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Public meetings scheduled and comment deadlines looming for proposed mineral withdrawals in several western states and for access routes in the West Mojave

December 15, 2015

by Scott Harn
Editor/Publisher
ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal
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The assault on our public lands continues. Our federal government continues to throw roadblocks up throughout the western states to keep miners and other public lands users off public lands.
 
In southern California, the West Mojave Route Network Project travel management planning effort covers 9.24 million acres. Federal agencies are working on a supplemental Environmental Impact Statement that will “form the framework for route designation in the West Mojave area.”
 
The planning area encompasses parts of San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Kern, Inyo and Riverside counties, including many areas that are rich in minerals and metals.
 
Public comments are due by January 25, 2016, and may be emailed to cawemopa@blm.gov or mailed to:
BLM—CA Desert District
Attn: WMRNP Plan Amendment
22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos
Moreno Valley, CA 92553
 
The following public meetings are scheduled:
Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn, 12603 Mariposa Road, Victorville, Calif., 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015 at the Kerr-McGee Center, 100 W. California Ave., Ridgecrest, Calif., 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
 
Information is available online at www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/cdd/west_mojave__wemo.html
 
BLM has also proposed over 10 million acres be withdrawn from mineral entry and other uses in multiple western states as critical habitat for the Greater Sage-grouse. In fact, these lands have already been segregated for two years while the Secretary of the Interior claims she is collecting public comments before she decides whether or not to withdraw the areas from new mining claims for a period of 20 years.
 
The Fish and Wildlife Service already issued a decision of “not warranted” on the Greater Sage-grouse as a threatened or endangered species, but BLM went ahead with the mineral withdrawal to accomplish the same goal of locking up the lands.
 
BLM states that valid, existing rights will be honored, but this provides no protection for those miners who are still in the exploration or development stage, nor does it allow for the discovery of additional valuable mineral and metal deposits. 
 
The following public meetings will be held over the next few days:
 
December 15:
Boise, ID; 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Best Western Vista Inn & Conference Center
2645 Airport Way
Boise, Idaho 83709
 
Rock Springs; 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Rock Springs BLM Field Office
280 Highway 191 North
Rock Springs, Wyoming 82901
 
Reno; 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
The Nugget
1100 Nugget Avenue
Sparks, Nevada 89431
 
December 16:
Idaho Falls; 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Shiloh Suites Conference Hotel
780 Lindsay Blvd.
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402
 
Elko; 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Elko Conference Center
724 Moren Way
Elko, Nevada 89801
 
Malta; 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Great Northern Hotel
2 South 1st Street East
Malta, Montana 59538
 
Email comments can be sent to sagebrush_withdrawals@blm.gov or mailed to:
BLM Director
1849 C Street NW (WO-200)
Washington, DC 20240

The comment deadline is January 15, 2016.

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