For Sale: Public Land, $5 an Acre
H.R.2262, the Hardrock Mining and Reclamation Act, passed the House on November 11, 2007. The legislation reforms the Mining Act ending the sale of government land at giveaway prices. The bill included an exception for claims grandfathered in before 1994. Under the Mining Act of 1872, any miner who proved a mining claim on Federal land could get a deed to that land for $5 an acre. It is an outdated law that intended to help settle the West and develop (i.e., exploit) it's natural resources.
By 1994 Congress realized that the country had outgrown that act, and imposed a moratorium on it. No new deeds have been issued since that time. On November 1, Rep. John Shimkus, (IL-19) voted against H.R.2262. He has no problem selling off public land -- at $5 an acre.
In case there is someone wanting to engage in something more than the non-ground-disturbing recreational collection of hand-size rocks and minerals in the Shawnee National Forest, a quick review of campaign contributions identifies just who that someone could be. Of the top 20 industries, Mining makes the list at No. 20 with $99,725.
The NO vote was John Shimkus at his plebian best.