New rule would evade public scrutiny, allow mining companies to avoid enviro protections unless they were economically "practical"
The Forest Service has proposed a new mining rule
The U.S. Forest Service has proposed new rules to govern mining within National Forests – lands owned by all Americans.
In a perfect world, we would applaud such a proposal. The existing rules are weak. According to the Forest Service they "have not been significantly revised since 1974".
The proposed rule would be worse than nothing
Alas, we don't live in a perfect world. The USFS proposal would actually be a step backwards from the 1974 rule. The lowlights of the new proposal:
It codifies the Forest Service's position that they cannot deny mining under the 1872 Mining Law;
It expands the authority of the 1872 Mining Law onto lands currently governed by other laws – laws that allow the Forest Service to weigh mining proposals against other potential land uses like hunting, fishing or grazing;
It allows irresponsible mining companies to decide how much environmental protection is permitted at their mines;
It expands a class of operations of called notice mines -- which are exempt from public and environmental review;
It would severely limit public participation in the rulemaking process
Tell the Forest Service we need more, not less, oversight of public lands mining
Use the sample letter below as the starting point of a letter of your own. Tell the Forest Service needs to hear public lands need more protection from mining, not less. Tell them that the public needs more of a voice in mining permitting, not less. Tell them that taken together, their rule sacrifices the public's interest: environmental, recreational, agricultural and otherwise, for the sake of private profit.
Read the sample letter and modify if you can. Personalized letter text and/or subject headers will increase the impact of your letter.
Clicking "Send My Message" will send your letter via email to the U.S. Forest Service.