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Action Alert: Update on Feinstein's Public Meeting and Plans to Create 3 New National Monuments

October 12, 2015

Action Alert: Update on Feinstein's Public Meeting & Plans to Create 3 New National Monuments
by Scott Harn
Editor/Publisher
ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal

Event:
     Public Meeting Regarding the Possible Designation of 3 New National Monuments in Southern California

Where:
     Wildlands Conservancy Whitewater Preserve
     9160 Whitewater Canyon Rd
     Whitewater, CA 92282
     (Near Palm Springs)

When:
     Tuesday, October 13, 2016
     2:00pm
     (Gates open at 8:00am)

We need miners and other public lands users to attend this event!

Congress does not agree that another million acres in southern California deserves to be set aside in the form of more National Monuments, and Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) is not happy about it.

Feinstein introduced SB 414 earlier this year, the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act (CDRCA). Other members of Congress aren’t backing her plan to place additional limits on mining and recreation and have refused to support the CDRCA at this point, so on August 3, Feinstein wrote a letter to President Obama requesting he bypass Congress and used the Antiquities Act to lock up the additional lands.

Feinstein is requesting the creation of three new National Monuments: the Mojave Trails National Monument between Joshua Tree and Mojave National Preserve; the Sand to Snow National Monument around Mt. San Gorgonio; and the Castle Mountains National Monument.

Representative Paul Cook (R-San Bernardino) represents areas that would be impacted by such a designation, including much of San Bernardino County and portions of Kern County. His constituents are largely against the CDRCA and he’s angry that Feinstein is trying to take opportunities away from them without a vote.

“This is not the balanced approach we need for our desert. While far from perfect, Congress is designed to reflect the preferences of the people, much more so than unelected and unaccountable bureaucrats working for the President,” said Cook.

Feinstein organized a “public meeting” for Tuesday, October 13, at 2pm, at the remote Whitewater Conservancy property near Palms Springs and with only six days notice to interested parties. We find it amusing that she invited Congressman Cook, who sits on the Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, and House Committee on Natural Resources chairman Bob Bishop, when both were already scheduled to be at other events at the time of the scheduled meeting. (Cook is actually out of the country at a NATO meeting.)

Feinstein has invited over a dozen local, state and federal officials who have expressed their support for her proposed land grab. President Obama was also invited but it is unclear at this juncture if he will be attending. The Campaign for the California Desert is coordinating busing in supporters from Claremont, El Monte, San Bernardino, Victorville, and Yucca Valley to make it appear there is overwhelming support for Feinstein’s proposal.

Please, if you have the time, attend this event and let your voice be heard. Get there early, sign in and get your three minutes of allotted speaking time. Casual business attire is recommended so you are not singled out and excluded from the opportunity to speak.

Jim and Sue from the American Prospector Treasure Seeker in Temecula checked out the venue for us and reported that it’s a small facility with only three handicap parking spots and 46 regular parking spaces, though additional parking will be allowed on the entrance road for this event only. The gates will open at 8:00am, so get there as early as you possibly can. Cell phone service is spotty, and there is a picnic area available to have your lunch.

Directions:
  • Going East on Interstate 10 you'll see Morongo Trail Exit (Exit 104) - continue on from there for another approximately 9.4 miles to Whitewater Exit (Exit 114)
  • Take the Whitewater Exit (Exit 114)
  • Go left, over the freeway for approx .4 miles to Whitewater Canyon Rd
  • Turn left onto Whitewater Canyon Rd
  • The location is in approx 4.5 miles, the road dead ends into the property. (This is where the old Whitewater Trout Hatchery was located.)
If you need more information, contact Bill Jensen, legislative adviser, Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC), at 760 646-6416. 

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