Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20090401


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At the March meeting members voted in a new slate of officers for 2009. The following are your new officers: President Ed Hardt; Executive Director Chuck Chase; Vice President Guy Michael; Treasure Chuck Chase; Corresponding Secretary Bob Heitmanek; Recording Secretary Carmeletta Holland; Director of Governmental Affairs Art Sappington; Mineral Policy Coordinator Jan Alexander; Sergeant-at-Arms Jerry Florance.


Ken Anderson, Ed Needles, Sharlene Cole, Bev Chadwick, Gifford Ellsworth, Tim Lethlean, Ken Brasel, Ken Alexander, Vicky Sissel, Richard Anderson, Lislie Sissel.


Mark your calendars for Friday, May 1 and Saturday, May 2, 2009 for new miner training for surface mining operations. If you only need the 8 hour annual refresher, you will only need to attend the May 2, 2009 class. Both sessions will 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.

Please call Jan Alexander and pre-register for the class. Her number is 541-446-3413. Ed Sinner will give an additional day of training to anyone who wants to be certified for work underground. The date of this training will be announced at a later date.


Oregon politicians tried to put a tax of $15.00 on our county filing fees, but we were able to get an exemption in the bill for annual mining affidavits. More than likely, the county clerks will not be aware of our miners' amendment which exempts us from this tax. You may even need to educate them for a while until they understand the new fee increase is for recording of all documents except for the miners' affidavits. Refer them to HB 2436 and ORS 517.210, which contains the miners' exemption. If you send in your documents, make sure you reference the bill number for the exemption, or you may get charged extra.

Hurry up and file any new mining claims or quit claims, because these documents are subject to the $15.00 increase. The fees will go up on June 10, 2009.


Miners had until January 20, 2009, to extend their BLM Notices that were grandfathered in under the old 3809 regulations. If you failed to comply with the regulations and did not extend your notice, all is not lost. You will need to work with BLM on a new notice that is similar to the one you had previously. Remember though, new notices are strictly for exploration, there is a cap on the amount of gravel you can process (1000 tons of presumed ore). Also, the regulations prohibit the sale of gold mined under a BLM notice.

Those miners who have filed Notices under the new regulations are also required to extend their notices every two years if they are not through exploration. According to 43CFR3809.333, Notices can be extended as long as you notify BLM in writing on or before the expiration date and meet the financial guarantee requirements of 3809.503. If you don't know your expiration date, call BLM and ask Kirk Rentmeister. His phone number is 523-1287.

For those of you who were mining under a grandfathered-in Notice, and are now stuck doing only exploration, it is time to file a Plan of Operation. Give Jan Alexander a call at 541-446-3413; if you know how you want to conduct your mining operation, she can type up your plan.


Many thanks to all the miners who wrote, or called DEQ, and requested that the fees not be raised. All fee increases are currently on hold. DEQ states that it is waiting for more definitive information regarding the budget so they can calculate the true cost increases for fiscal year 2010. We will let you know when they make a decision on fees. Right now, a WPCF permit for 1500 cubic yards is still free, and a permit for 10,000 cubic yards is $192.00. Individual permits for processing over 10,000 cubic yards are considerably more expensive.


I am making copies of the pertinent portions of the hydrology reports from the EIS for all miners in the North Fork Burnt River watershed. I'll try to get these mailed out next week. If you don't get a copy give me a call.

Once you know what concerns the Forest Service has, and once you know what mitigations they will be requiring, you can make changes in your operation. After you make these changes, the environmentalists cannot say your operation has a risk of affecting water quality.

Remember too, the judge shut down the Forest Service for not doing their job in writing the EIS, they did not shut down the miners. There is no doubt that at least some miners are going to be ready to mine this year. If you are going to mine, you had better do it right.

HB 3453 (Stop Mining on Split Estate Lands) is Bad for Oregon By Ed Hardt Watch out for this Oregon bill! Instead of protecting property rights of ranchers who are surface owners on split estate lands, HB 3453 actually weakens Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) regulations, and adds a second State agency, Division of State Lands, to administer mining, This situation will work to confuse the regulations currently in place, and leave the surface owners more vulnerable, not less, to impacts from mining. HB 3453 is not necessary, would be costly to taxpayers, and it is not legal.

Protection of surface owner rights on both split estate lands (patented lands where the surface was sold to another party sometime in the past) and on Stock Raising Homestead Act (SRHA) lands where the 1872 Mining Law applies, is a function of DOGAMI. HB 3453 involves a new tier of mining administration under the Division of State Lands (DSL). One thing Oregon does not needs is more State bureaucrats and more taxpayer dollars expended for nothing.

Also, HB 3453 is not legal, since mineral patents are Federal grants, rather than simple deeds, and these grants guarantee the owner of the minerals, a Federal bundle of rights which includes the right to access, mine and occupy. Each rancher who owns the surface on split estate lands, has a deed that clearly states they bought only the surface, and the owner of the mineral estate retains the right to mine their private minerals.

Oregon's Attorney General researched this issue in 2008. According to the AG, the mineral estate prevails, and the surface owner cannot stop the owner of the mineral estate from extracting the minerals.

HB 3453 will cost Oregon taxpayers in many ways, including loss of mining jobs while lawsuits against the State are undertaken. There will be no benefits, not even to the surface owners of split estate lands that the bill purports to protect. All they will end up doing, is paying more tax monies for new State employees, and paying for the lawsuits that will surely follow if this bill were to pass. Please take a moment to call Representative Cliff Bentz at 541-986-1589, and tell him this bill is bad for Oregon.


For many years I have been trying to warn as many people as possible from the President on down, that the policies laws and programs we have enacted and engage in are a serious threat to our economy.

The breakdown has begun! We have regulated ourselves out of business and it will continue to worsen until we recognize this fact and remove enough of these regulations to allow Americans to go back to work. Our basic industries, Oil, Mining, Lumber and food production, that are the foundation of any economy have been seriously impacted. No business or industry can operate without a source of supply. We must recover the resources and produce of the earth.

We cannot afford to buy these products from foreign sources because all original wealth comes from the ground and even more countries are refusing to accept our paper dollars which are losing value every day. To turn the economy around and create the money we need to prevent complete bankruptcy I recommend the following actions be taken immediately. Declare an Economic Emergency!

Suspend all regulations that are delaying or impeding production of vital resources and produce that are necessary to keep our processing industries and factories at work. Declare a moratorium on all new regulations, land withdrawals etc. that restrict access and use of the land. Stop the Government purchase of private land. This takes it off the tax rolls and stops productive use. Charge the agencies that have caused much of the problems ie National Forrest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Fish and Wildlife Service etc. with responsibility for improving productive use of land under their jurisdiction.

Declare a moratorium on all legal actions that delay or attempt to stop recovery of earth resources, Oil, Minerals, Lumber, farm products, power etc. Plaintiffs on suits that proceed should post bonds to cover losses caused by their actions if suit is lost.

Reduce the size of the land control agencies to the 1965 level. We were productive and prosperous at that level and our country got along fine without most of the activities we have invented to employ these people.

If we sit on our hands and do nothing, millions of jobs and businesses will be lost. Act now we'll never get another chance.

BONDING ON BLM By Jan Alexander

BLM is currently reviewing all reclamation bonds and is proposing to change the way they calculate bonds. All existing bonds were calculated using the Vale District Policy. This did not involve rocket science. The miner looked up the cost of the appropriate piece of equipment that BLM would use if they had to hire a third party contractor to reclaim a site. The miner then looked up the hourly rate for that piece of equipment, and the volume of material that could be moved per hour (Caterpillar Handbook) and then calculated the bond.

Jan Alexander contacted many local contractors to help BLM update their contractor rates for equipment. All contractors were asked if they would take small jobs lasting less than 8 hours, and all contractors were asked if they work by the hour or whether they work only by the day. Every contractor stated they would take small jobs, and they would only charge for the time the equipment was working. All stated that if they were using a loader and a dump truck, they would only charge loader time when it was working, and only charge dump truck time when it was hauling.

Unfortunately, BLM tried to use a computer bonding program to save time in calculating bond amounts. The program rounded every .1 hour up to one hour, and computed all bonds based on an 8 hour day. Even bonds for jobs that would take only a couple of hours came out to thousands of dollars.

Chuck Chase and Ken and Jan Alexander met with Nancy Lull, Ted Davis, Jon Westfall and Kirk Rentmeister to try to resolve these issues. Since local BLM is getting their direction from the State Office, the decision was to have EOMA work with Bob Harrison of the BLM State Office on bonding policy and methods of computing bonds. We will keep miners informed as we work out the bugs in this new policy.


The Forest Service is also revising their bonds. Greta Burles, Forest Service geologist, called several local contractors, to get the costs for different types of equipment, and Jan Alexander added the contractors she called to Greta's list.

Equipment costs have gone up, thus, it is no surprise that the bonds are going up. The Forest Service and BLM must compute bonds as if they were hiring a third party contractor to do the work. EOMA has two bonding MOUs with the Forest Service. All miners who comply with the terms of their Plans of Operation qualify for the $1,500.00 general bond, however, only a few will qualify for the excellent operator $3,000.00 bond. Under our agreement, EOMA generally does not pay money to the Forest Service if a miner defaults, but instead, miners get together and do the reclamation work.

Jan Alexander and Chuck Chase will meet with the Forest Service to work out these bonding problems. If you get a letter from the Forest Service with a new reclamation bond amount, be sure to ask for a bond calculation sheet so we can see how they are arriving at their figures.


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.


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.


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


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 $3,000 or higher bond the annual fee will be $30. For the first time miners applying for a $3,000 bond the fee is 10% of the bond one time fee, or $300 dollars for a $3,000 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 and will be here by February meeting. 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.


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 Don Lawrence, Richard Secrest 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.

EOMA MINING AND PROPERTY DIRECTORY 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.


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 eomp.org

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

FOR SALE: Two un-patented claims waiting for a EIS for many years now. Got to old will sell best offer. Plans and bonding up to date - Whitney area. Also placer Mining equipment, large trommel, Contact Bert Aylward at 509-337-6744.

FOR SALE: 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.

FOR SALE: Honda 5 H.P. OHC. engine. Model GC 160. New still in original box with factory heat shrink plastic around engine. A 3/4 smooth horizontal shaft, with owner's manual. Paid $245.77 sell for best offer over $200.00, no check's. Call 541-910-0419