As the price of gold and other “hard rock” minerals rises, the need to change the 135-year old law that established the claim and patent system on public lands grows.

Key U.S. Senate Committee hears about the need for mining reforms.  By Staci Matlock. The New Mexican.

Mining claims rise near Western cities. By Judy Pasternak, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

The New West: Mine Claims Crowd Booming Cities.  Mining Industry, Still Regulated by 1872 Law, Is Nation’s Top Polluter. Environmental Working Group.

Here is a map of the thousands of mining claims. Environmental Working Group.

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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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