BLM to Remove Horses to “Protect Land,” Gives Protected Land Away to Miners in Gold-Rush Style Grab

BLM protected land grab gold rush style free for all

By Natural Blaze

Recently we reported on the urgent nature of the Federal Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) goal to slaughter 90,000 wild horses from public land in Nevada. And more recently, on their goal to quietly castrate and/or move 10,000 horses in order to “protect the land.”

Yet today marks the day of the “‘Outrageous’ Gold Rush-Style Grab of Public Lands,” allowed by the Trump Administration and BLM. This “modern land run” marks the second time this week that the BLM has seriously outraged the public. Not only is the public worried about an equine holocaust, but also the reality of corporations and others gutting the land.

Although these events take place on two separate plots of land (Nevada and Utah respectively) the decree unveils the hypocrisy of government pretending to protect ecology when there are obviously other interests at stake. How can an entity cull a population of wild horses and truly protect land? How can that entity then give away plots of protected federal land to mining developers in a gold-rush-style free-for-all?

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What is the Trump Administration Hiding?

Coincidentally, while all of this is going on, leaked documents revealed this week of the Trump Administration’s infrastructure plans to sell off public lands

Could this have something to do with today’s land “give-away”?

While many of the websites are reporting the ire of environmentalists and indigenous peoples, please do not forget that news of the leaked documents has also upset conservationists, hunters, anglers and outdoor enthusiasts who cherish public land.

Perhaps we will finally get a united front against corporate land-pillaging.

From EcoWatch:

…at 6 a.m. on Friday the Trump administration will allow citizens and companies to start staking claims on sections of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in Utah so the new stakeholders can conduct hard rock mining on the formerly protected lands.

“It is outrageous to witness the dismantling of the Bears Ears national monument, in what constitutes a serious attack on Indigenous peoples’ rights in the United States,” said Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of Indigenous peoples.

Tauli-Corpuz noted that the previous administration’s decision to create the monument “protected thousands of sacred sites which are central to the preservation of regional Native culture.” He warned that Trump’s decision to reduce Bears Ears by about 85 percent “exposes thousands of acres of sacred lands and archaeological sites to the threats of desecration, contamination and permanent destruction.”

In spite of widespread opposition, the Trump administration’s Bureau of Land Management (BLM) plans to move forward with allowing stakeholders to claim plots of land on Friday, and has determined the process will be governed by the General Mining Law of 1872, which covers mining for metals such as copper, gold, silver and uranium (but not coal and petroleum).

“The process for staking a claim remains much as it did during the Gold Rush,” Reuters reported:

A prospector hammers four poles into the ground corresponding to the four points of a parcel that can be as big as 20 acres, and attaches a written description of the claim onto one of them. A prospector then has 30 days to record the claim at the local BLM office …

The costs of claiming are low: a $212 filing fee, and an annual maintenance fee of $150. Unlike laws governing petroleum extraction, there are no environmental guidelines specific to hard rock mining, and no requirement to pay a royalty. The claims provide prospectors mineral rights but not ownership of the land.

A spokesperson for Earthworks criticized it as a Manifest Destiny-era move “encouraging a resources free-for-all.”

Two Senators have introduced a bill to fight against the land give-away.


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This article (BLM to Remove Horses to “Protect Land,” Gives Protected Land Away to Miners in Gold-Rush Style Grab) appeared first at Natural Blaze. It can be reshared with attribution but MUST include link to homepage, bio, intact links and this message. Photo: ksblack99/Flickr

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