Tribes urged to support reform of General Mining Act of 1872

It's getting lonely being the only blogger covering West River politics in South Dakota.

The Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming are not the only public lands plundered by foreign companies under cover of an antiquated mining law.

Montana environmental policy advocate Bonnie Gestring told an audience observing World Water Day at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City that tribal nations should support proposed regulations and two new federal companion bills that lead to reform of the General Mining Act of 1872.
“The revenue stream would generate funds that can be used to clean up the legacy of abandoned mines that plague so many communities with highly polluted water,” she said. The money would be available for cleanup of abandoned claims on federal and Indian trust lands. It could be applied to mining reclamation in counties across western South Dakota, including Custer, Fall River, and Harding, where 272 abandoned uranium mines and prospects are officially recognized among the 15,000 in the Western United States. [Native Sun News]
Blaming depressed uranium prices Cameco is planning to abandon parts of Wyoming and Nebraska.

At Crow Butte near the headwaters of the White River above Crawford, Nebraska Canadian-based Cameco, Inc. has obtained rights to use 9,000 gallons of water per minute to extract raw uranium ore through 8,000 holes bored into the Ogallala and Arikaree Aquifers.

The foreign miners have already pumped about half a billion gallons of radioactive waste water into disposal wells and have rights to bury more. Two years ago Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, paid a million dollar fine for environmental damage in Wyoming.

Home to indigenous peoples for thousands of years the Wyoming headwaters of the Little Missouri watershed is at risk to an Australian uranium mine.

Bob Beck is Wyoming Public Media's News Director. Not long ago he began an interview with Senator John Bare Asso (earth hater-WY) asking the question: "Senator, why do you hate the environment?"

A Mother Jones piece tells readers when the GOP began hating the Earth:
According to a new study in the journal Social Science Research, the key change actually began around the year 1991—when the Soviet Union fell. "The conservative movement replaced the 'Red Scare' with a new 'Green Scare' and became increasingly hostile to environmental protection at that time," argues sociologist Aaron McCright of Michigan State University and two colleagues. [Chris Mooney, When Did Republicans Start Hating the Environment?]
An earth hater running against Lynn Cheney for Wyoming's lone US House seat says he's hoping to seize public land from We the People and divvy it up for exploitation.

Another activist is calling out the United States for its ongoing extermination of American Indians. South Dakota's experiment with a GOP-dominated congressional delegation and Statehouse has failed so many generations that to some suicide looks like the only way out of lives twisted by a special brand of torture.

Frightened by the prospect that it would create an equivalent to “reservation land” Republicans in South Dakota are appealing a Bureau of Indian Affairs decision placing Pe'Sla, owned by four American Indian tribes, into federal trust status.

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