Waterfall Environmental Science, Eighth Edition
Student Resources

Chapter 16: The Earth and Its Mineral Resources

Reforming the 1872 Mining Act
In the Point/Counterpoint in Chapter 16, a representative of the Wilderness Society and the Director of the Mineral Policy Center's Reform Campaign debate the president of the Colorado Mining Association. In the text, I asked you to summarize their views and consider which view most closely relates to your view on the subject. To explore the issue further, we invite you to check out the web sites listed below. As you examine each site, be certain to identify who is providing the information and any hidden agendas they might have. The questions posed below will help you evaluate the web sites and clarify your own opinion. Spend a few minutes reviewing them before you start reading the information posted at these sites. Furthering the Exploration: To help you evaluate the Web sites and clarify your own opinion, write down your answers to the following questions. Taking an active part in this exercise will help you prepare for discussions in and out of your class.

1. What new facts, ideas, and viewpoints, if any, did these web sites provide for you? How did they further your understanding of this issue? Be specific.

2. Did your examination and analysis of the material affect your support of one of the two viewpoints presented in the text? If so, explain how and why.

3. After reading the material, can you think of an alternative position other than those taken by the authors? Explain it.

4. Do you think that the information provided by all organizations and individuals at the web sites you visited was reliable and unbiased? How much of the information was scientific? How much was each viewpoint based on ethics?
PointCounterpoint
Mineral Policy Center
Click on Publications for a variety of source materials in opposition to the 1872 Mining Law.
http://www.mineralpolicy.org/
Cato Institute
The Cato Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research foundation advocating free markets and limited government. This link goes directly to a transcript of testimony titled Reforming the 1972 Mining Law. The testimony was given by a scholar from the institute to the U.S. Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. You can also look on the Cato Institute page for their Policy Analysis #300 "Two Cheers for the 1872 Mining Law."
http://www.cato.org/testimony/ct-rg080399.html
U.S. Bureau of Land Management
This link goes to a BLM brochure that answers questions about the patenting process. BLM's support or opposition to reforming the act depends on the current administration's view.
http://www.blm.gov/nhp/pubs/brochures/minerals/

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