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How do you determine when your disturbance becomes significant??
Caveman
post Jul 12 2013, 01:15 PM
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SOOoooooo....... I do not have to file a POO to use a battery powered power sluice in Grape Creek ACEC...... right?


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swizz
post Jul 12 2013, 02:01 PM
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Who owns the land?


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CP
post Jul 12 2013, 02:02 PM
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QUOTE (Caveman @ Jul 12 2013, 01:15 PM) *
SOOoooooo....... I do not have to file a POO to use a battery powered power sluice in Grape Creek ACEC...... right?


I would say more than likely yes you are correct. But.......... the only way to find out for certain is to ....yep you guessed it, research it!
I've not researched it but beings as it's still called an ACEC that apparently borders the Ark headwater rec area? Then it's apparently never been finalized as a "withdrawn" area specially designated as such by congress itself......but the district rangers (past and present) sure would have liked to have included it as well as the other still named ACEC's in that area.
Funny though, reading through the FLMPA itself, it would seem to me that the time line limits for them to finish withdrawls under the act has passed by a number of years ago! Check it out and see how you read it.

What you'll need to find out is, are there current proceedings still underway concerning that particular ACEC's withdrawl as stipulated in the FLMPA with further time limits? If it is still in proceedings and or finalized then those documents/decisions are public information to be posted in that respective office for public notice/inspection including mineral assays of all mineral deposits. IE you should be able to verify their proclamation of "withdrawn" or they are just blowing smoke with their (and their bosses) personal opinion of the FLMPA.

If they are not finalized yet or do not have valid proceedings underway with the secretary and congress, then that land in fact is open still and you are fine to prospect there as in any other normal area not withdrawn. IMHO happy112.gif


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Caveman
post Jul 12 2013, 03:37 PM
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Interesting...... there are mining claims there (where I'm looking), but they are all closed - not active, not refilled. She did say I could pan w/o any problems, but using any kind of mechanized requires a POO - even with no claim filed. I had thought that a POO could not be filed w/o a claim. I wonder if that applies to this particular ACEC in their minds - it has not been withdrawn from mining by the way, I asked specifically and she replied very quickly and assertively that it had not. It seems that they want to review what you want to do and charge a bond accordingly for restoration purposes. Grape Creek is an ACEC for archaeological reasons (Ute Temple). They do require that you fill out a NOI to run dredges, high bankers, power sluices, and trommels at Point Bar (hence the permit fee of $25 per type), but not for panning or stream sluices. If they are not allowed to do this per the Mining Law of 1872 and the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, then how are they getting away with it? Here are some of their Guidelines for the Royal Gorge Field Office (RFGO)...

Casual Use Activities

Casual Use means activities ordinarily resulting in no or negligible disturbance of the public lands or resources. Casual use generally includes the collection of geochemical, rock, soil or mineral specimens using hand tools; hand panning; or non-motorized sluicing. It may also include use of battery-operated devices for sensing the presence of minerals. Casual use does not include use of mechanized earth-moving equipment. See below for requirements specific to suction dredge operations.

Notification to the BLM is not required for casual use activities on public lands.

Recreational Placer Mining in the RGFO and along the Arkansas River corridor

Per 43CFR 8365.1-5: Except on developed recreation sites and areas (or where otherwise prohibited and posted) it is permissible to collect from the public lands reasonable amounts of rock and mineral specimens for noncommercial purposes. Motorized or mechanical devices, except metal detectors, may not be used to aid in the collection of rock and mineral specimens.

Over the Counter Notification : For notice level operations at the Point Bar Placer Area, the following thresholds apply:
•In stream (suction dredging) equipment is limited to 4-inch intake nozzle and 8 hp motors.
•On shore (high banking) equipment is limited to a 3-inch intake hose or nozzle and 8-hp in total motor size.
•Operations are permitted between April 1 and September 30

General Conditions of Use

Placer Activities
•Streamside (riparian) vegetation shall not be damaged by operations.
•Motorized vehicles are restricted to designated roads and parking areas and shall be kept at least 20 feet from the edge of the stream, and away from wet or muddy areas next to the stream, streamside vegetation, or wetlands.
•On shore excavation locations shall be refilled upon completion of work. If the operator leaves the area for more than a two-day period, this work must be completed prior to departure.
•All trash, debris, or other items that were brought to the area, shall be removed to an approved disposal site when work is completed.

Public Lands
•Control erosion and water runoff.
•Take measures to isolate, remove, or control toxic materials.
•Reshape and re-vegetate disturbed areas where reasonable and practicable.
•Rehabilitate fisheries and wildlife habitat where reasonable and practicable.
•Maintain equipment, and other facilities in a safe and orderly manner.
•Do not collect or disturb historic or archaeological resources or sites.
•All operations are required to comply with applicable state or federal regulations pertaining to threatened and endangered species.
•Unnecessary and undue degradation of public lands is not authorized.


And check the Causal Use Limitations in this document:

http://www.blm.gov/pgdata/etc/medialib/blm...Information.pdf


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CP
post Jul 15 2013, 10:44 AM
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Right Caveman, a POO (plan of operation) is only filed on a claim and bonds are only used on claims as well. This unfortunately demonstrates the lack of knowledge the uniforms have concerning their own job, it's authorizations and duties. Another conflicting statement of hers....if not withdrawn nor within the Arkansas headwater rec area, then why do they assume they can restrict it? They can not.

All the rules from the "recreational placer mining" (there's a conflicting title...no such thing!) permits are ONLY APPLICABLE TO THE ARKANSAS HEADWATER RECREATIONAL AREA boundries. If this ACEC is outside the designated rec area, then those restrictions do not apply.
It's very difficult to keep the two differentiated especially when so many officials and citizens are confused between the two..... NF/BLM lands in general vs. recreational areas. Although a recreational area may well be BLM or FS lands, any special restrictions for that specified area do not extend past the designated areas boundries. In this situation the same district ranger office deals with both catagories.....rec areas and normal non designated BLM land. Most of the questions that particular office recieves are about the recreational area and hence their answers will be all geared to their normal line of questions regarding recreational activities.
Unfortunately this also leads to the situation you've experienced where apparently they wish to push those extra restrictions into lands they are not authorized to if all that's been said/assumed here is fact.

Good luck with this and keep us all posted as to updates you might have.


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Caveman
post Jul 16 2013, 09:05 AM
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Well, I have highjacked this thread long enough, so when I can continue it, I will open a new one called Grape Creek ACEC adventures, or something like that. Realnice, thanks for you patience, and good luck with your claim. Please keep posting and let us know how things are going with your dealings with the FS and BLM folks. emoticon-misc-004.gif I think for now, I'm gonna go fish! fishing1.gif Seriously - I even bought new lures and flies, and found my fly leaders!


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realnice
post Dec 16 2014, 12:55 PM
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Havent been around a while. To answer a few questions.
Mrs.CP: The only benefit I got through having a P.O.O and Bond was foregoing the court process and getting back to working the claim. I am aware that I have been screwed. I do not have enough money to take on the USFS in court.

Caveman: My claim is not on or near an ACEC.

Happy Holidays.

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EMac
post Dec 16 2014, 02:52 PM
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Interesting thread; thanks for the bump today realnice that brought it up to the top!


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swizz
post Dec 16 2014, 05:53 PM
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QUOTE (realnice @ Dec 16 2014, 11:55 AM) *
I do not have enough money to take on the USFS in court.

If you have a solid case (and I think you do) this shouldn't cost you a dime. USFS (defendant) will be held liable for all court costs and attorney fees, not you (plaintiff). You may even have a good cause to sue and recover some of your mining losses... or settle for a figure out of court if you catch them dead to right and they're smart. Might cost you a down payment for a good lawyer, but should be able to recover that in the process. If your case is strong they (lawyers) will want it.
Very good to hear from you again. cheers.gif


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CP
post Dec 21 2014, 09:08 PM
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I’m still a bit confused on this scenario realnice put forth of suing the FS or taking them to court ……how would he end up in court to sue the FS to begin with?
I thought he’d written this POO as the claim owner (against our recommendations here) with the FS’s assistance (at his request) and then got approved for the work level/tools he stated/wrote into it……..?
So how would he end up in court at all or to sue the FS? I’m lost on that part still.
If it were in court (somehow) then what ever caused the effect of “court” would have to be addressed would it not,… whether it’s FS actions or claim owners that caused it to be “in court”?
From what I’ve seen in this threads posted history of his actions, he’s approved on a POO he wrote which now he’s unhappy with? or did I miss something else?……I don’t see how attempting to sue the FS or take them to court would even address that correctly at this point.
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Caveman
post Dec 22 2014, 06:30 PM
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It appears the USFS is not honoring the POO - even though they agreed to it.


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Denise
post Dec 23 2014, 12:29 PM
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QUOTE (realnice @ Dec 16 2014, 11:55 AM) *
Havent been around a while. To answer a few questions.
Mrs.CP: The only benefit I got through having a P.O.O and Bond was foregoing the court process and getting back to working the claim. I am aware that I have been screwed. I do not have enough money to take on the USFS in court.

Caveman: My claim is not on or near an ACEC.

Happy Holidays.

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Thanks for the update Realnice, sorry to hear that your still having problems though. sad.gif


QUOTE (Caveman @ Dec 22 2014, 05:30 PM) *
It appears the USFS is not honoring the POO - even though they agreed to it.


It may appear that way Caveman but in reality, he is just restricted to the POO that he wrote and signed.
This is the way it is unless Realnice amends his POO or the time frame runs out so he can write another..... "IF NEEDED".



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Caveman
post Dec 23 2014, 06:55 PM
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I suspect that's it - but it may not be..... I have read several articles on-line and in the mining magazines where the USFS & BLM accept the POO, but then refuse to allow the equipment in it access to the site - usually because the USFS destroyed the old road that was being used, but sometimes other reasons as well. Just do not know what the case is here as we have not seen the POO, or why this has gone to court. When the USFS gets unfriendly, they play all sorts of games to make access difficult - even when they are clearly in the wrong.


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realnice
post Apr 25 2017, 01:43 PM
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Just checking in on this thread as I do occasionally. It seems I missed the comments by CP regarding court.
My issue originally arose when I was issued a cease and desist letter by the USFS. I was threatened with large fines if certain actions were not met. I sent in an appeal and was then contacted by the head of mining and minerals for the entire country apologizing and asking to withdraw my appeal in return for agreeing to a P.O.O. It was also explained that I could reinstate my appeal at any time. If I had not accepted this offer then this issue would have gone to the court system. I never stated that I was going to "Sue" the USFS, just that I could not afford lawyers to go to court against the USFS. The advice from this site was helpful but" going against the advice" of the admin was my choice as I don't believe the site admins are lawyers (maybe they are?) Hope this clears anything up .


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CP
post Apr 26 2017, 07:00 PM
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Thanks realnice but I was not confused at all I know what you said previously and I only used that terminology/scenario to fit what you said..."can't afford lawyers to fight FS in court" right....you said that.
My point was .....why would it need to be in court with lawyers....you were merely "threatened" in the field and not even cited with any violations of any kind.
Good gosh the FS is not even authorized to regulate mining at all to any degree at anytime on any land or ground they administer....that authority still is only delegated to BLM by congress....FS can only regulate surface use and occupancy....NEVER MINING!
They are in fact required to approve P.O.O. submitted for mining claims and can merely "attempt to minimized adverse conditions" as the law states! But you are completely correct, I am not a lawyer and have never claimed to be one to any degree.
How ever...I have helped more than a few miners/claim owners with their individual situations over time and even some that have had other gov agencies tell FS officials to stop messing with claim owners as it's not their job.
Our club members know about these claims as they are the claim owners themselves or have read about them on the club members forum...... None of them had success because they followed my advise or anyone else's persay either....what they did was SELF ASSERT AS A CLAIM OWNER! YOU HAVE RIGHTS FS DOES NOT! They work for you!

I sincerely wish the best for you on your future workings. Hopefully everything works out just fine and you have no further issues with FS now.

I still stand by my comments or advise as given previously though.....I do not recommend ever using the FS or working with FS officials to write one's P.O.O. for their mine/claim! sadno.gif
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