Survey: Hunters and Anglers Overwhelmingly Support Reform of the 1872 General Mining Act

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A National Wildlife Federation survey of its members in August found overwhelming support to reform the General Mining Act of 1872.

The 1872 mining act makes mining the top priority use on most federal public lands and does not levy a royalty on minerals extracted.

Hunters and anglers strongly support updating the mining law to ensure public lands are protected and royalties are imposed and used to clean up abandoned mines.

The survey found strong support extending across all regions, genders and ages: 82% of hunters and 80% of anglers support this change as do 86% of Democrats, 85% of Independents and 78% of Republicans.

According to the survey, hunters and anglers tend to be conservative and typically Republicans and Independents.

The survey also found that 84 percent of its members believe the federal government should make it a priority to conserve fish and wildlife habitat and manage public lands for fishing, hunting and other outdoor recreation.

The National Wildlife Federation has more than 4 million members across the county. The federation’s mission is to inspire Americans to protect wildlife.

The archaic 1872 law is allowing speculative mining companies like Vancouver, B.C.-based Augusta Resource Corp., unfettered access to the nation’s public lands to develop mines and sell the minerals without paying royalties to the U.S. Treasury.

Augusta is using the 1872 law to its advantage in an effort to develop a mile-wide, half-mile deep open pit copper mine in the Santa Rita Mountains on the Coronado National Forest south of Tucson.

Augusta’s subsidiary, Rosemont Copper Company, wants to dump waste rock and mine tailings on more than 3,000 acres of National Forest.

The Arizona Game & Fish Department in a letter to the Coronado Nation Forest states the mine will leave the northern half of the Santa Rita Mountains worthless for wildlife activities.

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3 Responses to Survey: Hunters and Anglers Overwhelmingly Support Reform of the 1872 General Mining Act

  1. ALAN JOHNSON says:

    AN 1872 MINING ACT SHOULD BE IN THE SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE . MINERAL RESOURCE RICH COUNTRIES IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD ARE FAR MORE UP-TO-DATE THAN THIS . MANY OF THE PROBLEMS STEMMING FROM THE ROSEMONT PROJECT APPEAR RELATED TO AN ARCHAIC MINING ACT WHICH IS VERY DIFFICULT TO ENFORCE IN OUR MODERN WORLD OF MINING . AS A RESULT , INTERPRETATIONS OF THE ACT LEAD TO FAILED DECISIONS BY THE AUTHORITIES RESPONSIBLE . THE ENTIRE PROCESSING PROCEDURE IS PROLONGED TO THE POINT WHERE DECISIONS BECOME VAGUE COMPROMISES . ULTIMATELY , THERE ARE NO WINNERS .

  2. Gregorio says:

    Finally, true conservatives are speaking out against this archaic 1872 mining law. This is a law that literally hands the mining company free land and free water. What does the citizen receive in return? Our own government throws the “dog” a bone. It’s called the NEPA process!

  3. ALAN JOHNSON says:

    WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THE RIGHTS OF THE ABORIGINAL/NATIVE PEOPLES IN THE PROCESS CURRENTLY BEING USED IN EVALUATING AUGUSTA’S PURSUIT OF A MINING PERMIT ? AUGUSTA , AS A CANADIAN MINERAL RESOURCE COMPANY , IS WELL AWARE OF THE INCREASING RIGHTS OF FIRST NATION/ABORIGINAL PEOPLES IN CANADA . WHAT ABOUT THEIR HUNTING RIGHTS IN ARIZONA ? AUGUSTA HAS DISCOVERED , THANKS TO AN ARCHAIC MINING ACT , THAT IN ARIZONA IT APPEARS THAT ABORIGINAL/NATIVE PEOPLES HAVE NO SIGNIFICANT VOICE AND THAT MEANS ONE LESS ISSUE FOR AUGUSTA TO DEAL WITH . WHY ISN’T AUGUSTA MORE ACTIVE IN CANADA WHERE MUCH OF THEIR FUNDING IS DERIVED ?