in late March through early April with Clark Pearson of PLP. We’ll be focused on pushing through the changes necessary at the EPA to get suction gold dredgers back in the water. We will also meet with administrators at BLM and the Forest Service regarding regulatory relief to comply with President Trump’s recent Executive Orders.
In the meantime, the tradeshow season is starting. I’ll be down at the Quartzsite (Arizona) gold show February 7-9 along with PLP to provide some updates on what we’ve been doing. Or you can catch me at the GPAA show in Pomona (California) February 15-16 or at the Washington Prospectors Association gold show February 29 to March 1. (More info on these events is available in our Miners Calendar section.)
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.
Plans are also under way to coordinate with the incoming chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Present conflicts and realizations having to do with dependence on China have illuminated the fact that suction dredge miners have a vital role to play and are an ignored and untapped domestic resource—until now.
Many miners have failed to exercise their rights by using the power of their Mining Districts and laws that are already on the books, such as 43 CFR 9712.1, which states…
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.
One caller wondered why he should be required to join MMAC, asked why MMAC was not a non-profit, and compared it to some kind of extortion attempt. If he had questions like these, I assume there are others with similar questions and I will address them here.
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.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts - Can you explain how caliche forms? • Ask The Experts - How does gold form? • Ask The Experts - Do you think it’s realistic for a detectorist to recover a couple of ounces per week if working full time? • Ask The Experts - Can you suggest proper discrimination settings for my detector? • Time to Stake Your Own Mining Claim • A Day On The Yuba River • Determining The Optimal Crushing Size for Gravity Recovery • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: The Pains of Prospecting • To Foam or Not to Foam • Following Man-Made Ditches to Recover More Gold • Sixteen to One Gold Mine: Going Underground - Pt II • All About Native Silver • Internet Forum Gold • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices