Revision of the United States General Mining Law of 1872 as it Applies to Wildlife Conservation

WHEREAS, the importance of preserving the nation's biodiversity has become widely recognized; and

WHEREAS, abandoned mines of all types provide critical roosting and wintering sites for most bat species found in the United States, as well as habitat for a broad array of other wildlife; and

WHEREAS, traditional methods used in site reclamation and restoration such as backfilling, blasting, and plugging can destroy valuable wildlife habitat; and

WHEREAS, there are methods of securing mine sites that ensure public safety and bat and other wildlife conservation at abandoned mine sites that are determined to be important habitat; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. House of Representatives bill HR 322 to revise the General Mining Law of 1872 includes provision for the preservation of wildlife and the U.S. Senate bill 775 does not include such provision;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The American Society of Mammalogists, at their 75th Anniversary Meeting at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, 18-23 June 1994, urges the U.S. Congress to pass a Mineral Exploration and Development Act that includes provision for wildlife conservation as written in the House Bill HR 322 sec. 302 "(C) HABITAT-Reclamation and restoration activities under this title, particularly those identified under sub-section (a)(4), shall include appropriate mitigation measures to provide for the continuation of any established habitat for wildlife in existence prior to the commencement of (reclamation and restoration) activities."