Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20100401


The elections are over for another year we had one heck of a turn out this year. There were over 100 ballots counted and tallied up by the election committee. Members that didn't send in their ballot were furnished ballots at the meeting. Members were first checked for current dues before picking up a ballot. The following officers were elected for 2010. President: Ed Hardt. Executive Director: Chuck Chase. Vice President: Guy Michael. Treasurer: Chuck Chase: Corresponding Secretary: Carmeletta Holland. Director of Governmental Affairs: Terry Drever Gee. Mineral Policy Coordinator: Jan Alexander. Sergeant-At-Arms: Jerry Florence. For Board of Directors: Merl Brown, Keith Magnuson, Jasper Coombes, Les Sissel, Scott Guthrie, Ron Anderson, Becky Guthrie, Maureen Anderson, Craig Monpas, Forest Noland, Joe McBroom and the newly elected Suzzette Paterson, and Bobbie Danser. Congratulations to the newly elected officers and Directors.............


The Bylaws have been updated, voted on and approved by the membership at the last meeting. The Bylaws haven't been revised since 1992 and were more than a little archaic. There were several areas in the Bylaws that were long over due. We have had two positions Director of Governmental Affairs and Mineral Policy Coordinator that we have had for probably ten or twelve years that weren't covered in the Bylaws. The way the EOMA has evolved it has out distanced our Bylaws and once again we have it covered for a little while anyway.


At the last meeting the Executive Board decided that the conflict of the dues and bonds falling on EOMA elections was to big of a conflict at our March meeting. We decided to move them back to January 1, 2011. We apologize for the conflict of changing the dues date, but to vote in the elections your dues must be currently paid up thru 2011. With all the dues pouring in around the first of March it is overloading the Executive Board. The Due date will remain the same for this year, March 1st.


Kim Lethlean EOMA's Medallion Chairman has informed me that he is putting together a medallion display. He is missing a few medallions, specifically a 2004 medallion. If you have one you would like to swap sell or trade, give Kim a call at: 541-523-3349 Thank you.


Ed Sinner put on the MSHA classes in March again this year for surface and underground miners. Miners crowded into the meeting room above the Oregon Trail Motel, it was almost a standing room only for miners getting their MSHA certificate and First Aid for Miners card. The all day class delved into not only first aid, accident prevention, but went into under ground gasses. Ed explained the different gasses and their symptoms of your exposure and how to tell if you're affected. All in all it was a very informative day and miners got their 2010 MSHA certification first aid card.


Mark your calendars for Friday, April 16 and Saturday April 17 for new miner training for surface mining operations. If you only need the 8 hour annual refresher, you will only need to attend the April 17, 2010 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. For more information call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413.


At the December meeting the members and the board approved a motion to order the 2010 medallions. Kim Lethlean, Medallion Chairman informed us at our February meeting that the minting of our medallion will be held up. One half of our die broke and another one will have to be made before minting can proceed. Kim Lethlean and I called NW Territorial Mint to see what the hold up was. After talking to Ross Hansen, he passed us off to a lady that was supposed to be in charge of making the die. She had delegated it off on someone else. In other words they hadn't even started on it. By the time that I got done chewing and Kim got done they promised they would start the dies and expedite the medallions. For those of you that have ordered medallions we will hold your money and in the event we can't fill your order we will refund your money with our sincere apologies.

We will be sure to post it in our newsletter when we have them in our hands and for sale.... Thanks for being patient.... We are currently sold out of the 2009's and the 2008's. These medallions are going fast with silver on the rise. So get your order in now for the 2010's. Make sure you get yours before they run out. I was just informed by Kim Lethlean that the 2010 Silver Medallions will be in shortly. The price will be $30 dollars plus $2.50 dollars shipping. If you have never seen our medallions, they have a gold pan with real gold nuggets in it. Pretty cool huh.


Just picked up the new calendars, they are excellent. Just in time for holiday gift giving and the new year. Fill out the flyer in the newsletter to order your 2010 calendars today. If you liked the prior years, you're sure to love this one too. The 2010 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 2009, some great operations began so don't miss seeing some of the snapshots. Order one for your house, one for your cabin, yer out house, 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, 2008 or 2009 calendar for about five bucks apiece, plus another buck for postage B just send us a note with your completed order form and check. The 2010's are just $7.50 plus one dollar postage, or 3 for just $20. Prior issues are just $5.00 apiece plus one dollar shipping.


Up date, the on going BLM's confiscating Guy Michael's equipment from his mining claim has been taken to a new level. Fred Kelly Grant, prominent lawyer and head of Stewards of the Range has taken up the cause. Recently Fred recommend that Guy file a violation of his Civil Rights against BLM. Therefore federal agencies are subject to the laws in each State concerning property. ORS 517.080, which describes an un-patented mining claim as real estate. Lack of due process is a violation of civil rights and in part are based on the laws of the State of Oregon concerning real property laws. Anybody wanting to contribute to help defend Guy's private property rights, please send to: EOMA, Guy Michael, Legal Fund, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814.

We are currently running three legal funds. The Guy Michael's Legal Fund, defending Guy from confiscation of his equipment and a violation of his civil rights. Our Oregon Miners Legal fund, which covers the expense of our on going litigation with DEQ and NEDC over dredging in Oregon. Our EOMA Legal fund which is a discretionary legal fund to fight or fund the unexpected. This is money that was donated to Jan Alexander by miners that were to help her with her legal expenses. There was a most generous out pouring of contributions from miners to help Jan. She had charges filed on her by OSBGE Governing Board instigated by BLM to take Jan out, they claimed that Jan was working as a Geologist. . Jan prevailed in the case and she paid her own legal expenses and the monies in the account are essentially Jan's. If and when we need to tap these monies Jan will have an awful lot to say about where, why and when.

When you contribute, please designate which legal fund to put it in. If you don't designate which fund, we will put it where the fire is the hottest.

A big thanks to Bob Baldwin of the North Bend Prospectors, Frank Serroni, President of the Rogue Valley Coin Shooters and Metal Detecting and also Tom Kitchar from Waldo Miners and recently the Wallamite Valley Miners have requested medallions. NW Mineral Prospectors Club Inc. also made a substantial contribution to our legal fund.

These organizations have all been using our silver medallions to build our Oregon Miners Legal fund. They are having a series of drawings using our Silver Medallions. At one of their meetings they had a drawing on one of our medallions and brought in $106. At the Gold Show using the remainder of three medallions brought in $145. Not bad, North Bend Prospectors requested another 5 medallions for other gold shows. All the proceeds go to the Oregon Legal Fund. With our Dredge Suit starting to heat up these funds are a welcome influx to our legal fund. Thanks everybody.

We would like to thank everybody that has donated to these legal funds, a great big thanks to Dick Coughren, who donated to the Oregon Miners Legal Fund. This fund is for our Dredge suit. Thanks again for your help. Those who donated to the Guy Michael legal fund. Thanks Jasper Coombes for your donation.

The one that does stand out is Joe Mann from Kansas City. Joe donates each month to our legal fund. I and the Mining Association would like to thank you and the Show Me Gold mining club back in Kansas and Missouri for all your support you have shown thru the years. Thanks Joe........


Department of Geology and Mineral Industry (DOGAMI) has an amendment to ORS 516.035 that puts DOGAMI back into the qualitative and quantitative assaying and geochemical analysis business again if passed. Years ago DOGAMI did assay work for the public and then as the money pinch got worse and the Governors got progressively more greener DOGAMI got out of the business of doing assay work for miners here in Oregon. I have no idea what the charges will be. I would suppose that if the Legislature approves the amendment we would get an update on just what DOGAMI will be offering. I wish DOGAMI the best, we could use a more aggressive State sponsored minerals program.


In a telephone conversation with Larua Skaer, Executive Director informed me she had a meeting with the agencies in Portland, Oregon a few weeks ago. Discussed were ways that the time frame for getting a Plan of Operation (POO) or a Notice could be shortened. Some plans have been sitting in the wings that the miners passes away before BLM or the Forest completes the Plans. In doing the EA's and EIS's their people that contract doing them are so incompetent that the Green's have little trouble contesting them.


I actually believed Ranger Anderson when he told me earlier that the 49 operations in the NFBR watershed would be approved for mining in the 2010 mining season. However, when I met with Ranger Anderson last week, he said he was sad to report the EIS would not be done on time. The effects section of the EIS is still not satisfactory, in his opinion, and he is working with his staff to beef up this part of the EIS.


The other really concerning issue is Ranger Anderson has not talked to DEQ concerning the judge's requirement for discharge permits. I spoke at length with Jim Billings of DEQ, and he believes the judge was wrong in requiring DEQ permits, since DEQ does not have a permit for operations that do not plan to discharge process water. DEQ does require miners to obtain a WPCF non-discharge permit, but this is no problem, since all the North Fork miners already have these.

Jim stated, that either the settling ponds are designed to discharge, in which case the miners would need an expensive discharge permit, and a process to clean up the water before it entered the creek, or the ponds are designed not to discharge. The no discharge situation is relevant to all the operations in the NFBR, except for the Geiser Stream Diversion project. If settling ponds do end up discharging process water, this is a violation of state law, and there is no permit that would cover this situation.

I cannot understand the problem here at all. DEQ says no permits are needed, the Ranger will not finalize the EIS until the Forest Service figures out what permits from DEQ are needed. My suggestion is that Ranger Anderson talk to Jim Billings, agree on a procedure, and then follow through. The judge who required permits for the miners did not have a clue.


Twenty years and 14 permits later, Oregon Resources Corp has the OK to mine and process chromite, zircon, high grade iron and garnet ores in a location between Charleston and Bandon. Construction of the $45 million plant will be completed late 2011 or 2012. The company will hire 50 plant operators and contract with another 25 truck drivers and miners. It was a long, difficult process, but Oregon Resources Corp stuck it out, proving, that large mines can obtain permitting in Oregon.


The Obama administration is poised to ban offshore oil drilling on the outer continental shelf until 2012 or beyond. Meanwhile, Russia is making a bold strategic leap to begin drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico. While the United States attempts to shift gears to alternative fuels to battle the purported evils of carbon emissions, Russia will erect oil derricks off the Cuban coast.

Offshore oil production makes economic sense. It creates jobs and helps fulfill America's vast energy needs. It contributes to the gross domestic product and does not increase the trade deficit. Higher oil supply helps keep a lid on rising prices, and greater American production gives the United States more influence over the global market.Drilling is also wildly popular with the public. A Pew Research Center poll from February showed 63 percent support for offshore drilling for oil and natural gas. Americans understand the fundamental points: The oil is there, and we need it. If we don't drill it out, we have to buy it from other countries. Last year, the U.S. government even helped Brazil underwrite offshore drilling in the Tupi oil field near Rio de Janeiro. The current price of oil makes drilling economically feasible, so why not let the private sector go ahead and get our oil?

ACQUIRING PUBLIC LANDS By Laura Skaer, Executive Director, NWMA, from the Tulsa Beacon by Charles Biggs,

It has long been my contention that eventually the Federal Government will have to use the public lands for collateral to back up our enormous National Debt......... The Editor

Sen. Tom Coburn should be the poster child for the modern conservative movement in America. Dr. Coburn has been known to burn the midnight oil to keep an eye on a federal government that spends too much money, spends money poorly and is growing day by day. Coburn recently sent out some startling information about what the federal government owns and what that costs you and me. Federal officials are not required to report their total land holdings. According to best estimates, the federal government owns at least 654 million acres of American soil. That is about 30 percent of all the land in the country and one out of every two parcels in the West. Since 1997, the feds have taken over 90 million additional acres. In fact, in some states, the federal government owns more property than private landowners.

In Nevada, it owns more than 80 percent of the land. The percentage of federal lands in Utah is 57 percent and 53 percent in Oregon. So, what's the big deal? Well, it's a big deal because a faceless federal bureaucrat somewhere has more control of this land than the governor of those 'sovereign' states or even the state legislatures. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently said the maintenance backlog for these lands stands as high as $19 billion, up 60 percent in just five years. And Congress is buying more and more land, mostly through special earmarks that are not subject to floor debate in the Senate. But as the inventory of government land skyrockets, national landmarks like the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, Yosemite and the National Mall have less funding. The pie can only be sliced so thin as funds are drawn to take care of new areas. The U.S. Government controls a 700-million-acre subsurface mineral estate and with the most conservative estimates, its on-shore lands contain at least 31 billion barrels of oil and 231 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Oil shale on federal lands are estimated to contain an additional 1.23 trillion barrels of oil, almost five times the proven reserves of oil giant Saudi Arabia. Those are staggering numbers. If we own all those resources, why aren't we energy independent? According to a analysis by the Bureau of Land Management, only 8 percent of federal lands with oil and gas reserves are open for standard leasing, with 60 percent of oil and gas on federal lands completely closed.

Instead of opening up the resources of these publicly owned lands, restrictions on usage are becoming more and more onerous. In the past 40 years, more than 100 million acres have been subjected to severe public access restrictions. Two million more acres have been added in the last year. America owns a lot of the land along its borders. Federal land management agencies are getting bolder in asserting their right to control that land instead of deferring to the Border Patrol and its efforts to halt illegal entry, violent drug dealers and human traffickers. And now President Obama wants to spend another $620 million for federal agencies to buy more land. We already have $260 million budgeted for land purchases in 2010. Coburn, who is in the Republican minority, has offered these amendments to public land bills:

- A prohibition on additional land purchases until the federal government deals with its growing maintenance backlog

- A requirement that federal agencies report on all land holdings and the cost to maintain them

- Prohibiting federal land agencies from forcibly taking private land by using eminent domain

- Permission for property owners to opt out of restrictive National Heritage Area designations. (The Senate accepted this amendment, and it is now public law.)

- Deletion of a provision that eventually blocked access to over 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 300 million barrels of oil in Wyoming.

- Prohibiting federal agencies from entirely blocking access to renewable energy reserves.

- Prohibiting the Department of the Interior from interfering with Border Patrol activities. (The Senate modified and accepted this amendment.)

Thank God for Tom Coburn and his burning ambition for the people to know the truth.