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.)
While progress with Congress has been slow, the Trump administration has taken the lead to start making needed changes at the Department of Interior and US Department of Agriculture to support miners…
During discussions with other property rights advocates and members of the current administration, Karen Budd-Falen’s name was mentioned many times as a possible director for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
If this authority over mining was not included in the transfer, then the US Forest Service would not have jurisdiction.
We have an opportunity to make significant and substantial changes to provide relief for small miners with the Trump Administration and the current makeup of Congress. We realize the time to act is now, but we need your help.
At the state level, there’s a possibility that California Governor Newsom could be removed and replaced during his upcoming recall election, which will be held in September.
On July 4, we are reminded of the sacrifices our Founding Fathers made to establish this great country of ours, and in that spirit, the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) has created a draft Declaration of Miners.And MMAC has been hard at work writing a bill, with the unwavering support of several members of Congress, to reaffirm the rights of miners operating in traditional mining districts.
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…
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