Miners Declare Independence -- MMAC to Bring Back Mining Districts
March 3, 2015MINERS DECLARE INDEPENDENCE
by Ron Kliewer
Vice President, Public Lands for the People
Early on a crisp and clear February morning in the California Desert, a group of hardy individuals met to cheer the formation of the federal public lands stakeholder organization: Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC).
It is not often an event of great historical significance occurs; and usually the full magnitude of what those events mean are not realized at the time by those participating. I believe one of those historical events occurred near Randsburg, California on February 25, 2015 at the Sleepy Bear Mine. It was with great pride that I joined nearly 80 patriot miners and those fighting to keep public lands open, to be a part of the launch of what is becoming the voice for mining and public land users across America. Eighty people may not sound like many, but remember, there were only 56 signers on the original Declaration of Independence, and you know where that went! There were many clubs, organizations and businesses represented by those in attendance.
Our strength is in the individual—grass roots, if you will. Our strongest public property rights outside the Constitution are the rights granted to us under the 1872 Mining Law.
The 1872 Mining Law was based on the laws that miners had established by self-initiation when they formed Mining Districts throughout the West. Those laws/rules were working, and so they became codified into Law. We have the federally granted right to access, prospect and extract minerals from our mining claims, regardless of what arbitrary designation was slapped onto the land in the latest round of land and road closures.
It has been said that the people perish for lack of knowledge, and the people lose their rights for the same lack of knowledge. It’s time for us to pick up the legal tools granted to us under Federal Mining Law and get to work reversing the trend that has been hammering away at our rights. We need to pick up the pieces that have been chipped off and reconstruct what has been lost. The first thing MMAC is doing is exactly that! By organizing the historic Mining Districts in the 19 western states, miners will again have a say in what happens on public lands with Congress and the BLM. This is only the first step in regaining control over the destiny of the Public Lands and our mining rights.
Just as when the Mining Districts were first formed, people were elected to run the Districts and watch out for the rights of the individuals. Mining Claim rules were successfully worked out to such a degree that the basic rule structure that was in place was preserved in the 1866 and 1872 Mining Laws and have also been reinforced by court cases and clarified by additional laws down through the years.
MMAC is educating folks, informing them that the rights they have are far stronger than what they realized, and they have been losing those rights by not being informed and organized.
Miners are not afraid of doing hard work and getting dirty. They know how to use picks and shovels to wrest gold and other minerals from the earth, thus creating wealth. The bureaucrats in DC and around the country seem to have forgotten this all important point: “If it’s not grown, it’s mined.” MMAC has been created to do just that, and much more. It is the voice the miner, the off-roader, the hunter, hiker, fisherman and anyone that gets “out there” on our public land. MMAC is the voice and the muscle needed to preserve the freedom to use and enjoy OUR public lands, preserving the intent of what our country and mining laws were are based on -- public property rights -- which, in turn, also protects our private property rights. When you own a Federal Mining claim, you own the minerals on that claim, which are your private property. You do not own the land, it remains Public Land.
The Mineral and Mining Advisory Council’s mission is four-fold:
- Bring together all the groups and organizations that are fighting for the same thing.
- Organize, Modernize, Institute and Unify all Nationwide Mining Districts (by May 31, 2015).
- Minerals and Mining Advisory Council (MMAC) to be recognized as Federal Public Land Stakeholders. This has happened regionally and now MMAC is going for National Recognition.
- To become Legal Federal Agents, all under one voice!
MMAC shall be the unified voice of the Mining Districts, providing guidance and balance to our important homeland strategic minerals, metals and rare earths; as well as general mining and public land use as originally intended, coexisting with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). In accomplishing this mission, MMAC will tear off the bonds of over-regulation, duplicate regulations and agencies, cutting down on paperwork, lawsuits, and debunking flawed studies, analysis and information. This will cut state and federal spending on behalf of minerals and mining, clarify who is in charge and establish a working relationship, coexisting with BLM.
In completion of this mutual coexistence, MMAC will be creating thousands of brand new, long-term, high-paying jobs. This includes mining, parts, vendors, manufacturing, rentals, wholesalers and retailers. Again, remember, “If it is not grown, it’s mined”.
Mining claim owners under MMAC will be electing District Administrators for all Mining Districts, as well as other positions needed in the organization to move MMAC ahead successfully. Applications are being accepted for positions in your MMAC Administrative District until April 30, 2015 online at the MMAC website: www.mineralsandminingadvisorycouncil.org or the short version: www.usammac.org Voting begins May 1, 2015, and runs through May 31, 2015. Get on the ballot and get out the VOTE! Spread the word about what is happening in the mining community. MMAC District Administrators will be the head and voices of their individual districts.
It takes all of us working together to make this happen. It is our time to get involved. Obviously, what we have done in the past (mostly nothing or next to it), hasn’t worked. We have continued to lose access to our public lands. Have you seen a land use map of our country lately? It is beginning to look a lot more like the Crown King’s forest than open, free public land. I’m all for preserving pristine landscapes for future generations to enjoy, but we must have balance between preservation, the economy and recreation. Too much of any one and the other two suffer.
It’s time for all of us to put our minor (and miner) differences aside and work together to preserve our mining and public land rights for our kids and grandkids. As Walt Wegner, President of Public Lands for the People is fond of saying: “It’s time to take it back and KEEP IT!”
MMAC’s goal is to be recognized as Federal Public Land Stakeholders by summer 2015 -- this actually happened on February 28, 2015 3:30 pm PST -- and a Federal Agency by the end of 2015.
For more info email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.mineralsandminingadvisorycouncil.org
Vice President, Public Lands for the People
Editor's Note: ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal is behind this effort 110%. Miners have been pushed around for decades and need a "seat at the table" when it comes to decisions that affect our public lands. The MMAC is our best opportunity to restore the rights granted to us under the Mining Law. Please take a look at the MMAC website and get involved.
ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal