U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona have introduced legislation to overhaul the General Mining Act of 1872, which still governs hardrock mining on federal lands, despite being completely irrelevant to today’s technologies and practices.
Their Clean Energy Minerals Reform Act (CEMRA) proposes several urgently needed and long-overdue reforms to the current law, including establishing a rental and royalty structure for hardrock mining, creating a modern leasing system similar to that for oil and gas, setting realistic reclamation standards and bonding requirements, requiring meaningful consultation with Tribes and communities, and creating processes for the withdrawal of lands that are inappropriate for mining.
“As we transition away from fossil fuels and as demand increases for minerals to produce electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and other renewable energy technologies, our laws and regulations need to keep pace,” said Center for Western Priorities Policy Director Rachael Hamby.
Haaland visits Grand Canyon to talk monument
Interior Secretary Deb Haaland visited the greater Grand Canyon landscape on Saturday to meet with Tribal leaders, local elected officials, and community members to hear about their vision for protecting the greater Grand Canyon watershed. A number of Tribes, including the Havasupai Tribe, Hopi Tribe, and Hualapai Tribe, have proposed the designation of a new national monument surrounding Grand Canyon National Park to be called the Baaj Nwaavjo I’tah Kukveni Grand Canyon National Monument. Baaj Nwaavjo means “where Tribes roam” for the Havasupai Tribe and I’tah Kukveni means “our footprints” for the Hopi Tribe. The Secretary’s visit is part of the federal government’s ongoing engagement and public dialogue related to this proposal, according to the Interior Department.
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Opinion: Act now to protect Dolores River canyon country
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Quote of the day
The best tool to protect the values of Dolores River canyon country in a reasonable amount of time is the designation of a national monument, an authority vested in the president by the Antiquities Act. Many of Colorado’s most cherished places have been protected by the Antiquities Act, including Camp Hale, Browns Canyon National Monument and Great Sand Dunes National Park.”
Although @DenaliNPS is renowned for its grand mountains and large wildlife, the park’s beauty extends beyond these features to include smaller details. Among them are over 450 types of flowering plants that can be found throughout the landscape. Photo by Gavin Danapong
(featured image: A mining claim on Bureau of Land Management land; BLM/Flickr)