Here is a message from First Class Miners that is important to all prospectors. Please read the email and add a comment on the nps.gov webpage. I have opened up comments on this post(click Read More).
For those who are .gov illiterate, click here for the proposals.
If you wish to share your comments please do so.
Good morning! Many of you are aware that the National Park Service completed their study of the Eagle Mountain area and the possibility of annexing BLM land into Joshua Tree National Park. The study is available online for print or view.
In a nutshell their are 4 Alternatives. Alternative A leaves everything the way it currently is. The park service's preferred and proposed alternative is C, which would bring the land into the national park. We would lose ATV, dirt bike travel. Claims would require validity paperwork which could be costly. Camping and fire restrictions could also be a possibility.
I request that ALL members take a look at this document and submit comments. It's our last chance.
1. Once you get to the page, look in the left column under "project links" and click on "open for comment". It will show you a list of documents for comment (there is only one). Click on the document (Eagle Mountain Boundary Study...)
2. At the bottom you will see a link to the document. It is large and I encourage you to read it. But specifically look at the 4 alternatives A-D.
3. You will also see a button in the middle of the page that says "comment now" Click that to comment. Note the final cutoff for comments is May 27th.
My OPINION: All options stink. I feel we have been painted into a corner. Option A is our only alternative that would allow us to carry on the way we currently do. However, that option will never be adopted because it does nothing to protect any of the land. Basically it's like voting for a Libertarian. Yes you voted, but it really won't count. Again this is my OPINION: I know that we have organizations assisting us in the fight and I do greatly appreciate it. BUT, alternative A is NEVER going to get adopted. We HAVE to compromise a little. MY comment will suggest that ALL alternatives are unacceptable. I am willing to propose that large scale mining, wind, solar, landfill, and any other large scale, land destroying proposals be prevented. I propose that the land be retained in the BLM but designated special use, allowing current activities to continue but protecting the land from corporate destruction for profit.
My comment will continue with this: IF proposal C IS adopted, which it most likely will, I propose that the area still remain a special use area with ATV, small scale unpatented mining, and open camping. Pissing in the wind perhaps, but still worth a shot. (END of OPINION)
IF proposal C is adopted as is: We lose ATV, dirt bike use. We may or may not keep our claims depending on the permit, validity work, cost etc. Most likely there will also be additional restrictions on our campsite. Our way of loving those mountains will be changed forever. Only massive numbers of comments will sway anything. While we had a great number of commenters previously, the environmentalists had thousands more.
YOU need to comment, your family needs to comment, your friends need to comment, your relatives need to comment. WE NEED to get EVERYONE WE KNOW TO COMMENT. They do not need to live in state or frequent the Eagle Mountains to comment. They simply need to go the website and say that Alternative C is UNACCEPTABLE and that currently Alternative A is the only option they give us that works. BUT (only if you agree with my opinion), a preferred option would be to add a Alternative E that states the things I mentioned above.
Final note: A few meetings ago after I finished berating the club members for not getting involved in these issues, a member approached me afterwards and stated: "I write my membership check and buy raffle tickets, don't forget that, that's my way of helping". I thought about that and initially felt rather foolish for my comments to the club. Because yes, you are a generous club. But now, that's not good enough. You either need to make a comment and help, or question your reasoning for staying a member. I don't care whether you like it or not, like me or not, or like to be directed to do something. Just do it, get your friends to do it, get everyone you know to do it. If you don't feel strongly enough about this issue to do anything, I suggest you find another club.
Public meeting in Joshua Tree, May 4th, 6-8 pm. Our last stand!!
President, First Class Miners, Inc.