Here we are in a new year with a new government settling into place in Washington DC, and a new set of challenges in front of us. Yes, it is great that our new President is pro-American business and willing to do what he can (which is a lot!), to Make America Great Again, But ‘We The People’ still need to do our part and be actively involved in the process. You can’t sit back and expect that everyone else will get it done. We The People have spoken and We The People must act on our convictions. It’s time to stay involved, write letters to your Congressmen and Senators and make phone calls. A hand written letter is worth thousands of form letters! There are still fights in progress such as the Eagle Mountain land annex where the National Park Service is working hand in hand with BLM to take 22,000 acres of mineral rich land into the National Park to be locked away. Get involved and write letters. The comment period closes Feb. 16th https://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentForm.cfm?documentID=76012 Even in a national emergency where our enemies refuse to sell us any rare earth minerals that are crucial to our national defense, once locked in the National Park, the minerals may as well not exist. Even if the land could be moved back into Public Domain, it would takes years to develop the mines so as to be useful in the defense of our nation.
We have an update to our dredge lawsuits here in California. It appears Judge Ochoa has for the second time cancelled the upcoming hearing on the CEQA and “one subject” motions, this time pushing the hearing out to July 12, 2017.
You all may recall that these motions were initially to be heard in January 2016, then stayed on account of the Rinehart case, then set for April 21st 2017, then cancelled at Judge Ochoa’s instance and moved to May 12th 2017. Although we are very confident that we can get the CEQA process and the 2012 regulations thrown out due to the faulty science and violations of the process by the State of California, that won’t get us back in the water dredging due to the water board permitting process lumped on by the legislature.
We do have a solution that will remove all states from regulating unreasonably on Federally managed lands and give the power back to the MMAC affiliated mining districts.
We are working feverishly to get new legislation in place that will put more teeth in the 1872 Mining Law for the miners. This must happen within the next 2 years while the Republican majority is in place. Do your part to help us Take It Back And Keep It! Renew your supporting membership in PLP and make a donation above your normal membership to help us make the extra push supporting the Mining District revival under the expert guidance of the Minerals and Mining Advisory Council! The power of the mining districts is beginning to be realized in Congress. Our advisors were in DC for the inauguration. Joe Martori, Clark Pearson and Scott Harn, all MMAC advisors are in Washington DC right now for a rigorous week of work on our behalf to get our Federal legislation through and signed by President Trump! You can read the bill here: http://www.mmacusa.org
PLP volunteers will be set up at the big Quartzite, Arizona Gold and Mineral show Feb. 10-12, so come out and show your support! We will have gold bags for sale, a panning area, PLP T-shirts, expert prospecting advice, Challenge Cards, PLP bumper stickers and speaking at the show. We are excited to be there! Find out all about the show here: https://quartzsitegoldshowcom.wordpress.com/
Though our membership voted in new By-Laws last year which we are now operating under, the Board Members that resigned last July are still having their charade meetings, pretending to be PLP Board Members at Keene Engineering’s office. We are saddened to announce that because of these actions, by GPAA’s request, PLP will not be allowed to set up at any of their events until GPAA is satisfied that the Board dispute has been resolved. As far as we are concerned, the dispute was resolved when the PLP Membership overwhelmingly approved the new By-Laws last fall. We will miss so many of you we consider our friends at these shows, but will keep in touch other ways like through our newsletters, website, new shows we’ve never worked at before, and “out there” in the gold fields.
We are continuing to fight for miner’s rights, and are still Plaintiffs in the two dredging cases in San Bernardino. Your board of directors are all volunteer! Please help us help the mining community by renewing membership and making an extra donation.
Until next time, Let’s Keep Taking it Back while we Make Mining and Multiple Use Public Land Great Again!
We have just released the 2016 End of Year Newsletter to our mailing list of supporters and members of PLP. There is information that everyone needs to be aware of. Please click here to read.
Dear PLP Members and the Mining Community,
It has been a long time since there was any movement in the consolidated California dredging cases PLP first brought against the state in 2009. Since then other cases and other litigants (like the New ’49ers and WMA), have joined us in the fight which the court system combined into the consolidated cases. Yesterday, Nov. 14th, Judge Ochoa held a hearing to decide the next steps in the cases since the CA Supreme Court ruled against Rinehart (and all of us!) this past summer, reversing decades of law in a single very bad decision. Even though the U.S. Supreme Court is being petitioned on Brandon’s behalf by Pacific Legal Foundation, Judge Ochoa, who had previously put everything on hold until after Rinehart was decided, has moved off that position and per our attorney James Buchal “indicated that he did not see any virtue in continuing delay, suggesting that it was unlikely that the United States Supreme Court would even take the case, and announced his intention to set a trial date. This greatly discomforted the State, whose lawyers began to raise all sorts of objections…and the Judge agreed with me, ultimately setting a trial date of November 13, 2017.”
And now hearing the remaining cases separately, the CEQA hearing will be heard separately on April 21, 2017. The State has requested an opportunity to brief the impact of the California Supreme Court’s decision on the Judge’s prior decision (they want him to revise it, as he suggested he might, and this doesn’t bode well for the miners), and to address the federal supremacy issue as it relates to CEQA , etc. All briefs are due 45 days before the April hearing.
We have our work cut out for us, and we appreciate all of you who have stood with us in this fight over the many years since we filed the first lawsuit against the state of California in 2009. We keep fighting the fight in hopes that the courts will recognize that the miners have certain rights that have been stomped on and what’s more, we are not giving up and going away. It’s the right thing to do.
We will keep you updated as progress is made.
Another “thank you” is in order to our membership!
PLP’s proposal to update and amended its bylaws have been overwhelmingly approved by you. With quorum attained, as of October 16, 2016 the Corporation has placed these bylaws into effect as the new document that is fully compliant with California State law.
The Vote Breakdown:
Participation Rate: 52% of the Entire Membership
“Yes” Votes: 93%
“No” Votes: 6%
Ballots Returned Without a “Yes” or “No” Preference: 1.6%
Thank you again for participating in this very important and long overdue initiative. With your help we will continue our fight against the State of California concerning the dredge ban and supporting the mission of MMACUSA.ORG and the Mining Districts, as well as other Public Land rights issues.
There are no Board Approved membership meetings at this time. This website, www.publiclandsforthepeople.org is the only website for PLP. All updates shall be posted here.
Public Lands for the People
The 2016 PLP Grand Raffle was held Friday, July 22nd at the GPAA Headquarters in Temecula, CA. PLP would like to thank Brandon Johnson and the GPAA for hosting the drawing via live stream, which provided a real time viewing opportunity for everyone. The GPAA’s assistance with advertising the Grand Raffle made this fundraiser a huge success. We would also like to thank all the manufacturers, businesses and individuals to donated all the fabulous prizes.
THE 2016 PLP GRAND RAFFLE WINNERS:
|Gold Nugget Earrings||Brenda Cruz|
|Aurora Manufacturing Sluice||Mike Mahr|
|Mini Propane Furnace||Jamine Buck|
|Ethiopian Opal Specimen||David Murray|
|Amethyst Crystal||Eugene Knuttila|
|Megalodon Shark Tooth||Tim McMahon|
|Creekside Mining Rocker Box||Robert Devine|
|Columbian Amber||Delta Gold Diggers|
|Gold Cube||Delta Golddiggers|
|Mad Mining Dry Concentrator||James McKenzie|
|Damascus Knife||Delta Gold Diggers|
|Damascus knife||Bradley Smith|
|Fisher Gold Bug Pro Detector||Harold Clapper|
|White’s GMT Detector||Kathy Walton|
|½ Ounce of Gold||Show Me Gold Prospectors|
|Makro Racer Detector||Emmet Vaughn|
|Fisher F-19 Detector||Henry & Dawn|
|1 Ounce of Gold||Tony Lavalle|
|Gold Buddy Dredge Combo||Leeza Robertson|
|Keene 151S Drywasher||Show Me Gold Prospectors|
|Keene 173 Highbanker||Bobby Schmitt|
|New 49ers Lifetime Membership||Brent Fette|
|Minelab GPX 4500||Dana Haynes|
PLP’s longtime supporter The Gold Prospector’s Association of America (GPAA) is getting all set up at their studio to host Public Lands for the People’s Grand Raffle drawing. This fun annual tradition is being held at the GPAA Headquarters for the first time ever, PLUS: We’ll be streaming it LIVE! Yes, you can join in the fun with interactive comments while you watch. It all starts tomorrow at 10am PDT. You can catch all the action at Gold Prospectors Association of America and at Livestream.com/goldprospectors … Over $20,000 in awesome prizes (like lots of GOLD and cool mining equipment!) will be given away, and all proceeds go to supporting your rights to prospect and mine on public lands. Who’s excited to win some cool prospecting gear!? Counting down to FUN!!! Join us for the party right online!
This series of YouTube links capture the audio court proceedings from the June 1 People v. Rinehart California Supreme Court hearing:
This information has been provided courtesy of Brad Jones, Managing Editor/Communications Director,
Gold Prospectors Association of America.
PLP & MMAC will be hosting the 2016 Oktoberfest Fundraising Event at the Sleepy Bear Mine in Randsburg, California October 28th thru the 31st. This is an excellent opportunity to prospect for gold, win some great prizes, talk to industry manufacturers, network with other miners, and make a donation to protect our rights all at the same time. Information about this once a year event will be updated on the PLP website, Facebook, and through PLP’s distribution email list. To learn about Oktoberfest 2016, please click HERE.
PLP and MMAC went to Capital Hill in Washington D.C the first week of March 2016. They had more than 36 meetings with Senators, Congressmen, and their legislative staffers on the House Natural Resource, Energy and Natural Resource, Oversight and Armed Services committees. In sum they felt our proposed bill and mainly the idea of the MINING DISTRICTS are exactly what they are looking for from the Grass Roots of America. What they were especially excited about is the power the traditional and congressionally recognized mining districts have presently, and with some clarification through the MMAC bill, can push back agency overreach! Why were they so interested in the mining districts? They saw the mining districts as a viable option to the issue that public lands go back to the States immediately and thus would trigger massive valid existing right determinations, which never end well for the miner. The committees were not aware of this until MMAC and PLP opened their eyes, and a way to open the land and roads to recreation, hunting, ranching and other outdoor activities under the “free and open” language of the Mining Law.
This trip marks the beginning of the education process for politicans and their staff to understand the true power of the Mining Districts, in addition to capturing sponsors for the MMAC Bill.
For more comprehensive details of the Washington D.C. trip and a more in depth discussion of what MMAC will accomplish in the coming months, please read Miners Making the Rules and Regulations
Below is a brief overview of the Washington D.C. trip:
(Left) This was MMAC and PLP’s first meeting with Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee. At the second meeting, the topic of discussion with Congressman Bishop and his senior staff centered on the MMAC Bill and the Mining Districts. Congressman Bishop felt there was added value in scheduling a third meeting with his senior staff to review the legislation in depth. MMAC is looking forward to working with Representative Bishop’s office.
(Below) MMAC and PLP had a preliminary meeting with Congressman Bill Flores (R-TX). Congressman Flores is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, in addition to being the current Chairman of the Republican Study Committee. Congressman Flores proved to be very knowledgeable on the issues raised by MMAC. A second meeting was held, which centered on compiling a list of possible sponsors and endorsers for the MMAC Bill.
(Right) This building was the location for many of the meetings MMAC and PLP attended with U.S. Senators and their staff, including Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID), and chief counsel for Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). As a benefit to attending these meetings, MMAC and PLP were asked to review existing Bills for correct language which affect Alaska, Utah, Nevada and possibly Idaho.
(Left) This building was another location for many of the meetings MMAC and PLP attended with U.S. Senators and their staff including Senator Mike Lee (R-UT), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and counsel for Senator James Risch (R-ID). As a result of these meetings, it is apparent that states without public lands or state owned lands have issues with land closures, right-of-way closures, water issues, and road closures like the West has.
(Below) Near the end of the trip to Washington, D.C. MMAC and PLP were invited to a private caucus discussion on private land water issues. Concerns were raised on how the Federal Government and States are taking back private land under the guise of various water bills. MMAC and PLP responded that the Mining Districts would mitigate many of these issues.
Public Lands for the People received a call from Ron Miller of RMMR who told us one of his friends received a notice of violation from the EPA this January for dredging on the south fork Clearwater River in Idaho last July. The EPA is demanding that the dredger obtain a 402 NPDES permit to discharge pollutants. PLP and RMMR worked together to help the dredger respond with an appeal. We believe this is a good template to use by anyone approached by the EPA or any other agency regarding this issue. Please review the notice and response and share with everyone.