MINER'S PETITION TO CHANGE FEDERAL REGULATIONS
Posted: Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:44 am
On June 18, 2019, a Petition was sent on behalf of the Waldo & Galice Mining Districts, The New 49ers, AMRA, PLP, GPAA,LDMA, EOMA, Resource Coalition, Slate Creek Mining District, and several other mining organizations to Secretary of Interior David Bernhardt and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue. In the Miner's Petition we request that the BLM and USFS mining regulations be changed or amended to stop states from prohibiting mining.
One of the problems faced in the Rinehart and Bohmker cases is an amendment made to the BLM and USFS mining regulations during the Clinton administration... where the BLM and USFS gave the states the authority to place unlimited restrictions on mining higher than those set by the federal agencies charged with managing the public lands.
However, we highly question: How can the BLM or the USFS give the states authority to do something they themselves are barred from doing?
In 1955, Congress amended the Mining Law giving the BLM and the USFS the authority to manage the non-mineral resources on unpatented mining claims, but with the limitation: “. . . That any use of the surface of any such mining claim by the United States, its permittees or licensees, shall be such as not to endanger or materially interfere with prospecting, mining or processing operations or uses reasonably incident thereto . . .” (30 U.S.C. Sec. 612(b)) (emphasis added)
So, if the federal land agencies are barred from endangering or materially interfering with mining, how can those very same agencies give the states the authority to do what they themselves can't do? (Or am i missing something.... Is prohibiting the only practical methods to recover gold from underwater deposits "material interference"? (after-all, I am still free to pan by hand!). Is denying me the use of a motorized air-compressor so I can breath "endangering"?)
In the Petition, the Miners request that the agency regulations be amended limiting state regulation of mining on federal lands so they do not materially interfere with mining... and add language stating that if the states pass laws that materially interfere with mining then those state laws are preempted by federal law and can not stand.
A copy of the Miner's Petition is posted at: www.waldominingdistrict.org
LETTERS OF SUPPORT NEEDED
Until the unlawful regulations are amended we need all friends of mining to: 1) Read the Petition, and if you agree; 2) Sent a Letter of Support to the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture.
More information, a "Fill-in-the-Blanks" Sample Letter, and a list of Talking Points can be found at:
A one or two page letter is all that's needed, and you can send the same letter to both Secretaries. If possible, in your letter explain how you are being "materially interfered" with.
There is no limit to the number of letters you send, or how often. And for those that doubt sending letters does any good, our last Letter Writing Campaign actually brought results (unfortunately too late to save the Bohmker case)... but we now have direct contact with officials high enough to actually help!
Thanks! ... now go write your letters!