In the old days, it was the House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs.” The Democrats eventually changed it to the House Natural Resources Committee, but the Republicans changed it to just Resources Committee.” Now the Democrats will put “natural” back in the title.

Much more important is the sea change in personnel holding power and the policies that are likely to pursue. It is much more than Pombo being gone.

ePluribus Media reports on the good news (note: there are crossposts to and from several blogs).

House Natural Resources returns.

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Related news from the Las Vegas Sun. Mining laws dating to 1872 may be in for big changes. By Lisa Mascaro. Note that the new Democratic Leader (Majority Leader of the US Senate) Harry Reid of Nevada is a big champion of the mining industry. Nevada’s open pit gold mines are badly polluting Idaho and Utah with toxic mercury that is carried by the weather from the pits.

About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University. He was a Western Watersheds Project Board Member off and on for many years, and was also its President for several years. For a long time he produced Ralph Maughan's Wolf Report. He was a founder of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He and Jackie Johnson Maughan wrote three editions of "Hiking Idaho." He also wrote "Beyond the Tetons" and "Backpacking Wyoming's Teton and Washakie Wilderness." He created and is the administrator of The Wildlife News.

2 Responses to House Resources Committe to become the Natural Resources Committee.

  1. kt says:

    Watching Mining Reform move forward should be interesting.

    The debate should be cast as taking our public lands BACK from nearly unfettered pillaging by largely FOREIGN-OWNED mining entities in the West.

    Nearly all the big gold mines in the Carlin Trend,and strung out north and south of I-80 between Elko and Winnemucca are owned by foreign companies like Newmont, Barrick, etc.

    Many of these foreign mines and mine speculation companies, too, hold large public lands grazing permits – over several million acres of BLM lands. They have bought the base properties, often for the water rights or to keep ranchers quiet, and with the base properties come the permits to graze.

    So not only are these mines paying nothing to us in return for making mountains into open pits, and gashing exploration roads across whole ranges, there are tens of thousands of cattle and sheep roaming public lands under the foreign-owned gold mine permits.

    Often, the mines don’t own the livestock. They let well-connected big ranchers sub-lease under them. That way, the veneer of ranching culture remains. And one branch of public lands exploitaiton (mining) does not upset the other (ranchers).

    And we all are footing the Bill for the gold mine cows and sheep – subsidizing public lands grazing for the gold mines to the tune of 5 or 6 times the amount it costs BLM just to administer the permit – whatever it is now – $1.63 (???). And on top of that paying for Wildlife Services predator killing for these livestock operations, too.

    I’m still waiting for the crooners in fantasy land at the Elko Cowboy Poetry to lament Mr. Goldbucks EarthDevourer Machine Haulin’ the Mountain Away. Probablywon’t happen – because the dogies still get to roam under Mr. Goldbucks BLM permit.

    In reality,

  2. Pronghorn says:

    Even lower….$1.56 per animal unit month grazing fee on BLM and Forest Svc. land.


December 2006


‎"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