PLP and Mining Districts
September 2021 by Scott Harn
Public Lands for the People continues to educate their members on how to conduct reclamation dredging, which is the only way to avoid a citation for dredging in California under the current regulatory scheme at the present time. PLP reports that 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.
A recall election will take place in California on September 14. Polls suggest that CA Governor Newsom might be recalled and replaced, with Republican Larry Elder leading as the potential replacement. If a Republican is elected, members the California State Water Resources Board—the agency that has put up roadblocks to suction gold dredge permits—can be replaced with appointees who would likely be more accommodating to suction gold dredgers.
PLP is also planning FallFest for October 2021, and the event will be back at a private mining claim in the Stringer District in Kern County in Southern California. More information is available on page 4 or on their website: www.publiclandsforthepeople.com
There are no trips to Washington, DC, currently scheduled due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, though PLP and ICMJ continue to meet with our compatriots there via video conference calls on a monthly basis to strategize. The main goal is to stop the current administration’s efforts to place additional public lands off-limits or put additional restrictions on existing public lands through the use of endangered or threatened species listings.
We’ve also had discussions about possible steps that could be taken to force the current administration to actively manage forests to help prevent the massive fires we’ve had this summer across the Western States. While these burned areas might allow for easier access to potential mining/prospecting areas, the loss of lives, homes, cabins, lumber, and wildlife are devastating. And the US Forest Service has closed access to some of our National Forests due to the fire danger, blocking access to the public and mining claim holders.
We spent our evening at some informal get-togethers at two private residences in the DC area, which provided the opportunity to talk with staff members from Congress, other agencies, and a few consultants working on public land issues. We found common ground with many of them, and found a strong ally in a former Congressman turned consultant who agreed that Mining Districts provide the smartest legal route...
Public Lands for the People has established an online petition. We would like to gather thousands of signatures from across the country to show members of Congress that their constituents are supporting this legislation.
Face-to-face meetings in Washington, DC, with Trump administration officials and members of Congress are still on hold due to the coronavirus, but Public Lands for the People is continuing to work on mining-related issues via phone and email.
PLP Update: Regulatory Relief On The Way
Toward the end of this summer, we expect another Federal Register notice will be published that deals with Forest Service mining regulations.
The changes we are seeking will most definitely help prospectors, small operations and dredgers. If you haven’t yet read our proposals, you’ll find a link to it at the end of the online version of this article.
MMAC & PLP Update
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…
We had discovered during previous trips that some of the staff members had difficulty comprehending the specific issues related to mining, so prior to heading back to DC, we laid out the reasons for our proposed legislation...
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