How long does it take you to open an email window and send an email two sentences long? One minute? Two?
This is what we are asking you to do and to oppose a new Wild and Scenic proposal on the South Fork Clearwater in Idaho. This is the same river we have been battling a corrupt USFS Supervisor over her unilaterally restricting suction dredges on last year. That apparently wasn’t enough for her, so this new proposal is to withdraw all the area and make it wild and scenic.
Attached is our rather stern letter, but all you need to do if you oppose yet another land grab, is send an email saying “I oppose the wild and scenic proposal on the SFCW and state why. There are many valid reasons to oppose this, one being economically speaking, it would devastate and already reeling town of Elk City due to over-regulation of logging and mining, another is it would render mining claims worthless if you cannot mine them..which AMRA has 5 of on this waterway.
We are not your knight in shining armor, this is where YOU have to step up and be heard. Step up now, send an email right now. Here is the email to send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org
And put “Collaborative Information, Wild and Scenic Proposal SF Clearwater” in the header.
Please…….send the email now.
To: Cheryl Probert, Nez Perce National Forest Supervisor
Zach Peterson Forest Planner
903 3rd St
Kamiah, Idaho 83536 January 15, 2018
Topic: Collaborative Information, Wild and Scenic Proposal SF Clearwater
Dear Ms. Probert and Mr. Peterson,
On behalf of AMRA, its thousands of members/supporters and fellow miners, we formally oppose any consideration of a wild and scenic designation for the SF Clearwater River or its tributaries. AMRA, and yours truly own mining claims on the SF Clearwater and are therefore “stakeholders” in relation to this proposal.
Ms. Probert has proven on numerous occasions to be less than cooperative, responsive and truthful. She has asked us for input on the dredge restrictions she unilaterally created last year on the SF Clearwater, and when we provided input to her, she did not even out of courtesy acknowledge receiving this well thought out and sincere input provided to her. To date, she has not responded to any of our requests for information, for discussions or feedback, or in other words, has ignored us completely.
We have tried the politically correct, nice-guy tact. We have tried the professional and polite tact and to date, nothing short of pounding on her office door in person will solicit Ms. Probert’s attention. Our fear is this too will be like the other public comment issue’s and proposals submitted to Ms. Probert. Ignore any opposition and push through the environmental agenda of closing our public lands and ending small scale mining and logging. This is precisely why AMRA is going to Washington DC, to discuss and expose this blatant hypocrisy and behavior. The last supposed public comment opportunity for the suction dredge issue was overwhelmingly opposed, but Ms. Probert jammed it through and down the throats of the miners.
We formally oppose these waterways from consideration for the following reasons:
1) The U.S. Government requires there be specific criteria for areas such as the SF Clearwater to be considered “Wild and Scenic”. Childishly named ORV, (Outstandingly Remarkable Values) is the simple requirement an area be, for lack of a better term “be pretty to look at”. If this was all, most of America would be designated as such for many places in Idaho, and in America are beautiful and offer unbelievable vistas, landscapes and views. Just because an area is “pretty” does not justify making it off limits to most activities. The SF Clearwater is in fact beautiful, but so are almost all rivers in this vast country and in Idaho. One can find beauty in any landscape, that does not justify making it wild and scenic.
2) I am a real property mining claim owner on this waterway and derive a portion of my income from this mining claim. AMRA and its members have 4 claims on this waterway and this proposal affects many of them who use these claims as a supplement to their incomes. I have not been notified by the USFS of this plan, nor has the USFS notified any mining claim owners or the Ten Mile Mining District of this proposal and their fundamental right to support or oppose it. We might remind you of a case called U.S. v Shumway where the court stated that the unpatented “title of a locator” is “property in the fullest sense of the word”. It is not open for debate whether or not I, or the other mining claim owners are “real property” owners. You have a legal obligation to notify property owners of any activities, proposals or plans which may adversely affect their properties.
3) This proposal would adversely impact the value of my mining claim and would be considered a “takings” under Federal Law. If I cannot mine my claim, it would then become “worthless” or near worthless. Just compensation would then be legally required for any “takings”.
4) I am required by federal law to work my mining claim. Failure to do so may result in the loss of the claim.
5) What positive changes would result if this designation were to pass? Nothing. Adverse economic impacts will result with the elimination of most logging and most mining. There will be no increase in tourism to Elk City, but a very real reduction in traffic through this economically devastated community. Elk City, a once thriving community when suction dredging and logging was prominent is struggling to survive on dwindling traffic to the area from over-regulation. This area is not a destination for tourism, it is a destination for mining, logging, hunting and fishing.
6) The process of proposing this outlandish idea of taking yet more of our public lands away from active economic activity of mining and logging, and in some cases fundamentally granted rights is a waste of our tax-payer money. There are vasts areas of Idaho which are already designated as wild and scenic. Adding more areas will place yet more burdens on our national debt and to a degree, our national security.
7) Idaho does a fine job of managing its own waters and to have the federal government take over these waterways is clearly based on ideology and not science, economics or even common sense. The Nez Perce NF claimed last year it did not have the resources to process the permitting applications for suction dredges, which we might remind them IS their job. But they are actively promoting this outlandish idea, spending valuable resources, which they claim they do not have, for something the overwhelming majority does not want nor need.
We are also demanding we be provided, in writing and in a timely manner , any and all future proposals, plans and schemes which the USFS is planning which may adversely or even positively impact our real property mining claims and our vested interests in this area.
In summary, we vehemently oppose yet another land grab attempt by the USFS, by Cheyrl Probert and think it is long past time to be candid about the pervasive ideology which has clearly established itself within this agency. Ms. Probert appears to be great in front of people, but when she is required to do her job and answer to the people she serves, she ignores them and deliberately becomes “too busy” to deal with the masses whom her policies affect.
This ideology has become so pervasive, we formed the largest small mining and public land use advocacy group in America to oppose things just like this. We will always support the protection of our public lands, but cannot support yet another land grab, and that is precisely what this is.
Mr. Shannon Poe
PMB #607, 6386 Greeley Hill Rd.
Coulterville CA, 95311
cc: Crapo, Labrador, Bunt, BOD, Ten Mile Mining District, Zinke, (redacted)
The link to all of the proposals (which are near impossible to understand and follow) are located here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nezperceclearwater/landmanagement/planning/?cid=stelprdb5398165