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Mining bill is a sellout

(This letter was originally sent to Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton.)Dear Editor:I am writing Secretary Norton because I want to know what her official position is on the attachment to the House budget bill presented by Richard Pombo that would open up millions of acres of public land for sale to mining/development interests. I am hoping that Secretary Norton, as a supposed steward of lands owned by me and all my fellow Americans for many past generations, sees this legislation for the ridiculous sellout of our future that it is. To allow development/real estate interests that masquerade as mining interests through thinly veiled, antiquated mining laws, to purchase my land at completely undervalued prices, strikes me as a crime against nature and our children. I hope Ms. Norton agrees that it is completely absurd that this debate should even be going on right now, that legislative practices that allow such amendments to budgetary bills should be reformed, if not completely eliminated. I also hope that Ms. Norton is doing everything in her power to undermine and defeat this legislation as it goes to the Senate. I expect, as a private citizen who tries to take an active role participating in democracy, that Ms. Norton will call, e-mail, or write me back as early as possible to let me and all my fellow Americans know what exactly she is doing to protect the interests against those who would rather steal and exploit our land and our future than preserve it so others can enjoy their basic rights and privileges.David E. JohnsonCarbondale


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