Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20191203

Volume 363

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, DECEMBER 6th at the Baker City Hall. The building is located at 1st and Auburn Streets in Baker City. The Board meeting starts at 6:00 PM. The general meeting starts at 6:30 PM. As usual, there will be a drawing for a $50 silver medallion at the meeting!

As the Forest Service considers the next attempt to rewrite the Blue Mountain Forest Plan, here are a couple of quotes from the “1905 Use Book” spelling out the promises made to the people on how the forest reserves (now called National Forests) were to be managed. The Use Book states:
“The timber, water, pasture, mineral, and other resources of the forest reserves are for the use of the people; They may be obtained under reasonable conditions, without delay; Legitimate improvements and business enterprises will be encouraged. Forest reserves are open to all persons for all lawful purposes.” Also, “The administration of forest reserves is not for the benefit of the Government, but of the people. The revenue derived from them goes, not into the general fund of the United States, but toward maintaining upon the reserves a force of men organized to serve the public interests. This force has three chief duties: To protect the reserves against fire, to assist the people in their use, and to see that they are properly used.”

Also, the 1897 Organic Act specified, “any mineral lands in any forest reservation which have been or which may be shown to be such, and subject to entry under the existing mining laws of the United States and the rules and regulations applying thereto, shall continue to be subject to such location and entry, nor shall anything herein prohibit any person from entering upon such forest reservations for all lawful purposes, for prospecting/locating/developing mineral resources.
In the past, I have often recorded affidavits showing fees were paid for clients who do not live in the counties where their claims are located. When these recorded county copies are returned to me by the counties, I then send them via certified mail to BLM in Portland.

This year I did as I always do, sending a cover letter and Harney County recorded affidavit to BLM before September 1. My client lives in southern Oregon and sent a check to BLM, under separate cover, for the filing fees.

Three months later, I got a call from BLM saying they had the check for the fees, but I never sent the recorded Harney County affidavit. I informed BLM that I had sent the affidavit by certified mail. I scanned and e-mailed a copy of the green card which plainly showed that BLM had picked up and signed for my letter.

BLM continued to look for my submittal, but said they could find nothing.

So, as it turns out, sending your affidavits and waivers by certified mail means nothing. I had a green card showing BLM signed for my letter and affidavits, but BLM just said the envelope was opened, but there was nothing inside. This is the most frustrating thing I have been up against. BLM says they got an empty envelope; I know very well that I sent a cover letter and the affidavit.

I had to refile those claims at the county, and my client then sent the recorded new claim location notices to BLM. Location notices cost more to file than annual fees, plus all fees have gone up. It cost my client a bundle, and cost me a lot of sleepless nights.

I remember a couple of years ago, the same thing happened to Dick Coughren. His claims were located in the withdrawn area under the Interpretive Center. He had bent over backwards to help BLM with the Center, as he believed it was important. Then, BLM said they opened his certified envelope and said there was no small miner waiver inside.

Dick even drove to Portland and looked through all their files. But when BLM says the envelope is empty, it’s just your word against theirs. Dick lost his claims and could not refile them, because the Interpretive site is now withdrawn from mineral entry. At least, my client got his claims back.

If you have submitted your waiver (it had to be in to BLM by August 31) you had best get your assessment work affidavit (should have been recorded at the County by September 30) sent to BLM. Fees have gone up to $15/claim.

If you didn’t get your affidavit recorded in time at the county, just go ahead and do it now. Unless another miner wants to take you to court because you missed the county date, BLM doesn’t care.

The important thing is to send your affidavit to BLM via certified mail, keep the green card when it is signed by BLM, and hope whomever opens the mail, finds your check and affidavit.

A NEW APPROACH TO FOREST PLANS-Andrew Cutler, East Oregonian
After taking a step back this spring from updating the longterm management plans for the three national forests in the Blue Mountains after 15 years of trying, the U.S. Forest Service is ready to move forward again. Northwest Regional Forester Glenn Casamassa announced in March 2019 that the Forest Service was scrapping the proposed Blue Mountains Forest Plan Revision, which includes the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman and Malheur. The reason was that a draft version of the plans, completed in 2014, received so much backlash that local forest supervisors decided to develop new plan alternatives.
And this time, the agency is taking extra steps to try and resolve deep-rooted concerns of residents, industry and environmental groups. The Blues Intergovernmental Council (BIC) has been formed to help frame the process of developing a new methodology for forest planning for the three forests. A series of meetings between county commissioners and key Forest Service personnel have been held across the Blue Mountain region over the past year to help kickstart a framework for cross-jurisdiction work.

“The underlying intent is to ensure that we can develop plans for the three national forests that would provide the opportunity for durable relationships with our communities and to make an important difference on the landscape for the long term,” said Eric Watrud, the forest supervisor on the Umatilla National Forest. The current Blue Mountains forest plans, which were last updated in 1990, remain in effect.

“The 1990 plan is continuing to work, but this is an opportunity to update something that was developed very well, but almost 30 years ago, and to bring that literally into the 21st century,” Watrud said. He explained that the council includes state and county representatives in Oregon and Washington, four treaty tribes and regulatory agencies, in addition to the Forest Service.

Bill Harvey, chairman of the Baker County Board of Commissioners, said he is “very cautiously optimistic” that the Forest Service’s new approach will result in revised forest plans that are “workable” for Eastern Oregon counties. “There is some great opportunity here,” Harvey said. “I hope we don’t squander it.”

“Residents will actually have more of an opportunity (to understand what’s going on) by being able to work with their county commissioners, because the county commissioners will understand in real-time the plan development and everything will be transparent, and the county commissioners can then share that with our constituents. We can take advice from our constituents and we can bring it to the monthly meetings.”

Watrud said the BIC meetings, which will start in December, are intended to be as inclusive as possible. “The attempt here is to create just a more open, inclusive approach where the Forest Service is working closely with our communities in order to make sure that we are developing a plan that is going to stand the test of time,” he said. “And so, there’s a tremendous amount of interest, and our intent is to make sure that we’re incorporating that feedback, incorporating those ideas and local suggestions in order to make sure that we accomplish that goal.”
Baker County commissioners have agreed to move ahead with a company’s proposal to lease 25 acres of county property in the Sumpter Valley and determine whether gold deposits are sufficient to justify mining. During a special meeting Tuesday, Erik Tofsrud, the project manager, presented
a lease proposal to commissioners.

Commission Chairman Bill Harvey said the next step is for Tofsrud to send the County a written statement confirming Tofsrud and his partners will follow all state regulations. The written statement will be presented to the county attorney for review.

The proposal calls for the company to conduct a bulk test designed to show gold values. If the amount of gold is below the operating cost and profit, the operation will stop and the trenches dug will be leveled, according to the proposal. In a previous presentation to the commissioners, Tofsrud said the excavated earth will go through a processing plant to separate the gold. The process will also retrieve other valuable minerals, as well as mercury.

“And we need a significant amount of water for the gold plant,” Tofsrud said in September. “The gold plant will not use any water, it will recycle it. It will pump water from the area below, it will go through the gold plant and send it back clean. We don’t use water, it’s total recycling.” According to Tofsrud’s proposal, the processing plant can handle up to 400 cubic yards of material per hour.

According to their proposal, “During the bulk test there will not be any fuel and/or chemical storage facilities. Fuel required for the equipment will be provided by a fuel truck from a reputable fuel delivery company”.

The main equipment they plan to use is a Skyline that can reach to 1,500 feet in length and dig down to 300 feet. That’s much deeper than the floating dredge managed when it was working the gravels of Sumpter Valley up until 1954.
The test will require a trench that is approximately 700 feet long, 150 to 600 feet wide, and 100 feet deep to reach bedrock. In the proposal, they state “Given that the Team will cover all expenses initially for the bulk test, it is imperative that proper research is carried out in order to fully assess the actual gold content and ensure that it will cover expenses with a reasonable profit.”

Tofsrud’s timeline calls for the test to be done in May and June 2020, with analysis of the gold content, and the subsequent decision about whether to try to proceed with mining, from September through November 2020.

Rainier Skyline Excavators Inc. Special Projects RSE, the company submitting the proposal, formed a team for the bulk test. The team includes; Rainier Skyline (RSE) of Auburn, WA, Shukran Investment Inc. (SII) of Vancouver, BC, Canada, Yellow Eagle Mining (YEM) of Utah, and Mark Ferns, former geologist with the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.

Starting in 1995, with Governor Kitzhaber, over a hundred judges have been appointed by Oregon’s three Democratic Governors. In the past, from 1957 to 1995, only two judges were appointed by Oregon governors.

All seven of the judges currently on the Supreme Court of Oregon have been appointed by the three latest Democratic governors. Five of them appointed by Governor Kate Brown.

Eleven of the thirteen judges on the Appeals Court of Oregon have been appointed by the three latest Democratic governors. Six of these were appointed by Governor Kate Brown. Only two were elected. This certainly makes me wonder if these judges are truly non-partisan? I think it is time to elect a Republican governor and restore some balance to Oregon’s Judicial system. Or change the system, so judges are selected that will judge cases based on the law, instead of basing their decisions on the current political agenda?

Judicial appointments by Governor, Oregon
Governor Judges appointed
Kate Brown 36
John Kitzhaber 47
Ted Kulongoski 25
Barbara Kay Roberts 0
Neil Goldschmidt 1
Victor Atiyeh 0
Robert W. Straub 1
Tom McCall 0
Mark O. Hatfield 0
Robert D. Holmes 0

Chuck Chase and Dan Johnson will be attending the convention this year in Sparks Nevada. There are many informative sessions to attend on mines, mining, geologic deposits, permitting, politics and more. The convention center is filled with vendors selling everything mining related you can think of. The convention lifts your spirit, when you see there really is mining in the west.

Chuck and Dan will give a presentation at our January meeting. Be there and stay informed.

Your EOMA dues are due January 1, 2020.

And when you write that check, you might think of someone who isn’t a member, who should be. Write a check for that miner too. He or she will receive not only the EOMA newsletter, but will also receive a one-year subscription to ICMJ. A great Christmas gift for a friend, and you will get your name in the hat for a silver medallion.
Topics will include:
• Format of an NPDES permit and Schedule F
• Proposed Willamette Basin Mercury TMDL requirements
• Electronic reporting
• Schedule for permit renewal
DEQ will be at the following locations:
In Portland, on Monday, Dec. 16, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
3rd Floor Conference Room
Lloyd 700 Building
700 NE Multnomah Street
Portland, OR 97232

In Medford, on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 1:30 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Medford Room (3rd Floor)
Medford City Hall
411 West 8th Street
Medford, OR 97501

In Baker City, on Friday, Dec. 20, 3 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Riverside Room
Baker City Library

At the last Round Table Discussion with the Forest Service, Ranger Cikanek stated that the F.S had spent time and money on the Granite EIS and only a few miners had followed through, posted bonds, and got their Plans approved. I agreed to contact some of these miners to see what happened. All had kept their claims up. Several said that they had been healthy and ready to mine 12 years ago, but now had health issues, two had died and their families were taking over. One told me that a Forest Service person had told him he had to bring his access road up to FS standards in order to get an approved Plan and he thought this would be cost prohibitive, another said the F.S told him he would have to get costly DEQ/DSL discharge permits, another said that his area that would be approved to mine was so small that it wasn’t worth it. All of these miners asked me why the F.S didn’t call them. They submitted their POOs in good faith, never heard a word for 12 years, and now the F.S. is complaining that the miners aren’t calling them.
I suggest any miner who has questions about their Plan, call Ray Lovisone at 541-523- 1345
As most of you know, EOMA will not be minting 2019 medallions, but we still have 2018 medallions available, as well as some medallions from previous years. They are currently selling for $50.00 apiece plus $5.00 shipping, handling, and insurance. (Prices are subject to change).
You can order yours from the EOMA website and pay by pay-pal. Or, you can send $50 plus $5.00 shipping and handling to EOMA, Medallions, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814, or call 541-523-3285. Also, you can buy them at our EOMA meetings.


Gold Specimens and Gold nuggets, mostly from Oregon mines. Fair prices paid.  Also selling Gold nugget jewelry, specimens, nuggets and more. For an interesting and informative experience explore www.northernnevadagold.com. Call Robert 775-455-6470.
Located on Pine Creek, adjacent to the High Bar (Gold Rush) claims, the four 20 acre Golden Angels have an approved Plan of Operation in place. Good County road access, water for processing, WPCF permit goes with the sale. For information, call John at 541-620-1177.

Ed Hardt is selling his placer mining equipment. Ed's trommel is 20 feet long, 5 feet in diameter, gear driven, positive drive. It will process up to 100 yards a day, will not slip or spin out. Also, one three-inch pump, a two-inch pump, two and three inch flat hose, and a generator. Call 541-377-9209 or email Ed at twohardts@hotmail.com. Price for all is $15,000.

6 unpatented placer claims (180 acres) located on Elk Creek near Baker City.
Sale includes all equipment (2 excavators, dump truck, trommel, pumps, generators, etc).
Site was featured on the cover of ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal (August 2014).
Approved Plan of Operation with US Forest Service in place and can be transferred (expires 2021). DEQ process permit goes with the sale of the claims. For price, pictures and details, call Don Enright, 509-860-1145 or email:  donaldenright25@gmail.com

Because of health reasons, we are selling our two 80 acre Association Placer Claims. These two claims are the last two claims on the top end of Elk Creek, a short distance from Baker City. A road goes through most of it. Sell for $7,000 each, or best offer. Will take gold, silver or will sell for a lesser price for cash. Call Ken Anderson at 541-519-9497 or Chuck Chase at 541-310-8510.

This claim is located on McCully Creek on the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest just west of the town of Sumpter. Good access, off-channel water is available for processing. DEQ process permit goes with the sale of the claim. Plan of Operation is scheduled to be approved for 2020 work. Call Charles Stewart at 541-910-5435 for more information.

Three mining claims, two on Bull Run Creek, and one on Swamp Creek, a tributary of Bull Run Creek. The mine has a Plan of Operation and is set up for a trommel and backhoe operation. Can assume the plan and the $1,400 Bond. Six off channel ponds. Number six pond is the fresh water pond and number five you can discharge into. Can pan gold out of the tailings. Quite a bit of testing done and assay work; has all of the 17 Rare Earth Minerals. Call (541-310-8510)

The Sue is located on the North Fork Burnt River, which is open for suction dredging, and is accessed by a good county road. The North Fork has a long dredging season-July 1-October 31 each year. I am selling the 20-acre Sue claim, along with two dredges (a 4” and a 6”), two trailers for them and accessories, two wet suits with weight belts, one repair kit and a few other items. There is also an approved Plan of Operation with the Forest Service for using a trommel and mechanized equipment beside the river.

The equipment alone is worth over what you will be paying for the total package, it's like getting the claim for free. For information call Stan Baker 541-938-8353 HM
509-386-7465 CELL swbrockett@msn.com.

ICMJ’s Prospecting and Mining Journal is your monthly source for news, legislation, how-to articles and more. A full year (12 issues) is still only $27.95; or get a print and an online subscription for just $31.95, and get access to our last 16 years of articles online too.

Published monthly since 1931. Visit us at www.icmj.com or call at (831) 479-1500 to get your subscription started today.

Remember too, new members joining EOMA (see page 2) will receive a free one-year subscription to ICMJ. EOMA members who give gift memberships to EOMA will be put in a drawing for a silver medallion as well as the new member receiving a subscription to ICMJ.