Log in

View Full Version : Eastern Interior- White Mountains - Plan Mining Leasing

01-15-2013, 08:20 PM
From an article in the Newsminer I came across this dealing with a potential opening of parts of the WMNRA to mineral leasing. I think its related to this thread from early last year (http://www.akmining.com/forums/showthread.php/2358-BLM-Eastern-Interior-Resource-Management-Plan?highlight=interior+management+plan).

The article from the Newsminer (http://www.newsminer.com/blogs/staff_blogs/article_cb96320e-5e7f-11e2-bfed-0019bb30f31a.html).

"The Bureau of Land Management admits it was wrong to have concluded that future mining leases in the White Mountains National Recreation Area were prohibited by the Alaska Lands Act of 1980.

That's why the agency has just published a new alternative to a land plan that would allow mining on about 16 percent, or 160,000 acres, in the White Mountains National Recreation Area."

I found a horde of information on the environmentalist site here.

And here.

There is still plenty of time for public comments and even some upcoming meetings.

I'm wondering if the AMA is involved in any of this. It would be nice if we had a large, well organized voice that cared about some of these issues. It seems the environmental groups are sure well prepared after looking at just that one website.


02-14-2013, 06:35 PM
There was a meeting last night in Fairbanks and one coming up in Anchorage next week.

http://www.blm.gov/ak/st/en/info/newsroom/2013/january/BLM-AK_to_Host_Meetings_on_Supplement_to_Eastern_Inter ior_Draft_RMP_EIS_01282013.html

FAIRBANKS – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Eastern Interior Field Office today announced the initial schedule of public meetings for a Supplement to the Eastern Interior Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (RMP/EIS). The Supplement amends Alternative D of the Draft RMP/EIS to address hardrock mineral leasing in the White Mountains National Recreation Area. The Supplement and the full Draft RMP/EIS are both available for public comment through April 11, 2013.

The BLM is holding public meetings to help familiarize the public with the Supplement and to gather public comments. The field office may schedule additional meetings in other communities in March and will announce those meetings on the BLM website at www.blm.gov/ak.

Morris Thompson Cultural Center
February 13
Open House: 3-7 pm

Public Meeting: 7-9 pm

Campbell Creek Science Center Multi-Purpose Room
February 19
Open House: 4-7 pm

Public Meeting: 7-9 pm

Community Hall
March 4
Open House: 5-6 pm

Meeting/Hearing: 6-8 pm

For more information, visit the Eastern Interior RMP Home Page at www.blm.gov/ak or contact Jeanie Cole, Planning Team Leader, Eastern Interior Field Office at (907) 474-2340 or (800) 437-7021.

Brian Berkhahn
02-14-2013, 09:14 PM
Ah no.. we're not that I know of.. thanks for the heads up, I will pass this along.

02-15-2013, 11:41 AM
I emailed them last month about this but received no reply. Maybe I should have called.

02-16-2013, 10:17 AM
They're supposed to hold another one for Fbks. as a lot of interested parties were at the Juneau AMA Convention. We'll see if they keep their word.

Brian Berkhahn
02-16-2013, 09:04 PM
I emailed them last month about this but received no reply. Maybe I should have called.

I know Deantha has been EXTREMELY busy.. so don't take it personally, I have a hard time getting ahold of her too. I forwarded her what you put down here. There is so much on the plate right now I don't know how she's keeping up with it all.. gotta give that girl kudo's for doing such a great job.

Allan, did you go the Juneau AMA convention?

02-17-2013, 12:45 PM
Not me, no bridge there yet!

Brian Berkhahn
02-19-2013, 10:11 AM
The AMA is aware of it.. the BLM is giving a presentation at the Federal Oversite Committee at the AMA right now.

02-19-2013, 11:35 AM
There is also an open house and flowing public meeting this afternoon and evening. See my post above. Thanks for the updates Brian on what the the AMA is doing.

02-19-2013, 07:11 PM
I attended the open house this afternoon for the first half hour and left just as confused as when I arrived. This was no dog on the people who put it on. They had the information on display with maps and such and were willing to answer questions of course, but its planning, so its a lot to take in.

What I did learn is it will not open any land to mineral entry, it will be mineral leasing only. Im not familiar with BLM Leases so I cant comment on that.

- They are currently recommending Alternative C, which does not open any land in the WMRA, thats included in option D.

- I came away with the idea is they are taking public comment less on making the decision and more on ideas on the plan itself, whats included/ not included. They will recommend an Alternative and the higher ups, including the new Secretary will make the final decision.

- The new choice for Secretary of the Interior is bad news for Alaska and our BLM managed lands here. (Thats my opinion)

- The meeting in Fairbanks recently was majority against opening of any lands for minerals.

- The White Mountains Leasing is part of a much much larger Plan that includes the Forty Mile area.

Brian Berkhahn
02-20-2013, 08:08 AM
I had a feeling that was you sitting behind me. There are 2 different area's, one area is for leasing only which unfortunately is without a doubt what the big boys will suck up.. the other area will be open for mining claims. You are right.. it's alot to take in.

We had a really good meeting yesterday morning with the same folks that were there last night. Steve Borell was there and offered alot of new language to the current plan that would help stream line permiting. Anyone who has ever worked with the BLM knows that they like to stonewall people.. hopefully they use all his comments.

I chose option C because sometimes it's better to walk the line, lets make them happy and get our foot in the door.. get it approved then we can make changes later.

However.. everything has to be approved by the Secretary of the Interior so it's iffy if any of this will happen anyways. Honestly I feel the only way we'll ever get to mine in these area's is if the State secedes and we get rid off all the Federal overreach.

02-20-2013, 05:10 PM
Actually I only attended the Open House, which started at four. I would have said "Hi" if I was there . I spoke of no new mining claims in the WM only, other areas I havent really looked too much into, though maybe Im wrong there. I wish I would have asked them specifics on the differences of whats currently in place and there proposed Option C. That leads to me to wish they could make overlays on there maps which would really highlight differences for people like me who like visuals.

Brian Berkhahn
02-21-2013, 07:55 AM
Anyone who has ever worked with the BLM knows that they like to stonewall people..

I need to correct myself, I used the word "stonewall" when that was the wrong term.. I meant "delay". However with the people we have now on the Kenai (Mike Johnson, Steve Hohensee and John Hoppe) are very easy and great guys to work with.

Sorry Outnaboutnak, I thought that might have been you since you said you were there.

03-01-2013, 05:53 PM
There are still some upcoming meetings for the interior, including

Chalkyitsik, Community Hall March 19, 2013 Open House: 5:00 - 6:00 pm Public Meeting: 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Fairbanks, Morris Thompson Cultural Center March 5, 2013 Open House: 3:00 - 7:00 pm Public Meeting: 7:00-9:00 pm

Fort Yukon, Tribal Hall March 6, 2013 Open House: 5:00 - 6:00 pm Public Meeting: 6:00 - 8:00 pm
Eagle, Eagle School March 11, 2013 Public Meeting: 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Eagle Village, Tribal Hall March 12, 2013 Public Meeting: 2:00 - 5:00 pm

Comments are due by April 11 2013