Protest by Homeowner Coalition
BLM Las Vegas Manager Accused
Of 'Gross Malfeasance of Office'
by Steve Miller
copyright © 1997, Electric Nevada
|In order to generate a $5,000,000 agency slush fund he alone will control, the Las Vegas district manager of the Bureau of Land Management is illegally circumventing national environmental laws, an official protest filed with the BLM charged this month.|
| At issue is a proposal by District
Manager Mike Dwyer which would allow mining of 22,000,000
tons of gravel over a 10 year period from a pit in the
community of Lone Mountain, Nevada, nine miles northwest
of Las Vegas. Homeowners there are already currently
objecting to dust and 50-ton truck traffic from the seven
companies now mining the pit.
The protest was filed in behalf of a nine-group coalition of area homeowners and environmentalists early this month by Frederick Schuster of Thunder Consulting, a Banning, California firm.
The BLM Las Vegas office, said Schuster, has a long history of intentionally misclassifying commercial gravel mining as "community pit" operations in order to evade environmental assessment requirements, to evade federal mining laws, and to get money to do things the U.S. Congress has not funded.
"Historically, the [Las Vegas District Office] has been designating community pits not for the purpose for which they were intended (i.e., expediting small repetitive sales of sand and gravel) but as a means of granting large commercial sales without benefit of a mining
plan ... or a current
environmental assessment," said the protest.
spokesman for one of the environmentalist groups in the
protest coalition disagreed.
but the BLM is
permitting twice that much to be mined.
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