“The 137-year-old law is a legacy of a bygone era in the West”

Folks have been trying to change this law my entire life and long before that. Will this be the year? If so, how much can it be changed?

The Oregonian thinks change is now politically possible. The 1872 Act has long been regarded as one of the best examples of the dead hand of the past still governing Western public lands politics.

“Take a hammer to the 1872 Mining Act.” The Editorial Board of the Oregonian.

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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.

2 Responses to Take a hammer to the 1872 Mining Act

  1. Always an awful law that makes hard rock mining the number one priority on public lands, this law has become especially obnoxious lately with thousands of claims filed around Grand Canyon National Park and other important public lands. This has been coupled with a BLM willing to actually buck Congress on how to treat these mining claims.

    The gold mines of Nevada keep increasing in number too, and they are poisoning the waters of Idaho, southern Oregon, and Utah.

  2. avatar Jeff says:

    As longs as Harry Reid is in charge of the Senate I doubt we’ll see any reform to the 1872 Mining Act

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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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