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Public domain withdrawn from mineral entry in Wallowa-Whitman National Forest: a case study Public Deposited

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  • Since the passage of the mining and mineral leasing laws, a considerable amount of the public domain has been excluded from mineral exploration and development. It has been estimated that as much as fifty-three and sixty-four percent of the public lands have been withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the mining and mineral leasing laws respectively. The authority to withdraw lands from appropriation under the public land laws was originally vested in Congress by the Constitution. Authority has been vested in the President and certain governmental departments by Congressional delegations. Withdrawals of land from mineral entry in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, an area of past and present mineral development, take four major forms: power site withdrawals; reclamation project withdrawals; administrative and public service withdrawals; and Congressional withdrawals. A total of 22.6 and 21.8 percent of the public domain within the Forest has been withdrawn from the jurisdiction of the mining and mineral leasing laws respectively. Withdrawals by Congressional action alone have excluded over twenty-one percent of the Forest from mineral entry. Withdrawals for power sites, reclamation projects and administrative and public service areas represent a very small proportion of the total land withdrawn from mineral entry.
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