Fight Mining Purchases of our public lands!
November 7, 2005
Legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives this week would allow mining companies to purchase nearly all of our public lands (except those already protected for other purposes). Selling off huge chunks of lands owned by all Americans would exempt these multinational corporations from complying with environmental protections and public land use plans leading to extensive destruction to pristine rivers and watersheds across the country. Please take action now to help keep Congress from selling off America’s natural heritage to the mining industry!
A provision included in the House “budget reconciliation” bill would carve out a loophole in the U.S. mining law to allow companies to buy any public lands that are not already protected even if the lands at stake contain no minerals. Hundreds of millions of acres of public lands, including some of America’s last best places, could be up for grabs at rock bottom prices.
If the bill passes with this harmful provision our nation’s river heritage will be at risk. Most of the rivers on public land are unprotected by any special designation, leaving drinking and irrigation water throughout the West vulnerable to destructive activities. While the bill exempts existing Wild and Scenic Rivers from the land grab, it leaves the door open for corporations to purchase thousands of outstanding river miles that are waiting to be designated as Wild and Scenic.
TAKE ACTION! The Budget Reconciliation bill containing this mining giveaway will come to a vote sometime this week -- unless you help us convince the House of Representatives to take it out. Send a letter asking your Representative to oppose the Budget Reconciliation bill unless the public lands “for sale” language is removed.
Rebecca R. Wodder
** SEND YOUR ELECTRONIC LETTER TODAY and reply below...
This is very simple and quick to fill out. I hope everyone is using it.
Thanks for the heads up, Juro
Please take this one seriously!!!
Please take action on this one! The vast majority of the claims that would fall under this action are placer mine type outfits. Located in the headwaters of stream systems near and dear to us all. In Oregon, some of the greatest concentrations of these mining claims are in the headwaters of systems like the Grande Ronde, Rogue and Umpqua Rivers. Sale of these lands would all but eliminate any regulatory authority on mining, or any other activity (housing development, timber harvest, etc.) that the purchaser deemed appropriate. This has ramifications on fisheries resources in the Pacific Northwest and Intermountain West (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado).
Anyone who doubts the general conservative agenda when it comes to public lands and their ownership, take note. I believe this is but a first step. The likes of Scary Larry Craig and others have already gone public w/ the belief that public lands are not best managed in the hands of the public, but in the hands of private owners and stake holders. Earlier this year, the primary proponent of this bill, Richard Pombo (R) from California, strongly recommended the sale of National Park Lands. While he later backed off, saying it was merely a gimmick to get people's attention, this current legislation, in my mind, proves otherwise. There is no amount of money that can be paid to equal the value I have for my birth right!!!! :tsk_tsk: :mad:
The following link is to an article in the Oregonian that sheds more light on the subject.
Also Note- TU members, there is a drive to contact your congressmen and women through that organization as well. I got an email from them earlier this week. Please follow through!!!!
It would be very nice if these hell bent for the corporate dollar or large ranching interests Congressmen would just go away and quit trying to do this expansion of the Mining Act of 1872. In fact, I've often written my representative to either greatly alter the Mining Act making it far more expensive for mining companies or to outright eliminate it.
I'm afraid that we will keep having to fight this crap every 5 to ten years though because there always seems to be a few Congressmen or Senators from the rockies, Nevada, or California that want to give the public lands away to mining companies, developers, or large ranch operations. What amazes me is that the voters in those area keep sending folks like this to the House and Senate.
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