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.)
…a half-dozen dredgers have completed the appropriate paperwork and are conducting dredging operations at this juncture. They hope to expand these efforts to other western states in the near future.
If you are a claimholder and your Mining District is in disarray, it’s time to join MMAC and get on board so your district can benefit from these changes as they are implemented.
This is the third trip MMAC has made to DC this year, so some of the congressional staff members are gaining a better understanding of the current problems miners face and how MMAC-assisted Mining Districts can alleviate those problems.
This will provide the opportunity to meet with many of the members of Congress in a more informal setting at several meetings, luncheons and dinners. And we have been offered the chance to meet with President Trump’s staff.
PLP is also concluding its funding and review of a scientific study which names the suction dredge as the preeminent tool for reclaiming American waterways to counter atmospheric mercury impacts coming from China.
The ESA has become an unwieldy beast that was hijacked by government agencies run amok, and by extreme environmental groups who saw it as a way to lock up public lands and to generate income through exaggerated claims and continuous lawsuits.
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.
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