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The Stuff They Didn't want you to know!, A summer of Forest Service Fun!
post Dec 6 2003, 10:26 PM
Post #1

Master Mucker!

Group: Admin
Posts: 4,149
Joined: 7-October 03
From: Colorado
Member No.: 3

Hello to everyone and welcome to the CP forums,

The following story is long, but the Mrs. and I thought folks should hear this.
Grab a cup a java and stay awhile. :D unsure.gif
I was born a rockhound, Grandpa was one of the two men who discovered jade in Wyoming, and I have always loved rocks, gems, minerals. Gold has always been my favorite to prospect though.
We have been prospecting in our off time for over 20 years, but like most, we have had full time jobs. Consequently there was never enough time for prospecting.
This year we decided to change our direction in life…. We filed our first location claim, not knowing anything other than the 1872 mining law gives us the right to do so.
After completing the filing in the appropriate offices, we then approached the National Forest Service concerning the regs as this is where we are all referred when inquiring about land in National Forests.
Well let’s just say we didn’t get much useful info! What they did tell us is, they didn’t want us doing anything, as you will see. Now I’m no lawyer but I know I have rights granted to me be the 1872 mining laws. We’ve discovered some very interesting information this year, and thanks to many others we will continue to learn and present it in the future.

Okay, on with the story…… We filed our claim, approx. 18.77 acres of pure heaven with a hwy on one end and a county road on the other. Even has a small, full year creek.
When we contacted the Forest Service, they promptly sent out a blank notice of intent.
By the way in all fairness, they did know about the website which we also started this year, but that should have no bearing on our private claim.

Remember at this point we have just filed the claim and we want to start exploring in more depth now.
We happily filled out the NOI, stating our intent to use a 3” dredge/high-banker combination unit, to work both on and off the creek, but so as not to exceed the significant disturbance threshold, and personally delivered it on 06/24/03.

According to the regs the Forest Service has 15 days to respond.

On 07/15/03 I received a response. This was day 21!
It was dated 7/10/03, which was day 16, so the time guidelines were ignored.

Quoting from Forest Service-Head District Ranger
“I understand your operation is intended to be recreational in nature, but I do not have any “recreational” areas on this district. As such, all operations require either a Notice of Intent to operate or a Plan of Operations. A Plan of Operations is required when significant surface disturbance is likely to occur.

Two people from my staff inspected your mining claim with you on June 30, 2003 and then discussed your proposal with the regional minerals specialist. From their information, I have determined a Plan of Operations is necessary before you begin operations for the following reasons:

I consider any activity where material will be removed from the stream to be significant disturbance. Your mining claim is within ½ mile of xxxxxxx xxxxxxx creek, which is water supply for Denver. Even though you plan to use a high-banker away from the stream, your plan to remove material from the stream could cause sedimentation and turbidity problems.

Your plan to use a web site to show members locations where they can mine also poses a concern. I realize you plan to revoke the membership of anyone who does not follow the guidelines set out in the membership; but, you can not monitor the activities of others at all times. If other people are using your claim, the chance of surface disturbance greatly increases.

State Highway xxxxx is withdrawn from mining activity. Because of this, no mining or prospecting is allowed within 200-feet if the centerline of the road.

There appears to be a question of land ownership concerning the location of your claim.
On July 7, 2003, a sign was found posted over your location notice, informing you that your mining claim was on private property. I need proof from you that your claim is not located on private property. You will need to find the corners of the patented mining claims and demonstrate that your claim does not overlap. Until you can resolve the land ownership question, I will not authorize any mining operations.

Under Colorado state law, you may also be required to contact Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology.”

Now the response letter we sent back.



Dear Mrs. xxxxxxx,

This letter is titled as an appeal letter too conform to time frame guidelines set forth in
“36CFR9.49 – Appeals
(a) Any operator aggrieved by a decision of the Regional Director in connection with the regulations in this subpart may file with the Regional Director a written statement setting forth in detail the respects in which the decision is contrary to, or is otherwise in conflict with the facts, the law, or these regulations, or is otherwise in error. No such appeal will be considered unless it is filed with the Regional Director within thirty (30) days after the date of notifications to the operator of the action or decision complained of. Upon receipt of such written statement from the aggrieved operator, the Regional Director shall promptly review the action or decision and either reverse his original decision or prepare his own statement, explaining that decision and the reasons therefore, and forward the statement and record on appeal to the Director for review and decision. Copies of the Regional Director’s statement shall be furnished to the aggrieved operator, who shall have thirty (30) days within which to file exceptions to the Regional Director’s decision. The Department has the discretion to initiate a hearing before the Office of Hearing and Appeals in a particular case (See 43CFR4.700)”.

As of 08/11/03 we have not received an “official” response to our Notice of Intent.
We did receive a response letter from you that does confirm the date our Notice of Intent was filed (06/24/03).
Your “unofficial” letter was received on 07/15/03, twenty one (21) days after filing.

36CFR228.4 states – “Forest Service will respond within 15 days.”

36CFR9.9 states - “Failure of the Regional Director to act on a proposed Plan of Operations and related permits within the time period specified shall constitute an approval of the Plan and related permits for a period of three (3) years”.

In your letter also mentioned is the conversation with Mr. xxxxxxx (acting minerals officer) in your office on 07/08/03. This conversation occurred because I (Dan ******) had come into the Ranger District office to purchase our firewood permits and happened to ask if Mr. xxxxxxx was in, which is not an “official” response either.
During this conversation, I requested from Mr. xxxxxxxx that any regulations used to deny our activities be quoted so that we may review them. The “unofficial” response that we received does not quote one regulation or code.

Paragraph 2 of your letter states “you understand our operation is of a recreational nature.” You have misunderstood. Our operation is for the extraction of minerals.
At this stage, as we told all 3 acting minerals officers, we are still exploring our claim. “Recreational prospecting” was mentioned only to demonstrate the negligible disturbance of surface resources anticipated.
We have repeatedly asked both Mr. xxxxxxx and Mr. Xxxx xxxxxxx (current acting minerals officer) what the definition of “significant disturbance” was. Answer from both was that the definition did not exist.

“36CFR9.2L- Significantly disturbed for purposes of mineral extraction.
Land will be considered significantly disturbed for purposes of mineral extraction when there has been surface extraction of commercial amounts of a mineral, or significant amounts of overburden or spoil have been displaced due to the extraction of commercial amounts of a mineral. Extraction of commercial amounts is defined as the removal of ore from a claim in the normal course of business of extraction for processing or marketing. It does not encompass the removal of ore for purposes of testing, experimentation, examination, or pre-production activities.”

“FSM2817.11- Determination of significant resource disturbance.
The determination of what is significant can come only a fair, reasonable, and consistent evaluation of proposed operations on a case by case basis. Significant is a site sensitive term: a particular surface resource-disturbing activity in one area, such as flat sage brush-covered ground, might not be significant, while the same operation in a high alpine meadow could be highly significant.
Onsite surface-resource disturbance will come almost entirely from earthmoving activities or from site clearance. Such on site disturbance would be considered significant if natural recovery, to a condition of no higher standard than existed before the operation, would not be expected to take place within a reasonable period of time.”

These definitions do in fact exist and show that our proposed level of activity WILL NOT cause “significant disturbance”.

We were also told by both previously mentioned “acting minerals officers” that the Forest Service need not consider 43CFR for Forest Service use.
We understand that the Code of Federal Regulations is used as a whole and cross references between regulations, as is evident in 36CFR itself which does refer to 43CFR many times. (see paragraph 1 of this letter)
The following 4 quoted regulations all demonstrate the cooperative agreements between the Secretary of Agriculture and the Department of the Interior, and also show that the Forest Service is directed to be familiar with or comply with CFR43 and the Department of the Interior.

“FSM2800 zero code- The availability of mineral and energy resources within the national forests and grasslands significantly effects the development, economic growth, and defense of the nation. The mission of the Forest Service in relation to the minerals management is to encourage, facilitate, and administer the orderly exploration, development, and production of mineral and energy resources on national forests system lands to help meet the present and future needs of the nation.
The direction in this zero code applies specifically to the management of mineral and energy resources.”

“FSM2801- Authority
The authority to manage the exploration and development of mineral energy resources within the national forest system is jointly shared between the secretaries of Agriculture and Interior. The administration of the general mining laws and the mineral leasing acts is primarily the responsibility of the Department of the Interior.

The Forest Service has entered into an interagency agreement with Department of Interior to establish cooperation and coordination in the management of federally owned minerals within national forests.”

“FSM2801.1- Surface Management Authorities
The following are major laws and regulations that provide authority to the Forest Service to manage surface resources in conjunction with mineral exploration and development:
1. Organic Administration Act of June 4, 1897 (30 Stat. 11, as amended; 16USC473-475, 477-482, 551). This act provides the authority for the Secretary of Agriculture to regulate the occupancy and use of National Forest System lands. It also provides for the continuing right to conduct mining activities under the general mining laws if the rules and regulations covering the National Forests are complied with. This act recognizes that miners and prospectors have right of access into National Forests for all proper and lawful purposes, including that of prospecting, locating, and developing the mineral resources.”

“FSM2801.3- Interagency Agreements.
The Forest Service has entered into interagency agreements with agencies within the Department of the Interior to establish cooperation and coordination in the management of federally owned minerals within National Forests System lands. The principal agreements include:
2. A May 18, 1957, agreement with the Bureau of Land Management describing work procedures for land applications or mining claims (including patents).
7. A June 19, 1984, agreement with the Bureau of Land Management describing
policies and procedures for licenses, permits, and leases.

The full text of these agreements appears in FSM1530.”

“FSM2810.1- Authority. In addition to the laws, regulations, and cooperative agreements listed in FSM 2801, the following authorities bear directly on the administration of mining claims on National Forest Lands:

1. A May 18, 1957, agreement with the Bureau of Land Management concerning work procedures for land applications or mining claims (including patents).

2. Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 3000, Minerals Management.

3. Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 1800, Public Administrative Procedures.

4. Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 228, Subpart A - Locatable Minerals.”

“FSM2840.1 - Authority. Laws and regulations cited in FSM 2801 provide surface management and mineral management authorities. The following regulations give Forest Officers specific authorities for reclamation:

1. Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 228, Subpart A, Section 228.8 - Requirements for environmental protection. These regulations set forth the rules and provisions to minimize adverse environmental impacts on surface resources resulting from locatable mineral activities.

2. Title 36, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 228, Subpart C, Section 228.47 - General terms and conditions of contracts and permits. These regulations set forth the requirements for reclamation and other provisions on areas disturbed by pit and quarry operations.

Other authorities for mineral management and reclamation are granted to and held by the Department of the Interior. These authorities represent the context within which Forest Service authorities must be carried out. Forest Officers must be familiar with or comply with certain provisions of these rules:

1. Title 30, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 700-999 - Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. These regulations set forth the rules and procedures for the administration of the coal program.

2. Title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 3100 - Oil and gas leasing. These regulations set forth rules and provisions for onshore oil and gas leasing.

3. Title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 3200 - Geothermal resource leasing. These regulations establish requirements for developing and utilizing geothermal resources.

4. Title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 3400 - Coal management. These regulations set forth rules and provisions governing management and disposal of coal.

5. Title 43, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 3500 - Leasing of non-fuel, solid leasable minerals. These regulations provide for solid leasable mineral activities other than coal and oil shale.”

Bullet paragraph #1 of your letter states “I consider any activity where material will be removed from the stream to be a significant disturbance.”

Again the FSM2817.11 and 36CFR9.2L state these definitions.

We were also told that the definitions of “prospecting” or “exploration” did not exist.

“FSM2860.5 - Definitions.

1. Prospecting - Delineation of an area in which exploration would follow by gathering indirect evidence of mineral or energy resources. Indirect data gathering techniques include, but are not limited to: conducting geophysical or geochemical surveys, sampling outcrops, geologic mapping, and drilling holes to gather general geologic or stratigraphic information.

2. Exploration - Establishing the location, size, grade, or reserves of a mineral or energy resource by gathering direct evidence of the resource. Direct data gathering techniques may include drilling holes, digging pits, and driving adits and drifts to sample, or test, a known or suspected zone of interest.”

Also stated in your letter, “Your mining claim on xxxxx xxxxxx is within ½ mile of xxxxxx xxxxxxx Creek, which is a water supply for Denver. Even though you plan to use a high-banker away from the stream, your plan to remove material from the stream could cause sedimentation and turbidity problems.”

On xxxxxxx xxxxxx Creek, less than ¼ mile upstream from xxxxx xxxxxx Creek, there has been a small herd of cattle (25 or so) allowed to cross the creek and graze on the banks. The cattle have caused a larger area of disturbance on the banks and in the creek than we have proposed.
What may we ask was used for guidelines to determine our operation could cause sedimentation and turbidity problems?
If cattle aren’t prohibited from entering Denver’s water supply, we fail to see how our small hand carried unit will cause sedimentation and turbidity problems.

The following (3) three quoted documents prove our statutory right as claimants to proceed with these activities without a separate authorization.

“30USC26- Locators' rights of possession and enjoyment

The locators of all mining locations made on any mineral vein, lode, or ledge, situated on the public domain, their heirs and assigns, where no adverse claim existed on the 10th day of May 1872 so long as they comply with the laws of the United States, and with State, territorial, and local regulations not in conflict with the laws of the United States governing their possessory title, shall have the exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all the surface included within the lines of their locations, and of all veins, lodes, and ledges throughout their entire depth, the top or apex of which lies inside of such surface lines extended downward vertically, although such veins, lodes, or ledges may so far depart from a perpendicular in their course downward as to extend outside the vertical side lines of such surface locations. But their right of possession to such outside parts of such veins or ledges shall be confined to such portions thereof as lie between vertical planes drawn downward as above described, through the end lines of their locations, so continued in their own direction that such planes will intersect such exterior parts of such veins or ledges. Nothing in this section shall authorize the locator or possessor of a vein or lode which extends in its downward course beyond the vertical lines of his claim to enter upon the surface of a claim owned or possessed by another.
(R.S. Sec. 2322.)
R.S. Sec. 2322 derived from act May 10, 1872, ch. 152, Sec. 3, 17
Stat. 91.
Section Referred to in Other Sections
This section is referred to in sections 24, 29, 33, 37, 38, 39, 40,
42, 46, 47, 48, 49, 102, 541b of this title; title 16 section 460mm-1;
title 25 section 640d-10; title 43 sections 1712, 1714, 1732.”

“FSM2813.14 - Right of Access to Claim.
The right of reasonable access for purposes of prospecting, locating, and mining is provided by statute. Such access must be in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Forest Service. However, the rules and regulations may not be applied so as to prevent lawful mineral activities or to cause undue hardship on bona fide prospectors and miners.”

In responding to requests for permission to prospect for minerals or to collect mineral or fossil samples, the first step is to determine whether the proposed activity falls within Forest Service jurisdiction.

2861.1 - General Criteria. The Forest Service authorizes various methods of preliminary prospecting and mineral sample collection on National Forest System lands if no other authority exists, and if the activity does not conflict with the rights of: A holder of a mining claim; a holder of a U.S. Department of the Interior (USDI) lease, permit, or license; or the owner of reserved or outstanding minerals. A separate authorization is not required for activities authorized by the General Mining Laws (FSM 2810); activities authorized by USDI (FSM 2820); or land use activity conducted pursuant to reserved and outstanding mineral rights (FSM 2830).”

“2861.2 - Allowable Activities Under Forest Service Jurisdiction.
Allowable activities include, but are not limited to, surface mapping, blasting, excavation, sampling, and collecting with hand tools or hand-carried motorized equipment; seismic, gravity, heat flow, resistivity, and other geophysical surveys; and geochemical surveys, such as stream sediment sampling.”

In addition we discovered that the Forest Service is directed by the FSM2860.2 to facilitate and encourage these types of activities.

“FSM2860.2 - Objectives.

1. To encourage and facilitate the collection of information about energy and mineral resources and other geologic aspects of the National Forest System.

2. To provide the opportunity for recreational collection of mineral and fossil materials.

3. To respond to prospecting and collecting proposals within established timeframes.”

FSM2817- Demonstrates our statutory right to prospect and mine and suggests a much more cooperative approach to Forest Service procedures than that of what we are currently experiencing.

The regulations require that operations conducted under the authority of the mining laws which might cause significant surface resource disturbance must be covered by an operating plan approved by an authorized officer of the Forest Service, generally the District Ranger. Certain activities of little impact are specifically exempt from the operating plan requirement. Operators who are uncertain that their operations require an approved plan may submit a notice of intention to operate. Based on that notice, a determination is made by the District Ranger that a plan is or is not required. All notices and plans are submitted to the local District Ranger.

2817.01 - Authority.
The basic authority for Forest Service management of the surface resources on mining claims is 16 U.S.C. 551, which provides:
The Secretary of Agriculture . . . may make such rules and regulations and establish such service as will insure the objects of such reservations, namely, to regulate their occupancy and use and to preserve the forests thereon from destruction . . . .

There is a statutory right for persons to prospect and mine on National Forest System land open to mineral exploration, but such persons must comply with the rules and regulations covering the National Forests (16 U.S.C. 478).

The relevant regulations are primarily set forth in 36 CFR Part 228, Subpart A and should be considered part of this directive.

2817.02 - Objectives.
In managing the use of the surface and surface resources, the Forest Service should attempt to minimize or prevent, mitigate, and repair adverse environmental impacts on
National Forest System surface and cultural resources as a result of lawful prospecting, exploration, mining, and mineral processing operations, as well as activities reasonably incident to such uses. This should be accomplished by imposition of reasonable conditions which do not materially interfere with such operations.

2817.03 - Policy.
The primary means for obtaining protection of surface resources should be by securing the willing cooperation of prospectors and miners. The willingness of the majority of prospectors and miners to comply with regulations, reasonably administered, is a principal key to the protection of environmental quality in the National Forest System. Face-to-face dialog with operators is encouraged.

However, when reasonable efforts have been made to obtain compliance with the regulations and the noncompliance is unnecessarily or unreasonably causing injury, loss, or damage to surface resources, authorized officers shall take enforcement action. (See FSM 2817.3(5).)

In the evaluation of a plan of operations, consider the environmental effects of the mineral operation, including whether the proposed operation represents part of a logical sequence of activities, and whether the proposed activity is reasonable for the stage proposed. For example, consider if the volume of material to be extracted as a sample is reasonable. A 10,000 ton bulk sample may not be reasonable prior to geochemical sampling and assaying. Consult a geologist or mining engineer if there is a question of reasonableness.

The regulations at 36 CFR Part 228, Subpart A shall be administered in a fair, reasonable, and consistent manner and not as a means of inhibiting or interfering with legitimate, well-planned mineral operations.

The regulations at 36 CFR Part 228, Subpart A apply to all unpatented millsites, tunnel sites, and mining claims, including those not subject to 30 U.S.C. 612, and to activities, primarily prospecting, which may be conducted under the mining laws but not on claims.

Do not rely on the regulations at 36 CFR Part 228, Subpart A concerning operating plans as means of solving existing trespass and unauthorized occupancy problems (FSM 2818) on lands clearly open to location under the 1872 mining law.

The statutory right of the public to prospect, develop, and mine valuable minerals and to obtain a patent shall be fully honored and protected. Proprietary information relating to those rights and obtained through the administration of the agency's mineral regulations shall be protected to the full extent authorized by law.”

“30USC21a- Sec.21a. National mining and minerals policy; ``minerals'' defined; execution of policy under other authorized programs

The Congress declares that it is the continuing policy of the Federal Government in the national interest to foster and encourage private enterprise in (1) the development of economically sound and stable domestic mining, minerals, metal and mineral reclamation industries, (2) the orderly and economic development of domestic mineral resources, reserves, and reclamation of metals and minerals to help assure satisfaction of industrial, security and environmental needs, (3) mining, mineral, and metallurgical research, including the use and recycling of scrap to promote the wise and efficient use of our natural and reclaimable mineral resources, and (4) the study and development of methods for the disposal, control, and reclamation of mineral waste products, and the reclamation of mined land, so as to lessen any adverse impact of mineral extraction and processing upon the physical environment that may result from mining or mineral activities.
For the purpose of this section ``minerals'' shall include all minerals and mineral fuels including oil, gas, coal, oil shale and uranium.
It shall be the responsibility of the Secretary of the Interior to carry out this policy when exercising his authority under such programs as may be authorized by law other than this section.”

FSM2801- Demonstrate again the inter agency agreements and indicates that the Department of the Interior should have jurisdiction over our activities.

“2801 – AUTHORITY.
The authority to manage the exploration and development of mineral and energy resources within the National Forest System is jointly shared between the Secretaries of Agriculture and the Interior. The administration of the general mining laws and the mineral leasing acts is primarily the responsibility of the Department of the Interior….
…The Forest Service has entered into interagency agreements with Department of Interior agencies to establish cooperation and coordination in the management of federally owned minerals within National Forests.”

We are in full compliance with both the B.L.M. and the State of Colorado Division of Minerals and Geology.
Neither agency requires a permit for the level of activity proposed.

“43CFR3505.11- Do I need a prospecting permit to collect mineral specimens for non-commercial purposes?

No. You may collect mineral specimens for hobby, recreation, scientific, research or similar purposes without a prospecting permit.
However, the surface management agency may require a use permit. BLM's regulations for collecting mineral specimens are at part 8365 of this title.

43CFR3809.11- When do I have to submit a plan of operations?

(a) You must submit a plan of operations and obtain BLM's approval before beginning operations greater than casual use, except as described in Sec. 3809.21. Also see Secs. 3809.31 and 3809.400 through 3809.434.
b You must submit a plan of operations for any bulk sampling in which you will remove 1,000 tons or more of presumed ore for testing.
c You must submit a plan of operations for any operations causing surface disturbance greater than casual use in the following special status areas where Sec. 3809.21 does not apply:
(1) Lands in the California Desert Conservation Area (CDCA) designated by the CDCA plan as ``controlled'' or ``limited'' use areas;
(2) Areas in the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System, and areas designated for potential addition to the system;
(3) Designated Areas of Critical Environmental Concern;
(4) Areas designated as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System and administered by BLM;
(5) Areas designated as ``closed'' to off-road vehicle use, as defined in Sec. 8340.0-5 of this title;
(6) Any lands or waters known to contain Federally proposed or listed threatened or endangered species or their proposed or designated critical habitat, unless BLM allows for other action under a formal land-use plan or threatened or endangered species recovery plan; and
(7) National Monuments and National Conservation Areas administered by BLM.

43CFR8365.1-5- Property and resources.

(a) On all public lands, unless otherwise authorized, no person shall;
(1) Willfully deface, disturb, remove or destroy any personal property, or structures, or any scientific, cultural, archaeological or historic resource, natural object or area;
(2) Willfully deface, remove or destroy plants or their parts, soil, rocks or minerals, or cave resources, except as permitted under paragraph b or c of this paragraph; or
(3) Use on the public lands explosive, motorized or mechanical devices, except metal detectors, to aid in the collection of specimens permitted under paragraph b or c of this paragraph.
b 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 the following for noncommercial purposes:
(1) Commonly available renewable resources such as flowers, berries, nuts, seeds, cones and leaves;
(2) Nonrenewable resources such as rocks, mineral specimens, common invertebrate fossils and semiprecious gemstones;
(3) Petrified wood as provided under subpart 3622 of this title;
(4) Mineral materials as provided under subpart 3621 of this title; and
(5) Forest products for use in campfires on the public lands. Other collection of forest products shall be in accordance with the provisions of Group 5500 of this title.
c The collection of renewable or nonrenewable resources from the public lands for sale or barter to commercial dealers may be done only after obtaining a contract or permit from an authorized officer in accordance with part 3610 or 5400 of this title.”

Bullet paragraph #2;
Our website has no mention or ties to our private claim. Our website is for recreational prospectors as our home page describes.
We provide an information source for the general public to utilize.

Bullet paragraph #3;
We had no mention on our Notice of Intent for any activity within 200 feet of the center line of Hwy 119, and at this time have no plans to mine this specific area.

Bullet paragraph #4;
There is no question of land ownership concerning the location of our claim. The sign you refer to was a defacement of our claim marker. This is a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by 1 year in jail and/or $5,000 fine.
I learned of this defacement from Mr xxxxxx on 07/08/03, at which time I informed Mr. xxxxxxxx that the defacement would be removed that day. We also have filed a report with the County Sheriff to record the events.
Why it was not reported to us or the sheriff on 07/05/03 when Mr xxxxxxx told me he found the defacement seems strange as it is a crime.
Furthermore we are not required to prove to the Forest Service our boundaries as it is stated in FSM2813.11

“FSM2813.11- Rights of Possession Against Other Citizens (Third Parties).
A valid mining claim creates a possessory interest in the land, which may be bartered, sold, mortgaged, or transferred by law, in whole or in part, as any other real property. A locator acquires rights against other possible (peaceable) locators when the locator has complied with the applicable Federal and State laws. Where more than one locator is involved on the same land, Forest Service actions should be impartial to all known locators of that land, as the controversy is the responsibility of the locators, not the Forest Service, to settle.”

If our neighbor thinks there is an issue of boundaries, he is free to pursue the issue in court like everyone else, as it would be a civil matter.

As we understand the pertinent regulations;
1. The Forest Service did not respond in a timely manner within the specified period.
2. Our activity level described is not “significant disturbance”. (Notice of Intent not required)
3. All equipment to be used is allowed without permit or special authorization.

In closing, we will be exploring our claim. If there are regulations restricting our activity please include the title(s) and part(s) in any responses.
When we approach the threshold for a Plan of Operation we will certainly file.
A Plan of Operation will not be filed at this time, as it is not required.


Owners/Operators – xxxxxxxx Mining Claim

Now this is only one story out of thousands, and as you can see we also have an ongoing issue with the patented claim owner next to us. He had a survey done, and is trying to move a corner 85’+ from where the records show it. This survey has affected people ¼ mile up the creek.
Guess I will save that one for another day. :D :D

The saga is far from over, but this story demonstrates one districts "version" of what should be consistent application of federal regulations/guidelines in all 50 states!

We feel that the MRT will be a part of the effort to educate miners/prospectors to help keep our rights.
Hopefully our children will not have to be treated like this by their public servants.

There are horror stories from all over the country ranging from a lack of response for over a year to being threatened with unlawful dumping for processing your cons, and one person is rumored to even have had a gun pulled on them by an official.




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post Dec 8 2003, 03:02 PM
Post #2

Shovel Buster!

Group: Banned
Posts: 61
Joined: 6-October 03
Member No.: 2

Howdy Redpaw,
Gee your a regular graphics artist! B) very cool... Let us know if you need any help with registering and picking a domain name that will help get you found!

We can also offer you a lot of webmastering advice so you don't have to step in every mud puddle on your way to success. :D Trust me we've found out how deep most of those puddles really are... stepped right in em myself so you don't have to.

For instance don't use frames when you write the web site... search engines hate frames and will nearly always count it against you. O yeah another thing... Make sure you talk to me before you write the "header" for the site there are a lot of tricks to making it "spider friendly" and thus getting good placement in the search engines. rolleyes.gif

Best of luck and we wish you well... Count on us for tech help with the site!
Happy Trails,
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post Dec 14 2003, 11:55 PM
Post #3

Rock Bar!

Group: Members
Posts: 715
Joined: 28-October 03
From: The 45th Parallel in Oregon
Member No.: 16

Dan & Denise,
I just want to say I'm sorry for not spending more time at the present moment to get fully involved pertaining to your situation with the above mentioned agencies. I would like to add that I have read your posts and I want to see a just and right outcome for you and others who may get a shaft job like you have.

There is nothing more I would like to have than the resources and mobility to have MRT representatives ( whoever they may be in the future ) come down there and help you get this mess straightened out. I am willing to give up my Rockerbox plans to you for selling in your area to people if you would like. I am willing to split the money 50/50 so that you can start raising money for a surveyor...that's about all I can do to help for now...In the future I can do this for Highbanker plans also if possible.

I do believe that eventually we as a group of MRT will be able to address situations as they come up, and that time will come when we can realize the full potential of our members and their areas of expertise.

There is so much I want to see happen with all sorts of issues that the only thing I see standing in the way is resources and involvement of people like us who will keep things going while others wait to see what we can do first, and then they will act later if at all.

I got an email just recently that asked why I have been so quiet and not acting upon issues that people have posted, and to that email I basically laid it on the line of:

EIS Study - Written response due by January 15th
Mrt Website - gathering and documenting information
Health - ain't the best, but the sun comes up tomorrow
Family - funny how they always seem to want me around for more than 10 minutes at a time.
Education - geology has too many rocks to learn about
Internet - keeping a presence known
Highbanker Plans - Drawing up some really nice ones to make some grub money

I just want you to know that I really do appreciate all the offers of help you have given me and the phonecalls we have exchanged, I think you two are just fantastic people and could only hope to one day get around to meeting up and getting gold.

Please be patient with me, I will come through eventually with the tasks at hand and I would just like to see some of the others who support the MRT comment and respond to some of these issues that are stacking up on the table.

Sorry that I've been quiet, I just have alot to do.


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post Dec 15 2003, 06:29 AM
Post #4

Master Mucker!

Group: Admin
Posts: 4,149
Joined: 7-October 03
From: Colorado
Member No.: 3


No need to apologize, you have an entire plate full and several side dishes waiting. :D

We expect many people to respond to these types of stories so that we may all learn from each of them. Everyone that has had this type of experience with an official should post their stories for all of us to read and learn from.

WOW! THANK YOU! What a generous offer with the rocker plans Dave, but we would much rather see you put that money towards supporting your family or the MRT.
We have taken on a partner who is willing to help out with the survey next spring, and we have 3 years to contest from the day we found the discrepancies. ;)
But if someone knows, or is a surveyor certified in Colorado, who would be willing to donate their time/efforts to do a survey for the cause ............... :D laugh.gif

Yep! The MRT is going to be a great network of awesome folks.
Don't worry Dave, we all know you are working your tail off!
Just make sure you give them youngsters more than 10 mins at a whack. B)
We all are anxious to see the new site, but we'll just have to wait till it's done..... Great ideas take time!

I apologize for not posting more myself, and will try to answer some of the ones I can.

I also have started a small list of Colorado gov links for the list. Will post it shortly so everyone else can add the ones I missed. rolleyes.gif

Thanks again Dave, and just let us know what help you do need.



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post Dec 15 2003, 08:30 PM
Post #5

Rock Bar!

Group: Members
Posts: 715
Joined: 28-October 03
From: The 45th Parallel in Oregon
Member No.: 16

Thanks you 2....

Nice quiet day of typing out geology basics and editing the website.....Aaaahhh such is the life of the chronically old....:P


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Quilomene John
post Mar 6 2004, 12:27 PM
Post #6

Shovel Buster!

Group: Members
Posts: 114
Joined: 28-November 03
Member No.: 24

Hey all,
Further proof that the USFS and BLM are mandated to work together, instructions for Supervisors when dealing with employees of the other agency under THEIR SUPERVISION:

Obviously there is inter-agency cooperation and cross funtional work agreements. Hmmm.......QJ

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post Nov 28 2010, 08:48 AM
Post #7

Diggin' In!

Group: Members
Posts: 44
Joined: 28-July 10
From: Colorado
Member No.: 7,319

This post was most helpful. I am going through the same sort of thing with the forest service and I now think Im gonna send them a letter saying that i will not submit a POO! I have my rights!! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

What is the status of this site?? Did you end up keeping it and working it? I know it was a long time ago but I am wondering what else may have become of this?

realnice :music:
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post Nov 28 2010, 09:34 AM
Post #8

Master Mucker!

Group: Admin
Posts: 4,149
Joined: 7-October 03
From: Colorado
Member No.: 3

Good job digging into this information realnice as well as asserting yourself as claim owner with this situation.
You'd make a great CP club member if you're not already smiley-cool14.gif and right now all yearly members are getting a free 30 day extension on membership for the fall special. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Our personal claim was held by us for several more years while we did some exploratory work and then sold to one of our club members at the time. We had moved several hours away and could not afford to travel back and forth to the claim anymore so we decided to sell it. For an excellent price I think at only $500.
As far as the FS ..... after my response letter was sent to them, we never saw or heard from them again about anything. signs021.gif

And don't forget that the 1600 sq ft pit can be (in Colorado) 5-1600 sq ft pits state wide (on your claims) during any 24 month period before a "permit" or "bond" would be needed. dancing_smiley.gif

I'd read those other threads I suggested in the laws and regs section still too, I think you'd find good helpful info those as well. And don't forget the pinned threads at the top of the section where you'll find the prospecting definitions.
Here is a direct link to that thread prospecting definitions

And this one is the "state mining permits"
thread link, also from the same section in the forum.

Keep diggin' in and good luck with your claim!




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