To: President Donald J. Trump December 25, 2019
1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Washington D.C. 20006
Dear President Trump,
Firstly, let me thank you for your courage and tenacity in exposing the near coup which surely would have taken place had you, and I emphasize “you” not been elected. I cannot think of any other person who is capable of enduring the level of attacks you have, while also exposing the swamp like you have.
I am writing early this Christmas morning because I am hopeful for a Christmas miracle. The miracle that this letter may find your desk and you will hear and respond to the million plus small miners in America like myself. These are the same independent miners who helped expand the west and build states like California, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona and many others from the valuable minerals they found. So great was this expansion and the need for protection, it justified Congress passing several Acts protecting the rights of these miners with Grants…the Mining Acts of 1866, 1870 and 1872. Over the course of the past century and a half, politicians, environmental groups and those who hate public lands and mining in general have been attacking these small-scale miners on a grand scale. For example, in California anything “mechanized or motorized” which assists in the search for gold is considered a suction dredge and is illegal in the state. A suction dredge is a small vacuum-type piece of equipment which lifts gravels from a stream bed and washes the gravels and gold over a small sluice box then deposits the gravels back into nearly the same spot it was lifted. It does not pollute, does not add anything to the waterway and in fact, as science and studies conclusively prove, it cleans the waterways of any heavy contaminates like mercury and fishing lead. If I run a tiny generator to power lights in the desert while cleaning out a dry wash which almost never sees water, I’m subject to fining and confiscation of my equipment because the state says this is a suction dredge. Use a post-hole digger, same fines and confiscation because it is labeled as a suction dredge. We’ve even had miners here who were threatened for driving their truck to a creek saying the truck aids in their hunt for gold and therefore is illegal because it is considered a suction dredge. Sir, a truck, a generator and a post-hole digger is no more a suction dredge than an Adam Schiff is an honest man and constitutional scholar or the current President having a conversation with another world leader about an actual Quid Pro Quo, with video evidence is even remotely any kind of impeachable offense.
Mining claims filed legally on lands open to mineral entry in the public domain are considered “real property” and these acts are supposed to protect their fundamental right to obtain these valuable minerals. States like California, Oregon, and Washington, to name a few are ignoring federal law (I know you’ve seen this many, many times) and are putting the small-scale miners out of business, obviously by design. I know this first hand as I am personally being attacked by agencies within the federal government because I, and many others are speaking out against their totalitarian tactics. The USFS and the EPA. I am being sued personally by a radical environmental group for legally mining on a very small scale in Idaho….with state permits to do so. This is a result of the CWA (Clean Water Act) having a provision where, if the EPA does not find evidence of wrongdoing, which they did not, a private entity can sue because they don’t feel the EPA did their job. The intent of this is to intimidate and financially ruin anyone who opposes their Utopian dream of controlling all public lands and the minerals therein. Many are funded by the likes of Soros and Wyss, two undeniably anti-American ideologues. We on the other hand must have fund raisers, rob our retirements and have bake sales to raise money to defend ourselves from these radicals.
One of these issues we brought to your attention a few years ago and you provided us with an avenue to provide the USFS with evidence of their illegalities, which we did. The issue was a law enforcement officer (LEO) within the USFS pulling a Taser on a retired military veteran panning for gold on his mining claim (completely legal) and for not promptly showing the LEO his ID when they demanded to “know who is in my forest”. Egregious acts like this are becoming more common and must end. Cabins being burned, threats, gates all across the west locking out legitimate property owners and even comments so bold now that they tell miners “I’ll never let you mine your claims”. During that call with the heads of the USFS in Washington D.C., they promised to “get to the bottom of this” and then promptly ignored every single attempt to obtain any updates on what they were doing to prevent issues like this from happening to other public land users even though they promised to have “an open line to communicate with us”. We sued the USFS and won, but the LEO was never even held accountable for her actions. Mr. President, she is still in the same capacity and still harassing the public three years later.
Sir, in an effort to make this brief as I know you have millions of letters, I implore you, actually, I pray for a miracle that you will have your staff contact me again to discuss things which you can do at the Presidential level to provide relief to this, the million-plus small miners with the boot of government on their necks. These are the same blue-collar workers who elected you to office and do not seem to be able to have their voices heard. We’d be more than happy to provide indisputable evidence (in volumes) of egregious and reprehensible acts by some of these agencies and their cohorts, the environmental groups working with them. We have sent literally hundreds of letters to you, your Secretary of the Department of the Interior, Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Committees within the House and even your sons. We are struggling to break through the firewalls and be heard.
President Trump, we are the voice for the vast majority of these forgotten, but large group of independent miners who elected you to office in 2016. Please sir, contact us and we wish you a blessed and productive 2020.
Mr. Shannon Poe
President/CEO American Mining Rights Assoc.
PO Box 467
Coulterville CA 95311
cc: Secy DOI David Bernhardt
1849 C St NW, Washington DC 20240
Secy DOA Sonny Perdue
1400 Independence Ave., S.W. Washington DC 20250
Senators: Lisa Murkowski, Mike Lee, Jim Risch, Martha McSally
304 Dirksen Senate Building, Washington DC 20510