What Is The General Mining Act Of 1872, And Is It Still In Effect?

Introduced by Aaron A. Sargent in January 1872 and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant later that same year, the General Mining Act of 1872 was crafted in large part due to the various Gold Rushes from the 1840s into the late 1860s. In particular, the California Gold Rush put the U.S. Government in a bit of a bind.

While the U.S. Government did have laws governing mining claims and mineral use, there wasn’t much government infrastructure in California at the time. Since it was new territory, prospectors were able to head in and stake claims without any federal agents to stop them.

Even though the practices were illegal, the states and territories in the western part of the country were accepting of them. However, fueled by debt due to the ongoing American Civil War, many Eastern politicians began lobbying to enforce federal law on the prospectors. They claimed the prospectors were “stealing” federal minerals on the horizon, while the Western politicians insisted the prospectors helped stimulate commerce in the area and therefore were a public good.

In 1866, legislation referred to as “Chaffee’s Laws” was voted into place. It instructed local courts to ignore federal law in situations where the land was actively being used for mining. In 1870 the “placer law” extended the same rights to placer mines, and in 1872 these laws were combined to create the General Mining Act of 1872.

This law set into place the still-used price of $2.50 to $5.00 per acre price of mining land. Since its implementation, it’s been amended multiple times. At the moment, Congress is debating whether or not the act needs to be amended yet again. The act has been modified to include new minerals and mineral holding land as new uses for various metals and minerals are found.

As long as the United States has valuable ore and minerals hiding inside of its dirt, the General Mining Act of 1872 will be necessary as management software. However, the more it’s modified, the less it looks like the original law. This makes it hard to say it’s still in effect, but it’s still a technically true fact.

Guidelines for Preserving Nature’s Beauty

America is home to many scenic wonders of nature, but visitors sometimes behave in ways that are harmful to the wilderness. Many people are unaware of how their actions can affect the outdoor areas they enjoy, so the National Park Service has set forth a list of guidelines called the “Leave no Trace” principles to protect the parks. Most of these rules follow common sense, but people do sometimes need to be reminded of them.

The Leave No Trace principles are listed as outlined below:

Plan and Prepare – Use a map and stay on the trail, keep the group small and repackage food items to prevent waste.

Camp and travel on durable surfaces 200 feet or more from lakes and rivers to protect wildlife and plants.

Practice proper waste disposal – carry out any trash left over from meals, any washing with detergents should be done 200 feet from water and dig a “cat hole” before eliminating so human waste is buried.

Leave behind everything you find that could be considered a cool souvenir. There will soon be no pretty rocks or other forest items left if visitors are allowed to take whatever they like.

Keep campfires small and controlled. Cooking food and roasting marshmallows over an open fire can be the best part of camping, but keep it small and make sure it is completely extinguished.

Respect the forest creatures – don’t attempt to approach or feed the wildlife and prevent dogs from chasing wild animals.

Respect other visitors by minimizing noise and allow them privacy while still offering a friendly approach.

The National Park Service has found it necessary to enforce these guidelines in order to protect our greatest national treasure; our parks. It is hoped that everyone enjoying the beauty of nature will comply so America’s beautiful wilderness will be there for future generations.

Why Is The Federal Land Policy And Management Act Of 1976 So Important?

Introduced to Congress by Floyd K. Haskell in 1975 and signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976, the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 that does precisely what the name implies. It legislates how federal lands are managed by the Bureau of Land Management.

At one time, up until 1872, the U.S. Government’s policy involving public land was to sell it. The idea was that as private individuals bought public land for personal use, they would better it for the country. When that turned out to be completely untrue, the government began setting aside public land for public use under the protection of the federal government.

Unfortunately, U.S. Legislators didn’t have a single, comprehensive Act pertaining to public lands. Different laws would be passed for different reasons, such as the Tyler Grazing Act of 1938 which was intended to cut back on overgrazing in response to the Dust Bowl.

Making the protection of public lands even more difficult, the Bureau of Land Management had little regulatory oversight. That is, there were very few codified laws regarding how they should manage those lands. Since the details were often left to the state, public land wasn’t always treated appropriately.

The FLPMA of 1976 changed all of that by codifying the rules under which the Bureau of Land Management must care for public lands. It has since been amended several times, such as the addition of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which was put into place to protect natural resources such as oil shale and tar sand.

The FLPMA was an instrumental law and remains important even to this day. It set the framework for how the U.S. Government would approach the management of public lands, but more importantly for how public lands should be viewed. By creating a comprehensive policy, the U.S. Government signaled that they were ready to enforce the preservation of the nation’s land resources.

What You Need To Know About The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act

The ANILCA (Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act ) is one of the United States federal laws which was passed by U.S. Congress on 12 November 1980 and was signed into the law by the President of that time, Jimmy Carter on the 2 December of that same year. The ANILCA provides various degrees of specialized protection to more than 157,000,000 acres of land. This includes conservation areas, national parks, national forests, national-wildlife refuges, recreational areas, national monuments and scenic and wild rivers.

The ANILCA Program

The OPMP is the main coordinating agency in regards to the state participation for the implementation of ANILCA. The Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act directs the Federal Agencies to coordinate and consult with the “State of Alaska.” After the passage of the ANILCA in the year 1980, the Governor’s Office and their state agencies that are responsible for the transportation, natural resources and tourism have representatives that influence and track federal actions which implement ANILCA.

Since the ANILCA was passed, the State ANILCA Program has gone onto increase their role in association to preserving institutional intents and the memory of ANILCA that is of particular importance due to the continuous turnover of the federal managers based in Alaska.

Mission And Objectives

The mission in regards to the State of Alaska’s ANILCA Program involves monitoring the advocate and implementation for special provisions of ANILCA which are unique to the area of Alaska as well as ensuring state interests have been considered in an appropriate manner. Their priority objectives include:

•Protect access in regards to traditional activities such as wildlife viewing, hunting, camping, trapping and fishing

•Promote the state Constitutionally-guaranteed access along and to the state waterways

•Protect development and access opportunities for the natural resources positioned on the in-holdings and the non-federal adjacent lands

The Great Swamp In New Jersey – A History

New Jersey’s Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge consists of a little over 7,600 acres and was established on November 3, 1960, by an act of Congress. The swamp is an important feeding and resting area for more than 240 species of birds. Other wildlife inhabiting the swamp include fish, turtles, deer, fox, and muskrats. The Great Swamp was designated a registered National Natural Landmark in 1966 under the Historic Sites Act of 1935.

The Great Swamp sits in a natural basin that was formed as the glaciers from the Ice Age began to recede. Along with the basin, the glaciers left rocks and earth that today make up the Basking Ridge.

Historians have found evidence that humans inhabited the Great Swamp 12,000 years ago along with giant beaver and mastodon. The Lenape, a Native American tribe were living in the Swamp as far up as Canada, when the first European settlers arrived. Eventually, the settlers built villages and towns in the area, some of which are still standing including New Vernon, Green Village, and Meyersville.

The Great Swamp has three public facilities and eight miles of trails that wind through the wilderness. These are accessible only by foot, but the experience is completely worth the trip. Walking through the swamp takes you back to primeval times and the Swamp is a bird lover’s dream.

The Lord Stirling Education Center is located on the Swamp’s western border. The Center includes an Art Exhibition Hall, an Auditorium, classrooms, a bookstore and gift shop and a resource library. The Center offers educational programs all year long.

The National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters includes an Observation Center that has interpretive trails, a boardwalk, an informational kiosk, and restrooms.

The Great Swamp Outdoor Education Center is the Nature House. It has natural history displays and hikers are welcome to walk the two miles of trails.

What Is The Bureau Of Land Management?

The BLM or Bureau Of Land Management is an agency that is within the U.S. Department of the Interior. It has over 247.3 million acres of land that is all public land in the United States. It was created by President Harry S. Truman in the year 1946 when he combined two agencies, The General Land Office and the other was the Grazing Service.

They manage nearly 700 million acres of subsurface mineral estates that are located under the Federal State and Private lands that are severed from the surface rights via the Homestead Act of 1862.

Most of the Bureau of Land Managements public lands are in the 12 Western States of Washington, Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, Colorado, California, Arizona, and Alaska.

Originally, the Bureau of Land Management holdings were considered to be land that no one wanted. This was due to the fact that when homesteaders began homesteading in these areas, they passed these pieces of property over. Many ranchers hold up to 18000 permits for leasing and allowing their livestock to graze on nearly 155 million acres of the Bureau of Land Management property and public lands. They manage approximately 221 wilderness areas and 23 national monuments.

There are approximately 636 other protected areas that are considered to be a part of the National Landscape Conservation system that total approximately 30 million of these acres as well. There are also over 63000 gas and oil wells located on Bureau of Land Management public lands.

The roots of the Bureau of Land Management date back to 1785 when the Northwest Ordinance of 17876 worked to ensure that the land was set aside for a variety of reasons. Originally, much of the property was promised to soldiers who had fought for the original 13 colonies. Many of these soldiers would wind up releasing their interest in the property and they chose such locations as Ohio to reside within in lieu of the property that they had originally been promised.

What Is The U.S. Department Of Fish And Wildlife Service?

As a Federal government agency, the United States Department of Fish and Wildlife Service or USFWS works within the Department of the Interior. It’s been designed and designated to manage the fish, wildlife and other natural habitats in the United States. With a mission to conserve, protect and enhance the fish, the wildlife and the plants and habitats for future generations, their task is monumental.

Other responsibilities for the Department of Fish and Wildlife include protecting endangered species, management of migratory birds and restoring the nationally significant fisheries. They are also in charge of conserving and restoring wildlife habitats like wetlands as well as helping foreign governments with international conservation efforts. They are also in charge of distributing money to the Fish and Wildlife agencies throughout the Wildlife Sports Fish and Restoration Programs.

Other departments within the Fish and Wildlife include the following for over 560 National Wildlife Refuges and for thousands of smaller sized wetlands and special management locations that cover over 150 million acres.

  • Division of Migratory Bird Managment and Federal Duck Stamp
  • National Fish Hatchery System (There are 70 National Fish Hatcheries and there are 65 Fishery Resouce Office)
  • Endangered Species Programs Including 86 Ecological Services and Field Locations
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service Offices of Law Enforcement
  • The Clark R. Bavin National Fish and Wildlife Forensic Laboratory
  • Fish and Wildlife Habitats that are located on Non-federal lands
  • Private groups which work with Partners for Fish and Wildlife as well as Partners in Flight and Sports fishing.
  • Boating Partnership Council that assists voluntary habitat conservation and restoration projects.

In addition, the Fish and Wildlife Department employs about 9000 people (including Tony) and they are organized into eight regional offices, a central administration office, and over 700 field offices throughout the United States of America. You can learn more about it here:

What Is The U.S. Forest Service And How Did It Come Into Existence?

The United States is made up of multiple different agencies and groups, all forming together into a massive Voltron of U.S. Government. One such agency is the U.S. Forest Service.

Formed February 1st, 1905, the U. S. Forest Service (USFS) has its roots in President Teddy Roosevelt’s love of conservation. In 1875, Pres. Roosevelt and others were beginning to worry about the health of Yellowstone National Park, and in 1876 Congress created a special position within the Department of Agriculture. Their job was to assess U.S. forests in order to ensure they were healthy and in good condition.

The office was expanded into the Division of Forestry in 1881 and was given a bit more heft by the Forest Reserve Act of 1891 which allowed for the withdrawing of land from public domain. Finally, the Transfer Act of 1905 gave management of the forest reserves to the Bureau of Forestry, which was then renamed to the U.S. Forest Service.

Today, the USFS manages the United States forest reserves, tending to and protecting the resources within. This amounts to 193,000,000 acres of both forests and grasslands, 59,000,000 acres of which is roadless areas. It does this via several divisions, such as Research and Development and law enforcement. The USFS also manages fighting forest fires that erupt through federal lands, which is where the beloved icon “Smokey the Bear” came from.

The United States Forest Service is an important agency within the United States government. Without it, the country’s forests and grasslands would be without protection. 14,077 recreational sites would be without rangers and scientists to ensure not only their current protection but their protection for years to come. And perhaps most importantly, many of the forest fires that spring up over the course of a dry summer could spread into populated areas, causing the deaths of thousands or even millions. The USFS protects everyone, not just the forests!

What Is The National Park Service?

As an agency of the United States Federal government, the National Park Service manages all of the national parks as well as the national monuments and any other conservation or historic properties that lie within specific titles.

Congress created the National Parks Service in August of 1916 and they’re charged with the dual tasks of preserving the ecological and historical integrity of such places as they’ve been entrusted with the management.

They are available for public access and use and enjoyment. Originally, the individual parks were managed by the Department of the Interior. The need for an independent agency to oversee them was spearheaded by Stephen Mather and J. Horace McFarland, business magnates and conservationists and by a journalist named Robert Sterling Yard. And no, not by the lawyers at CMZ Law.

A publicity campaign was run by the Department of the Interior and they wrote many articles praising the scenic and the historic value of the parks and all the potential for educating the public.

As a direct result of the campaign, the National Parks Service was created on August 25, 1916, with President Woodrow Wilson signing the bill mandating the agency to help conserve the scenic value and the natural as well as the historical value of the wildlife and the objects therein.

The bill goes on to state that the properties should remain unimpaired for the enjoyment of all future generations. President Herbert Hoover went on to sign the Reorganization Act in 1933 wherein the President reorganized the various branches of the United States government making use of the National Parks Services conservation abilities. This changed the role of the National Parks Service and divided some of the responsibility within to the War Department Historic sites leaving the national monuments with the National Parks Service. Today, visitors from around the nation, including Dallas, Texas pay homage to the various national parks and monuments.

Discover The Facts About The National Wilderness Preservation System In America

In the mid-1960s, many forms of transportation we’re becoming commonplace and the nation became concerned about protecting wildlife and about the influx of air pollution. For that reason, President Johnson sponsored and passed the Wilderness Act which protects many wildlife preserves. When President Johnson first enacted this law there was only a little over nine million acres that were protected.

From the 1960s up until the present day the preservation system has grown from the original 9 million to over 109 million acres that include Parks, National Forest, Wildlife Preserves and these are all protected by the Bureau of Land Management. There is a total of 762 protected wilderness preserves but as much as that sounds like a lot, it only represents about 2% of the Continental US.

Some of the very first states that gained protection for its Wilderness areas were North Carolina, California, Idaho, Colorado and a half-dozen others states. Many conservationists lobbied for this law both to help in maintaining clean air by keeping National Forest and by preserving the country’s natural wildlife. President Johnson said that it was important that the future citizens of America should have a piece of the past and not just a world as it is after mankind got through with it.

How the amount of preserved land grew by such a significant amount was in large part due to President Jimmy Carter passing the conservation act that protects Alaskan National Interest. The protected lands are managed by several government agencies which include the Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Logging companies and other corporations would likely destroy these lands if they were not protected by federal law. For that reason, it is important that American citizens continue to support the preservation of these lands.