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the gearteaty and especially for
be poterat from Indiana, Mr Jontz If hearing the wit Fans ou ar y GSU I rating to our subcomSopivdienave of my for our consider pe&usy day Thank you The Jurgis Ather disguished member 2 2 2 DIVIDE YOU Das been very helpful Jim Vooung, Mr Thomas SK & Jam appreciate your hold slary was ane be with you during I 2 Severtheless, we do have a lot of edem vll be very beef. K des ming and the mineral industry are Do Befog and certainly I look J = = Jo Living Lone of the important laws Yemersone of mining operations
ONE per giocanon and development S. Sme are sa 1872 law. It is out rend ourselves that, I think Some & Sus that have been changed in the me that have ether amended or are a part of the operation St. to set that it is out of date because it was passed in
use, is not really in keeping with where we are.
HOME or 30 as muded our Nation with the
me say also that it seems to me that much of the concern here has centered around a number of aberrations, a number of ngs that have happened that have not been common and could basically and are basically being taken care of administratively. The inde concern, I think sometimes at least it appears in recent years, certainly in recent months, that in the West we have had all Cnds of things come down on us. This year we are talking about graving fees. All of it having to do with multiple use of lands. Fifty percent of my State is in public ownership, as you know. So what we do in terms of policy with regard to the economy has very direct bearing on where we are grazing fees, endangered speciesmore specifically, the wolf thing we are involved in; the whole concept of multiple use of these resources, water rights, of course, having to do with reservations and tribes and others; mineral roy alties, more recently-substantial changes in those costs, and all these things are linked to our way of life and our living in the West.
So, Mr. Chairman, I look forward to this hearing. I do apprecia what you have done, and I think in a fair way. You have explo this issue and I appreciate that and look forward to working you.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. RAHALL. Thank you, Craig.
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN CRAIG THOMAS
Mining and Natural Resources Subcommittee
June 18, 1991
WASHINGTON OFFICE 1721 LONGWORTH HOUSE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 205 15
First let me thank you for holding this hearing on
The 1872 Mining Law is one of the most important laws
governing the mining industry. It has been the cornerstone for
If H.R. 918 is approved, the 1872 Mining Law will be
develop mineral discoveries on public lands would be significantly altered. This directly challenges the concept of multiple use of our public lands and would be extremely detrimental for states throughout the west.
One of the most important aspects of the 1872 Mining Law is the provision allowing explorers to enter public lands, stake a claim, and explore for minerals at a relatively low cost. This allows many small and independent mining operators to compete and develop minerals.
H.R. 918 would significantly alter this process. This legislation would require claim holders to pay $1.50-$5.00 per acre of land within the boundaries of a mining claim until such time as a plan of operation is approved. In addition, this bill would not allow patenting of mining claims, but would force mine operators to pay a leasing fee for land they wanted to actively mine. This would effectively stop the majority of the small and independent mine operators from actively mining in the west.
I understand the need to protect our public lands and make sure the federal government and the American people are not being taken for a ride. The 1872 Mining Law, however, has served our country well and should not be significantly altered.
If H.R. 918 is enacted, it would deliver a serious blow to an
industry which is still struggling to recover from the difficult economic times we have been experiencing in the West. This bill would remove the incentive to develop mineral deposits in the United States, stifle competition, and further reduce multiple use of our public lands. In short, it is not good legislation and would hurt a large number of people who are fighting to make ends meet.
Mr. Chairman, thank you again for holding this hearing on this very important topic.
Mr. RAHALL. The Chair will note that we once again have an SRO crowd at this hearing-standing room only-and he would like to invite anybody that is standing to make use of available chairs, even if they are up here at the dais. You may sit at either end. You may continue to sit around here at the lower dais in an effort to have as many seated as we can.
Before calling the first witness, the Chair will lay out the usual ground rules that we have at all of these hearings. Witnesses are urged very strongly to keep their testimony within the 5-minute time limit. I do not have the red and green light contraption that we have had at a number of our field hearings to use this morning. But, if the 5-minute rule gets abused, then it is right under the table here and we will pull that out.
So, at this time I will call our first panel, composed of Cy Jamison, the Director of the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Department of the Interior; Mr. George M. Leonard, the Associate Chief, Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, who is accompanied by Lynn Sprague, Director of Minerals and Geology.
One other ground rule that I forgot to mention, and that is, of course, that the hearing record will remain open for 10 days following today's hearing for the submission of additional written testimony from those that wish to so present.
Before this panel proceeds, I will also note for the record, and I will not belabor this point, but the subcommittee was faxed a copy of the Forest Service testimony at 6:27 p.m. yesterday evening. We did not receive a copy of the BLM's statement until 8:30 a.m. this morning. I know full well that the gentlemen before us are not responsible for the extreme lateness of our receiving these statements, but in light of the fact that I sent notice of this hearing to the BLM and the Forest Service during the first week of May, I just wanted this to be noted for the record.
I would appreciate it, if you would, gentlemen, tell whoever it is at OMB or in your respective Departments, whoever is responsible for this situation, that I really don't feel that is a proper way to conduct business.
Cy, if you wish to proceed, you are welcome. And we once again welcome you to the subcommittee.
PANEL CONSISTING OF CY JAMISON, DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR; AND GEORGE M. LEONARD, ASSOCIATE CHIEF, FOREST SERV. ICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, ACCOMPANIED BY LYNN SPRAGUE, DIRECTOR OF MINERALS AND GEOLOGY
Mr. JAMISON. Mr. Chairman, I share your frustration with the testimony, let me assure you. We will try to do better. In fact, I am going to try to shorten up our submissions. I think we had an epistle that was about some 70 pages and that is totally unnecessary as far as I am concerned.
Also, I am pleased to be the number 168th witness. It is really important to us. But since you have made our entire statement a part of the record, I will be very brief also. My written testimony provides more detailed comments, and since that is submitted in the record I will highlight what we think are the important issues.