Hunters and Anglers believe sensible mining reform is the only way to protect America's fish and wildlife
America's public lands and the fish and wildlife that they call home are struggling with the effects of a century of hardrock mining. Recognizing that an outdated federal law is to blame for much of the damage, America's sportsmen have set their sights on reforming the 1872 Mining Law.
The 1872 Mining Law, which governs hardrock mining (gold, copper, silver, etc.) on America's public lands, was signed into law more than a century ago. While the economies, cultures, and politics have changed in the West during the past 135 years, the mining law has not. More than 270 million acres of federal land are open to hardrock mining under the law, mostly in the Rocky Mountain West.
Because the law has not been meaningfully reformed, many of America's most treasured public lands are at risk, including important wildlife habitat and hunting areas, valuable fisheries, popular recreation sites, vital municipal water supplies, and sensitive roadless areas.
Sportsmen United for Sensible Mining represents millions of hunters and anglers, fish and wildlife professionals, and citizens who recreate on and enjoy our public lands. We believe that a more sensible approach to hardrock mining in the West will allow for better management of America's fish and wildlife resources.
What Sportsmen are saying
"The 1872 Mining Law is a phenomenon that has no parallel in the history of this nation a relic, as fascinating as it is destructive, as if mastodons foraged in Midwest green fields. It is time to assign all of its abusive provisions permanently to our past and, thereby, to provide respectability and responsibility to what, by law, has been a rogue industry working against the public good"
Editor at Large, Audubon, Conservation Editor, Fly Rod & Reel, and freelance writer
"The U.S. Senate has a rare opportunity to improve the most outdated natural resource law in the nation. The House has passed a strong reform bill. Key senators have expressed their willingness to explore changes to it. Sportsmen urge the Senate to carefully consider our recommendations, draft a good bill, and move it through the Senate as quickly as possible in 2008. Sportsmen and -women around the nation, especially in the West, are counting on Congress to end the long stalemate and reform the 1872 Mining Law."
Former chief, U.S. Forest Service, and former director, Bureau of Land Management