What's the biggest political dinosaur that hinders US conservation? Debatable question, but my nominee is the 1872 Mining Law, and I'm not alone.
Well, that dinosaur is endangered--today your House of Representatives just passed meaningful mining reform. That makes it a good day for oceans, rivers, and lakes, and almost anything natural.
And I hate to be a partisan, but the last election did matter in this long-overdue effort to clean up our environment. Check out the roll call on this vote. Of course, there is a Democratic obstacle in the Senate, from the mining state of Nevada, so it's not purely a partisan issue.
For an excellent balanced review of the 1872 mining law, see this article by Robert McClure and Andrew Schneider of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
For some pro-mining law polemics, try here.
Or for some fun info on the problems with the law, watch this cartoon: