Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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COUNTIES MUST ASSERT THEIR RIGHTS: FEDERAL AGENCIES MUST COORDINATE PLANS THAT AFFECT CITIZENS

- Miner J A
- 07/03/2009

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County commissioners need to rein in the out-of-control governmental agencies intent upon ruining rural America. County commissioners have the power to do this through a process called coordination. Every citizen must let their commissioners know that they want the counties to take control away from the Federal agencies.
In Baker County, the Resource Advisory Council is writing their own Resource Plan on how to manage the Federal lands within the county. Every county should be doing this. The counties can require the Forest Service and BLM to come to their table, and to modify Federal Plans to meet the intent of the counties' Plans. The Federal agencies must protect the economy, custom and culture of each county, throughout the United States.
Below is a draft of the Baker County Goals and Objectives for mineral and energy resources. EOMA invites all miners to take a look at these goals and objectives. If you think these should be changed, please let me know. If you mine in another county and want your commissioners to take on the Federal government, you will need to write a resource plan of your own.
Mining is an important industry in Baker County. The Forest Service and BLM think nothing of violating the National Minerals Policy Act, when it suits their needs. Neither agency is processing mining Plans of Operation in a timely manner. Approval of these operations would put county citizens to work in family wage jobs. The Counties need to take the agencies to task when Federal actions harm the local economy and destroy the custom and culture of the counties' citizens.

BAKER COUNTY NATURAL RESOURCE COMMITTEE DRAFT
INTRODUCTION
Baker County's policy for minerals resource management is consistent with the National Forest and Bureau of Land Management policies, as expressed in the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970: 'foster and encourage private enterprise in the development of economically sound and stable industries, and in the orderly and economic development of domestic resources to help assure satisfaction of industrial, security and environmental needs'. Within this context, Baker County has an essential role in contributing to an adequate and stable supply of mineral and energy resources, while continuing to sustain the land's productivity for other uses.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
1. To ensure that exploration, development and production of mineral and energy resources and reclamation of activities are part of the County's ecosystem management responsibility.
- To ensure that exploration, development and production of mineral and energy resources are conducted in an environmentally sensitive manner, and to further ensure that these activities are integrated with the planning and management of other resources.
- To facilitate the orderly exploration, development and production of mineral and energy resources within all lands within Baker County open to these activities, consistent with valid existing rights.
- To maintain access to mineral and energy resources that are important to sustain viable rural economies, and that can also contribute to the national defense and economic growth.
- To ensure that lands disturbed by mineral and energy activities, both past and present, are reclaimed after mining using the best, current, scientific knowledge and principles and these lands are returned to other productive uses.
2. To ensure that the mineral resources on Federal lands within the county, are administered to provide commodities for current and future generations.
- To ensure that Federal agencies recognize the non-discretionary nature of locatable mining operations.
- To ensure that Mining Plans of Operation are approved in a timely manner (within one year of submittal), and that discretionary analysis of other projects does not preempt mining analysis.
- To ensure that mineral related activities are conducted in accordance with legal and regulatory authorities.
- To ensure the integration of mineral resource programs and activities with the planning and management of renewable resources through the land and resource management planning process.
- To recognize that mineral development may occur concurrently or sequentially with other resource uses.
- To ensure that private property rights are respected.
- To ensure the uniform application of resource protection and reclamation standards for mineral related exploration and development projects.
- To provide for site occupancy consistent with the rights granted through statutes, leases, licenses and permits, while preventing occupancy that is not reasonably incident to the mining operation.
- To recognize the need to sustain the long-term health and biological diversity of ecosystems.
3. Ensure that Federal lands are open for mineral access.
- To recognize that prospecting, development and mining require reasonable access.
- To address the need to maintain access to mineral deposits for the orderly exploration, development and mining during the planning process for all activities in mineralized areas.
- Prior to initiating the administrative withdrawal of Federal lands from mineral entry, to (a) ensure the full consideration of the national interest in rural community development (b) to establish the value of the mineral resource foregone (c) to establish the value of the resource being protected (d) to analyze the risk that the renewable resources cannot be adequately protected under the existing established minerals surface use regulations.
- Ensure that reclamation bonds for minerals operations on Federal lands within the county, are fair, reasonable and adequate to reclaim the land should the mine operator be unable to accomplish this responsibility.
- To ensure that reclamation bonds are calculated based on the cost to government of hiring a third party contractor to perform the work.
- To ensure that all reclamation bonds are calculated under the Service Contract Act when reclamation consists solely of removal of surface improvements, refilling, contouring, vegetating and landscaping the surface, all activities where the Davis Bacon Act, and Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) do not apply.
- To ensure that local policies are consistent with national agency direction on bonding.
4. Establish partnerships between the County, the minerals industry and the Federal agencies to share knowledge of the mineral estate, and develop and to foster trust among partners.
- To work together to foster and encourage mineral and energy resource development.
- To provide mediation when conflicts arise between federal policy and the legal development of the mineral resources.
- To showcase excellence in mineral and energy resources development and production.