The American Exploration & Mining Association filed a lawsuit against the federal government for their overreaching restrictions on mineral exploration and development on more than 10 million acres of federal land in the western United States in order to protect a bird that was not listed as endangered. The AEMA seeks to overturn the Sage-Grouse Great Basin and Rocky Mountain Records of Decision and underlying land use plan amendments in seven western states.
At least 6 additional lawsuits have been filed against the Federal Government challenging the Sage-Grouse Records of Decisions (ROD) and various land use plan amendments.
The following article was written by Dan Wheat and released on Capitalpress.com.
SPOKANE, Wash. — The American Exploration & Mining Association, in Spokane, has filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, D.C., challenging federal restrictions on mineral exploration and development in Western states.
Allegedly to protect sage grouse, federal agencies have restricted mineral exploration and development on more than 10 million acres of federal land in California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
The association, formerly the Northwest Mining Association, represented by Mountain States Legal Foundation, Denver, filed suit April 19 alleging federal agencies lack authority to withdraw the land from operation of the General Mining Law of 1872 and failed to provide for adequate public participation in the process by which federal land use planning documents are amended and revised.
In September of 2015, the Obama administration announced that it would not list the sage grouse as endangered but nonetheless declared it will withdraw highly mineralized lands from public use, said William Perry Pendley, MSLF president.
“Obama officials tell the West it will not list the sage grouse but then stealthily closes federal land that has been opened for mining for decades and devastates our economies,” Pendley said.