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New rules for hunting meteorites
Gene Kooper
post Oct 6 2016, 09:48 PM
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QUOTE (Clay Diggins @ Oct 2 2016, 01:21 PM) *
I didn't make the determination that Berringer was the "pre-eminent mining attorney in the U.S" at the time. Heck I wasn't even born yet. rolleyes.gif
Berringer was an acknowledged expert in claim status. There were quite a few people at the time who thought that was the case including Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt. Both Roosevelt and Wilson knew Lindley and admired his work but they both publicly lauded Berringer's preeminence in the field. Berringer, Lindley, Roosevelt, Taft and Wilson all ran in the same circles at the time. Lindley was a public speaker and local judge and Berringer was an active mining engineer, and mining lawyer. It's not surprising that Berringer's personal accomplishments would gain him a bit more respect in the industry at a time when actual real world experience and success still mattered.

The fact that Lindley wrote a fine book that was published the same year as Berringers didn't qualify him as an expert on placers and lodes. Berringer actually was a geologist (Harvard and University of Virginia) and lawyer (Princeton and University of Pennsylvania) and owned and operated some of the most successful mines in American history. Berringer thrived in the Tombstone claims quagmire and succeeded in winning his claims where many other famous lawyers had failed. His success made him a wealthy mine owner and well known for his legal ability. Lindley never graduated law school and he took a correspondence course to learn mine engineering. Lindley did eventually receive an honorary Jurisprudence degree from Stanford before his death and his student Herbert Hoover arranged for him to serve as legal counsel in the U.S. Food Department in his last year of life. Both authors had their strong points.

Whether we prefer Lindley's book or Barringer's book today matters little. Everyone has an opinion and I'm sure yours is as highly valued in your realm as mine is where I practice my profession. We aren't required to respect the opinions of the time of Berringers publications but the public statements from those in power at the time favor Berringer. I find Barringers book more readable and better organized yet Lindley's book also covers mining law history and international mining law more completely. They are both very useful books even today. I actually prefer the writing in either work to Terry Maley's more recent efforts. So much for my opinion. tomatoes.gif

The IBLA was the 1970 successor "fix" for the long list of problems with the DOI handling the administrative appeals to their own decisions in their function as the General Land Office and later as the BLM. I'm not sure your comments about the General Land Office reversing themselves several times on patent and claim status doesn't go more to the previous point I made about perversity in the Land Office/IBLA decision process than it does in addressing Berringer's intentions in making lode claims over placers.

First, it's Barringer not Berringer. Second, if you are going to make bald assertions regarding Mr. Barringer such as, "[c]learly he was the leading expert on the differences between lode and placer claims" then providing some references would be appropriate. As for that assertion, I've never heard anyone anointing themself as an expert in determining whether a deposit is a placer or lode (let alone be THE expert). It is a fairly straightforward process and if there is some ambiguity classifying the deposit then staking the deposit as both placer and lodes is a simple fix until the GLO/BLM makes their determination. The only thing regarding lodes and placers that I see much case law on is the issue of lodes within placers, esp. what constitutes a "known" lode. Maybe you can point to some cases that deal just with the determination of whether an ore deposit should be staked as a placer or lode, esp. any where Mr. Barringer represented the winning party. It would also be nice to include some references where the Presidential names you dropped actually are quoted as acknowledging Mr. Barringer to be THE expert in lode vs. placer claims. I would also enjoy seeing any SCOTUS decisions where Barringer's treatise is quoted. "Lindley on Mines" has been cited in many SCOTUS decisions (see Colby's articles on Curtis Holbrook Lindley that are attached below).

Your comparison of Lindley and Barringer and your determination that an Ivy League educated man is apparently superior to others doesn't hold water either. I am reminded of the opposing views of John Muir and Josiah Whitney the California State Geologist with regard to whether Yosemite was carved by glaciers or created by some other process. Mr. (or should I use Dr. since he was a professor of geology at Harvard) Whitney was very smug about Muir's lack of formal education in the geological sciences. Muir, however walked Yosemite and made the field observations. Muir did the science while Dr. Whitney pontificated from his office. In the end Muir was proved right and the highly educated State Geologist was dead wrong. Mr. Barringer nearly lost his entire fortune investing in Meteor Crater just before his death. He may have figured out that it was an meteor impact, but he was wrong by nearly two orders of magnitude on the size of the deposit and the fact that most of it likely vaporized upon impact. From Wikipedia:
The mining of the crater continued until 1929 without ever finding the ten-million ton meteorite that Barringer assumed must be hidden. At this time the astronomer Forest Ray Moulton performed calculations on the energy expended by the meteorite on impact, and concluded that the meteorite had most likely vaporized when it landed. By this point Barringer had spent over $600,000 in mining the crater, nearly bankrupting him, with no iron profits to show for it.

Barringer died of a heart attack on November 30, 1929, shortly after reading the very persuasive arguments that no iron was to be found. He was survived by his wife, Margaret Bennett, and eight children, who, with their descendants, formed the Barringer Crater Company, which owns the site to this day.

Educational credentials alone are meaningless. I have degrees in geological engineering and hydrogeology from Colorado School of Mines; so what. I suppose I could think that since I'm a Professional Geologist in Colorado that my opinion of lodes vs. placers should hold extra weight. Mr. Lindley's father was a lawyer in the old California mining camps. Some might assert that being raised in that environment was a far better education on mining law than merely graduating from Penn. I attached a couple of articles on Judge Lindley written by William Colby that were published in the California Law Review. Mr. Colby (along with Mr. Lindley) was a recognized expert in extralateral rights. He wrote a series of articles in 1916-1917 on the topic for the California Law Review, a reprint of which is included in, "The Extralateral Right - Shall it be Abolished?", 1918.

Attached File  Curtis_Holbrook_Lindley.pdf ( 257.37K ) Number of downloads: 22

Attached File  Mining_Law_in_Recent_Years.pdf ( 457.77K ) Number of downloads: 202

I also cannot fathom your contention of the perversity of IBLA decisions. The IBLA handles administrative appeals of BLM decisions. Before a party can bring suit in a federal district court, they must exhaust their administrative appeals. In other words, they must file a protest and appeal to the IBLA first if they disagree with a BLM decision. The IBLA is primarily concerned with whether the BLM adhered to all of the guidelines, instructions, policies, processes, etc. If they did everything according to the book, then the IBLA invariably supports the BLM decision. On rare occasion they modify the rules, so to speak. For example, in the past the BLM had the legal standard of beyond a reasonable doubt regarding boundary evidence to support their decisions. The IBLA relaxed that standard to substantial evidence. The IBLA then defined substantial evidence as more than a scintilla, but less than a preponderance of the evidence. If you want to assert your personal opinion as being correct, it would be nice if you would cite examples of IBLA decisions that you regard as perverse. A few years ago I completed the BLM's Certified Federal Surveyor training program. The training takes approx. 220 hours to complete and is geared towards training private surveyors in the "ways of the BLM". I read and studied over 40 IBLA cases and I would not classify one of them as being a perversion. Your mileage is obviously different. Care to illustrate your position?

You failed to notice in my last post that I did not hold up one legal treatise as being superior to the rest. I have originals of all but W.P. Wade's book. From my perspective, it is imperative to keep an open mind and critically read and evaluate those texts before coming to any conclusion. I am a land surveyor not an attorney. I am tasked with applying the law not interpreting it. I often look for what has been done in the past and for examples of how a law or regulation was applied, not what I believe to be true after lawyerly parsing the text of the law. As far as I know, I've not represented myself as an expert on mining law on this forum, but rather I have shared some of my research and perspective on how I deal with the oddities of mining law as it relates to my retracements/dependent resurveys of mineral surveys. I am regarded by the State of Colorado as competent to practice land surveying. I don't know you other than by your forum nickname Clay, so please pardon me if you feel offended when I challenge you to support your opinions. I also don't know what your research interests are or whether you are held in high esteem in your profession as you stated above. All I go by is your posts here and you seem to at times cavalierly bandy about your opinions as fact (usually without any cites).

QUOTE (Clay Diggins @ Oct 2 2016, 01:21 PM) *
Here is Section 11 of the 1872 Mining Act to further illustrate Brandon's comment about the lodes being for "safety's sake".

I hope that helps clarify my previous post.

Your quote of Section 11 of the 1872 Mining Act does nothing to support your premise. Section 11 does not support "Brandon's comment about the lodes being for 'safety's sake.'" I discussed in my previous post that Daniel Barringer approached the staking of Meteor Crater in a belt and suspenders way. As I stated, this was most likely because he was not certain how the General Land Office would rule and wanted to guarantee his right to develop the ore deposit regardless of whether it was determined to be a placer deposit or lode deposit by the GLO.
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Clay Diggins
post Oct 7 2016, 01:34 AM
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Thanks for sharing your opinion Gene.

I see it as perfectly acceptable to prefer one author's writing to another's. I'm glad you feel free to express your opinion on the same subject. I'm not sure we disagree in our opinions?

I did know those things about Lindley and his father and I appreciate you sharing them on the forum. As I wrote he authored a fine book. I'm glad to read that the courts have given his writing recognition.

As far as source material that led me to make the statement that Barringer was an acknowledged expert on mining law and claim status at the time I've included some study material below:

If you want to read some of Roosevelt's writings from the time Harvard has a very nice collection. I'm sure you will find quite a bit of information about Barringer since they were long time friends and co-founders of the Boone and Crockett Club. Barringer also wrote some popular articles about his hunting and exploring adventures for the Club magazine as well as his books on geology and mining law. I found several interesting documents in the Federal Repository of the Skeen Library on the campus of the New Mexico School of Mines. A wonderful mining collection there, you should visit if you get the chance. There is also a Federal Repository in Denver but I don't know the extent of their mining collection - they may have some of the same material there also.

As for Woodrow Wilson I imagine some of his correspondence with Barringer might be found in the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library. You will find they corresponded regularly throughout their adult lives. Wilson and Barringer were classmates at Princeton and lifelong friends but Barringer was also a personal adviser on mining and geological matters to Wilson. You will find a nice tribute by Woodrow Wilson to Barringer's legal ability at the Duke University collection also.

You will find quite a bit of information on Barringer and his working relationships at the Barringer collection at Princeton University Library. There are nearly 40 cubic feet of records there so plan on spending a little time rummaging through that pile. You might find some of the information on Barringer's reputation useful at the Biographical Directory of Congress - Research Collections

With a little deeper research you will find that Barringer advised Roosevelt, Gifford Pinchot, Dr. George Bird Grinnell, Owen Wister and Aldo Leopold on the legal aspects of the creations of National Parks, Wilderness, Wildlife Refuges and the National Forests as they related to mining rights and land status. He was at the center of that land status revolution.

Barringer's father was a U.S. Congressman, Ambassador to Spain and respected lawyer who advised Zachery Taylor on the status of the gold mines in Cabarrus and Mecklenburg counties, N.C as well as being his advisor on Cabinet positions. He became friends with Abe Lincoln and Robert E. Lee early on in his career and his son grew up with those famous individuals and many others as household visitors and travel companions in his early youth.

It's true that Barringer graduated from several Ivy league schools, beginning with his admission to Princeton at the age of 15. All eight of his children graduated from Princeton also. He obviously was passionate about education but he was also an accomplished surveyor and geologist who got a very practical education in the field performing PLSS ground surveys in Arkansas and geologic and mine engineering consulting in several mines around the world. Of course his multiple mining successes speak to some aspects of his abilities as well.

Was Barringer "better" than Lindley? I really don't have an opinion that would matter a hill of beans to anyone. Was Barringer the most respected and knowledgeable mining lawyer of his time? I imagine that would be more about who you asked. If you asked the most influential and powerful leaders in America during the period under discussion I think you will find that they said yes in print and in their actions during that dynamic time in mining and land status law.

Thanks again for sharing. I hope you find those references enlightening.
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post Oct 7 2016, 09:10 AM
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Clay - I'm trying to follow the comments and links provided, but I have much more difficulty following your assertions.

For instance, you link to the Boone and Crockett club to show that Roosevelt and Barringer were friends and founded the club. I can find where this is written about elsewhere, but not on the actual site you link to. Here's a link to their internal search, and my query for Barringer found zero results.

I can find the linkage elsewhere though: MainLineToday

The same goes with your link to the Woodrow Wilson library. A search for Barringer returns zero results as well.

Searching Harvard's library for Barringer returned five results, none related to mining or Daniel Barringer:
- 3 returned results for bibliographies for this Aspects of East Anglian Pre-History, ed. Christopher Barringer. Norwich: Geo Books, 1984 by Christopher Barringer
- 2 returned results for this bibliographic reference: Gerard, P.J., J.R.F. Barringer, J.G. Charles, S.V. Fowler, J.M. Kean, C.B. Phillips, A.B. Tait, G.P. Walker, 2012:
Potential effects of climate change on biological control systems: case studies from New Zealand. BioControl,
advance online, DOI: 10.1007/s10526-012-9480-0

I'm trying to verify what you say, but I'm not readily able to do that.

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Gene Kooper
post Oct 21 2016, 11:22 PM
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I must say that I am surprised by your unwillingness to support your bald assertions. I waited a while to respond in the hope that you would add some meat to those assertions.

You state that Barringer is THE mining law expert. I only challenged you because you failed to support your assertion. On other forums that I post to, it is customary to support one's opinion/assertions. I find your reply to not be supportive of your positions. Instead of including links to back up your assertions, you throw out red herrings like U.S. Presidents thinking that Mr. Barringer is THE expert because he and Teddy Roosevelt founded the Boone and Crocket club. GEEZ, how does that support him being annointed by you as THE legal expert in mining law? Also, you assert that he is CLEARLY THE expert on lodes vs. placers without any specific cites or links. Here are a couple of nice, succinct articles in "The Mining Reporter which was published weekly in Denver on what constitutes a placer. The authors must be incompetent or nitwits as they never once mention Barringer.

Attached File  WhatConstitutesAPlacer_MR_Aug16_1906.pdf ( 261.47K ) Number of downloads: 24

It is usually customary to provide links and references that directly support one's opinion, not a general link to the library of a past President or Ivy League school. You may find this odd, but I have no interest in being your research assistant. If there is something in one of your links that supports your position then it is your task to provide it, not mine. Remember, I'm the one not buying your bald assertion. BTW....I'm shocked, shocked I say that you didn't include the link to the Library of Congress for completeness!

I did not state in my reply that I find Mr. Lindley to be THE legal expert in mining law. I provided him and several others as authors of mining law treatises, horn books, digests and mining reports. Each of those authors have their strengths and weaknesses.

Oh, and one other thing, it is obvious that you think highly of Barringer. I mean, according to your mostly fact free reply he was also an accomplished surveyor. I will call bull on your fable that, "he was also an accomplished surveyor....performing PLSS ground surveys in Arkansas". The term "PLSS ground surveys" is a fiction; there is no such thing!

Since this forum is predominately about prospecting in Colorado, may I suggest as a reference to others Robert Stewart Morrison's horn book on mining law. Several editions are available at Google Books. Mr. Morrison published 15 editions of his book from 1874 through 1917. His son and son-in-law published a 16th edition in 1936. Mr. Morrison began his legal practice in Georgetown, CO and later moved to Denver. His horn book on mining rights includes the local mining customs and state statutes for Colorado and show the evolution of the mining laws, regulations and customs (primarily for Colorado). Here are three editions available at Google Books.

Morrison's Mining Rights 1881 Editiion
Morrison's Mining Rights 1905 Edition
Morrison's Mining Rights 1910 Edition

Mr. Morrison also compiled 22 volumes of Mining Reports. The compilation is organized alphabetically, so it is not always easy to find particular cases. With a bit of patience one can find all 22 volumes of Morrison's Mining Reports on Google Books. Here is a link showing several of the volumes available for download.

Morrison's Mining Reports Volume List

Until recently, the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation had free access to an index compiled by Don Sherwood on Morrison's Mining Reports. Don Sherwood is a retired mining attorney who I have worked with in the past. His index is very helpful. One thing that Mr. Sherwood mentioned to me is that R.S. Morrison usually listed what he regarded as the most important case first for each topic. Each volume has a "Table of Headings" for the topics included in that volume. Hopefully, the RMMLF will consider making those web pages available again in the near future.

Mr. Morrison was a respected mining law attorney. Here is an example of a letter he and his son-in-law, Emilio DeSoto wrote in, "The Mining Reporter". Folks may find it an interesting read regarding an old Land Office policy that was called an, "evil foisted upon the mining industry"!

Attached File  MonumentsRecordsAndTheLocusOfMiningClaims_MR_Feb18_1904.pdf ( 37.09K ) Number of downloads: 24
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