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
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