Unchanged (for the Worse) since 1872

The General Mining Law of 1872 is among the last statutory survivors of the boisterous era of westward expansion. Essentially unchanged since Ulysses S. Grant signed it into law, it sets the basic rules for mining hard-rock minerals like gold, copper and uranium on public lands.

Read the rest of the NYT editorial urging reform to bring hard rock mining laws from the 19th to the 21st century. New York Times. Editorial.

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  1. ClapSo Avatar

    This law outlived its usefulness at the beginning of the 20th century. It has been nothing but a ripoff of our public lands since then. Reform is long over due…

    The scientifically impossible I do right away
    The spiritually miraculous takes a bit longer


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.

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Ralph Maughan