OPINION: Nuggets & Noogies
By Brad Jones
It’s time once again for nuggets & noogies, the gold miner’s rendition of beefs and bouquets:
Nugget: Even though the San Gabriel Mountains were designated as a national monument in 2014, Public Lands for the People stepped up and volunteered to clean up trash on the San Gabriel River’s East Fork as it has done in years past.
Noogie: Meanwhile, the Pick & Shovel Gazette has learned that the U.S. Forest turned down PLP’s offer to help. Really? Why?
Nugget: I spoke with U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., about his strong opposition to land grabs by executive order under the Antiquities Act of 1906. He has introduced a bill, HR 3946, which aims to limit the powers of a president to lock up millions of acres of public lands with the stroke of a pen. Gosar held a rally in Kingman, Ariz. to halt a proposed 1.7 million-acre national monument in Arizona.
Noogie: Just before I interviewed Gosar, Interior
Secretary Sally Jewell made her “Next 100 Years of Conservation” speech. Jewell praised Obama for his “judicious and thoughtful” use of the Antiquities Act to declare national monuments, and touted the “sage grouse conservation effort” as a model for the future.
Nugget: The Southwest Washington GPAA chapter has been out collecting trash left on public lands and near mining claims. Kudos to Steve Lewin and Randy Harper for a fabulous cleanup job.
Noogie: Occasionally, I hear complaints about prospectors not filling in holes. As good stewards of the land, all GPAA members are required to fill in their holes. Please mine responsibly.
Nugget: Mining finally surfaced on the presidential campaign trail in May when controversy erupted over the collapse of the coal mining industry. The media attention has served to remind all Americans that mining provides thousands of jobs—green or not.
Noogie: Important election issues such as real economic recovery—including mining—always take a back seat to less substantive, more sensational news.
Nugget: Computer giant Apple recycled more than 2,200 pounds or $40 million worth of gold from iPhones and other electronic gadgetry last year.
Noogie: Yet, radical environmentalists, who use computers and cell phones, still want to ban mining.
Nugget: Oral arguments in the People v. Rinehart case have been set for June 1 in Los Angeles.
Noogie: The California Supreme Court could be leaning towards an unfavorable ruling in the Rinehart case based on a U.S. District Court case in March. In Bohmker v. State of Oregon, Judge Mark Clarke ruled the state can prohibit the use of motorized equipment for instream mining in the name of the environment. Clarke stated his decision is not in conflict with the federal Mining Law of 1872, and that the law does not require mining to be profitable. He said miners can still work without motorized equipment. Gimme a break!
Noogie: The Women’s Mining Coalition will receive the 2016 Prazen Living Legend of Mining Award Sept. 24 in Las Vegas. Each year, the National Mining Hall of Fame & Museum selects an individual or entity that has demonstrated ongoing, innovative work educating the public, policy makers, educators, or related institutions about the importance of the mining industry to our everyday lives.
Noogie: Whenever I hear the term public lands used interchangeably with federal lands, I blow a gasket. Public lands are owned by “We, The People” and managed by the feds. The government works for the people, not the other way around. Public lands are not federal lands. They are held in trust by the federal government for the people of the United States.
Editorial as featured in the June-July Pick & Shovel Gazette.