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Miner's News

Feinstein pushing for Mojave Trails National Monument in southern California

October 7, 2015

Public meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 13, 2016

by Scott Harn
Editor/Publisher, ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal

Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) has scheduled a public meeting on Tuesday, October 13, to consider designating another one million acres in southern California as a new National Monument.

Feinstein introduced the California Desert Conservation and Recreation Act (CDCRA) earlier this year, though she’s been unable to garner support for her bill, SB 414, in Congress. On August 3, she wrote a letter to President Obama requesting he use the Antiquities Act. Now she appears ready to bypass Congress.

Feinstein seeks to actually create 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 an area that would be impacted by Feinstein’s bill. While Feinstein’s bill would place much of the area off-limits to mining and recreation, Cook has proposed an alternative bill, HR 3668, in the House that would offer protection to much of the same area while allowing existing and future mining and recreational opportunities.

“Bypassing the legislative process and using an executive order to cherry-pick the Mojave Trails National Monument would be as disastrous as it is undemocratic,” said Cook. “It would eliminate guarantees made for off-roaders under CDCRA and spell the end of mining jobs in the area. 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,” added Cook.

Senator Feinstein has invited senior administration official to the meeting, which is open to the public and will take place at the Wildlands Conservancy’s Whitewater Preserve near Palm Springs at 2:00pm on Tuesday, October 13.

The meeting address is 9160 Whitewater Canyon Rd, Whitewater, CA 92282. (Google maps link)
You can also send a note to President Obama and Interior Secretary Jewell in opposition to the creation of another National Monument (courtesy of Americans for Responsible Recreational Access).

More information on Rep. Cook’s alternative bill, HR 3668, is available online: http://cook.house.gov/CMORCA

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