Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20091001

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a final rule today that increases the location fee for mining claims went from $30 per claim to $34, and the annual maintenance fee from $125 to $140 per claim.
The BLM is promulgating this rule to make statutorily authorized adjustments to its location and maintenance fees for un-patented mining claims, mill sites, and tunnel sites. This rule implements 30 U.S.C. 28j(c), which authorizes adjustments to the location and annual maintenance fees 'to reflect changes in the Consumer Price Index published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the Department of Labor every 5 years after August 10, 1993,or more frequently if the Secretary determines an adjustment to be reasonable.' The BLM’s last adjusted the location and maintenance fees in 2004. Mining claimants must pay the new location fee for any mining claim or site located after today, June 29, 2009. Mining claimants must pay the new maintenance fee to maintain mining claims and sites starting from the 2010maintenance year. These fees are due on or before September 1, 2009. Those of you who have already submitted maintenance fees for the 2010 maintenance year will be given an opportunity to pay the additional amount without penalty upon notice from BLM.
Brian Gardner, our Web Master has done an incredible job of putting together the EOMA Web Site. Not only can you list your 'For Sale Items” you can get the latest issue of the EOMA newsletter. Also there are pages of mining related related items for sale. EOMA medallions and calendars are even listed. If you haven’t checked this Web Site out yet, just go into Internet Explorer and type in Eastern Oregon Mining Association and your there. Brian and I would enjoy hearing from you and what you think of the Web Site.
The 2009's are here and will be at the October meeting. We have sold out of all the 2008 Silver Medallions. But.......Our 2009's in and they are just as pretty as the 2008's. Let us know if 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, we just have a few left of the 2009's.
Mail your check or money order to: EOMA, Medallion, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814. The 2009's sell for $27.50 plus one dollar shipping. Or call Kim Lethlean at 541-523-3349 for a price on prior issues. Don’t wait too much longer, it’s the 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. 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 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 mining.
Thank you for your donations, please specify which Legal Fund you want your donation placed.
A big thanks to all for your support and most generous donations 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.
Ashgrove Cement is the largest non government employer in Baker County. They have consistently worked to reduce emissions of mercury, which is naturally occurring in the raw materials the company mines. Ashgrove has worked with the State of Oregon to reduce mercury emissions, establishing a goal of a reduction of 85% of mercury emissions, as required by current EPA regulations.
EPA now has a proposed rule that will set a new mercury limit of 43 pounds per million tons of clinker. This level of emission is not obtainable at Ashgrove’s facility, because of the type of ore Ashgrove mines. The 43 pounds per million tons of clinker proposed rule was based on eleven cement plants with very low levels of mercury in their ore.
EPA needs to create a subcategory in their proposed rule to address the variations of naturally occurring mercury found in limestone deposits in the western states, such as we see at Ashgrove. Ashgrove has agreed to continue using the maximum achievable control technology to reduce mercury emissions, and to limit the amount of offsite material brought to the site that has high levels of mercury. These actions will protect the environment.
It is a fact, that the technology used at Ashgrove is the best known method of removing mercury. In addition, by utilizing this technology, plant emissions can and will meet the intent of the clean air act. Ashgrove cannot do better than this, and EPA should not be requiring the impossible.
Write EPA at Docket Center (6102T), National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants from Portland Cement. Docket ID No EPA-HQ-OAR-2002-0051, and then fax your comments to #202-566-9744. Tell EPA (1) Ashgrove must not be held to the 43 pounds of mercury per million tons of clinker standard when the technology does not exist to reach this standard, (2) an 85% reduction can and will be achieved, and (3) we need our cement plants operating inside the USA, providing cement for the nation and local jobs to support our communities.
The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest proposed an illegal travel management plan to close the Forest to vehicles. The Plan does not recognize miners’ statutory right to access, and leaves only the main Forest roads open. Comments had to be received by September 17, 2009.
The Plan proposes making access by miners on Forest roads contingent upon those miners having an approved Plan of Operation. Now, it takes ten years or more to get an approved Plan, so in effect, this Travel Management Plan prohibits access and mining.
Many miners commented on this illegal Plan. Now, the Forest Service will look at all the comments they received, and either throw those comments out, or incorporate them into their Travel Management Plan. Since the whole Plan is bogus, it’s hard to see how the Forest will incorporate our comments into the Final Environmental Impact Statement, unless the Forest Supervisor chooses Alternative 1, the No Action Alternative, business as usual.
Those miners who commented on the Plan have the right to appeal, once the final EIS is out.
Ashgrove Cement, the largest non government employer in Baker County, has been under attack from EPA concerning mercury emissions. There was a huge outcry from Baker County citizens who realized how important Ashgrove is to our community. Even Baker County supported Ashgrove in their problems with EPA.
Ashgrove has consistently worked to reduce emissions of mercury, which is naturally occurring in the raw materials the company mines. Ashgrove has worked with the State of Oregon to reduce mercury emissions, establishing a goal of a reduction of 85% of mercury emissions, as required by current EPA regulations.
We need our mining industry in Baker County and we need Ashgrove. Thanks to all of you who submitted comments, it does make a difference!
The Interior Board of Land Appeals (IBLA) rejected Baker Field Office use of a computer generated spreadsheet provided by the Regional Office in Portland to calculate reclamation bonds for a Baker District miner with a Notice level operation. IBLA noted that Baker BLM used two pieces of machinery (cat and an excavator) to calculate their bond, rather than just a cat, (as the previous bond calculation used). Also, Baker Field Office BLM’s spreadsheet program rounded every .1 hour up to one hour. This inflated the bond amount considerably.
IBLA also noted that BLM could not justify the high bond amount. The ramifications of this are, that if your bond was calculated using the new BLM spreadsheet program, and if you were able to post bond, instead of quitting mining, you may be entitled to a bond adjustment.
Larry Dinger has been trying for many years to get BLM to approve a Plan of Operation for Mining at Mormon Basin. All appeared well two years ago, as BLM finally accepted Larry’s Plan of Operation as complete. Because BLM said it did not have the time or money to write the environmental Assessment (EA), Larry found funding to have a consulting firm write the EA.
After hundred of thousands of dollars were spent on the project, there was a change in BLM geologists. Now, BLM has rejected the whole thing, stating that the Plan of Operation submitted two year ago was not complete, despite the fact that BLM had written a decision that the Plan was complete. BLM said they were 'really sorry”, that they had 'screwed up” with their decision that the Plan was complete, but upon further review they had decided that the Plan now just wasn’t good enough. BLM’s main concern was they did not want any excavation on land with questionable mineral values, because if you dug a hole with the intention of mining, where there was no gold, this would equate to 'undue degradation” of the land.
Larry submitted a revised Plan of Operation several weeks ago. He revised the Plan to include only areas where his father and he established known values, and Larry also included areas tested during the past three years under a BLM notice, where they found good values.
There is a DOGAMI permit in place which covers mining on private land adjacent to the BLM claims, and mining has taken place there all summer. It is high time BLM approved the miners to move across the boundary onto the adjacent BLM claims and mine there too.
It may be that BLM just doesn’t like miners. We will all stay tuned to see how they respond to this revised Plan of Operation.
The Wallowa-Whitman EIS which proposes to close most of the open roads in the Forest is out. The proposal is not just unfair, making access within the National Forests unavailable to the old, the young and the disabled, who cannot hike the closed roads, and making it more difficult to cut wood, prospect for minerals, administer range allotments, recreate, camp, hunt or retrieve game, but it is also illegal.
The Forest Supervisor would like you to believe that this total closure of the National Forest is a 'non-significant” amendment to the 1990 access friendly Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plan. But this is not true. Each of the action alternatives in the EIS represents a 'significant amendment” to the Forest Plan. A significant amendment as defined by the Forest Service manual under 1926.52, 2. equates to 'Changes that may have an important effect on the entire land management plan or affect land and resources throughout a large portion of the planning area during the planning period'.
We believe that this EIS decision will drastically affect the land management plan and affect the land resources. 1.3 million acres of NF land and resources are involved in this amendment. One million acres have already been closed off from previous decisions, such as wilderness, city watersheds, and the previous decisions to close off Bald Angel and the Southfork of the Burnt River areas. The lands left to be closed, still make up a 'large portion of the planning area”.
Write Supervisor Ellis at P.O. Box 907, Baker City, OR 97814 and tell him his road closure plan is illegal, since it is not a non-significant amendment to the 1990 Wallowa-Whitman Forest Plan. Tell him he has the cart before the horse. First he must rewrite the 1990 Forest Plan. Only after years of public involvement in this revision process, can he legally propose a Plan to close the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest to access.
SB 670 PASSES From the Waldo Miners Newsletter
Senate Bill 670 sailed through the Calif. Assembly after being introduced by Assemblywoman Wiggins (who incidentally isn’t running for another term) and heavily supported by the Karuk (from Happy Camp, CA) and various other Indian tribes, fishing organizations, environmental organizations, and nearly all Democrat and many Republican legislators.
As SB 670 was an 'Urgency Statute, it went into affect at the stroke of Arnold’s pen. (Ed. Note: And in doing so, 'Gov. Schwarzen-egger” lost any respect I may have had and now, in my eyes, is now just plain 'Arnold”). As of Aug. 6, 2009, all suction dredge gold mining is prohibited throughout California, and all previously issued 2009 permits are revoked without a refund. Can we say 'Prohibition?” Can we say 'Illegal?” Can we say 'Unconstitutional?” As explained in the July 2009 WMD Newsletter, states and other levels of government can not enact laws that conflict with federal laws? especially federal laws that grant a right to citizens, such as the Mining Laws.
The Calif. Dept. of Fish & Game (CDFG) plans to begin the Environmental Review process with public scoping meetings beginning in November, and hopes to have a draft ER ready for public comment sometime in the summer of 2011. And of course, it is expected that the tribes, and fishing & environmental orgs will get heavily involved delaying, appealing, stalling, etc., quite possibly adding years to the prohibition (and almost certainly more restrictions). (NOTE: The last time CDFG did an ER on suction dredge mining was in 1994, and it took them over 4 years). If nothing is done to stop this, and the mining community lets the ER process prohibit a Congressionally Granted RIGHT unchallenged, there will be no suction dredge mining in Calif. for, conservatively speaking, a good 4-5 years (or more). If they can get away with this in California, it’s a safe bet that attempts will be made to bring legislation like SB 670 to Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Alaska, etc..
NOTE: A noticed immediate effect of passage of SB 670 in Calif. was an increase in the number of suction dredge miners in SW Oregon this fall looking for a place to dredge. Unfortunately, OR does not have the larger rivers as they have in CA (and those few we have are closed to mining with the exception of a short section of the Rogue River near Gold Hill which is open for 'recreational mining” by the BLM). This leaves just the creeks and gulches, which for the most part, do not enrich themselves with more gold or new deposits like a larger river will. Many of the streams in SW OR were heavily mined (suction dredged) in 1979-83, and most of those areas will not be worth working again possibly for 100 years or more. Add in all the suction dredge mining that has continued since the 1980 Gold Rush? and it doesn’t leave a whole lot of ground worth working available. With more people looking for a place to dredge, those of you with mining claims really need to stay on top of all your annually required paperwork and filings; or risk loosing your claim/s to someone else.
It is also interesting to note that there are some in Oregon seemingly not too happy that California miners are, or are thinking of, coming to Oregon to mine next summer. I see their point? to a point. However, what if the tables were turned? It could very easily be miners in Oregon prohibited from mining? and it is a safe bet that everything else being equal, many Oregon miners would flock to California to mine. (In fact, many have already been doing so for years)? and for the most part, would be welcomed in California. Just remember folks, the Mining Law that grants us all rights is a 'federal law”, and applies equally to everyone; regardless of whether you live locally, or far away.
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.
Attached are the draft 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.
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.
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
Eighty acre association placer claim on Elk Creek. Good dredging creek, for more information call 541-523-3285.
Honda 5 H.P. engine, model GC 150. New, still in original box with factory heat shrink plastic around engine. 3/4 smooth horizontal shaft with key-way. Have owners manual. Paid $211.40. Sell for best offer over $195.00. No check’s. Call 541-910-0419.
Mining Equipment, Air Tugger $500; John Deer 440, $4,000; High volume pump, $500; Schram Pneumatractor 105 CFM $400; 3 inch centrifugal pump $350; 12 inch auger, steel housed, 16 feet $600; Four cylinder LeRoy gas engine $500; 6 inch auger drill, mounted on jeep pickup, 50 feet of drill auger, $5,000; 160 CFM Jagear compressor $2,000; 2 inch Jagear twin diaphragm air mine pump, 500; Gear reduction unit, $250; Ford 1900 series tractor, $2,000; Two wheel trailer frame, $150; EX diamond drill 3 sets of bits, 600 feet drill rods and core barrel/underground power, $5,000; Equipment trailer, 14 ft. bed, $1,000; New 30 inch centrifugal concentrator with 3 inch portable pump, 20 yd per hour, seller will deliver, $24,000; 1 cubic yard cement mixer $500; 500 gallon gas drum $200; One ton mine car $800; 60 CFM compressor, $550, High pressure Bean pump, gas engine, $500; Joy AX diamond drill on skids/needs engine, $1,000; 1975 4x4 pickup, $1,000; Stearns cross magnetic belt gold separator, $1,300; FIC# 503-OW 3 inch high pressure ship pump, mounted on skids, $2,500; 1965 International Scout 4x4, new tires, $2,000. For more information call Miles Mitchell at:541-672-1592.