A group of Florence citizens are banding together to oppose mining on Heceta Beach dunes.
[Florence resident Dina] Pavlis was curious. She called the U.S. Forest Service, which owns Heceta Dunes, and learned something that surprised her. Anyone can stake such a claim on certain public lands in the United States, thanks to a mining law that turns 140 years old this year — a law passed by Congress in order to encourage people to move out to the West.
“I was surprised at how easy it is for companies to get ahold of public lands,” Pavlis said. “I thought public land was land we owned.”
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