General Mining Act of 1872: Modernization needed

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On February 16th Gunnison County commissioner Jim Starr traveled testified before a congressional committee on the proposed changes to the General Mining Act of 1872. Here’s a report from Seth Mensing writing for the Crested Butte News. From the article:

During the hearing, Starr told the subcommittee that although “hardrock minerals are valuable natural resources that should be extracted and put to beneficial use,” the law that permits their removal from federal land is “antiquated” and needs revision.

He also said the mechanism that allows for mineral extraction “is not the appropriate mechanism and any new mechanism needs to have sufficient protections from exploration and operations in ‘special areas.’”

Starr said this week, “I focused a fair amount on keeping the water quality and quantity as high as we can, especially given the prospect of global warming,” said Starr.

“We have long recognized that significant natural resources, such as our natural parks, must not be open for location and entry. Before it is too late, it is imperative that we now also recognize the local and national importance of protecting our municipal watersheds,” he told the subcommittee.

More Coyote Gulch coverage here.

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