Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20110401


The Oregon, Washington and California miners have banded together to put on probably the largest of all drawings ever. The prize list goes on and on, so read more about it in the flyers enclosed in the newsletter. There will be a drawing held this spring for a large list of prizes including an ounce of jewelers gold as top prize. At Miners Jubilee there will also be a drawing, the prize list is being compiled at this time.

The real neat part about these drawings is that all the tickets sold will also be eligible for all the drawings, plus the 1/2 pound of gold, with a huge list if prizes. In other words if you enter in any of these draws, your tickets will be added to the next draw, and for the grand prize drawing for the 1/2 pound of gold, Now how's that for a deal. Each month we will add prizes, to be given away at each of these drawings. Some of the latest prize donations are a new 2009 Lambretta Motor Scooter, and a three day Mining Trip, both of these were donated by Dave Rutan, of Oregon Gold Trips, as well as a Keen Gold Concentrator and the list is getting even larger as I write this.


If you have not renewed your EOMA membership and paid for your Forest Service bond under the MOU, you are late. Sit down right now and write that check, or better yet, come to the EOMA meeting April 1st at the City Hall building in Baker at 6:30PM. and pay your dues and bond fee then.


Meetings are on the first Friday of the month. They are held at 1st and Auburn at the City Hall Chambers. Board meetings start at 6:00 and the general meeting starts at 6:30.


We have the 2011 medallions in and they are prettier that the 2010's. These have multiple gold pieces in the miners gold pan making them probably the most exquisite medallions we have minted so far. These medallions are currently selling for $45 dollars apiece plus $3.00 shipping and handling. Insurance costs are also extra. We have set the price at $45 dollars and will hold the price for as long as possible. But due to the volatility of the silver market at this time, these prices may be subject to change. So don't mess around, send in $45 plus $3.00 shipping and handling before the price goes up, to EOMA, Medallions, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814.


Just fill out the form on the back to get your new, hot off the presses 2011 calendar. It has all the dates for meetings and important information you need to keep from losing your claims. .Still have some 2010 and prior issue calendars left if you need one. Fill out the flyer in the newsletter to order your 2011 calendars today.

We also have prior years available for you collectors. There is a form at the back of the newsletter, just send it in with your remittance of 5 bucks plus $1 shipping for prior issues or $8.50 plus $1 shipping for the 2011 issue. Or we will make you a special deal of three 2011 calendars for $22, how can you beat a
deal like that. We will send it right out to you.......


If you haven't logged into the EOMA Web Site you really need to. Everything has been updated and the missing newsletters are now in the archives. We have a long way to go on advertising membership log ins. Also we need to have pictures and tickets for our drawing for the 1/2 pound of gold. The Web Site is coming along thanks to Ken Alexander who has been doing the updating, Thanks Brian and Ken for all you do for the EOMA.


A big thanks to the Mining Organizations that support the current on going litigation. Thank you Millennium Diggers, Waldo Miners, High Desert Treasure Club, Bed Rock Prospectors, N.W. Prospectors Club, and North Bend Prospectors.

The Single donors are: .Kenneth Snyder, Joe Mann, Jerry and Chris Youngblood, William and Katherine Willette, Troy and Jodi Jones, Ed Bechtel. Thank you all for all that you do.

Your continued unwavering support in these ongoing litigations and legal expenses are most appreciated. Also to you Bob Baldwin and Theo Stanley of the North Bend Prospectors for your donation hundreds of dollars keeping us in the fight.
If I missed anybody please accept my apology's. The donations have been coming in and if you fell thru the cracks I am sorry.


First and foremost, I would like to say 'Thank You' to those who supported my nomination for President of EOMA. I appreciate your votes of confidence and look forward to serving you throughout 2011 and into 2012. Already, it appears that this year is going to have some very challenging issues for us to deal with, and I am looking forward to confronting many of those challenges head on.

One of the first points of order for the upcoming year will be the formation of committees for Miner's Jubilee, Grant Applications and our By-Laws. I plan on dredging up some policies from the past as well as implementing a few new ones concerning E-mail, Printing, Committees, Meetings and a Code of Ethics for all Officers and Board Members.

One of the biggest initial changes will directly impact the manner in which our current Board Meetings and General Meetings are conducted. In order to expedite the process of making decisions, anyone wishing to present information at a meeting should contact the Executive Committee prior to the meeting, and request that their topic be placed on the agenda.

It will be the decision of the Executive Committee as to whether or not the material being presented should be handled during the Board Meeting or the General Meeting. This process should enable us to finish our Board Meetings in the allotted time frame and allow us to begin the General Meeting at the proper time.

Throughout these changes, I look forward to hearing from all members as to their suggestions and concerns. Please feel free to contact me at any time (541) 786-3983 or e-mail bcgolddigger88@gmail.com.

EOMA ELECTIONS- By Jan Alexander

EOMA members spoke loud and clear during the March elections. A large percentage of our membership took the time to vote. The results of those elections, are that we have new leadership in EOMA. Maureen Anderson, is our new President, Ken Alexander is our new Vice-President, and we have some great new Board Members, Pam Haney, John Chakarun, Johnny West, and Larry Chase.

It was definitely time for new people with new ideas. We have been butting heads with the Federal agencies, using tactics, that so far, have not yielded positive results. We are an organization that is there to help the small scale mining industry.

EOMA GOALS- By Jan Alexander

If you look at the application for membership in your newsletter, you will see a list of EOMA's goals. The organizations' goals for 2011 are the same as they always have been. But now we have new people with new ideas on how to accomplish these goals.

Goal #1: to promote the concept of multiple use for all public domain lands. EOMA is committed to working, not only with miners, but also with ranchers, farmers, loggers, recreationists, hunters, other users of the public lands and the agencies. We are all stronger if we work together for common goals.

Goal #2: to promote the concept of natural resources location and development while maintaining a sound environment. EOMA remains diligent in its commitment to the development of natural resources, as long as that development takes place while protecting the environment from damage.

Goal #3: to oppose unnecessary regulation of the natural resource industries. EOMA continues to oppose unnecessary regulations for all natural resource industries. As examples, EOMA opposed EPA's new more stringent toxics levels, and EOMA opposed DEQ's recent proposal to issue permits to pick and shovel mine operators who use sluiceboxes. EOMA was able to convince DEQ that permitting hand operators constituted unnecessary regulation, and DEQ dropped the requirement. The EPA regulations are still being reviewed by that agency.

Goal #4: to develop a voice in the decision making levels of government as it pertains to land use policy. EOMA's Mineral Policy Director, Jan Alexander, and other EOMA Board members sit on the NRAC committee at the County level, attend County Commissioner meetings, write letters and make contacts and phone calls concerning natural resource development.

These members meet regularly with the Forest Service and BLM to resolve problems that mine operators encounter. EOMA's Director of Government Affairs, Terry Drever-Gee, sits on the RAC for the Forest Service and BLM, and works at the County level to ensure the needs of the industry are addressed. Our president, Maureen Anderson, has already opened a dialogue with local and state Representatives who have agreed to begin investigating the agencies on our behalf. EOMA works with other mining organizations and individuals from around the state as well as with Northwest Mining Association to further the interests of the mining industry.

Goal #5: to support the concept that many unnecessary regulations exist, and where identified, these should be seriously reviewed and the largest number rescinded and cancelled in entirety.

EOMA Directors meet with BLM and Forest Service personnel to ensure that surface management regulations are not applied in an arbitrary manner. EOMA Directors work with other mining organizations across the state to ensure that when a bill comes before the legislature that can potentially affect miners, EOMA has an opportunity to respond. A current example of EOMA's work toward this goal is our challenge of DEQ's suction dredge NPDES permit.
The EOMA Directors and Board are committed to promoting mining and furthering the goals of the association.

MSHA 8 HOUR REFRESHER-APRIL 22, 2011 By Jan Alexander

Mark your calendars for Friday, April 22, 2011, for the Mine Safety and Health (MSHA) 8 hour annual refresher. The class will be held at the 5 J District Office building in Baker City located at 4th and Broadway. 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.
Call Jan Alexander for information at 541-446-3413.


For miners who plan to operate on the National Forest, remember, the Forest Service will calculate a bond amount for each operation. This is definitely a learning process for the Forest Service, and it is up to each individual miner to sit down with the Forest Service and let them know how you mine.

A lot of Operating Plans state something like, '1/2 acre will be disturbed'. The Forest Service is taking this statement literally. If the deposit is 10 feet deep, the Forest Service will assume the whole area is impacted at once, and will calculate a bond based on an area 200 feet X 100 feet that is all 10 feet deep. That means you would have close to 10,000 cubic yards of material stockpiled next to your excavation!

First off, most of us wouldn't have enough room to stockpile 10,000 cubic yards, second, there would be no economic benefit to stockpiling a lot of material, third, you would need a State DOGAMI permit even to move this much material, and the bottom line is no small scale miner would ever mine in this fashion.

Many miners will impact 1/4 to 1/2 acre of ground in a season, but what you have to explain to the Forest Service is you do not impact it all at once! Every miner must explain to the Forest Service how you mine, how you practice on-going reclamation and how you minimize the amount of area that is open at a given time. Once they understand your individual operation and your mining methods, a reasonable reclamation bond can be agreed upon. If miners do not take the opportunity to explain their operations, their bonds will exceed the EOMA MOU bond amount and these miners will have to post individual cash bonds.


EPA is a Federal Agency that is out of control. James Buchal, attorney representing EOMA in our 700 PM Suction Dredge lawsuit, used the state subpoena system to request documentation from EPA concerning that agency's determinations that dredged material constituted a 'discharge' under the Clean Water Act, (requiring a NPDES permit for dredging). Since DEQ says their agency required suction dredge operators to apply for NPDES discharge permits because EPA told them to do this, it is important that EPA provide this documentation.

EPA has flatly refused, claiming sovereign immunity, and has said that it will only give information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. However, EPA has yet to comply with our attorney's request under FOIA. This refusal to produce documents by EPA is completely unprecedented for our type of case. There are no classified documents involved as might occur in military or under certain federal law enforcement agencies, such as with the FBI.

There is no federal statute that authorizes EPA to withhold documents from the Court, and to the contrary, the pertinent statute, 5 U.S.C. 301, was amended to provide the opposite result. Our attorney will continue to pursue acquisition of these important documents. EPA should not be allowed to operate outside the law.


EOMA and the Waldo Mining District have filed challenges against DEQ's 700PM in-stream suction dredging permit which was issued in July of 2010. This case arose due to a gross misuse of the power that EPA and DEQ have to protect the Oregon environment. EOMA is also intervening in a challenge to the 700PM permit filed by a coalition of environmental groups led by Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC).

The miners' lawsuits challenges DEQ's position that suction dredging should be authorized by a permit issued under National Pollution Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES).

EOMA asserts that suction dredges do not discharge wastes, rather that they pick up stream sediments, run this material over a sluice to remove metals, then the material is simply deposited again in the stream (there is absolutely no addition of anything). Thus, suction dredge operators should not be forced to apply for NPDES discharge permits. Our court case asserts that if permitting was necessary, it should be under 404 (a fill permit), issued by the Army Corps of Engineers.

At the onset of the litigation, all this seemed perfectly clear, the two permitting processes are exclusive of each other. Then, the Oregon Court of Appeals ignored the law, and to our amazement, the judge decided that suction dredge operators are required to apply, not only for NPDES permits, but also for 404 permits Miners throughout Oregon, Washington and California have stepped up to the plate to help EOMA in these lawsuits. Donations are coming in and miners and the general public everywhere are supporting our lawsuits by buying chances on the half a pound of gold drawing to be held at the 2012 GPAA Gold Show in Salem.


The Forest Service replied to Representative Greg Walden's request for information on why the agency had not approved the Plans of Operation in the North Fork Burnt River watershed. You will find the Forest Service letter and the timeline they submitted to Representative Walden enclosed in your newsletter.

The Forest Service has informed Representative Walden that 'the Forest continues to work diligently on the North Fork Burnt River Mining analysis'. In addition, the Forest Service blames DEQ for making the project 'very complex'. It appears to EOMA that the Forest Service is simply stalling the process and ignoring their responsibility to promote the orderly development of the minerals resources under the Mining and Minerals Policy Act of 1970, and their requirement under the surface mining regulations to approve Plans of Operation in a timely manner.

Stalling the miners for yet another season, is the same thing they have been doing for the last three years. EOMA finds this time-line completely unacceptable.


March-April: FS timeline states-Work with DEQ to reach consensus on terms and conditions and 401 certification process: The Forest Service has had over three years to have a dialog with DEQ. A phone call to Diane Pentz, head of the DEQ 401 division, was revealing on this issue. She stated that she and others from her department would be talking to the Forest Service in a conference call April 5, 2011. When asked, she stated she did not know the goals for that conference call, but said she thought they would be discussing 401 permitting.

She stated that she had not been made aware that all the miners in the NFBR watershed already had WPCF permits, that their ponds are located above the normal high water mark and away from the streams, and they do not discharge process water. She said DEQ's comments were 'paper comments' and that they would discuss some better wording for the EIS. She said there is no permitting under 401 or any other part of the CWA available for miners that have poorly designed ponds that could potentially discharge.

She said miners who have well designed pond systems, have WPCF permits, and who do not discharge need no additional permits. Thus, the Forest Service knows what to do about permitting (miners do not need 401 permits). It appears that they are just looking for anything to stall the approval of the Plans of Operation.

FS timeline states-Address comments received during the 45 day comment period. The comment period ended in October 2010. The Forest Service has met with Hells Canyon Preservation Council and others to resolve their comment issues, and has had five months to address the handful of comments received during the comment period. The Forest Service has been doing this task for five months, and their response to Representative Walden that they also need the rest of March and April to do more on comments appears to be a part of the stalling process.

FS timeline states-Review and update Fisheries and Wildlife analysis. There was no requirement by the court that the fish and wildlife surveys be updated. The Supplemental EIS, which is the only part of the EIS where a decision is needed by the Forest Supervisor, did not include any information on fish and wildlife impacts because these were already covered previously. There are no T&E species in the watershed, and no new species have been listed. The Forest Service can update anything it likes, however, holding up the decision to mine because of this 'nice to do' update appears to be just another way of stalling the decision to approve mining.

March-April Additional Tasks to Accomplish as Proposed by the EOMA(Forest Service proposes not doing these things until May-June) FS time-line states-Incorporate changes to FEIS resulting from comments and responses.

We take the timeline provided by the Forest Service to mean that the Forest Service would like to address comments for an additional two months (total of 7 months to address a handful of comments) but then plans to sit around until May or June before incorporating these comments into the FEIS. These two tasks should be done concurrently. Taking all this additional time is not reasonable, especially for an agency that states they are 'diligently working'.

FS timeline states-Resolve issues of open road densities and determine if a Forest Plan Amendment will be included in the ROD. The Forest Plan contains guidelines for managing the Forest, mining is a statutory right. The 1990 Forest Plan has not changed. Nothing is any different than it was when the EIS was written, and somewhere in the last ten years the Forest Service must have at least thought about this issue. The Forest Service evidently wants to sit around until May or June, then call a meeting of staff to decide, 'yes amend the Plan' or 'no, we don't need to'. This is not reasonable. The FS needs to make the decision now, in March or April.

FS timeline states-Document changes from DEIS to FEIS This is the same as incorporating changes to the FEIS (see above). This is not an additional task.

FS timeline states-Write the ROD. Why would the Forest Service sit around in March and April and not write the ROD, at least in draft format? And why would they wait even longer until May or June to think about writing the ROD in final form? The final ROD can be written in April after the phone call to DEQ. Wording tweaks will be accomplished during the internal and external reviews.

April-May Additional Tasks to Accomplish as Proposed by EOMA (Forest Service proposes not doing these things until July) FS timeline states-Internal review of FEIS, including Response to Comments and ROD (SO and RO staff) Response to comments should be completed after the phone call with DEQ on April 5th . If the Forest Service is serious when they say that they continue 'to work diligently on the North Fork Burnt River Mining analysis', they will make approval of these Plans of Operation a priority. If staff are directed to review the FEIS as their priority, they will do so, with review completed by the middle of April. As review comments come in, these corrections can be made to the document, so that it can be circulated to the SO and RO for review by the first of May.

By mid-May, the Forest Service should have ample time to get comments back from the SO and RO, incorporate these as needed, and submit the FEIS and ROD to EPA for inclusion in the Federal Register.

Publish legal Notice, Distribute FEIS and ROD, Begin the 45 day appeal period. July 1, 2011 Additional Tasks to Accomplish as Proposed by EOMA (Forest Service proposes not doing these things until November) Appeal Period ends, any appeals are resolved, Plans of Operation are approved


If the Forest Service chooses to prioritize the approval of the Plans of Operation in the North Fork Burnt River watershed, there is sufficient time to complete the analysis process by July, with Plan approval at that time. This will allow operators in the watershed the opportunity to mine this season, providing a huge boost in the economy of Baker County. If the Forest Service chooses to stall the analysis, by not prioritizing this work, Plans of Operation will not be approved until this winter, precluding any mining during the 2011 season.


If the Forest Service chooses to prioritize the approval of the Plans of Operation in the North Fork Burnt River watershed, there is sufficient time to complete the analysis process by July, with Plan approval at that time. This will allow operators in the watershed the opportunity to mine this season, providing a huge boost in the economy of Baker County.

If the Forest Service chooses to stall the analysis, by not prioritizing this work, Plans of Operation will not be approved until this winter, precluding any mining during the 2011 season.


There will be an Open House at the Federal Building on April 4, 2011 to meet the new Forest Supervisor, Monica Schwalbach. County Commissioners, City Managers, and a few individuals from private organizations such as EOMA have been invited to attend. Our new President, Maureen Anderson, received a personal invitation from Ranger Tomac's office, and she and one other Board member will attend.

FUN SIDE OF MINING WITH EOMP Lets support our sister organization, they have supported us with their membership and contributions to our legal fund. You can scope out EOMP at www.eomp.org check em out. They have a lot of fun scraping and digging for that elusive yellow metal.... I have attended several of these and they are a lot of fun. Chuck Chase, Executive Director, EOMA


For a $75.00 annual family membership you can mine on any of our claims. All you need to do is join our organization and start enjoying all the fun of digging for that yellow metal.You mine all you want, any time you want, and keep all the gold that you find. For more information, Write to EOMP at P.O. Box 66 Baker City, OR 97814.