From Truchas TU Land Sale Bill

gratz4 at gratz4 at
Mon Nov 28 09:16:20 MST 2005

In the last days before adjourning for the Thanksgiving recess, the United 
States House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow for the 
sale of millions of acres of public lands to mining companies, other 
development interests, and real estate developers.  That legislation, 
contained in Sections 6201-6207 of H.R. 4241, the House Reconciliation Bill, 
would amend the 1872 Mining Law and allow mining companies and others who 
claim an interest in mining to buy publicly-owned lands for $1,000 per acre –
 a “give-away price” by any standard.  The legislation would actually weaken 
standards set under the environmentally-lax 1872 Mining Law by allowing 
development interests to privatize public land without public review or 
federal oversight.

These measures were buried within the House Reconciliation Bill, inserted 
there without public notice or sufficient public debate by Congressman 
Richard Pombo (R-CA).  The legislation is now pending before a House-Senate 
Conference Committee of which both of our New Mexico Senators, Pete Domenici 
and Jeff Bingaman, are members.  

Public lands are managed in trust by the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau 
of Land Management for all of the people of the United States.  They contain 
more than 50 percent of the nation’s blue-ribbon trout streams.  They are 
strongholds for imperiled native trout in the western United States and 
Brook trout in the East.  In addition, they contain the best remaining 
habitat for migrating salmon and steelhead.  More than 25 percent of the 
nation’s drinking water flows across National Forests, alone.  As more 
private lands are subdivided or posted, public lands provide the last access 
for sportsmen who wish to fish, hunt, and camp with their families and 
friends.  Much of that access would be lost as a result of Rep. Pombo’s 

If you feel as we do about this legislation, we urge you to contact our two 
senators as soon as possible and urge them to fight to eliminate Sections 
6201-6207 of the House Reconciliation Bill.  It is particularly important to 
contact Senator Domenici.  Senator Bingaman has already come out in 
opposition to the Pombo provisions.  The most effective ways to contact them 
are by e-mail through the Senators’ web pages, by telephone, or by fax.  The 
contact information for the senators is set out below.   The Conference 
Committee may take up this legislation as soon as this week, so it is 
crucial that the senators hear from you now.

Senator Pete Domenici
(202) 224-6621
(202) 228-3261 Fax
Web-Page for Senator Domenici:

Senator Jeff Bingaman
Phone-Toll Free: 1-800-443-8658
E-Mail for Senator Bingaman:  senator_bingaman at

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