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 20090501

- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20090501


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.


The purpose of the Eastern Oregon Coordination Alliance, (EOCA),being formed is to educate and further the common good, general and social welfare of private citizens on all issues that affect individual freedom. Private property rights and the ability of rural America to survive as an economic, cultural and social entity of the United States of America. EOCA will serve such purposes as advocacy, support, implementation and organization of private citizens in defense of their constitutional rights against oppressive government policy.

The EOCA will act as a watchdog providing oversight of publicly elected or appointed officials. Said individuals shall be held accountable for enacting legislation, public policy or actions that undermine individual freedom, private property rights and /or local. State and national sovereignty. Look out politicians here we come.


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 to 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.


Siskiyou County, Calif. - April 9 marked the end of another chapter in the Klamath River's long history of battles, with the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) denying a petition to halt Karuk tribal fishing at Ishi Pishi Falls in the southwest corner of Siskiyou County.

The petition, filed by the mining group The New 49ers, the Greenhorn Grange, various other mining groups and land rights groups, asked the FGC to reverse the exemption allowing Karuk tribal members to fish at Ishi Pishi Falls.

The exemption is in Subsection (b) (91.1) of Section 7.50, Title 14, CCR. 'No fishing is allowed from the Ishi Pishi Falls road bridge upstream to and including Ishi Pishi Falls from Aug. 15 through Nov. 1. Exception: members of the Karuk Indian Tribe listed on the current Karuk Tribal Roll may fish at Ishi Pishi Falls using hand-held dip nets.'

James Buchal, representing the New 49ers, began by stating, 'This is a serious petition,' adding that he didn't understand why the commission would discuss Subsection (b) (91.1) earlier in the meeting and not consider the petition. Prior to the meeting the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) had sent Buchal a letter, which read 'After careful review of the petition, the Department has determined that it does not have the authority to effectuate the relief sought by the petition. Therefore, the Department will not take action on this petition.'

'It's not clear to me how the commission can lawfully segregate our objection to subsection 91.1 off into its own universe and not really address these issues now in a timely fashion,' Buchal said.


Most miners have a few of these on their claims. The Forest Service and BLM are asking that you label these containers with whatever is in them. Even if the material is only black sands, or water for panning, label the container. If the Feds have to bring in a hazardous materials team and they find out the substance is water, you may get billed for them testing it!

Miners are required to have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) on site for all chemicals and petroleum products they use in their operations. MSDS are available where you bought the product, or you can print them off the internet.


No replacement has been hired yet for Nancy Lull's position as field manager. Ted Davis will be Acting Field Manager until a new Manager is hired. If you need to contact Ted, his phone number is 523-1431.


Greta Burles' last day of work at the Forest Service in Baker was on April 10, 2009. For those of you who have been working with Greta, Meg is your new contact. She can be reached at 523-1921.


Finally, the Forest Service has been funded to conduct analysis and write Environmental Assessments (EAs) on new Plans of Operation (POOs). Teams of specialists in biology, botany, hydrology, soils and cultural resources will be gathering information on mining sites this summer. EAs will be written analyzing the affects on the environment of each operation.

Unfortunately, those of us in the North Fork Burnt River watershed are still on hold. The Forest Service must conduct more field work this spring and then complete the Supplemental EIS. Miners in the Granite watershed are in a similar holding pattern, since they will not get their long term plans approved until the NFBR SEIS is completed.


BLM has received abandoned mines reclamation funding for 2009. Besides using this money to reclaim historic mines that were left unreclaimed, BLM has been directed to use this money to close and decommission roads.

Public law 167 states clearly that BLM may not materially interfere with your mining operation, even if it's casual use. However, it appears that the State office may not understand the miners' right to access.

If there are multiple roads that go to the same spot, putting these extra roads to bed may make sense. However, if it is the only road into a mine, and there is a claim on that property, BLM does not have the right to materially interfere with your operation by ripping up your road.


Most miners know that if a road predates the Forest Service Reserve (usually around 1905), the road meets the RS2477 criteria and is a county road.

However, if your access road is on BLM, the date for you is 1976, (the date of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act). This law ended the establishment of new RS2477 roads, but most roads on BLM managed lands predate 1976. BLM may close recently constructed roads, but they cannot bother RS2477 roads because they are county roads.

Our problem in Baker County is the Baker County commissioners. They are stalling on opening the Mill Creek road and the North Powder road because the Forest Service doesn't want them to. We need to pressure our commissioners to step up to the plate. RS2477 roads are public roads, and we the public want these roads to be left open for our use.

BONDING ON BLM By Jan Alexander

At BLM Field Manager Nancy Lull's suggestion, Jan Alexander contacted Bob Harrison, minerals staff in the Portland Office of BLM concerning the new bonding policy on BLM.

Bob explained that he thought all bonds on BLM were too low. I replied that I had over 20 years experience calculating bonds for the Forest Service, and I felt the bonds on BLM were adequate. I said also, that there had never been a default, and all miners were doing their reclamation. Bob stated that he had seen miners in other areas not complete their reclamation, and sneak away to avoid the responsibility. He did not appear to hold miners in very high esteem.

Bob appeared unaware of the BLM WO direction to calculate bonds based on the cost to BLM of hiring a third party contractor to do the work. He also appeared unaware that the 43CFR3809 regulations do not allow for BLM to calculate bonds based on worst cast scenario.

Bob stated that because of these severe economic times, contractors might all go out of business. Thus, he has instructed all offices to compute bonds based on what it would cost to have unfunded BLM employees rent equipment and do the work. Bob said he knew that calculating bonds based on having a third party contractor do the work would mean miners could post lower bond amounts. However, this did not appear to concern him.

BLM would hire a rental cat for a full 8 hours, even if the reclamation would take only a couple of hours. BLM would also hire a lowboy, and buy fuel. Wages for the BLM employees would be calculated and paid out of the bond monies at Davis Bacon rates, even if there were contractors available who could do the job for a third of what it would cost BLM.


The Forest Service, in contrast to the BLM, is working closely with the miners and with EOMA on reclamation bonds. The Forest Service is calculating bonds the way the BLM should be doing it; by calculating the amount of the bond based on what it would cost the Forest Service to hire a third party contractor to do the work.

Before a bond is finalized, EOMA will receive a copy of the bond calculation sheet. The Forest Service wants to work with us to keep bonds under our EOMA bonding MOU. Where the bond amount exceeds our agreement, the Forest Service will work with the miner and EOMA to scale back the operation so that it comes under the MOU. Should the miner wish to stay with a larger operation, he/she can choose to post part of the bond as an assignment of deposit at the bank.


The old Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act (NREPA) is coming back with a new number. HR980, if passed, will designate 24 million acres of new wilderness in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and eastern Oregon.

The bill is scheduled to be heard on May 5th in front of the National Parks, Forests and Public Lands subcommittee. Please take the time to contract this committee. Fax the subcommittee pictures and testimony of how and why these areas are important to you and your family.

The maps of new wilderness contained in this bill are at the following link: Wild Rockies Alliance. Large chunks of the Eagles, East face of the Elk Horn mountains west of Baker City would be lost.

If this bill passes congress, you can say goodbye to multiple use!

'Members of congress far removed from the federally managed public land in Montana, Idaho, Oregon along with the rest of the Western states will have thousands of acres put into wilderness. These Congressman need to be educated and who better to do this than us? Many times, by putting a personal touch to a message, we all can make an impact on our lawmakers. Thank you for making a difference.' - Chuck Chase

Members of the 'Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, 133 Longworth House Office Building. Call: (202) 226-7736 Fax: (202) 226-3201

Mr. Raul M. Grijalva, Arizona, Chairman
Mr. Rob Bishop, Utah, Ranking Republican Member
Dale E Kildee, Michigan
Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Grace F. Napolitano, California
Rush D. Holt, New Jersey
Madeleine Z. Bordallo, Guam
Dan Boren, Oklahoma
Martin Heinrich, New Mexico
Peter A. DeFazio, Oregon
Maurice D. Hinchey, New York
Donna M. Christensen, Virgin Islands
Diana DeGette, Colorado
John J. Duncan Jr. Tennessee
Henery E. Brown Jr., South Carolina
Bill Shuster, Pennsylvania
Paul C. Broun, Georgia
Cynthia M. Lummis, Wyoming
Doc Hastings, Washington
Ron Kind, Wisconsin
Lois Capps, California
Jay Inslee, Washington
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, S. Dakota
John P. Sarbanes, Maryland
Carol Shea-Porter, New Hampshire
Niki Tsongas, Massachusetts
Pedro R. Pierluisi, Puerto Rico
Nick J. Rahall, West Virginia
Don Young, Alaska
Elton Gallegly, California
Jeff Flake, Arizona
Louie Gohmert, Texas
Robert J. Whittman, Virginia
Mike Coffman, Colorado
Tom McClintock, California


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. Linolium


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 and will be at the May meeting. Ken is closing out the 2008's and informed me he has sold out of all the 2008 Silver Medallions. But.......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 Russ Berbes, Harvey Halverson, Joe Mann and the Show Me Gold Prospectors and North Bend 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 mining.


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.