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’ve heard from miners in Arizona about federal agencies closing off historic roads that provide access for miners, and we need your input.
…what I’d like to focus on in this update is the assistance they provided to a suction gold dredger in Idaho being harassed by an environmental group.
The Senator’s office was very receptive to the small miner’s plight and was unaware of the dire problems created by the over-regulation of small-scale mining from so many different fronts. It was pointed out that S 145 may help the large mining companies a little, but falls woefully short in addressing the needs of small operators who make up 85% of domestic mines.
PLP cannot understate the importance of this legal decision in our present battles with the political powers of the California swamp.
We are quite pleased to report there are some courageous miners who have taken the time to learn their rights and have gone back to dredging while knowing they could be unlawfully harassed at any time by law enforcement…
Public Lands for the People has established an online petition. We would like to gather thousands of signatures from across the country to show members of Congress that their constituents are supporting this legislation.
Each separate Mining District is a federally recognized entity. There are huge advantages—picture yourself going to an oversight meeting where 2, 3, 4, or even more Mining District representatives have obtained voting positions on the board.
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