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COMMITTEE ON INTERIOR AND INSULAR AFFAIRS
) HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington, Chairman CLINTON P. ANDERSON, New Mexico THOMAS H. KUCHEL, California ALAN BIBLE, Nevada
GORDON ALLOTT, Colorado FRANK CHURCH, Idaho
LEN B. JORDAN, Idaho ERNEST GRUENING, Alaska
MILWARD L. SIMPSON, Wyoming FRANK E. MOSS, Utah
PAUL J. FANNIN, Arizona
JERRY T. VERKLER, Staff Director
SUBCOMMITTEE ON MINERALS, MATERIAL, AND FUELS
ERNEST GRUENING, Alaska, Chairman HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington
LEN B. JORDAN, Idaho ALAN BIBLE, Nevada
GORDON ALLOTT, Colorado
PAUL J. FANNIN, Arizona
Barry, Frank J., Solicitor, Department of the Interior; accompanied by
Thomas J. Cavanaugh, Associate Solicitor; and Ernest Hom, Assistant
Seely, Brad, president, Treasure State Industries, Inc.-
Carver, John A., Jr., Acting Secretary of the Interior: Letter to Hon. Mike
committee: Letter to Hon. Lee Metcalf, U.S. Senate, dated September
Geology: Letter to W. H. Porter, American Chemet Corp., Helena, Mont.,
COMMON VARIETIES ACT
FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 1965
Butte, Mont. The Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials, and Fuels of the Senate Interior and Insular Affairs Committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10 a.m. in the Silver Bow County Courthouse at Butte, Mont., Senator Ernest Gruening presiding:
Present: Senators Ernest Gruening, of Alaska, and Lee Metcalf, of Montana.
Also present: Stewart French, chief counsel.
Gentlemen, first, let me express the appreciation of the Subcommittee on Minerals, Materials, and Fuels to Judge John B. McClernan for the use of this courtroom. We hope that our hearing will live up to the high standards of justice which Judge McClernan is known to dispense. We will do our best to live up to that standard.
This is an open, public hearing by the Minerals, Materials, and Fuels Subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs on Public Law 167 of the 84th Congress. This law is popularly known by the various titles of "The Common Varieties Act," or "Materials Act," or "Multiple Use Act.”
Although this is a Minerals, Materials, and Fuels Subcommittee hearing—and I am chairman of that subcommittee in the Senate we have the good fortune to have with us the able junior Senator from Montana, Lee Metcalf, who, of course, needs no introduction to a Montana group:
As a result of the vagaries of selection of subcommittee membership, Senator Metcalf does not happen to be on the Minerals, Materials, and Fuels Subcommittee, although he is a member of the full committee. Lee Metcalf is recognized throughout Congress, and, indeed, throughout the executive branch as well, as an expert on mining law, and is a Senator keenly aware of, and deeply sympathetic toward, the problems of mining men-particularly those of the small, independent miner. In fact, it was Lee Metcalf himself who was the sparkplug that brought about these hearings. On my left is Stewart French, the chief counsel of the Interior Committee, an attorney who is extremely knowledgeable, also, in mining matters.
As some of you may know, last year Lee Metcalf urged me to hold these hearings and in all good faith I agreed to do so. However, the civil rights legislation required our continued presence in Washington, and then there were the national party political conventions and election campaign in which both Senator Metcalf and I took an active part.
Our hearing today is on the law itself, Public Law 167, 84th Congress, which is found, as amended, in title 30 of the United States Code, beginning with section 601, and with its administration and operation under the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service.
I might say, parenthetically, that I am a member of the Committee on Government Operations and chairman of one of its subcommittees. This is the unit of the Senate that looks into the administration of the laws and the operations of the executive branch in general. So it might be said that I am wearing two hats here today, or that we have two strings to our bow, so to speak.
Since the provisions of the law, as well as its interpretation and administration by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, of which the National Forest Service is a part, are before us as a subject for inquiry and exploration, I will direct that the text of Public Law 167, as amended, and the regulations promulgated by the Secretary of the Interior for its administration, be printed in these hearings as
ix. These administrative guidelines are found in title 43 of the Code of Federal Regulations, part 185. Also, I will direct that Senator Clinton Anderson's report on the bill, Senate bill 1713, of the 84th Congress, which is the substance of the measure that became the law, also be printed in the appendix. This is Senate Report No. 554, 84th Congress, filed on June 15, 1955.
Senator Anderson's report explains the reasons for enactment of Public Law 167, and gives some of the background for the legislation.
I would like to quote, briefly, from this report. Senator Anderson states that the purpose of the bill is*** to permit multiple use of the surface re.ources of our public lands, to provide for their more efficient administration, and to amend the mining laws to curtail abuses of those laws by a few individuals who usually are not miners.
At the same time, the measure faithfully safeguards all of the rights and interests of bona fide prospectors and mine operators. In no way would it deprive them of rights and means for development of the mineral resources of the public lands of the United States under the historic principles of free enterprise and private ownership of the present mining laws.
I would like to emphasize those last two sentences by reading them over again. They are *** the measure faithfully safeguards all of the rights and interests of bona fide prospectors and mine operators. In no way would it deprive them of rights and means for development of the mineral resources of the public lands of the United States under the historic principles of free enterprise and private ownership of the present mining laws.
Unfortunately, from the correspondence I have seen, this clear intent of Congress in enacting Public Law 167 has at times apparently been somewhat more honored in the breach than in the observance.
However, it should be pointed out that the report goes on to say that* * * the committee has received an increasing number of reports of growing abuses of the mining laws by persons whose primary interest in filing claims was not mining. The most serious of these abuses is that relating to mining claims in national forests whereby claimants have been able to obtain a color of title to hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable timber belonging to the people of the United States at virtually no cost to themselves and subject to little control, in fact, by the Forest Service.