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E-M:/ [Fwd: SIGN-ON LETTER--Strenghten Hard Rock Mining Laws]




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Folks,

We have on opportunity to strengthen US hard-rock mining law.  
However, with the current Congress and also with the threat of several 
anti-environmental mining riders (see accompanying mining rider 
alert), it will be an uphill battle.  However, GREEN is proud to work 
with the Mineral Policy Center and other groups working on mining law 
reform and we are confident that we can achieve miracles by working 
together.

The Mineral Policy Center is circulating a sign-on letter that will be 
sent to the United States Senate in the very near future.  A number of 
groups have already signed the letter.  We want to give your group a 
chance to also sign on.

Please read the following alert and join GREEN in signing this 
important letter.

Thanks,
Roger Featherstone
GREEN Director
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WHAT TO DO

To sign the letter that will be given to the US Senate send your 
group's name, the name of a contact person, and your address to 
rfeather@defenders.org.

               The Deadline for this letter is:
              Close of Business Tuesday, June 23

     This deadline WILL NOT be extends as the letter will be 
     "dropped" on the Senate shortly thereafter.

If you cannot get your group to sign the letter by the deadline, or do 
not belong to a group, use the letter below as an example for your own 
letter to your Senators.

For more information contact the Mineral Policy Center at: 
   mpc-us@email.msn.com or http://www.mineralpolicy.org   
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SIGN-ON LETTER

RE:  Protection of Public Lands through Responsible Mining, Interior 
Appropriations Bill

Dear Senator,

We urge you to please protect our public lands.  Americans value 
public lands for their recreational and scenic value as well as for 
the natural resources that they provide.  They also see these lands as 
a valuable financial asset and expect fair compensation in return for 
mining or other resource development.

The Interior Appropriations Bill is an opportunity to renew important 
environmental safeguards and taxpayer protections.  To protect the 
environment from the ravages of an irresponsible mining industry, past 
and present, we ask that you:

     EXTEND THE PATENT MORATORIUM.
     First passed in 1994, the patent moratorium has been renewed 
     annually since.  If the moratorium were not renewed, public lands 
     containing minerals valued at over $15 billion would be 
     practically given away- sold for a maximum price of $5 per acre.  
     Don't give away our public lands.

     RENEW AND INCREASE THE CLAIMS HOLDING FEE, AND DON'T INCREASE 
     EXEMPTIONS.
     The claims holding fee expires at the end of this fiscal year.  
     We support an increase in the fee.  And support making the fee 
     permanent, with indexing for inflation.  Currently small mining 
     interests, who mine just a few claims, get an exemption for up to 
     10 claims.  We support this exemption, but do not support an 
     increase.

     CREATE A START-UP ABANDONED MINE CLEAN-UP PROGRAM, USING REVENUE 
     FROM THE CLAIMS HOLDING FEE.
     Everyone agrees that abandoned mine clean-up is an urgent 
     priority.  What is needed is funding.  This proposal is part of 
     bills introduced in this session by both Senator Murkowski and 
     Senator Craig (S1102) and Senator Bumpers (S327).  In fact, it is 
     one of the few areas of agreement between these two mining bills.  
     Let's capture that consensus and begin to address this important 
     issue.

     PRACTICE PREVENTION, PROTECT OUR PUBLIC LANDS - NO 3809 RIDERS.
     The Bureau of Land Management's review of the 3809 regulations 
     that govern mining on public lands could lead to important 
     safeguards that prevent future environmental problems and protect 
     taxpayers.

We need your support in this bipartisan effort.

	Sincerely,

Mineral Policy Center
Stephen D'Esposito

GREEN
Roger Featherstone

20/20 Vision
Robin Caiola

Alaska Center for the Environment
Cliff Eames

American Fisheries Society
Paul Brouha

American Rivers
Tom Cassidy

Amigos Bravos
Brian Shields

Audubon Society - Lane County Chapter
Dave Stone

Boulder-White Clouds Council
Lynne Stone

Cabinet Resource Group
Cesar Hernandez

California Desert Protection League
Elden Hughes

California Communities Against Toxics
Jane Williams

Coastal Advocates
Kathleen Van Velsor

Defenders of Wildlife
James K. Wyerman

Desert Citizens Against Pollution
Lyle Talbot

Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs
Brock Evans

Friends of the Earth
Gawain Kripke

Kyrgyz Education Exchange Network
Peter Bogardus

Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin
Kira Henschel

Montana Environmental Information Center
Jim Jensen

National Lawyers Guild
Sean McAllister

National Wildlife Federation
Jeff Berman

Northern Alaska Environmental Center
Sylvia Ward

Northern Plains Resource Council
Julia Page

Okanogan Highlands Alliance
Dave Kliegman

Pacific Environmental & Resources Center
Julie Edlund

Rock Creek Alliance
Diane Williams

Sierra Club - Rocky Mountain Chapter
Kirk Cunningham

Siskiyou Regional Education Project
Steve Marsden

Taxpayers for Common Sense
Jill Lancelot

Western Organization of Resource Councils
Richard Parks

Wyoming Outdoor Council

[your name], [your group]


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Roger Featherstone, GREEN Director
PO Box 40046, Albuquerque, NM 87196-0046
(505) 277-8302  fax, (505) 277-5483 rfeather@defenders.org
http://www.defenders.org/grnhome.html

GREEN DC Office
1101 14th St., NW, Ste. 1400, Washington,  DC 20005 (202) 682-9400
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