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.