April 2021 by Scott Harn
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. They provided some of the details in their recent announcement:
“Public Lands for the People (PLP) is preparing to release materials that the Forest Service does not want miners to know about. These online materials that take 4 steps and a few minutes to perform are probably the most effective “bug spray” to legally use on rogue Forest Service agents ever contemplated by PLP in all its 31 years of existence. It is totally legal and professional, and has already been used numerous time in the field by PLP members on National Forest Service managed lands. It works on access problems, occupancy limitation problems and a whole lot more. It gives the legal power to the miner to resist the requirement to submit an NOI or POO when the surface disturbance activities are clearly insignificant. It employs the bundle of rights known as ‘Miners Right of Self-Initiation’ under the Mining Act and puts an effective leash on the Forest Service agency and radical environmentalists who often plot to deprive you of your livelihood.
“These materials are not only an effective deterrent from Forest Service citation but a gold mine of legal research knowledge any mining lawyer would love to charge you an arm and a leg for in a legal battle. Thanks to our PLP member support, our trips to Washington, DC, have netted us an inside track to data on the Forest Service (and other agencies) that we are prepared to release to our members.
“PLP members who are renewing online and by mail will start receiving these valuable gems of knowledge as a new bonus along with our member card and orange challenge card. PLP can say with confidence, that the Forest Service will never treat known PLP members the same again. As you probably know, knowledge is power and a highly effective tool against your enemies who wish to deprive you of your rights!”
PLP believes they will have a similar challenge card available on May 1, 2021, that will work in a similar manner to put California suction gold dredgers back in the water.
In addition, PLP announced their “Springfest” will be held at a private claim in Kern County, California, April 30 - May 2. The $60 cost to attend will include a one-year PLP membership or they will tack a year onto a current membership. Complete details and registration are available via their website at www.publiclandsforthepeople.org
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.)
Toward the end of this summer, we expect another Federal Register notice will be published that deals with Forest Service mining regulations.
In the meantime, we will continue our multi-pronged approach to seek regulatory relief at the federal level while supporting those court cases that are built on a strong legal foundation.
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.”
“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.”
Is there any hope for a solution? Yes, there is, and we’ve been working with Public Lands for the People, the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council, attorney James Buchal and others on that solution.
The miner was drywashing using a small, gas-powered drywasher for a short period of time—maybe an hour—when he was asked by a ranger to see his permit, which is not required to prospect at this small of a scale.
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