Mining Groups Send Coordinated Response To Senator Alan Bates Over Illegal Legislation To Ban Mining in Oregon

Nine independent mining organizations from the West Coast recently united in an effort to let Senator Alan Bates know what they thought about his attempt to ban placer mining in Oregon. The coordinated letter was spearheaded by Western Mining Alliance of Reno, Nevada and was supported by Public Lands for the People (PLP), New 49ers, Willamette Valley Miners Assoc., Millenium Diggers, Waldo Mining District, Galice Mining District, North West Mineral Prospectors and Douglas County Prospectors Assoc

"This is a first," said Kerby Jackson, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Galice Mining District. "In the past, most mining organizations have always tended to work independently of one another when it comes to fighting anti-mining legislation like is taking place here in Oregon at the moment. For the first time, we have established a genuine united front against those who have no respect for property rights or the federally protected right to mine."  

The ten page letter, in addition to bringing to light the findings of numerous scientific studies that proves, once and for all, that there is no significant environmental impact created by so-called "suction dredge" mining, also questions the legality of the current efforts by Senator Alan Bates and others to try to prohibit placer mining in the State of Oregon.

"Miners and prospectors have a statutory right, not a mere privilege, to go upon the Public Domain of the United States for mineral prospecting, exploration and developmen,". the letter explains, adding that "the States may not unreasonably restrict or prohibit either temporarily or permanently the exercise of that right. The Mining Law of the United States remains the 1872 Federal Mining Law (30 U.S.C. § 22) which states in part [miners may operate on Federal lands] under regulations prescribed by law, and according to local customs of rules of miners in the several mining districts, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States.  Congressional intent and case law are clear on this point the States may not prohibit what Congress has authorized."

Read the entire letter here.