March 2021 by Scott Harn
The Public Lands for the People (PLP) board was finally able to get out and meet with miners and prospectors at the Quartzsite, Arizona Gold & Treasure Show in mid-February. With the majority of tradeshows and events cancelled recently due to the pandemic, they found the event was extremely well attended.
The group spent three days helping miners with access issues, teaching them how to politely and respectfully educate federal regulators and law enforcement officers, and how to win these issues in court if necessary. PLP was able to provide miners with copies of recent court cases that have been won by their members with support from PLP, including US v. McClure and US v. Lex (no special-use permit required), US v. Godfrey (discharge was not a pollutant), and People v. Osterbrink (no addition of a pollutant). (Each of these cases can be reviewed at publiclandsforthepeople.com under “Accomplishments.”)
PLP also summarized the five trips to meet with agency heads and legislators in Washington, DC in 2019, which I also attended, and explained why the only viable path to restore the rights of suction gold dredgers is through federal legislation.
While we continue to wait until in-person meetings are allowed again in DC, we will continue to work with our friends and associates in Washington to provide regulatory relief for miners and prospectors.
I admit I was sitting on pins and needles, waiting to see if President Trump would sign the proposed Executive Order we presented with Public Lands for the People (PLP) prior to the expiration of his term in office.
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.
“Our member followed the PLP dredge card to the ‘T’. PLP called his senior officer about the incident and the call was never returned, nor was the dredger cited.”
In May 2017, the district participated in a meeting with representatives from several state and federal agencies where they educated agency officials about the authority of Mining Districts, Mining Law and miner’s rights.
We are happy to report that the current administration has issued a directive to the Forest Service and BLM to address this concern…
Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) founder Joe Martori met with Jim Scrivner, the Bureau of Land Management Deputy State Director of Energy and Minerals in Sacramento, California...
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