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HighPlainsSifter

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Department of Interior Document Highlights Threat to Access

A leaked Department of Interior (DOI) memo makes it clear that President Obama is considering restricting access to public lands by declaring as many as 17 areas in 11 western states as National Monuments. National Monument designations can be made by the President without input from Congress or other stakeholders. The DOI document says the areas “may be good candidates for National Monuments under the Antiquities Act…” States that have areas highlighted in the memo include, AK, AZ, CA, CO, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA and WY.

The Memo:

http://www.foxnews.com/projects/pdf/021810_monumentlist.pdf

As outlined in a letter from Representatives Doc Hastings (R-WA), Ranking Member, House Committee on Natural Resources and Rob Bishop (R-UT), Ranking Member, House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, sweeping National Monument designations represent a serious threat to recreation including motorized access. Any OHV use would almost certainly be forever banned in areas designated as National Monuments, and riders would have no opportunity to formally weigh in on the process.

The Letter: http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/UploadedFiles/Ltr_to_Obama_Re_AntiquitiesAct_021810.pdf

I wonder how many "National Monuments" will contain rivers, streams and creeks? I for one would not want to hike my dredging equipment more than a few feet. If motorized vehicles are no longer allowed, this may cut off many areas to dredging.

Also please note that "Patented Mining Claims" are being referenced in this "not to be released" Memo. I take that as a direct attack on our mining rights.

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ATV's are allowed on National Monuments,but are restricted

to existing roads and designated trails. The big downside is

prospecting ,metal detecting,rock collecting,or use of any

resource ,other than grazing is not allowed.Hiking,hunting,

trapping and fishing is allowed.

The soul purpose of a monument is to stop any development

or use of mineral,or timber resources,or development of any

kind.It is just a quick and dirty way of stopping progress,

and actually having to manage the land.

Existing valid mining claims or patented claims are allowed,

but almost impossible to work because of tons of red tape.

Even the big guys don't bother to try and develop any mines

on a monument.

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ATV's are allowed on National Monuments,but are restricted

to existing roads and designated trails. The big downside is

prospecting ,metal detecting,rock collecting,or use of any

resource ,other than grazing is not allowed.Hiking,hunting,

trapping and fishing is allowed.

The soul purpose of a monument is to stop any development

or use of mineral,or timber resources,or development of any

kind.It is just a quick and dirty way of stopping progress,

and actually having to manage the land.

Existing valid mining claims or patented claims are allowed,

but almost impossible to work because of tons of red tape.

Even the big guys don't bother to try and develop any mines

on a monument.

To quote " Any OHV use would almost certainly be forever banned in areas designated as National Monuments, and riders would have no opportunity to formally weigh in on the process."

So Sawmill, please explain how this can be a good thing or at the very least something that is not going to impact those of us that use OHV's to gain access to our very remote claims and areas of interest, if more land in 17 western states is taken over by Monument status?

Also please read the following listed on attachment 6 of the PDF on my first post. It talks about the threat of "Patented mining claims" to the environment in the Alpine Triangle. Does that not sound like they are going to shut off access to current claims?

With any new Monument area will go a plethera of new laws and regulations, that will go way past the norm for a wilderness area. To have our Government absorb more land that is currently open, is at best restricting. Would you prefer to live in a 32' RV or a 12' trailer?

Please let me add that already there are states sueing to regain the lands lost to the Federal Government. Utah is the next to step up to the plate. As their state is 60% owned by the Federal Government, they have lost Governance to their own land. I feel this smacks of something much more than just the creating Monument land.

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In Owyhee County there is a proposal by the federal government to create another Monument area that encompasses 1/2 the entire county.

Bureaucratic lock-down of access vital to all uses of the area will result, as it has in the area of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument designated prior to the last general elections.

Grazing, logging, mining and all recreational uses such as snowmobiling, fishing, hunting, and off road vehicle races will be at the mercy of a federal bureaucrat who can end such uses with the stroke of a pen.

In-holders of private property will be denied access to their property

and will see the value of their property decline as use is restricted to

"protect" adjoining federal land.

Private water rights will be jeopardized by denial of access and restriction on the uses which form the beneficial use of the water. Have we not already seen duely filed claims for dredging, taken away in California?

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HPS

It wouldn't hurt if you actually read a post before

making a comment.

I never said any part of a monument was a good thing.

Read-------VALID mining claims,are allowed if they are

pre existing and meet the tests of a valid mining claim.

Also READ it is almost impossible to use them because of

red tape.

For your information I live a 1/4 mile from the largest

monument in the US. I do know the monument rules and they

allow everything I said they do.

Off road access is only allowed on existing roads or

designated trails on the National Forest now. The monument

has the same off road rules.

I also said that a monument is a quick and dirty way to

take mineral and natural resources and stop all progress.

For your information I do hunt ,fish,and ride my ATV to

trap on the monument. Grazing is still allowed too,but is

strictly controlled.

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HPS

It wouldn't hurt if you actually read a post before

making a comment.

I never said any part of a monument was a good thing.

Read-------VALID mining claims,are allowed if they are

pre existing and meet the tests of a valid mining claim.

Also READ it is almost impossible to use them because of

red tape.

For your information I live a 1/4 mile from the largest

monument in the US. I do know the monument rules and they

allow everything I said they do.

Off road access is only allowed on existing roads or

designated trails on the National Forest now. The monument

has the same off road rules.

I also said that a monument is a quick and dirty way to

take mineral and natural resources and stop all progress.

For your information I do hunt ,fish,and ride my ATV to

trap on the monument. Grazing is still allowed too,but is

strictly controlled.

And I guess your missing my point. Please understand I read your post. But I found your post to have nothing to do with the situation of losing patented mining areas other than the "quick and dirty way" comment. But also if you would take the time to read my post, I am also talking about in a Monument area, we are more suceptable to losing even more access and therefore rights.

Your comments on valid mining claims are not what is being covered on attachment 6.

I ask what would stop them from declaring the area being fought over now in California by the Karuks a monument area and allowing no "Motorized equipment at all in the area? Another way to circumvent incase the dredging moratorium is overturned.

3 more years of this type of legislation and we will be able to dredge, mine and nuggetshoot only in our front lawn......if we have a permit. :aw-shucks:

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HPS

Somewhere you are missing a very big point.

A patented mining claim is private land,and the only

way they can take it is to buy it.

There is still lots of private holdings in monuments.

They do not deny access to private land in a monument.

Some of the local ranchers sold their interests in the

monument here. They actually made out like bandits from

the sale.

A monument is not held to the same restrictions as a

wilderness area. The only noticeable difference since

the monument was created here is, they closed a few two

rut roads that didn't really go anywhere. You can't prospect,or detect,no rock collecting,no camping out of

designated camp grounds no wood cutting,no logging,or new mining claims is allowed.

As far as water,utility easements,and stuff like that ,it

isn't any tougher than or as tough as trying to work with

the Forest Service.

As far as closing a river to prospecting or any other

activity ,all they have to do is to declare it a wild and

scenic river. They don't need to bother with a monument.

A monument is just a quicker and easier way to stop or

strangle future use of natural and mineral resources.

We fought this monument thing for years,and I am darn

sure not in favor of any land grab,no matter what title

they choose to call it. But on the other hand the Forest

Service ,so called public use land isn't any better. They

just let people think they can mine or prospect. Yeah you

can piddle around,or file a claim,and waste your money.

But just wait until you try and work that claim.

The big deal now is to leak out information,to distract

interested parties,while they are figuring out a new scheme.

A monument leaves in enough goodies,so the big special

interest groups like hunting,fishing,ATV,hikers,tourist,

and such don't fight it. It is just us folks that depend

on any real use that gets the shaft.

Just for a laugh,if the monument thing is serious. Check to

see how many politicians and their cronies that have made

purchases of private property,or have an interest in ranches,

or mining property in the area. I would bet that if they

don't already own some of it,they are looking to buy.

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Stands to reason that the San Rafael Swell is at the top of the list (just my luck). Just when I thought I would sample a very little known place out there. Oh well, the gold can't be that good, but I figured I wouldn't have to worry about "annexation" of land out there, overall very dry, kind of like a wasteland that looks a little like you're on another planet, old dried up paleorivers, ravines and washes with jasper and black coated rocks, etc. There's even a place somewhere out there (very general area of UT, maybe not in the Swell itself, that has layers of opalescent fossils). A guy showed me one he found on a tan sedimentary rock covered with a thin layer of colorful precious opal.

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Along the same thought, the ARRA just released this:

In October 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) to develop federally-mandated rules for Recreational Off-Highway Vehicles (ROVS) or as they are often called, side-by-sides. The proposed mandatory standards would require fundamental changes to ROVs, putting Washington, DC regulators at CPSC in charge of future ROV designs regardless of what you and other consumers want and need for the vehicles.

CPSC is pursuing these federal mandatory standards despite the fact that the industry trade association, the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association, has nearly completed an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process to develop an American National Standard (ANS) for ROVs. Components of the standard include protective gear requirements, a certified roll-over protective structure, a minimum of three point seatbelts for each seating position, and multiple lateral stability criteria.

The ANS is being developed through an established standards development process governed by ANSI. Under the ANSI procedures, a variety of interests including CPSC and other government representatives, industry, consumers and others reach a consensus on an appropriate ANSI standard for ROV equipment, configuration and performance requirements. Much effort has been expended working with CPSC and others to develop this standard. Now is not the time to abort the process in favor of government-mandated standards that would fundamentally alter ROVs as we know them.

You may ask what this has to do with the previous topic. The prime example of this is the highlights words of the Government getting in on the action of dictating designs of ROV's.

So What they own GM and Chrysler and are designating designs there as we see more and more smaller cars coming out now.....Now they are going to dictate designs of everything else too....big sigh....

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  • 1 month later...

Omnibus Public Lands Bill and More!

On March 26, 2010, the Obama Administration announced its decision to hold a White House Conference on April 16th called: America’s Great Outdoors Initiative. The conference has been billed as an opportunity to collect ideas from all over the country on new initiatives that could be undertaken by the Administration to connect the American people to America’s great outdoors. Normally when a White House Conference is announced, a detailed agenda is also distributed, but not in this case. Specifics about this conference coming from the Administration have been sketchy to say the least.

Due to the diligent work of a very good journalist, more details about the conference have come to light. A March 29th special bulletin of the Public Lands News reported the following: “If and when the initiative is fleshed out, insiders (we assume this means sources within the Department of the Interior or the Department of Agriculture) believe it could include:

  • The designation of a number of national monuments on BLM land
  • Full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund
  • Revitalization of the National Park System in time for its 100th Anniversary in 2016
  • An omnibus public lands and parks bill
  • All of the above”

Jim Coffin, editor and publisher of Public Lands News went on to write that the “source of the billions of dollars to accomplish such ambitious goals….has not been identified publicly.” Coffin speculated that the money might come from off shore oil and gas royalties since Secretary Salazar has previously identified such royalties as a new source of revenue, especially if royalty revenues are increased.

Well, guess what happened on March 31, 2010, two days after Jim Coffin’s article? President Obama announced a major initiative to authorize new off shore drilling for oil and gas off the Atlantic coast. The pieces of the puzzle are beginning to come together. First, we had the internal work at BLM preparing lists of action items that were later described as the results of a mere brainstorming session by some faceless government workers. Second, we have the announcement of a major White House Conference focusing on public lands, and finally, a potential funding mechanism to support such expansion efforts becomes known when the President unveils a new policy authorizing expanded off shore oil and gas exploration.

Okay, you say, why should you care and what is the rush all about? You should care because this initiative might be so huge that it will be difficult to sort out the full scope of the proposal. Remember, the Congress just passed a 2300 page health care bill even though Members of Congress didn’t know all the details of the reform package. The answer to the “what’s the rush” question is easy. The Obama Administration is reading the same political polls as everyone else. Predictions are that the Democratic Party will have slimmer margins when the new Congress convenes after the November elections. Therefore, the rush is to get this package through the Congress while they still have the votes!

We are hoping that good things will come out of this White House Conference, but we also believe in Ronald Reagan’s mantra: trust but verify.

These next few months are shaping up to be very interesting. We will keep you posted and we hope you stay engaged.

Forest Service Planning Rule

The process of collaboration on the proposed Forest Service planning rule has begun. The first two days of meetings in Washington were called the Science Forum. Then the next two days were the National Roundtable meetings. Other sessions will occur throughout the country this month and next.

These are important sessions since they will set the tone for the future management of our National Forests. For example, one issue that received quite a bit of attention during the course of the Science Forum was the need to elevate “recreation” as an area of focus under the rule. This was one of ARRA’s main criticisms of the Notice of Intent, so it was heartening to hear others say that this was an omission that needed to be addressed.

One of the themes I heard during the first day of the National Roundtable session was that our national policies are sometimes disconnected from the realities that exist at the local level. The forests in the eastern part of the U.S. are very different from those in the west. Gateway communities face different challenges than those communities totally dependent upon the harvesting of forest resources. In other words, one size doesn’t fit all. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a national rule. It does mean, however, that we need a rule that is flexible and accommodating to a variety of needs ranging from timber harvests, to grazing, to mining, to recreation and to tourism.

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