War on mining is over: Zinke’s Alaska advisor delivers strong message from Interior Department – by Shane Lasley (North of 60 Mining News – November 19, 2017)


When Steve Wackowski asked his superiors at the U.S. Department of Interior office in Washington D.C. for a message to deliver at the Alaska Miners Association’s annual convention in Anchorage, their response put an exclamation point on a clear shift in federal policy since President Donald Trump took office – “The war on mining is over.”

This does not mean the United States’ mining sector has a new federal ally, but it does indicate that the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and other agencies under the DOI banner are willing to grant mining due consideration on federal multi-use lands.

Wackowski, who was sworn in as Interior Ryan Zinke’s senior advisor for Alaska affairs in May, delivered this message during a Nov. 8 presentation at the AMA convention.

Alaska’s main terminal to the Interior offices in Washington D.C. said Zinke has made it clear that it is the department’s sacred duty to be stewards of the public lands under its domain and that the mining sector is held to the highest safety and environmental standards on those lands.

“But with that comes another priority given to us by our President – that is to remove the burdensome and unnecessary regulations that seem to have been written to put mining out of business,” said Wackowski.

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