Urgent call to action:
Washington State is attempting to require a “license” to mine your Federal mining claim and use a gas powered engine. Again, this is being promoted by the radical environmental group Fish Not Gold, a far left group which promotes propaganda and ignores any facts or science. We have provided a letter we are sending to each of the Committee members and encourage you to either attend this meeting, or call the committee members below and urge them to vote NO on this bill.
To do nothing will ensure the passage of this bill. Take a few minutes and leave each of these Congressmen/Congresswomen a message about HB 2467. Pick up the phone and call. As members of AMRA, and stake holders in the State, you have a fundamental right to speak out and have your voice heard by these Representatives.
This new bill, HB 2467 is going to committee this coming Wednesday. The mining community needs everyone who can attend this meeting to show up at:
8am, Wednesday January 27th at:
House Hearing Rm B
John L. O’Brien Building
Olympia, WA 98504
Dear Mr. Blake, January 23, 2016
Mr. Van De Wege
Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee
AMRA, American Mining Rights Association is a not for profit 501(c)(3) Public lands and small mining advocacy association with real property claim holdings in Washington State. AMRA represents tens of thousands of supporters and members and we are writing each of you specifically to express our vehement opposition to HB 2467, “the establishing licensing of recreational motorized mineral prospecting in Washington state streams and rivers equivalent to the licensing of recreational fishing”. Fishing is a privilege and not protected by a Congressional Act. Mining Federal on mining claims is a protected right.
This very poorly written bill is just the latest illegal move on the part of the sponsor of this bill, Fish Not Gold and other radical environmental groups to attempt to take away a fundamental right granted by Congressional act. Federal law has been proven to pre-empt State law in relation to mining rights, therefore this bill which attempts to require a license to legally mine their Federal mining claims is on its face, unconstitutional. This bill is clearly about ideology and not science as there are dozens of independent and accredited studies over the past 30 years performed by Government agencies which conclusively prove small mining does not have deleterious impacts to the environment or fish habitat. These studies seem to be ignored and begs the question of why? What is crystal clear is that these proven studies do not fit their agenda, so these costly and lengthy studies are ignored and proposals for new additional studies are promoted time and again. How many studies does one need to complete before one finally comes to the same conclusion as the people who have performed the studies? How much more tax money will be wasted performing additional studies with the hope that one day, one study might possibly find a fish which has been harmed? Every time a fisherman goes fishing, he/she intends to “harvest” a fish. This results in the death of millions of fish every single year nationally. We challenge you to look at the facts and see if you can find one study which shows even one fish was ever harmed from a small miner.
The bill states “recreational mining and prospecting”. The term “recreational” is not applicable as mining and prospecting are not recreational, no miner ever tosses back gold because it is too small. We understand why this term is being promoted and why the sponsors of this bill are trying desperately to label this activity as recreational, to regulate it to death. Over regulation is causing people serious harm. Families are suffering greatly from regulatory agencies and predominately the middle class is feeling the severe impacts from proposals just like this one. Fishing is recreational, hiking is recreational, camping is recreational and mining is not. Many people make their living, or supplement their income by mining their Federal mining claims. Many states in the West were founded and built from mining. Mining provides the needed minerals for most aspects of everyday life such as gold and silver for electronics. The cell phone you use, the Blackberry for emails, computers for medical facilities, even the Space Shuttle uses gold for protection from solar radiation. If it is not mined or grown, it likely doesn’t exist. Additionally, many small communities in Washington rely on the revenue created by miners with the food they buy when mining, the tools they purchase at hardware stores and the gasoline for their small engines. Rural communities are already hard hit by an economic downturn and small business owners are relying on this revenue stream to provide for their families.
Small miners are not what you see on TV shows like Gold Rush. Small miners typically use lawn mower sized engines to run small pumps to transfer very small amounts of water to a little sluice box to wash gravels and obtain the gold. No pollutants are added during the process of washing gravels, quite the opposite in fact. When a miner digs gravels and processes the material through a sluice, the heavy elements like mercury, lead, iron and other elements are trapped and removed from the environment. Modern suction dredges are 98% effective at removing mercury either in its natural state, or legacy mercury left over from days gone by. It is a simple fact that miners are environmental stewards and clean Washington’s waterways.
On behalf of the tens of thousands of small miners we represent, we adamantly oppose this bill and encourage you to gain the truth, the facts and to stop this bill in this committee.
Mr. Shannon Poe
American Mining Rights Association
PMB #607, 6386 Greeley Hill Road
Coulterville CA 95311
Contact information for each committee member can be found by clicking on the link below