Outline of Ideas for letters—Federal Level Issues
List of Federal Officials (Law Makers and Forest Service) to receive your letters
Note: If you are going to send only three letters, send to Rep. Grijalva's staff and Forest Service Chief Tidwell and President Obama.
Jan. 3, 1:30 pm, meeting at library to focus on local issues
Federal Issue One: Project is contrary to 1872 Mining Law:
Link to 1872 Mining Law
1872 mining law issues:
Citizenship: CHAP. CL. II --- An Act to promote the Development of the mining Resources of the Untied States
That all valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, are hereby declared to be free and open to exploration and purchase, and the lands in which they are found to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such, under regulations prescribed by law, and according to the local customs or 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.
See Augusta Corporation
Non-Mineral Land: FORTY-SECOND CONGRESS. Sess. II Ch. 152. 1872.
Sec. 15. That where non-mineral land not contiguous to the vein or lode is used or occupied by the proprietor of such vein or lode for mining or milling purposes, such non-adjacent surface ground may be embraced and included in an application for a patent for such vein or lode, and the same may be patented therewith, subject to the same preliminary requirements as to survey and notice as are applicable under this act to veins or lodes.... [Has it been proved that there are no minerals on this land?]
Five Acre Limit:
Provided, That no location hereafter made of such non-adjacent land shall exceed five acres, and payment for the same must be made at the same rate as fixed by this act for the superficies of the lode. The owner of a quartz-mill or reduction-works, not owning a mine in connection therewith, may also receive a patent for his mill-site, as provided in this section.
Federal Issue Two: Forest Service can say "no" to mining project
Comments by Coronado National Forest (ex-) Supervisor Jeanine Derby
“In interviews last week, Derby said she could foresee an ultimate scenario in which the service would turn down Rosemont's operating plan if a critical question arises about its effect on water, for which no clear scientific answer exists."....
"Derby also took issue with Augusta CEO Clausen's comments that the mine's political risk is very low. She noted the opposition that has come from the Congress members, the Pima County Board of Supervisors, every state legislator representing that area, and four city and town councils, including the Tucson City Council."
Law Suits in which Judges said "no" to mining on Public Lands:
In a law suit in 2003, Judge Henry H. Kennedy, Jr., U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia , ruled that the Bureau of Land Management has the authority to and must prevent substantial damage to public lands under the undue or unnecessary degradation (UUD) standard of the Federal Lands Management and Policy Act (FLPMA).
“The court finds that the Solicitor [of the Interior Department] misconstrued the clear mandate of FLPMA. FLPMA, by its plain terms, vests the Secretary of the Interior with the authority–and indeed the obligation–to disapprove of an otherwise permissible mining operation because the operation, though necessary for mining, would unduly harm or degrade the public land.” ____________________________________________
Further, in August, 2006 an Oregon judge over-ruled a mining company's claim to devastate land by mining. Land they got for $5 an acre and for which they will pay no royalties to the “public” who “owns” the land. The Forest Service does not have to allow mining on Public Land .
For the reasons set forth above, plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment (# 35) is granted as to the claims under the Clean Water Act, the Organic Act, and the National Forest Management Act. Defendant's motion for summary judgment (# 50) is granted as to the claims under the National Environmental Policy Act. The Forest Service is enjoined from allowing mining or mineral operations in the North Fork Burnt River pursuant to the NFBR Record of Decision and Final Environmental Impact Statement issued in April 2004 for any action that this court has found violates the CWA, the Organic Act, NFMA and the implementing laws and regulations of those acts.
Dated this 4th day of August, 2006.
/s/ Paul Papak
Honorable Paul Papak, United States Magistrate
Notes on mining reform from Tyler L. Weidlich, J.D., Louis D. Brandeis School of Law "efficiency analysis which would expose the "naked wealth transfer from taxpayers to a small group, with little public interest justification."—Shi-Ling Hsu
Federal Issue Three: Impact on Watershed:
How does this project fit into the stated purpose of Forest Service by FS Chief Tidwell: “ USDA Forest Service employees are entrusted with 193 million acres of forests and grasslands. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. It's a big task, but one that we take seriously. We are dedicated to restore and enhance landscapes, protect and enhance water resources , develop climate change resiliency and help create jobs that will sustain communities.”
Ask Chief of Forest Service, Tom Tidwell: How does this project fit into the stated purpose of the Forest Service to protect the forests and to preserve, enhance and restore watershed? It will be impossible to restore this watershed.
Forest Service Report: HEALTHY FORESTS ARE VITAL TO CLEAN WATER [excerpt] Public concern about adequate supplies of clean water led to the establishment in 1891 of federally protected forest reserves. The Forest Service Natural Resources Agenda is refocusing the agency on its original purpose. This report focuses on the role of forests in water supply—including quantity, quality, timing of release, flood reductions and low flow augmentation, economic value of water from national forest lands, and economic benefits of tree cover for stormwater reduction in urban areas. FSRole-in-Watersheds.htm
Healthy forests are vital to clean and abundant supplies of water [Excerpt] The value of water flowing from NFS lands has been estimated to be $7.2 billion annually. FSGoal-of-Abundant-Clean-Water.htm
The Environment and People Impacts have to assessed for the mining company's entire planned mining operation—not one piece at a time.
Map of "target" mining projects
Records of purchase of 500 acres of ranches in "target" area
Records of property purchases in region
Not only do they intend to destroy 6,000 acres of our National Forest, they plan to use that money to destroy more!
Page 17 of Augusta Resource Corp. Presentation to Investors