January 2021 by Scott Harn
Public Lands for the People (PLP) continued to participate in phone/video conferences with our friends in Washington, DC, while the pandemic continues to restrict the ability to conduct in-person meetings. The main point of discussion is how to provide immediate relief for miners if a new administration takes over on January 20, 2020.
Potential executive orders have been presented to President Trump’s advisors that would—at least temporarily—fix many of regulatory issues miners currently face. These options include removing the Forest Service for minerals management, providing unobstructed access to miners, removing authority over dredging from individual states, and much more. (Most of the items were listed in the proposed legislation we delivered to Congress in 2019 titled, “Critical Minerals: National Security Amendments to the NDAA,” which is available online.)
We realize that if our proposals are implemented by the Trump administration they could be soon withdrawn by the same executive order process by the next administration, but they would still provide temporary relief and clearly define which party miners should be supporting.
PLP is also looking toward meeting with the incoming chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and it appears it will be Senator Barrasso (R-Wyoming). Senator Barrasso’s staff has been open to discussing these needed regulatory changes during our past meetings and we plan to return to DC for in-person meetings as soon as the pandemic allows.
We had multiple dates scheduled for trips to DC in 2020 to meet with members of the Senate, House, and federal regulatory agencies, but they were all postponed as the pandemic persisted. We look forward to restarting these trips as soon as they are feasible and we’ll continue to keep you posted.
“In light of the results of the midterm elections our focus will be with the US Senators and their staffers that we have already been working with.”
PLP northern director Clark Pearson stated, “Thanks to the U.S. v. Hicks case, the courts have acknowledged that claimholders are owners of land within the National Forest who are exempt.”
Now they have come up with a second guide (to be released on May 1) that they believe will allow dredgers in California to resume working.
We now have supporters who are well known and connected in Washington, DC, and who state they will assist us in bypassing lower level staffers and getting us face-to-face meetings with Senators.
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.
Within these districts, some of the roads and trails have been reopened for access, critical habitat designations have been scaled back, and a few Mining Districts were completely removed from proposed withdrawals.
We are happy to report that the current administration has issued a directive to the Forest Service and BLM to address this concern…
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