||Waldo Mining District Weighs
in on LC 2125
With the November elections over and the democrats gaining control over both branches of the Oregon legislature, Oregon's mining community finds itself facing one of the biggest threats against our way of life to date.
In early December, it was discovered that the Oregon Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee (ENRC) was to consider a Bill Pertaining to Placer Mining during the committee's hearing on Tuesday, December 11. Within days, Waldo and other mining organizations throughout the west started looking into the Bill, and soon obtained copies of LC 2125.
LC 2125 is a "Legislative Concept" of proposed legislation. Technically, it is not (yet) a "bill"; think of it as more of a Draft of a Bill presented to the ENRC for consideration. The committee reads proposed Bill, and then votes whether the Bill should be considered, or squashed. If they vote to consider the Bill, the Bill will be assigned to a committee (in this case, probably the ENRC) for further work before it is presented to the Senate for a vote. If the Bill passes the Senate, it then goes to the House for consideration and a vote, followed by the Governor.
At the Dec. 11 ENRC Hearing, the ENRC voted to consider LC 2125. More hearings will be scheduled early next year… stay tuned.
Our sources report that LC 2125 is on a "well greased fast-track", and is expected to sail through committee. It obviously has the total support of all the environmental organizations, most democrats, any anyone else that hates the idea of people working for themselves and reaping the rewards.
NOW is the time to stop this madness! If we allow this Bill, in any form, to become law, the only way to gain our rights back (if ever) will be through years of costly litigation (just look at California)
Although there is still much
confusion over what, exactly, LC 2125 would do, it appears that it would
ALL FORMS OF PLACER MINING using motorized equipment –statewide.
This would include prospecting and mining on federally managed lands open to mining, mining claims, and even private property. LC 2125 would prohibit the use of such equipment as suction dredges larger than 4", backhoes, excavators, trommels, shakers, wash-plants, etc..
LC 2125 does have a few very limited exemptions (found in Section 1, (2), (a-c), which might allow "recreational prospecting" by hand methods moving up to one (1) cubic yard per year, per location, or up to five (5) cubic yards per year per stream; and small-scale & recreational mining as defined in ORS 517.120 (allows the use of a suction dredge with nozzles no larger than 4" and motors no larger than 16 hp on valid mining claims operating under an approved Notice or Plan, even if such notice or plan is not required!
OTHER THAN THAT, FORGET IT!
VIOLATIONS would be punishable with fines as high as $6,250, one year in jail,
Reproduced for educational
purposes under Fair Use Doctrine, ref. 17 USC 107