Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Serving the mineral industries
Featured Article · All Articles · Rants & Raves · EOMA Newsletters

« Previous Page :: EOMA » Newsletters » Newsletter 20090301

- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20090301


If you have not yet received your Login ID please contact us by e-mail. Your Login ID lets you edit your own information, add unlimited items to the new Miners Xchange (and manage them), submit Articles and Rants n Raves for publication and more.


EOMA nominated a slate officers and directors at the February meeting. The slate of officers will be voted on at our March meeting. We will accept nominations before balloting from the floor at that time. There is an 'absentee ballot' enclosed in your newsletter. If you can't make the meeting you may send in the ballot and it will be counted at the March meeting.


Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 7, 2009, for the annual Mine Safety and Health (MSHA) refresher session to be held at the Oregon Trail Motel Conference Room (above the office). The class begins at 8:00AM and runs until about 4:00PM. Ed Sinner is the instructor. This is a worthwhile course for anyone involved with mining, whether it's placer or lode. It is required training if you plan to work at a mine. There is a $10.00 charge for the class.

If you can't make this one, there will be new miner training and an annual refresher on May 1-2. Call Jan Alexander for information at 541-446-3413.


DEQ is raising the fees for WPCF permits. For those miners processing 1500 cubic yards or less, the permit is still free, however, for the 10,000 cubic yard permit, the fee is being increased another $6.00 to $198.00.

DEQ will continue to raise fees every year unless they are stopped. At a time when people are out of work, State agencies should be encouraging mining, not raising fees to feather their own nests. Our Governor has offered to take a 5% decrease in his salary and has made a request that other State agencies tighten their belts. DEQ should be decreasing all fees by 5%, not raising them. Call Chris Clipper at 503-229-5656 or toll free at 800-452-4011. Tell DEQ to stop raising fees for mining.


EOMA filed a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) with the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest to get copies of the hydrology 'Effects' section of the Supplemental EIS. The Forest Service was required by the court to compile this information. Once this report was done, the ranger was supposed to sign the SEIS Decision (he told us it would be in April), and we could all go back to work.

Unfortunately, what we saw in the FOIA needs additional work. The report had several operations located in the wrong area, there was incorrect information about where the miners were processing, and there were also other errors. We are working with the Forest Service to correct the deficiencies in their report. Our goal is see a final document that will withstand an appeal by the environmentalists. Some miners have been waiting since 1998 for Plan approval.


I have copies of the analysis for all the operations in the North Fork watershed. I will make copies of each miner's section, and send to any of you who are interested. Although there are some errors in this information, generally, if you follow these mitigations (includes site specific buffers for each operation and a bunch of other 'stuff') your operation will be meeting the intent of the regulations concerning water quality protection.

There is no doubt that at least some miners are going to be ready to mine this year. The price of gold is good, and if we are not on our claims mining, and protecting our investment, you can bet some out of work claim jumper will be there on your claim, mining your minerals.


It's been about a month, since Baker County hosted a public meeting on 'coordination.' One of the most talked about items to do was the need to form a new Natural Resource Advisory Committee (NRAC) in Baker County. One of its first jobs, in each of the counties, should be to gather all the information it can and write a plan as a guide for managing the federally managed lands.

The 1990 Forest Plan is friendly to cross country travel; each county could amend it to meet its needs later, but to have a plan in place is necessary to being able to require the Forest Service to coordinate with them.

Most counties have a comprehensive area plan for private property within its boundaries; but, the county should also have a plan for the federally managed lands too. The main crux of the matter is that the federal agencies plans, projects and programs affect the citizen's general welfare, sometimes drastically.

Congress required coordination when it passed the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) and other natural resource Acts, even the Homeland Security Act requires coordination with local governments. Why? To put it simply, the environmental concerns needs more 'peer review' from citizens in the local governments; the proposed rules and plans etc sometimes affect majorly land resource users and the products that citizens buy, sell and use from these resources.

These products come from timber, agriculture, mining and fishing industries, even recreation is being affected. There must be some balance; you cannot just shutdown an industry or over regulate it, in any area, without destroying the infrastructure of jobs and business that support it.

The county commissioners are elected by the citizens to protect the general welfare of the public. This is what the rights of the 10th amendment to the U.S. Constitution are about. The general welfare of the citizens include maintaining economic stability, another is protecting the rights of private property and protecting the rights of those who have made investments financially in the public lands. The counties must insure that the agencies Plans, Projects and Programs are 'consistent' with the law and the county's plans. This element of consistency is the real power behind coordination.

The agency can't just listen to a county or local government unit like a town, city, school district etc with elected officials, and ignore what it hears. The agency must make every lawful effort to achieve consistency with the planning effort of the local government. Currently, five counties have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Forest Service. This MOU requires the counties to be a cooperating agency, which gives the Forest Service lead agency status. The MOU gives only the Forest Service authority to make all final decisions on the Travel Management Plan; the counties have agreed to cooperate whether or not the plan is consistent with any plans of the counties.

How can our counties agree to cooperate on a plan without any assurance that the plan will be consistent with the county's plans under coordination?

The term to coordinate means to co-ordain, therefore the planning process of the county is equal, not subordinate to any lead agency. If the county wants to cooperate in any area of the plan, they can; there is no requirement to sign their equal status away to a subordinate status in an agreement.

I believe the counties must rescind their signature participation as a cooperating agency and advise the Forest Service to coordinate its Travel Plan with them. This means, of course that the counties must have in place the necessary ordinance or start advertizing for volunteers to join an NRAC to their county. This is an important 'next step' toward coordination.


Miners who forget to enclose a check with their affidavit of annual assessment, or who don't pay the full amount owed, will lose their claims, starting this year. Previously, if a miner meant to pay, but forgot to put a check in the envelope, this was considered a curable defect, and all you had to do was send the money. However, a BLM Solicitor recently decided that if the correct amount was not in BLM's hands by December 30, the claims would be forfeited. So, double check that you have enclosed $10.00/claim, along with copies of your County proofs of labor when you send in your assessment to BLM in Portland. Be sure to send these documents via certified mail.


The Board of Directors looked at the increased liability of standing behind a bond. The Board of Directors voted to raise the bonding for the $1,500 dollar bond to $30 dollars. For miners that have had a previous $1,500 or $2,500 or higher bond the annual fee will be $30. For the first time miners applying for a $2,500 bond the fee is 10% of the bond one time fee, or $250 dollars for a $2,500 bond. There after it will be a annual fee of $30 per year. Your dues need to be current for the year you are bonding for. Your Bond and Dues Are Due At The Same Time.


The 2009's are here. Ken is closing out the 2008's and informed me he has sold out of all the 2008 Silver Medallions. But.......We just got our 2009's in and they are just as pretty as the 2008's. So get a hold of Ken and let him know that you want one of these limited edition medallions. The Board of Directors has set a price on them of $27.50 plus one dollar shipping. Get your order in now. Mail your check or money order to: EOMA, Medallion, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814. The 2007's sell for $25 plus one dollar shipping. Don't wait too much longer, it's a real deal with silver going up and up, by next year these could be cheap.

EOMA MEETING Come to the EOMA meeting and catch up on the latest things that are happening in upcoming mining season. The EOMA holds their meeting the first Friday of the month here in Baker City. The meetings are held in the second floor in the City Hall Chambers of the City Hall. The Eastern Oregon Mining Association (EOMA) will meet at 6:30p.m. Friday in the City Hall Chambers. All are welcome for the general meeting to learn about the association and enjoy our monthly presentation. EOMA's monthly Director's meeting will precede the general meeting and begin at 6:00p.m.) Should be an interesting evening so come on down and see what is happening. For those of you from out of town go South on Main Street until you come to Auburn Ave. Make a right, go one block, City Hall will be on your left on the corner of 1st and Auburn.


In time for holiday gift giving and the new year, our Third Edition Calendar is out ! Fill out the flyer in the newsletter to order your 2009 calendars today. If you liked the prior years, you're sure to love this one too. The 2009 edition includes all the important dates, contact info, and mining facts that you've come to rely on plus a whole new array of pictures. With gold prices making history in 2008, some great operations began so don't miss seeing some of the snapshots. Order one for your house, one for your cabin, and give 'em as gifts... all year long... they're collectable ! If you missed out on the First or Second Edition of this collectable set, we may be able to come up with another 2007 or 2008 calendar for about five bucks, plus another buck for postage - just send us a note with your completed order form and check.


Thank you for your donations, please specify which Legal Fund you want your donation placed. We would like to thank Steve Stibbins and also Joe Mann and the Show Me Gold Prospectors for their most generous support and donations every month. With out the support from all of you we would not be able to carry the fight on DEQ Dredging Turbidity Permit. A suit filed by Hell's Canyon Preservation Council filed as Interveners on our dredge permit, because they don't think it is stringent enough. We have counter filed in the Court of Appeals. Help us keep up the good fight.......Send your generous donations to the 'EOMA Legal Fund, 700 PM'. A special thanks to all of you for your continued support to defend our dredging rights. Mining Clubs and Associations across Oregon and Washington and as far away as Kansas and Missouri mining clubs and associations have formed an alliance. We are soliciting donations to defend our right to mine. If we lose it lays open all aspects of small scale


Thank you for your donations, please specify which Legal Fund you want your donation placed. A big thanks to all of you for your donation to the Jan Alexander EOMA legal Fund.

Although the suit against Jan has been thrown out the animosity between us, Jan and the BLM hasn't changed much. Jan has requested that monies given in her name be placed in the EOMA Legal Fund. There will be a next time, the only thing I don't know is when.


That will never happen again with the 2009 EOMA Calendar. These wall calendars have all the important dates for filing your waivers, fees, and proofs of labor. They also include BLM's fee schedule, as well as various county, federal, and agency addresses, phone numbers, and contacts. The calendars highlight important mining meetings throughout the year, offer many great mining pictures each month for you to look at and pick out the folks and places you know, and include a pull-out section of interesting gold facts and lore. Each month also includes regular holidays, lunar phases, and space for your own remainders. These calendars are essential to those of you who have mining claims, just really neat if you like mining at all, and may offer some good education for those that don't. They make great, easy, and inexpensive gifts so grab the flyer in the newsletter and order yours now... Christmas is coming and a whole new year of birthdays and other gift giving occasions. Calendars will also be available for sale at our regular first Friday meetings held in Baker City.


Twila and Betty's cabins, along with the Workman cabin that is nearby, are historic structures associated with the old town of Bates, a community that was home to several thousand Oregonians from 1889 to 1975. The Edward Hines Lumber Company closed the sawmill at Bates in 1975. The mill was dismantled, the equipment and material was sold. The 131-acre town site was cleared of structures, and all that remains of the original Bates cabins are the Morris, Combs and Workman cabins, making it essential that these cabins be preserved.


National Geographic's January issue has what has been the usual 'global' sort of article about gold mining, written by Brook Larmer, accompanied by stunning photographs taken by Randy Olson, and predictably enough headlined 'The Real Price of Gold.' The article's thrust is that gold mining is a dirty business with enormous costs to the environment and human health and that these costs are borne largely by poor people.

This is, of course, only half the story, and National Geographic should tell the other half: That the environmental and health costs of gold mining can be remediated, but only with a higher price for the product.

That government price suppression schemes not only impede the development of poor countries with natural resources but also push the less regulated gold mining there into the irresponsible practices cited in the National Geographic article.

That gold is money and that the alternative form of money government issued currency without any direct convertibility into gold, silver, or some other valuable commodity has infinitely greater environmental and human costs that somehow never get inventoried, including much easier resort to war, such as the U.S. invasion of Iraq, which probably would not have been undertaken if it had had to have been financed by direct taxation rather than borrowing and printing; overconsumption; and the general expropriation of the producing class by the financial class. You can find the National Geographic article on 'The Real Price of Gold' here: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2009/01/gold/larmer

Let's see how long we have to wait for the colorful magazine spread on 'The Real Price of Fiat Currency and Central Banking.' CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/TreasurerGold Anti Trust Action Committee Inc.http://www.cambridgeconferences.com/ch_jan2009.html GATA is a civil rights and educational organization based in the United States and tax exempt under the evenue Code. Its e mail dispatches are free, and you can subscribe at http://www.gata.org/.


For many years we have mined our small deposits without worrying about MSHA. After all, none of us hires employees, and many of us are simply in the exploration phase of our operations. Well, unfortunately, MSHA has discovered Northeast Oregon. Anyone can turn you in if you are not registered, it could be the Forest Service, BLM, or environmentalists, so all miners need to protect themselves. Ron Jacobson, head of the Boise office of MSHA, informs me that it doesn't matter if you hire employees, and it doesn't matter if you are a one man/woman operation. If you are involved in mining, and use mechanized equipment, your operation may be of interest to MSHA. Several Baker County operations are now on the MSHA roles, and a lot more will be registering before the mining season rolls around. Some operators, such as EOMP, have already contacted MSHA, and been told they are 'hobby mines' and do not need to register. But it is up to each of you to make the call. Ron Jacobson's phone number is 208-334-1835


It only costs $1.00 per month to run your ad in the EOMA newsletter. Send your ad and payment to: EOMA, Attn. Editor, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814.

FUN SIDE OF MINING WITH EOMP Lets support our sister organization, they have supported us with their membership and contributions to our legal fund. I have attended several of these and they are a lot of fun. Chuck Chase, Executive Director, EOMA (Eastern Oregon Miners & Prospectors Inc) For a $75.00 annual family membership you can mine on any of our claims all you want, any time you want, keep all you find. We will show you how if necessary. For more info write to: EOMP P.O. Box 66 Baker City, Or 97814 www.eomp.org

FOR SALE (4) Eighty acre association placer claim on Elk Creek. Good dredging creek, for more information call 541-523-3285.

FOR SALE 1) Placer Mining equipment, large trommel, Contact Bert Aylward at 509-337-6744.

FOR SALE (1) For sale 4 placer & 1 load claims. All equipment, to include, trommel, classifier, backhoe with bucket and scoop, 5000 watt generator, dump truck, various hoses, pumps, clamps, etc. Water rights to pond, furnished log cabin and storage shed, water tank. Forest Service land. Claims only. Not patented. 541-856-3862 or 541-910-3054. $40,000. Possible terms.