Category Archives: Mining

BLM “Community Listening Session” for Western Oregon Resource Management Plans

The BLM is hosting what they refer to as a “Community Listening Session” to talk about some of the key issues facing western Oregon’s land management project. (See press release here.)

The BLM is required by law to get public input on their Resource Management Plans (RMP). The purpose of this session is to get public input on key issues like timber production and forest management, endangered species conservation and recovery, protection of older forests, and providing clean water. They’re also going to update us on the RMP project team’s analysis of the current management situation and opportunities in Western Oregon and the planning criteria and guidance they’ve established for developing preliminary alternatives.

The environmentalists are well organized and will be there in force presenting the preservationist point of view, so it’s vitally important to have as many people there as possible representing resource industries and pro-resource utilization perspectives.

The “Listening Session” will be on Tuesday, December 10, from 4:00-7:00 PM, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, Padgham Pavillion, at 1 Penninger Rd in Central Point. Please plan to be there and bring as many people with you as you can.

They’re requesting people to RSVP to reserve a space. RSVP to, with the Subject line “Medford Meeting RSVP” and include your name and address in the body of the e-mail.

    What: Public Input on BLM’s new Resource Management Plan
    When: Tuesday, December 10
    4:00-7:00 PM
    Where: Jackson County Fairgrounds
    Padgham Pavillion
    1 Penninger Rd, Central Point

Mineral Wealth of Southern Oregon

The next Timber Advisory Committee Meeting will feature a presentation about the Mineral Wealth of Southern Oregon by Tom Wiley and Andree Pollock from the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI). Tom gave an excellent talk last year and this should be very interesting and informative.

The meeting will be on November 12, from 1:30-3:00 PM, in the Marie Hill Conference Room, which is located in the Josephine County Corrections Office at 510 NW 4th St.

    What: Mineral Wealth of Southern Oregon
    When: Tuesday, November 12
    1:30-3:00 PM
    Where: Marie Hill Conference Room
    Josephine County Corrections Office
    510 NW 4th St, Grants Pass

URGENT! Contact Joint Ways and Means Committee to Oppose SB 838A

SB 838 imposes a moratorium on mining that uses any form of motorized equipment until January 2, 2018, and declares an emergency so the bill goes into effect immediately.

This bill is currently in the Joint Ways & Means Committee and is scheduled for a workshop on Friday,  June 28.

Please contact the Joint Ways & Means Committee right away, and let them know this bill will be harmful to Oregon’s economy and violates your federal mining rights. It should not be passed out of committee.

You can contact the whole committee by copying and pasting the following list of e-mail addresses into the To line of your e-mail.;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;;

SB 838 Alert

SB 838 imposes “a moratorium on any mining using any sort of motorized equipment to extract gold, silver or any other precious mineral from placer deposits of the beds of the waters of this state.” It appears that SB 838 will be rushed through to avoid the outrage and protest that SB 115 produced.

Here is a link to the bill.

Please contact the Senate Environmental and Natural Resources committee members and ask for a NO Vote on SB 838. Their e-mail addresses are listed below.

  1. Sen Jackie Dingfelder 503-986-1723
  2. Sen Alan Bates 503-986-1703
  3. Sen Alan Olsen 503-986-1720
  4. Sen Bill Hansell 503-986-1729
  5. Sen Mark Hass 503-986-1714

DEQ Seeks Public Comment on New Suction Dredge Restrictions

The DEQ is seeking public input on new restrictions on small suction dredges and non-motorized in-water mining activities.

“A representative from the Calif. Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Mark Stopher, will provide an update on the California moratorium on dredge mining and will accept comments on how California’s experience may inform the Oregon process.”

    What: DEQ Public Comment on new Suction Dredging Restrictions
    When: Thursday, Marc 7
    6:30 PM
    Where: Jackson County Public Library
    205 South Central Ave, Medford

Please attend this important meeting and give the DEQ your input on eleven new proposed permit conditions, ten proposed findings, and four proposed strategies for reducing environmental impacts of suction dredging.

Please see this document for details of the new restrictions, conditions, findings, and strategies proposed.

Doc Hasting’s response to State of the Union

The following is House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings’ respondse to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“During tonight’s State of the Union address, the President once again spoke about job creation and economic growth, but continued to ignore the economic opportunities that exist through energy production on federal lands and the responsible management of our Nation’s natural resources. Tonight’s speech was further indication that during his second term, President Obama will ensure his Administration is more aggressive in its unilateral pursuit of new regulations and policies that will impede economic recovery. By circumventing Congress through administrative fiat, the Obama Administration has the ability to lock up large swaths of public land from multiple use economic activity, slow federal energy production even further, and impose burdensome new layers of red tape that will destroy job creation potential for millions of American’s still looking for work.

“The President may continue to talk about the need for all-of-the-above energy, but we have learned over the last four years that actions speak louder than words. The Obama Administration has closed off millions of acres of public lands and waters to American energy production, offered the fewest offshore lease sales in the history of the program, and caused energy production on federal lands to significantly decline. Meanwhile, the private sector and individual states—not President Obama and the federal government—can take credit for America’s recent increase in oil and natural gas production. It’s simply difficult to take President Obama seriously when he talks about job creation while flatly ignoring one of America’s largest potentials for job creation.”

National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013

On February 15, Congressman Mark Amodei (NV) reintroduced the National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2013 in Congress. This bill allows the U.S. to more efficiently develop our Nation’s strategic and critical minerals, such as rare earth elements, that are vital to job creation, American economic competitiveness and national security. The bill streamlines the permitting process for mineral development by coordinating the actions of federal, state, local, and tribal agencies to reduce red tape while protecting the environmental review process.

Learn more.

Give Input on Wilderness Expansion Bill

The legislative hearing of HR 3436, the Rogue Wilderness Expansion Act, took place in the Congressional subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands on March 8. (Watch video here.) The record will be open until March 18. If you want to make a comment for the record, you can do so by e-mail to

You can also contact the Republican members of the House subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, using the contact information below, and let them know that you live in the county that would be most impacted by the Rogue Wildereness Expansion, and that our Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution opposing it.

Mark Amodei (R, NV)
125 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6155
Fax: (202) 225-5679
Paul Broun (R-GA)
325 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4101
Fax: (202) 226-0776
Mike Coffman (R, CO)
1222 Longworth House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-7882
Fax: (202) 226-4623
John Duncan (R-TN)
2207 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5435
Fax: (202) 225-6440
Raul Labrador (R-ID)
1523 Longworth House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6611
Fax: (202) 225-3029
Doug Lamborn (R, CO)
437 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4422
Fax: (202) 226-2638
Tom McClintock (R, CA)
428 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2511
Fax: (202) 225-5444
Kristi Noem (R, SD)
226 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2801
Fax: (202) 225-5823
David Rivera (R, FL)
417 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-2778
Fax: (202) 226-0346
Scott Tipton (R, CO)
218 Cannon House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-4761
Fax: (202) 226-9669
Donald Young (R, AK)
2314 Rayburn House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-5765
Fax: (202) 225-0425
Doc Hastings (R, WA)
1203 Longworth House Office Bldg.
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-5816
Fax:(202) 225-3251

BCC Votes on Wilderness Expansion Resolution

What: BCC Vote on Wilderness Expansion Resolution
When: Wednesday, March 7, 2012
9:00 AM
Where: Anne Basker Auditorium
604 NW 6 St, Grants Pass

On February 1, SORA made a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners on the proposed expansion of the Wild Rogue Wilderness, and requested the BCC to pass a resolution opposing any further wilderness expansion in our county.

BCC Chair Simon Hare wanted to wait until the BCC had heard the other side before taking a vote on whether to pass the resolution.

This Wednesday, March 7, at 9:00 AM, the environmentalists are going to make a presentation to the BCC, titled Protecting the Wild Rogue for Future Generations and the Economy. Immediately following the presentation, the BCC will vote on whether to pass the resolution opposing Wilderness expansion.

We need to make a strong showing in opposition to the Wilderenss expansion. The environmental activists are going to try to pack the house with Wilderness advocates. Please be there, if at all possible.

BLM warns of abandoned mine hazards

The BLM wants to close access to abandoned mine sites that they consider dangerous. The mines are also considered historic and, therefore, a “cultural resource on public land.”

At this presentation, two BLM archaeologists will discuss the role mining played in Oregon’s cultural heritage, and also describe features and hazards of abandoned mining sites. If you have questions or concerns, please attend the meeting on Tuesday, October 4, at 6:00 PM at the Grants Pass Interagency Office.

For more information, see the Mail Tribune article from Sunday, October 2.

What BLM Presentation on Abandoned Mines
When October 4
6:00-8:00 PM
Where Interagency Office
2164 N.E. Spalding Ave
Grants Pass
Cost Free