- Senator Barbara Boxer
- Senate Office Building
- Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Boxer:
I am writing to demand that the federal government abolish 1872 Mining Law
that permits mining corporations to dig billions of dollars worth of minerals off of
public lands for as little as $2.50 an acre. This law is not only one of the most
environmentally destructive and outdated laws, it is also probably the best example of
corporate welfare there is. At stake is not only the give away of billions of dollars
worth of minerals on public lands, but the fragile ecology of many pristine areas of the
Since demand for precious metals is fueling another mining boom in the West
the time to act is now. I urge you to:
( Deny mining claims in wilderness areas and designated roadless areas.
( Strengthen environmental protection standards for land and water.
( End the patenting system that gives public land to mining companies with
little return to the taxpayer- owners.
( Create or increase royalty payments for minerals extracted from public
( Initiate an abandoned mine lands program to reclaim lands damaged from
* Deny mining on public lands by federal regulatory agencies when companies
can't show that reclamation is possible, and where mining wouldn't be compatible with
* Increase public participation to allow affected citizens and communities
to voice their concerns throughout the permitting and mining process.
* Allow greater enforcement by state agencies and adequate and
comprehensive analysis of new permit applications.
* Demand more adequate treatment of mining wastes by state agencies and the
Environmental Protection Agency under the Resource Conservation Recovery Act.
I care very much about environmental issues and I expect you to do the
same. It is obvious that the 1872 Mining Law is a complete economic and environmental
disaster. Senators like you must have the courage to fight for its abolishment. Please
write back and let me know what your positions are on each of the above mentioned points
and tell me how you will work to abolish the 1872 Mining Law. I sincerely hope you will
not cave-in to powerful mining interests on this important issue. Remember, the taxpayers
of this nation own the public lands and we expect accountability from our elected
representatives. Thank you.