November 23, 2008

11/14/2008 Contact: Ken Hamilton, Executive Vice President, 307-721-7712, khamilton@wyfb.org

Cow tax proposal would threaten agriculture viability

“With the economy in bad shape and the possibility of a deep recession looming, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to levy new taxes—on cows and pigs,” American Farm Bureau Federation Director of Regulatory Relations Rick Krause told Wyoming Farm Bureau members at their annual meeting.  Krause spoke in Sheridan on Nov. 7.

“This is no laughing matter,” Krause said.  “The cow tax and the pig tax are parts of a larger scheme by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.”

“Under the proposal, if a state charged the “presumptive minimum rate” from the EPA, the cow tax would be $175 per dairy cow, $87.50 per head for beef cattle and a little more than $20 per pig,” Krause explained.

Krause explained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture says that a producer with more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle or 200 hogs would emit more than 100 tons of carbon and be subject to the permitting requirements.  “These thresholds would impact 99 percent of dairy producers, over 90 percent of beef producers and 95 percent of hog producers in the United States,” Krause stated.

According to Krause, the EPA has issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in preparation to regulate automobile greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act (CAA).  “The regulation of automobile emissions automatically initiates other provisions of the CAA,” Krause explained.  “One of those provisions requires permits from anyone who emits more than 100 tons of a regulated pollutant per year and there are millions of sources that emit more than 100 tons of carbon.”

The Title V permits, that are essentially a cow and pig tax, are supposed to contain provisions designed to reduce or eliminate the emissions of the regulated pollutant.  “Cows and pigs methane emissions come from natural and biological processes,” Krause stated.

“The economic costs to producers from the cow and pig tax would be great and could cause the cost of beef, pork and dairy prices to rise,” Krause continued.  “The cow and pig tax would impose severe penalties on livestock producers in the United States without effectively reducing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.”

The comment deadline for the cow and pig tax is Nov. 28.  Visit www.wyfb.org to find the link for information.

In other national issues, Krause addressed endangered species issues, including the wolf.

“I remember back in 1993 we were talking about how they will continue to change the numbers of wolves required,” Krause said.  “Unfortunately, our assumption was accurate and even though there are five times more packs than needed for recovery, it has come down to a federal judge in Montana.”

“They are arguing there is no genetic exchange,” He said.  “Well, the whole reason in the first place they were introduced is because they could not get here on their own.  How are you going to have genetic interchange?”

“So what are we going to expect from the Endangered Species Act in the next four years?” Krause asked.  “While only time will tell, we can expect no amendments to the ESA as those who are opposed to common sense management will work to keep it as is.”

The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization.  Members work together from the grassroots to develop agricultural policy, programs and services to enhance the rural lifestyle of Wyoming.



Land Rights Network UPDATE

September 22, 2008
Land Rights Network
American Land Rights Association
PO Box 400 - Battle Ground, WA 98604
Phone: 360-687-3087 - Fax: 360-687-2973
E-mail: alra@pacifier.com
Web Address: http://www.landrights.org
Legislative Office: 507 Seward Square SE - Washington, DC 20003

Interior IG NLCS Investigation, Senate BLM NLCS Vote Looming

See House Natural Resources Committee Press Release At Bottom.

See Complete Environment & Energy Newsletter Story at bottom.

-----Immediate Action Required

-----Please forward this message to your entire e-mail list.  Urgent.

------Call both your Senators every day this week.  Call your friends and
neighbors to get them to call.  Any Senator may be called at (202) 224-3121.
You must bury them in calls, faxes and e-mails opposing the Senate Omnibus
Federal Lands Bill (NLCS and 190 other bills).  It has not been assigned a
number yet.

-----It is hard to imagine a larger threat to you.

-----Go to www.landrights.org for a map of the huge NLCS (National Landscape
Conservation System).

Congress Back In DC - Limited Days Left To Vote -

House Corps EPA Land Grab (HR 2421) Wetlands Vote Any Time.

Senate Omnibus Federal Lands (NLCS) Vote imminent. (No new number yet)

Bill now includes 190 different bills. It was "only" 90 bills before.

We are highlighting only the NLCS part of the giant Omnibus Bill.  There are
190 others.  The danger is alarming.

Alert - Alert - Alert

The Senate Omnibus Bill will have a new number that has not been designated

Action Items (Part 1)

-----1.  You must call it the Senate Omnibus Federal Lands Bill that
includes the NLCS.  It is urgent that you call both your Senators
immediately.  Tell them you will hold them responsible in the election if
the Senate Omnibus Federal Lands Bill and the NLCS passes.

-----2.  Tell him about the investigation by the Interior Department
Inspector General into what appears to be illegal activities by BLM NLCS
staff.  Ask that the NLCS be removed from the Senate Omnibus Federal Lands
Bill at least until the Interior Department Inspector General's report is

-----3.  Any Senator can put a "hold" on a bill and stop it or at least
delay it for a few days.

New Side By Side Report Comparing Obama and McCain Votes on your issues
coming from American Land Rights soon.  You can look at the 2006 and 2007
Private Property Congressional Vote Index at www.landrights.org.  See how
your Congressman voted.

Look to see how John McCain and Barack Obama scored on their votes.  The
Vote index covers private property, multiple-use, Federal lands use, access
and environmental issues.

More Action Items below.

Dear Ally:

You need to act fast.  Congress is rushing to pass bills without carefully
reading them or analyzing their threat to you.  Your calls, faxes and
E-mails to your Congressman and both Senators are critical to pressure your
legislator to look carefully at these dangerous bills.

They are the Senate Omnibus Federal Lands Bill (No new number designated
yet) and the Corps of Engineers and EPA Wetlands Land Grab Bill (HR 2421 - S

-----Congress returned September 8th and is in a huge rush because of the
looming election.  They will want to get business done and get out of town.
They only have a few days left.  They are supposed to go home Friday, Sept.
26th  but it will likely go longer, at least through the weekend.  We could
possibly have a lame duck session after the election.

-----Your next week must be devoted to calling, faxing and e-mailing both
Senators and your Congressman at least once a day or more about the Senate
Omnibus Federal Land Bill and HR 2421.

All Senators may be called at (202) 224-3121.  Any Congressman may be called
at (202) 225-3121.  Call your neighbors, friends and business associates
also. This is an all out call to action.

When you call, get their e-mail and fax number of the staff person who
handles the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill in the Senate and HR 2421 in the

Congress is in a rush to pass legislation and they're very short of time.
You can be sure they will not have time to read carefully the many bills
they will have to vote on.

-----This is the time when bad legislation that hurts you passes Congress.

-----The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee will likely vote
shortly on HR 2421, the Clean Water Restoration Act (We call it the Corps of
Engineers/EPA Land Grab bill).

-----That is the Democrat effort to reverse two Supreme Court Wetlands
decisions favorable to private property owners and seize control of all US

-----That means all Federal and private lands. In other words, National Land
Use Controls.  HR 2421 would give control over Wetlands and other lands back
to the Corps of Engineers and EPA.  The Corps of Engineers and EPA would
control your land.

Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) is hoping to slip HR 2421 in for a quick vote
in the full House before they leave so you must act fast.

-----The Senate vote on the Senate Omnibus Federal Lands Bill will also come
sometime before September 26th.  It could happen later if Congress does not
go home right away.  That's the new Omnibus Federal Lands Bill.  It is also
called the giant Public Land Management Act of 2008, which includes the BLM
National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS).

-----It also includes numerous new Wilderness areas and has been increased
in size to 190 other Federal lands and parks bills put together as one giant
omnibus bill.  Think of it as the Omnibus Federal Lands NLCS bill.

Imagine Congress passing 190 bills at one time in a huge Federal Lands
Omnibus bill. That is what is going to happen if you fail to act.

Call Now!  Congressional staff will be there and they must hear from you

-----I cannot overstate how critical the NLCS is to you.  The NLCS was
created in 2000 by Bruce Babbitt.  The NLCS has sat quietly for eight years
as the Democrats waited under the radar for an opportunity to pass it
through Congress and make it permanent.

-----The NLCS will impose a preservationist National Park type regulatory
overlay over 26,000,000 acres of BLM land including all BLM National
Monuments, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Wilderness Study Areas and much more.

-----Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) plans to add 6,000,000 acres of the
California Desert to the bill taking it up to 32,000,0000 acres.

It threatens access and use by property owners, ranchers, miners, forestry
advocates, recreationists and many other Federal land users.

With fall here, the Democrat promoters of these land grab bills hope you
will be distracted by the election and other things and not paying

There will be so many bills rushed to a vote that many Senators and
Congressmen will not have time to read them.  That means your friends in
Congress could easily allow bills to pass that would threaten you.  They
would not be aware of it.

-----Your Senator may not notice a threat to you in the 190 different bills
included in the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill.

-----There is no way for us to stress too strongly how critical your calls,
faxes and e-mails are to your Congressman and both Senators during the
coming three weeks opposing the Senate Omnibus Lands Bill and HR 2421, the
Wetlands Corps of Engineers EPA land grab in the House.

-----If these bills pass, they'll be a regulatory noose around your neck for
generations.  They'll strangle local business, small towns, counties and
generally give the greens control over your land and all Federal lands.
Your calls, e-mails and faxes can make the difference.

-----You must make controversy.  When your legislators get lots of calls,
they'll be so busy they'll likely to put the threatening bills away until
they have more time to examine them.  That gives you more time to fight.

-----Tell your Senator to oppose any Omnibus Bill that puts a bunch of bills
together (190 separate bills).  You get locked out if they package the bills
in an Omnibus bill.  Oppose any omnibus bill.

You must raise the devil over this kind of back room, dark of night double
dealing.  It is undemocratic and you must make sure your Senator gets credit
for voting for the Omnibus Federal Lands Bill if he or she does.  They must
know and be told by you that you are watching this vote before the election.

Action Items (Part 2)

-----1.  You must call, fax or e-mail once a week your Congressional
Representative.  Call at (202) 225-3121 to insist that he or she oppose HR
2421, the giant Wetlands Corps of Engineers EPA land grab.

Make sure you tell your Representative that you oppose the giant Wetlands
Corps of Engineers EPA Watershed Land Grab Bill, HR 2421 (The official name
is the Clean Water Restoration Act).

Ask for a written confirmation of your phone call when you call.  You should
also ask for the e-mail and fax number of the staff person who handles
Wetlands and keep that information for future reference.

-----2.  Call, fax or e-mail both your Senators at least once a day or more
to ask them to oppose the Senate Omnibus Federal Lands Bill.  Get the e-mail
and fax number for the staff person who handles Federal lands.  All Senators
may be called at (202) 224-3121.

-----Get a commitment from your Senator that he or she will oppose the new
Omnibus Federal Lands Bill including the 26,000,000 acre BLM NLCS and all
the new Wilderness areas.  Senator Feinstein (D-CA) will add 6,000,000 acres
of the California Desert to the NLCS.

Ask for the e-mail and fax of the staff person.  Be sure to fax or e-mail a
letter weekly to both your Senators opposing the Senate Omnibus Federal
Lands Bill.

-----Everyone should oppose this new way the Senate is passing bills by
packaging them into huge omnibus bills where so many Senators have a bill
included that nobody looks closely at the other parts of the overall bill.
Tell them you want votes on each individual bill and they must read each

-----Stop HR 2421, The Clean Water Restoration Act.  HR 2421 is really a
massive Federal land and watershed power grab.  It must be stopped.  It will
use "wetlands," the Corps of Engineers and EPA to take control over every
farm, ranch, and piece of private property with any water on it or even if
you only engage in activities that might affect water.

-----It expands the authority of the Federal government under the Federal
Water Pollution Control Act of 1972 (Clean Water Act) to include all waters
of the U.S. and activities affecting these waters.  It drops the limitation
to just navigable waters.  It will give the Corps of Engineers and EPA
control over your land.   You'll get tied up in a nightmare of red tape and

Help stop the Senate Omnibus Land Bill, that is the giant new Omnibus Public
Land Management Act of 2008.  It includes the BLM National Landscape
Conservation System (NLCS), new Wilderness areas, all BLM National Monuments
and many other Federal lands and parks bills.   That is over 190 separate
bills combined together.

Why you and American Land Rights (ALRA) should be on the same team.

-----ALRA is your political insurance policy;

-----ALRA has a powerful record of accomplishment in Congress;

-----Through ALRA, your voice is loudly heard in Washington, DC;

-----ALRA is known for its aggressive protection of members' rights;

-----You have access to our full time office and staff in Washington, DC;

-----You have a full time Headquarters in Battle Ground, Washington to help

-----Hundreds of thousands of allies in ALRA e-mail, fax and mail lists to
help you win;

-----ALRA offers crisis management services to members and allies;

-----Day-to-day consulting on land use and environmental issues is
available; and

-----Grassroots organizing and coalition building to help you save your
property or interest.

Chuck Cushman
American Land Rights Association
(360) 687-3087

For more information or to support American Land Rights, go to

Press Release

Natural Resources Committee --  Press Release
U.S. Rep. Don Young, Ranking Member
1329 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, D.C. 20515

(202) 225-7749


Steve Hansen (Republican Communications Director) (202) 225-7749

Meredith Kenny (Communications Director/Rep. Don Young) (202) 225-5765

 September 18, 2008

-----Must Read-----

-----Rep. Rob Bishop Calls On Interior Department To Act

On Possible Misconduct At National Landscape Conservation System;

-----Inspector General Starts Investigation Into Improper Coordination
Between NLCS Employees & Environmental Advocacy Organizations

Washington, D.C. - U.S. Rep Rob Bishop (R-Utah), called on the Interior
Department to act quickly to halt any improper activities involving the
National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) and environmental advocacy

Bishop is the Ranking Member on the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands

Department officials have told Bishop's office that the Department's
Inspector General has started an investigation into the NLCS, a division of
the Bureau of Land management, after reviewing documents related to the

Bishop further asked that employees involved in the investigation step aside
from their positions and relinquish their duties until the investigation is
completed by the Inspector General.

Federal law generally prohibits federal employees from using appropriated
funds or their official positions to lobby Congress.

Emails and other documents being reviewed by the Department show extensive
coordination between top NLCS officials and lobbyists for environmental

"The Department must insist that any employee involved in violations of the
Anti-Lobbying Law step aside until the Inspector General or the Justice
Department has reviewed his or her conduct," Bishop said.  "Just as the
employees of the royalty-in-kind program at MMS learned, we will not
tolerate misconduct by public officials."

For more information, access the Committee on Natural Resources' Minority
website at:


#     #    #

Steve Hansen
Director of Communications
Republican Staff
U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
1329 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-7749

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

>From Environment & Energy Newsletter

INTERIOR: IG investigating coordination by BLM and enviro groups,
congressman says (09/19/2008)

Noelle Straub, E&E Daily reporter

The Interior inspector general is investigating possible illegal
coordination between lobbyists for environmental groups and federal
officials of the National Landscape Conservation System, Rep. Rob Bishop
said yesterday.

Interior officials informed his office about the investigation into the
NLCS, which is a division of the Bureau of Land Management, the Utah
Republican said in a statement.

E-mails and other documents show extensive coordination between top NLCS
officials and environmental lobbyists, said Bishop, the top Republican on
the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee.

The main groups involved appear to be the Wilderness Society and the
National Wildlife Federation, a House GOP aide said. At some point NLCS
officials had weekly meetings with these and other groups, often at the
Wilderness Society's office, to coordinate lobbying strategy and messaging,
the aide said.

E-mails show that NLCS officials requested environmental groups to write
budget language, the aide added. E-mails also talk about coordinating
lobbying efforts, setting up NLCS events, sending out draft memorandums for
each other to review and preparing for congressional hearing.

The federal and advocacy officials exchanged resumes and job announcements
in their respective organizations and BLM, the aide said. Travel documents
are still being collected and reviewed and will be part of the
investigation, the aide added.

Federal law generally prohibits federal employees from using appropriated
funds or their official positions to lobby Congress.

Kevin Mack, NLCS campaign director with the Wilderness Society, said he was
unaware of the investigation. "I don't know what the investigation is about,
have not been called by the IG, so I can't say anything more than that,"
Mack said.

Both his groups work on public lands issues and are in contact with many
people related to their work, Mack added. "I don't know what 'there' is

NWF spokeswoman Jennifer Jones said the group has not been contacted by the
IG's office.

Interior spokeswoman Tina Kreisher said the department had no comment at
this time. An inspector general spokesman could not be reached by press

Bishop said the Interior Department should act quickly to halt any improper
activities involving advocacy groups and the NLCS. He also called on
employees involved in the investigation to step aside from their positions
until the inspector general finishes his work.

"The department must insist that any employee involved in violations of the
anti-lobbying law step aside until the inspector general or the Justice
Department has reviewed his or her conduct," Bishop said. "Just as the
employees of the royalty-in-kind program at MMS learned, we will not
tolerate misconduct by public officials."

Bishop was referring to a sex, drugs and financial favors investigation of
Minerals Management Service employees recently completed by the Interior
inspector general, on which the full committee held a hearing yesterday
(E&ENews PM, Sept. 18).

Former Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt established NLCS during the Clinton
administration to grant protections to ecologically and historically
valuable lands controlled by BLM.

But Babbitt's designation did not codify the system, meaning a later
Interior secretary could dissolve it. When the House approved a bill in
April codifying it, Bishop complained the House Rules Committee blocked GOP
amendments, including one by him that would have addressed the private
property rights he said were threatened by what he called a "vague
legislative entity."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - -

If you wish to unsubscribe, reply to this e-mail with "unsubscribe" in the
subject line.  If you know of others who would like to receive these alerts,
reply with their e-mail addresses.

Please forward this message as widely as possible.

It is incredibly important for you to forward this message.   By forwarding
the message, you can help get many thousands of copies of this e-mail
distributed.  Thank you in advance for your help.

U.S. Forest Service & Mining

September 22, 2008


The Forest Service recognizes that prospectors and miners have a statutory right, not a mere privilege, under the Mining Law of May 10, 1872, the Surface Resources Act of 1955, 30 U.S.C. 611-615 (sometimes referred to as the Multiple Use Mining Act of 1955 or as Public Law 167), and the Organic Administration Act of 1897, also the Organic Administration Act of 1891to go upon certain National Forest System lands and PUBLIC DOMAIN LANDS ( “ Public Domain Lands is a subject I will cover latter “ “very interesting concept “ ) for the purposes of locatable mineral exploration, development, and production. Yes, the Forest Service fully recognize this right ! And should at all times abide by the fact that you as a miner or prospector own the STATUTORY RIGHT and are not mere guest of the government.  The fact is, you pay the U.S. Government for this right each and every year! In U.S. Funds or Sweat Equity ! “ READ THE ABOVE ACT’s AND LAWS !
The Forest Service may not unreasonably or otherwise restrict the exercise of that right. Under the revised regulation, Forest Service administrators would at all times apply the test of reasonableness, in that the regulations and their administration cannot extend beyond what is needed to preserve and protect the National Forests from needless surface resource damage, “ UPON NATIONAL FOREST LANDS “
Particular consideration would be given to the economics of operations, the stage of the operations, along with other factors in applying the test of reasonableness. Such as removing timber from National Forest Lands as described in the 1872 mining laws.
( As the Mining Law of May 10, 1872 clearly states in so many words “ If more timber is needed for your mining operation you may GO OFF your mining claim ON TO FOREST RESERVE LANDS and obtain the timber needed, this is where the authority of the forest service comes into play, by definition of law! Read those words carefully

“Let’s  Look at this a little closer”
What I have stated here in the above can and should be looked at very closely.
And I say this because your lawyer will not present the facts and Federal Judges will not allow it to be introduced in his court most likely. A Lawyer’s first duty is to that court, not you!
But there are ways I would think “ OPINION “ !
In all cases like this where your rights are in question, one should always have a good attorney, “ AS SECOND “ you must have the intestinal fortitude “ GUTS “ to represent yourself, but you need a darn good attorney to advise you and to do all the paperwork, dates and filings and whatnot.
And here is the reason I say this.  When you go into a federal court room, you expect “Justus” right? well look at the word “ JUST  US – JUST U.S. “ and you must always remember The Judge the Prosecuting Attorney’s “ always more that one “ and the U.S. Forest Service are all working for who? Well that answerer is easy, The Government, after all they are all paid by who? The Government. Just to give you another idea about your rights or the rights you think you have. When you first walk into that court room take a look around you “ take a darn good look at that Wonderful old United States of American Flag we all love so much and that so many have fought and died for. Take a good look it is a beautiful old flag with it’s bright stars on a blue background and those red and white stripes, but wait what is that? Gold trimmed braid? What does that stand for you may ask. Well my friends it stands for the Government “ MARSHAL LAW “ and it has been that way since President Lincoln.! This means that your Constitutional Rights mean nothing in that court. So, you ask what can we do?
Well here is my “ OPINION, as all of this is ! ”
Go through all the motions of this or any court like it, object to everything the prostituting “sorry misspelling”  Prosecuting attorneys say and I mean everything, and you must be prepared to take your case to the highest court in the land, for that is the only place you have any hope of what is called Justus.
Remember  “ FREEDOM IS NOT FREE! ”
“This as all my articles on subject of law and or mining law is solely my OPINION ! “

Victory for Sportsmen in Arizona

September 12, 2008
Victory for Sportsmen in Arizona as Judge Decides in Favor of Wildlife Management – Wilderness Watch, Inc et al v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service et al 2:07-cv-01185-MHM
Listed under “Current Articles,” but undated (decision was June 12, 2008); no author provided at originating website address/URL.
From U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation
In a major victory for sportsmen and conservationists nationwide, a federal court has ruled to protect hunting and wildlife management on an important parcel of federal land. The ruling reiterates that wildlife management takes precedent over protectionism on the nation’s National Wildlife Refuges.
Judge Mary H. Murguia of the U.S. District Court for Arizona decided in favor of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in a case brought against it by Wilderness Watch and the Arizona Wilderness Coalition.
In the suit, the plaintiffs had claimed that FWS violated the National Environmental Policy Act and the Wilderness Act by constructing and restoring wildlife watering devices on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). While these devices are key for the survival of bighorn sheep and other desert wildlife, the plaintiffs claimed they violated federal law.
Last year, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund (U.S. SLDF) http://www.ussafoundation.org/templates/sldfREPORT1.cfm the litigation arm of the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF), moved to defend FWS and several sportsmen groups in the case.
The U.S. SLDF argued that a “Wilderness” designation does not preclude wildlife conservation.
Joining the U.S. SLDF were several other groups including: Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, Arizona Deer Association, Arizona Antelope Foundation, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Yuma Valley Rod & Gun Club, Safari Club International and the National Rifle Association.
“This decision establishes that conservation in a wildlife refuge does not take a back seat to the concept of an area being designated as wilderness,” stated USSAF Senior Vice President Rick Story. “Hopefully, this will prevent other efforts to prohibit active wildlife management in refuges that have been given the wilderness designation.”
The Kofa National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1939. It is home to desert bighorn sheep and an array of other wildlife species. In 1990, more than 80 percent of the refuge was designated Wilderness by Congress.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund is the nation’s only litigation force that exclusively represents sportsmen’s interests in the courts. It defends wildlife management and sportsmen’s rights in local, state and federal courts. The SLDF represents the interests of sportsmen and assists government lawyers who have little or no background in wildlife law.
Copyright 2008, Buckmasters LTD.
Additional related reading:
Wilderness Watch, Inc et al v. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service et al 2:07-cv-01185-MHM
This carefully researched information provided by Julie Kay Smithson propertyrights@earthlink.net Please visit http://www.propertyrightsresearch.org a place to learn about and protect your property rights.


September 10, 2008

The Department of the Interior ” Agriculture ” wishes to change the course of the stream!

This proposed rule would revise the regulations for locatable minerals operations conducted on National Forest System lands. The revised rule would apply to prospecting, exploration, development, mining and processing operations, and reclamation under the Mining Law of May 10, 1872, as amended.
Now, lets just look at this statement, read it carefully.
Where are the flaws?

The flaw is ;
When the 1897 Organic Act was passed, Congress stipulated “ Mineral Lands were not to be taken into the Forest Reserves ! ( Read it )
And please note page 2, third paragraph.
No public forest reservation shall be established, except to improve and protect the forest within the reservation, or for the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States; but it is not the purpose or intent of these provisions, or of the Act
providing for such reservations, to authorize the inclusion therein of lands more valuable for the mineral therein, or for agricultural purposes, than for forest purposes.

In talking with a Mr. Gerald Wilson, the Forest Service Historian, Washington D.C. I brought this to his attention. Mr. Wilson replied that all land is mineral !. “ think about that for a moment before you laugh.” because his statement is correct, BUT, I advised Mr. Wilson that we were not talking about all land, we were talking about mineral lands that the 1897 Organic Act referred to and that would be designated mineral lands. Designated by Congress and the miners who had or would file these lands as mineral lands, legally and in accordance with the 1872 mining laws.
Now, this is done in one or two ways;
By filing a Mining District, or filing a lone mining claim ! In accordance with the Mining Laws of May 10, 1872. and if the 1872 mining laws are followed to the letter, then by definition, and by Congress, they are mineral lands and can not be part of the Forest Lands!

And by the same Act and the Act of MARCH 3, 1891 ( 26 STATS., 1095 ) RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING FOREST RESERVES .
3. It is the intention to exclude from these reservations, as far as possible, lands that are
more valuable for the mineral therein, or for agriculture, than for forest purposes ; and
where such lands are embraced within the boundaries of a reservation, they may be
restored to settlement, location, and entry.
Ok, again if this statement is true then lawful mineral lands are not Forest Service Lands, BY POSITIVE LAW.
Now you and the U.S. Forest Service may claim, that these are antiquated laws.
And you would be correct ! Except for one thing, they are still Congressional Law!
The Organic OF 1897 [PUBLIC–No.2.] was passed by Congress there was a stipulation which reads;
All public lands heretofore designated and reserved by the President of the United
States under the provisions of the Act approved March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-one the orders for which shall be and remains in full force and effect, unsuspended and un-revoked, and all public lands that may hereafter be set aside as public forest reserves under said act, shall be as far as practicable controlled and administered in accordance with the following provisions.
Paragraph 2 page 2.
Now if you are still in doubt you may want to check all of the cases that are brought before the Federal Courts, that pertain to mining, or where the authority of the Forest Service comes into question, there you will find that they claim that they get the authority from both of these acts. 1891 and 1897.
And if they are claiming this as fact, then they are also admitting the fact that they do not have any control over mineral lands!
These acts are clear and leave no wiggle room as to the Congress intent.

6. The law of June 4, 1897, for forest reserve regulations also provides, that
The jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, over persons within such reservations shall not
be affected or changed by reason of the existence of such reservations, except so far as
the punishment of offenses against the United States therein is concerned; the intent and
meaning of this provision being that the State wherein any such reservation is situated
shall not, by reason of the establishment thereof, lose its jurisdiction, nor the inhabitants
thereof their rights and privileges as citizens, or be absolved from their duties as citizens
of the State.
Now if we look at this and understand way these laws were written and passed by Congress; it becomes quite clear that as a miner, you can not go off your mining claim “ ON TO NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM LANDS “ and commit a crime against the U.S. Government, meaning you must abide by all National Forest Rules and Regulations, while on National Forest Lands. consequently, this means they must also respect your rights and the laws. you must remember, you are by law an in-holder not just a mere guest of the Government.

Just as I have said before “ I am not a lawyer “ it is not my intent to practice law or give advice, but merely to try and understand it !
And give my OPINION !

I will talk more on this in the next issue of these articles!
Jerry Fennell

Historic Jicarilla Mining District

August 9, 2008

Historic Jicarilla Mining District
News Letter

Hello Everyone
Well it has been an interesting year, and there is a lot to report !
So this may be in three parts.

First off, as you all know the DEADLINE DATE to file your small miners waiver form is near.
The DEADLINE is September 1st. at noon, this form must be received by BLM office NO LATER than NOON, or Postmarked prior to the deadline.
If you do not have the proper form please contact me and I will e-mail one to you.

Also the deadline for filing your Assessment Work Form is December 31 2008.
I also have these forms if you need them.

The BLM has always been wonderful people to work with, but if you miss the deadlines then you will have no choice but to re-file your claims or lose them.

Now to a lighter side.
Sue and I have been very busy the last two weeks, and it has proven to be very productive.
We just returned last night from a two week trip where we visited Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and parts of New Mexico. We had meetings with several miners and many who were not miners but were very interested.
We also had meetings with numerous officials of the Bureau of land Management and U.S. Forest Service. Our thanks go out to all of these people for being so receptive to our meeting.
We also had the opportunity to be on a local radio talk show and I must say the people were very receptive to our needs. We also plan to talk to them again via telephone on occasion.

The weather here and in Jicarilla has been blessed with a good amount of rain.
So the placer mining should be really good this year.
Gold has dropped some but as I have predicted before it will rise again.
As soon as I get some much needed rest I will send out other reports.


Jerry Fennell
Jicarilla Mining District



Historic Jicarilla Mining District
News Letter
Hello again
To continue the updates of our trip I am in hopes that it will not be too boring, or offensive to anyone.
But as always I have a habit of telling things as I see them, this does not mean that I am always right, for many times I am not. But I am always willing to stand corrected.

Sometimes we as people are caught up in our own little world, as I have been for the last 30 years or so.
This trip has brought to light for me many things, and I hope to share them with you here.


I had been looking forward to this trip for quite sometime as I had not really been anywhere more than two hundred miles away from Jicarilla, N.M. in many years.
The trip was pretty dull for me until we got passed Santa Fe, then I began seeing country that I had never seen before.

We spent the first night in Espanola N.M. and the next day we visited several people who lived there. And talked to them about mining and the environment.
Here I must say that we met some of the most wonderful people, as we did throughout the entire trip.

As we headed North by North West we decided to take the back roads as this is where you can see the real America.
We traveled through many small towns dotted with farm land, hay crops, corn, grain, and dotted with horses and cattle. To me it was a true feeling of what America stands for, and what really makes up this great country we know as America.
We stopped many times along the way and talked to many of the people of these rural towns, and communities.
All of which were hard working people, as it was plain to see, by their callused hands, but warm hearts.
It was not long before I discovered that this trip was a history lesson in the making.

The second night we stopped in a small town called Saguache Colorado, where we were invited to park our fifth-wheel in the local Catholic Church parking lot.
The next morning we discovered we had a bad tire on the camper. But this little Town had no repair shop. The lady at the connivance store got on the phone and called everyone in Town until she found a man who kept the local school busses in repair. And he was willing to change the tires for us. As he had an air compressor to break the lugs loose, which had been put on way to tight.
I  for one would like to revisit this little Town if ever I get the chance.

On our way we traveled through the Rio Grande National Forest, La Garita Mts. through North pass 10,149 ft. and the Gunnison National Forest, the San Juan National Forest and many others. For a time we made our home base in Montrose Colorado.
From here we could make most of our meetings within a few hours drive.

I will make an attempt tomorrow to complete the rest of the story.


Jerry Fennell
Jicarilla Mining District

If by chance anyone failed to get the first part of this news letter and would like to get it please contact me and I will send it to you.
If anyone would like to be removed from the mailing list please contact me by hitting reply and put remove in the subject line.
Thank You

Historic Jicarilla Mining District
News Letter
Part 3
Hello Again
As I stated in part 2 of the news letter, this trip has been a history 
lesson and very productive learning experience. Not only for myself but 
for many.
I hope to explain this statement within this letter.

I had the pleasurable experience of visiting many of the old, so called 
ghost towns and mining camps. I found that although many of these Towns 
were just quaint little Towns nestled in the remote back country. Others 
are flourishing boom Towns again.
But they all have the same thing in common “ Valuable Minerals “ which 
are still being mined today. Most are mined by the small miner, pick and 
shovel type operations.
Whether it is called “ Casual Use “ “ Recreational “ or other terms, it

means the same. It means freedom! Freedom to pursue your rights granted 
by Congress. Freedom in the pursuit of happiness ! “ FREEDOM “ is this 
not what America stands for?

I could not help but notice throughout my trip that these other States 
have erected stone and brass plaques monuments dedicated to the memory 
of the men and woman who were brave enough to settle the Western United 
States, also to the mines and miners who endured many hardships to make 
this country rich and great.
Being a miner myself it gave me a good feeling to see that miners were 
at least at one time appreciated for what they contributed to this great 

In my meetings with many of the top officials in the US Forest Service 
and Bureau of Land Management I found an overwhelming interest in the 
fact that they all had a great attitude concerning the rights of the 
miners and prospecting.

First let me say, I have studied the Mining Laws, BLM Manuals and US 
Forest Service Regulations for many years, and know most of them by heart.
And I was very impressed while in one of our meetings there was a man 
who was not happy with someone who had filed a mining claim close to his 
I sat and listened to one of the Geologist, as he calmly explained the 
mining laws and regulations to the man. For about half an hour the 
Geologist answered the mans questions in accordance with the laws. 
Needless to say the man was not really all that happy, but did 
understand that the miner did have a right to file the claim, and did 
have the right to work the claim, just as he would have the same right 
if he himself had filed the claim.

Once I knew that I was in a meeting with people who not only knew their 
jobs, but also knew the mining laws, it became an enjoyable experience.
I would like to thank all of them for taking time for our meetings it 
was very educational for me and a great experience.

I would also like to express my thanks to the State of Colorado BLM and 
US Forest Service for their work on the Forest in that State. The Forest 
were clean, the rivers were clean, the roads were clean, we saw little 
to no trash anywhere within the State of Colorado where we traveled. 

I may write more later, but for now I have a lot to do.
Thanks to all and remember, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!


Thank You
Jerry Fennell
Jicarilla Mining District


June 17, 2008

Print this Page

Equal Access To Justice, Inc

Latest comments May 19, 2008 link at bottom of page

Two page easy print and fill-in form to register your comments with forest service is the fourth link down

(For comments and forms see links below this article)

In March, 2008, the United States Department of Agriculture – Forest Service published a Proposed Rule: AMENDMENT to Title 36 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 223, 228, 261, 292, and 293 and the OMB No. 0596-NEW. The Proposed Rules constitute a massive change to Forest Service’s Mining Regulations. We are convinced that, if enacted, as is, they would, effectively, curtail both, small scale commercial mining and recreational mineral collecting, altogether, in the National Forests. If this is the intent and effect of the Proposed Rules then, only your participation can prevent it from happening. Please participate and comment.
Public comments and information collection requirements comments are, both, due by May 27, 2008. (Federal Register Notice: Tuesday, March 25, 2008, (73 FR 15694).)
We, Equal Access to Justice, Inc., are submitting a substantive set of comments opposing both, the Proposed Rules and OMB No. 0596-NEW. We have provided a form, whereby, you can incorporate them, making our comments fully a part of your own, should you so choose.

Significant Proposed Changes to the Forest Service Mining Regulations are:

Forest Service has proclaimed that, in almost every single case, with very few exceptions, a plan of operations will be required where a notice of intent or bonded notice is required

A notice of intent, or bonded notice, is required for any mining, recreational mineral collecting, or reclamation, activity exceeding the few limitations allowed

The Proposed Rules do not allow anyone to be in any National Forest for longer than 14 days in a year, without an approved plan of operations

The Proposed Rules do not allow anyone to use any kind of mechanized equipment, for any, mining, recreational mineral collecting, or reclamation, activity, other than very simple battery operated equipment, without an approved plan of operations

The Proposed Rules do not allow anyone to use a suction dredge, without an approved plan of operations

The Proposed Rules do not allow anyone to perform any mining, recreational mineral collecting, or reclamation, activities, whatsoever, in the designated habitat of a threatened or endangered specie, without an approved plan of operations

Almost without exception, every part of every National Forest is in the designated habitat of a threatened or endangered specie

To obtain an approved plan of operations, one must provide a bond or the cash equivalent, beforehand

No surety, government or private, will provide a bond to small miners

Forest Service will hold the bond for 20 years

The bond must provide for restoring the land to its pre-civilization condition which is very costly to do

One cannot perform their own reclamation work

Reclamation must restore the land to its pre-civilization condition

Forest Service will not approve a plan of operations without preparing an environmental impact statement and it must be done by them (USDA-FS).

Forest Service does not have the staff or budget to perform environmental impact statements

Forest Service will not approve a plan of operations without performing a validity examination, and it must be done by them (USDA-FS).

Forest Service does not have the staff or budget to perform validity examinations

No one has passed a validity examination performed by the Forest Service

No one has passed a validity examination without an approved plan of operations in hand, beforehand

Failure to pass a validity examination nullifies the un-patented mining claim(s) for which validity was sought


June 17, 2008
                       ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

                    (Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992)

                                Annex III



     (a)   The subject of forests is related to the entire range of
environmental and development issues and opportunities, including the right
to socio-economic development on a sustainable basis.

     (b)   The guiding objective of these principles is to contribute to the
management, conservation and sustainable development of forests and to provide
for their multiple and complementary functions and uses.

     (c)   Forestry issues and opportunities should be examined in a holistic
and balanced manner within the overall context of environment and development,
taking into consideration the multiple functions and uses of forests,
including traditional uses, and the likely economic and social stress when
these uses are constrained or restricted, as well as the potential for
development that sustainable forest management can offer.

     (d)   These principles reflect a first global consensus on forests.  In
committing themselves to the prompt implementation of these principles,
countries also decide to keep them under assessment for their adequacy with
regard to further international cooperation on forest issues.

     (e)   These principles should apply to all types of forests, both
natural and planted, in all geographical regions and climatic zones, including
austral, boreal, subtemperate, temperate, subtropical and tropical.

     (f)   All types of forests embody complex and unique ecological
processes which are the basis for their present and potential capacity to
provide resources to satisfy human needs as well as environmental values, and
as such their sound management and conservation is of concern to the
Governments of the countries to which they belong and are of value to local
communities and to the environment as a whole.

     (g)   Forests are essential to economic development and the maintenance
of all forms of life.

     (h)   Recognizing that the responsibility for forest management,
conservation and sustainable development is in many States allocated among
federal/national, state/provincial and local levels of government, each State,
in accordance with its constitution and/or national legislation, should pursue
these principles at the appropriate level of government.


1.   (a)   States have, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations
and the principles of international law, the sovereign right to exploit their
own resources pursuant to their own environmental policies and have the
responsibility to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control
do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the
limits of national jurisdiction.

     (b)   The agreed full incremental cost of achieving benefits associated
with forest conservation and sustainable development requires increased
international cooperation and should be equitably shared by the international

2.   (a)   States have the sovereign and inalienable right to utilize, manage
and develop their forests in accordance with their development needs and level
of socio-economic development and on the basis of national policies consistent
with sustainable development and legislation, including the conversion of such
areas for other uses within the overall socio-economic development plan and
based on rational land-use policies.

     (b)   Forest resources and forest lands should be sustainably managed
to meet the social, economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual needs of
present and future generations.  These needs are for forest products and
services, such as wood and wood products, water, food, fodder, medicine, fuel,
shelter, employment, recreation, habitats for wildlife, landscape diversity,
carbon sinks and reservoirs, and for other forest products.  Appropriate
measures should be taken to protect forests against harmful effects of
pollution, including air-borne pollution, fires, pests and diseases, in order
to maintain their full multiple value.

     (c)   The provision of timely, reliable and accurate information on
forests and forest ecosystems is essential for public understanding and
informed decision-making and should be ensured.

     (d)   Governments should promote and provide opportunities for the
participation of interested parties, including local communities and
indigenous people, industries, labour, non-governmental organizations and
individuals, forest dwellers and women, in the development, implementation and
planning of national forest policies.

3.   (a)   National policies and strategies should provide a framework for
increased efforts, including the development and strengthening of institutions
and programmes for the management, conservation and sustainable development
of forests and forest lands.

     (b)   International institutional arrangements, building on those
organizations and mechanisms already in existence, as appropriate, should
facilitate international cooperation in the field of forests.

     (c)   All aspects of environmental protection and social and economic
development as they relate to forests and forest lands should be integrated
and comprehensive.

4.   The vital role of all types of forests in maintaining the ecological
processes and balance at the local, national, regional and global levels
through, inter alia, their role in protecting fragile ecosystems, watersheds
and freshwater resources and as rich storehouses of biodiversity and
biological resources and sources of genetic material for biotechnology
products, as well as photosynthesis, should be recognized.

5.   (a)   National forest policies should recognize and duly support the
identity, culture and the rights of indigenous people, their communities and
other communities and forest dwellers.  Appropriate conditions should be
promoted for these groups to enable them to have an economic stake in forest
use, perform economic activities, and achieve and maintain cultural identity
and social organization, as well as adequate levels of livelihood and
well-being, through, inter alia, those land tenure arrangements which serve
as incentives for the sustainable management of forests.

     (b)   The full participation of women in all aspects of the management,
conservation and sustainable development of forests should be actively

6.   (a)   All types of forests play an important role in meeting energy
requirements through the provision of a renewable source of bio-energy,
particularly in developing countries, and the demands for fuelwood for
household and industrial needs should be met through sustainable forest
management, afforestation and reforestation.  To this end, the potential
contribution of plantations of both indigenous and introduced species for the
provision of both fuel and industrial wood should be recognized.

     (b)   National policies and programmes should take into account the
relationship, where it exists, between the conservation, management and
sustainable development of forests and all aspects related to the production,
consumption, recycling and/or final disposal of forest products.

     (c)   Decisions taken on the management, conservation and sustainable
development of forest resources should benefit, to the extent practicable,
from a comprehensive assessment of economic and non-economic values of forest
goods and services and of the environmental costs and benefits.  The
development and improvement of methodologies for such evaluations should be

     (d)   The role of planted forests and permanent agricultural crops as
sustainable and environmentally sound sources of renewable energy and
industrial raw material should be recognized, enhanced and promoted.  Their
contribution to the maintenance of ecological processes, to offsetting
pressure on primary/old-growth forest and to providing regional employment and
development with the adequate involvement of local inhabitants should be
recognized and enhanced.

     (e)   Natural forests also constitute a source of goods and services,
and their conservation, sustainable management and use should be promoted.

7.   (a)   Efforts should be made to promote a supportive international
economic climate conducive to sustained and environmentally sound development
of forests in all countries, which include, inter alia, the promotion of
sustainable patterns of production and consumption, the eradication of poverty
and the promotion of food security.

     (b)   Specific financial resources should be provided to developing
countries with significant forest areas which establish programmes for the
conservation of forests including protected natural forest areas.  These
resources should be directed notably to economic sectors which would stimulate
economic and social substitution activities.

8.   (a)   Efforts should be undertaken towards the greening of the world. 
All countries, notably developed countries, should take positive and
transparent action towards reforestation, afforestation and forest
conservation, as appropriate.

     (b)   Efforts to maintain and increase forest cover and forest
productivity should be undertaken in ecologically, economically and socially
sound ways through the rehabilitation, reforestation and re-establishment of
trees and forests on unproductive, degraded and deforested lands, as well as
through the management of existing forest resources.

     (c)   The implementation of national policies and programmes aimed at
forest management, conservation and sustainable development, particularly in
developing countries, should be supported by international financial and
technical cooperation, including through the private sector, where

                 (d)   Sustainable forest management and use should be carried out in
accordance with national development policies and priorities and on the basis
of environmentally sound national guidelines.  In the formulation of such
guidelines, account should be taken, as appropriate and if applicable, of
relevant internationally agreed methodologies and criteria.

     (e)   Forest management should be integrated with management of adjacent
areas so as to maintain ecological balance and sustainable productivity.

     (f)   National policies and/or legislation aimed at management,
conservation and sustainable development of forests should include the
protection of ecologically viable representative or unique examples of
forests, including primary/old-growth forests, cultural, spiritual,
historical, religious and other unique and valued forests of national

     (g)   Access to biological resources, including genetic material, shall
be with due regard to the sovereign rights of the countries where the forests
are located and to the sharing on mutually agreed terms of technology and
profits from biotechnology products that are derived from these resources.

     (h)   National policies should ensure that environmental impact
assessments should be carried out where actions are likely to have significant
adverse impacts on important forest resources, and where such actions are
subject to a decision of a competent national authority.

9.   (a)   The efforts of developing countries to strengthen the management,
conservation and sustainable development of their forest resources should be
supported by the international community, taking into account the importance
of redressing external indebtedness, particularly where aggravated by the net
transfer of resources to developed countries, as well as the problem of
achieving at least the replacement value of forests through improved market
access for forest products, especially processed products.  In this respect,
special attention should also be given to the countries undergoing the process
of transition to market economies.

     (b)   The problems that hinder efforts to attain the conservation and
sustainable use of forest resources and that stem from the lack of alternative
options available to local communities, in particular the urban poor and poor
rural populations who are economically and socially dependent on forests and
forest resources, should be addressed by Governments and the international

     (c)   National policy formulation with respect to all types of forests
should take account of the pressures and demands imposed on forest ecosystems
and resources from influencing factors outside the forest sector, and
intersectoral means of dealing with these pressures and demands should be

10.  New and additional financial resources should be provided to developing
countries to enable them to sustainably manage, conserve and develop their
forest resources, including through afforestation, reforestation and combating
deforestation and forest and land degradation. 

11.  In order to enable, in particular, developing countries to enhance their
endogenous capacity and to better manage, conserve and develop their forest
resources, the access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies
and corresponding know-how on favourable terms, including on concessional and
preferential terms, as mutually agreed, in accordance with the relevant
provisions of Agenda 21, should be promoted, facilitated and financed, as

12.  (a)   Scientific research, forest inventories and assessments carried
out by national institutions which take into account, where relevant,
biological, physical, social and economic variables, as well as technological
development and its application in the field of sustainable forest management,
conservation and development, should be strengthened through effective
modalities, including international cooperation.  In this context, attention
should also be given to research and development of sustainably harvested
non-wood products.

     (b)   National and, where appropriate, regional and international
institutional capabilities in education, training, science, technology,
economics, anthropology and social aspects of forests and forest management
are essential to the conservation and sustainable development of forests and
should be strengthened.

     (c)   International exchange of information on the results of forest and
forest management research and development should be enhanced and broadened,
as appropriate, making full use of education and training institutions,
including those in the private sector.

     (d)   Appropriate indigenous capacity and local knowledge regarding the
conservation and sustainable development of forests should, through
institutional and financial support and in collaboration with the people in
the local communities concerned, be recognized, respected, recorded, developed
and, as appropriate, introduced in the implementation of programmes.  Benefits
arising from the utilization of indigenous knowledge should therefore be
equitably shared with such people.

13.  (a)   Trade in forest products should be based on non-discriminatory and
multilaterally agreed rules and procedures consistent with international trade
law and practices.  In this context, open and free international trade in
forest products should be facilitated.

     (b)   Reduction or removal of tariff barriers and impediments to the
provision of better market access and better prices for higher value-added
forest products and their local processing should be encouraged to enable
producer countries to better conserve and manage their renewable forest

     (c)   Incorporation of environmental costs and benefits into market
forces and mechanisms, in order to achieve forest conservation and sustainable
development, should be encouraged both domestically and internationally.

     (d)   Forest conservation and sustainable development policies should
be integrated with economic, trade and other relevant policies.

     (e)   Fiscal, trade, industrial, transportation and other policies and
practices that may lead to forest degradation should be avoided.  Adequate
policies, aimed at management, conservation and sustainable development of
forests, including, where appropriate, incentives, should be encouraged.

14.  Unilateral measures, incompatible with international obligations or
agreements, to restrict and/or ban international trade in timber or other
forest products should be removed or avoided, in order to attain long-term
sustainable forest management.

15.  Pollutants, particularly air-borne pollutants, including those
responsible for acidic deposition, that are harmful to the health of forest
ecosystems at the local, national, regional and global levels should be


Locking up the American land proceed non-stop

June 17, 2008

The efforts by the Greens, the US Congress and the Administration to continue locking up the American land proceed non-stop.  Today the House “easily approved” three more Wilderness bills.

* Tom Udall’s (D-NM) HR 2632 created 16,000 acres of new Wilderness in n.e. NM.

* Jim Costa (D-CA) and Devin Nunes (R?-CA) were able to add 113,500 acres of new Wilderness in two areas in the southern Sierra with HR 3022.

* Mary Bono’s (R?-CA) HR 3682 created 41,000 additional acres of Wilderness in four areas, and just for good measure created 31 miles of new Wild & Scenic Rivers.

“And the beat goes on.”

Previously the House had approved new Wilderness bills for Oregon and West Virginia and recently the Senate’s omnibus multi-bill land grab package created the long-delayed Washington state Wild Sky Wilderness.  Bush quickly signed that omnibus monstrosity.

The gates are wide open for all these land grabs with no more than a handful of Republicans strongly fighting them.  And of course purported Republicans are dropping their own Federal land grab bills left and right.  Even the efforts of such strict Constitutionalists and pro-property rights Congressmen as Rep. Paul Broun (R-GA) to simply demand that there be recorded roll call votes on these land grabs and lock-ups have met resistance from Republican leaders.  A new form of stealth bomber — bombing the American people under suspension of the rules, with practically no debate, no amendments and an unrecorded voice vote.

At the rate that private lands and resources are being acquired by Fed, state, county and local governments — and much more private land regulated or tied up in Bush administration “partnerships,” perpetual conservation easements, and “cooperative” conservation agreements  — and the government lands then locked up in non-use Wilderness or quasi-Wilderness areas — America is already on its way to becoming a Third World country.  Then Congress won’t have to bother to pass Climate Control legislation because there won’t be much economic activitiy to control.


June 17, 2008

November 1, 2007
H.R. 2262 – Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act of 2007
(Rep. Rahall (D) WV and 62 cosponsors)
The Administration supports the environmentally responsible development of hardrock minerals on public lands and would like to work with Congress to update the Mining Law, including the authorization of production payments and administrative penalties. The Administration also believes that any legislative solution must be accomplished in a way that provides a reasonable level of certainty to the industry while pursuing goals to protect our environment. The Administration believes that royalty provisions should be prospective, should avoid constitutional concerns, and should be set at a level that does not threaten the continued, reliable domestic mineral production on which this Nation relies.
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 2262 because the bill imposes a royalty on claims where property rights already have been vested, could reduce the continued domestic production of hardrock minerals, restates and expands some environmental standards and permitting requirements that are unnecessary and redundant, and establishes new public participation standards rather than utilizing existing and well-established processes to engage the public. If H.R. 2262 were presented to the President in its current form, his senior advisors would recommend he veto the bill.
While the Administration supports the establishment of a production payment system, the Administration has serious concerns about the royalty structure provided in Title I of the bill.
The royalty structure in H.R. 2262 will likely generate Takings Clause challenges because it fails to take into consideration property rights relating to properly maintained claims established prior to enactment of the bill. For any claimant who has a vested property interest prior to production, application of a royalty on production could result in a claim for a compensable taking under the Constitution.
In addition, Title I eliminates the issuance of patents for applications filed after September 30, 1994. Eliminating patenting authority has the potential to expand Federal liability by requiring that the Federal government retain ownership of all lands mined under the bill.
Title III restates and expands existing environmental standards and permitting requirements.
The Administration finds some of these provisions unnecessary and redundant. For example, the non-impairment standard in Section 309 greatly expands the scope of existing environmental requirements and could result in an increase in litigation. Hardrock mining operators on public lands already are required to comply with a number of state and Federal statutes including the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Endangered Species Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), and National Historic Preservation Act.
The Administration believes that existing statutes and related regulations provide sufficient authority to regulate mining operations.
Through NEPA, FLPMA, and other land management statutes, Congress also established a role for members of the public and structured a process by which the public could provide input about proposed governmental actions. This structured process has served the government and the public well. Section 504 in Title V of H.R. 2262, by contrast, would give an individual the ability to unduly block Federal actions outside these well established public participation processes.
Finally, Section 506 should be revised to give the Department of the Interior and Department of Justice sufficient authority and flexibility to properly enforce the law.
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to address these and other concerns as the legislative process moves forward.
* * * * *
For more information, access the Committee on Natural Resources’ Minority website at:
# # #
Steve Hansen
Director of Communications
Republican Staff
U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources
1329 Longworth HOB
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-7749