Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20210602

JUNE 2021
Volume 381

Many thanks to Alice Knapp for letting us continue to meet at the saw shop while City Hall is not available for meetings. We will have a meeting on JUNE 4TH, 2021 at the Elk Creek Enterprises saw shop located at 890 Elm Street, and a PROTEST MARCH just before the meeting. See the information below. The Board Meeting will begin at 6:00PM with the general meeting following at 6:30PM. Don’t forget, we will give away a $50 dollar silver medallion at the end of the meeting. Come to the meeting, buy a ticket, and support EOMA.

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE-Protest in Support of Tom Griffin’s Widow June 4, 2021
The Forest Service has done a grave injustice to Carol, Tom Griffin’s widow. The agency seized the Castlerock reclamation bond without even checking to see that reclamation had been completed, and while knowing full well that the bridge that the bond was supposed to be used to remove, belonged to Baker County. Since the Forest Service seized the bond money, they have not used it to do reclamation, since Tom had completed all that. Baker County has improved the County road, removed the old bridge and replaced it with a larger bridge which will accommodate 10-yard dump trucks of ore, as well as access by the recreating public. The Forest Service has made no offer to return the bond money to Tom’s widow.

The FOIA Jan filed for EOMA confirmed that Tom Griffin was never the operator under the Plan of Operation, it was Jim Crotty. The Forest Service illegally required and accepted a third- party bond from Tom, then seized the bond money without even taking the time to look at the site and see that reclamation had been accomplished. In addition, the Forest Service knew there was no bridge to remove, since the bridge belonged to Baker County. Please join all of us in a protest march in front of the Federal building. We will meet at 3:30PM on Friday June 4.
Background: Carol lost Tom this past winter. It was a long and tough illness. The bills have been mounting. And Carol is still confused about why the Forest Service would target Tom and her. It seems unbelievable that the agency should hate miners so much.

Carol knows now that the agency illegally required a reclamation bond from Tom, who wasn’t even the Operator under the Plan of Operation. At the time, neither she nor Tom questioned the Forest Service about the legality of the agency requiring and accepting a third-party bond. They believed what the Forest Service told them.

Over several years-time, Tom and Carol had no problems with the Forest Service. When Jim Crotty’s Plan of Operation was near to its expiration date, the Forest Service extended it. Tom and Carol then filed a new Plan of Operation when the extension ended, since Jim Crotty had had enough of the Forest Service. But the Forest Service would not accept Tom’s new Plan. All they wanted was to have the road closed and no more mining on the Castle Rock claims. With that as their goal, the Forest Service gave Tom and Carol a date to have all reclamation completed, then they seized the bond money two months before the date they gave Griffins to complete reclamation.

Tom had posted the reclamation bond with the understanding that it was for reclamation at the mine site, closure of the portal and removal of the East Eagle bridge, all of which had been agreed to by Jim Crotty in his Plan of Operation. Tom got all the agreed upon reclamation work accomplished, and then he submitted a new plan so he could keep the bridge in place. He knew that without the bridge, there would be no access to the mine, for him, or for any of the miners with claims in that area, nor would there be access for the public. hen, it turned out that the bridge belonged to Baker County, so Tom told the Forest Service he couldn’t remove the bridge, since it wasn’t his.

This information fell on deaf ears. Bill Harvey, Baker County Chair, had also told the Forest Service that the bridge belonged to Baker County. They did not care. On April 12, 2018, the Forest Service seized the bond money from the bank where it was held in an assigned savings deposit.

The Forest Service has not used any of this money to conduct reclamation work at the mine, since there was none to accomplish. They could have given the money to Baker County to help pay for the new County bridge, but they didn’t. They could have returned the money to Carol, but again, they didn’t.

EOMA believes that the Forest Service should refund the bond money to Carol Griffin. The PROTEST MARCH on June 4 will be in support of Carol. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME on the Forest Service for targeting Tom and Carol, and now for taking advantage of a widow.
We are hoping for a good turn-out for this protest, in support of Carol Griffin and in support of Forest access for all Forest users. We will meet just around the corner from the Federal Building on Estes Street at 3:30PM. At about 4:00PM we will file in front of the Federal Building and carry signs in support of Carol.
In addition, we are protesting the Forest Service illegal actions to close the mining road into the Castlerock claims. Without access, there can be no mining. Without access there also can be no hunting, recreation, wood cutting, hiking, camping or other activities. EOMA and Baker County stand firm on this issue. No more road closures will be tolerated on the National Forest. At this point, we only have 30% of the roads we once had in the Forest. We cannot afford to lose any more access. No more holding miners hostage until they close access roads in order to get back their bonds, no more wilderness, no more roadless areas, no more elk security areas, no more corridors, no more road closures-period.

The Forest Service has no respect for the access needs of the local community, no respect for the law, and certainly no respect for the mining industry; nor do they care about the wrongs they have done to the Griffins. The least they can do is refund the illegally seized bond money to Carol.

The Chamber tells us Jubilee is a go! There is a full three-day event being planned, with music, bronc and bull riding, vendors throughout the park, and the State Panning Championships.

EOMA has had a high banker and a metal detector donated as prizes for our raffles. Many thanks to Keith Magnuson and Richard Linrud for these donations. We are downsizing our area, and now have two pop-up tents to replace the old tents we used to struggle so hard to put up and take down. If you would be willing to take a shift at the booth, talk to the public, pan with the kids, it would really help.
With this downsizing, we will not be selling anything, other than silver medallions. We just want to concentrate on meeting the public and talking about mining. I will bring some pictures, but not as many as we have displayed in the past. The Oregon Gold Panning Championships are planned on Saturday afternoon. Be honing your skills, this might be the year you are a champion!

Bob Schmaling, Senior Project Manager from the Governor’s Office of Film & Television has a request from a motion picture company to help them find a possible filming location in Oregon. They are “looking for a sort of abandoned town with a mine.” Bob thinks he can find a ghost town all right, but needs a portal. If you have a hardrock portal on your claim, and would allow a movie crew on site, contact Bob. He will need a picture of the portal. Bob Schmaling, 971-254-4022-Office; 503-780-8197 Mobile-bob@oregonfilm.org

Brian Anderson will take over the District Ranger position, according to a press release from Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya.
“I am extremely excited to join the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and become a part of the local community with my family,” Anderson said. “I look forward to meeting stakeholders, hearing their perspectives, and working collaboratively to address a wide variety of land management issues across the Wallowa Valley and Eagle Cap Districts and the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area.”

Anderson comes to the Wallowa-Whitman from the Sawtooth National Forest out of Stanley Idaho where he served as a deputy area ranger since 2017. “The Wallowa-Whitman is fortunate to have a highly skilled leader joining our leadership team,” Montoya said. “Brian brings some great experience in working with rural communities in Central Idaho and understands the impact that difficult resource decisions can have on local communities and agency employees.”

Anderson, who is originally from Boise, Idaho, has been a Forest Service employee for more than 20 years, the release said. Anderson’s background includes natural resources, an understanding of complex recreation issues and fire management experience. He has worked closely with a variety of stakeholders including partners, public, tribes and other federal agencies.

Anderson’s past assignments in the Forest Service include serving as acting district ranger on the Payette National Forest, acting area ranger on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, hydrologist on the Boise National Forest, trail crew foreman and wilderness ranger on the Payette National Forest and as a wildland firefighter for the Idaho City Hotshots on the Boise National Forest.

Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska spearheaded a letter with 14 of his colleagues in questioning the constitutional and statutory authority of President Biden’s goal to conserve 30 percent of the U.S. landmass and oceans by 2030 (30x30). The governors not only questioned the legal authority for the program, they also submitted a list of questions about the what kind of process the Biden administration will use to “conserve” the lands, what constitutes conservation, what lands will be designated, how will the lands be managed, where the maintenance & operations-type funding will come from for acquired lands, where will acquisition-funding come from, and more – a dozen questions in all.

The letter comes on the heels of a similar letter coordinated by the Congressional Western Caucus last month. Despite the growing chorus of questions, concerns and unease about the 30x30 program, the Biden administration has offered little detail publicly beyond the initial announcement.
Within days of President Biden announcing plans to slash U.S. emissions 50% by 2030, the International Energy Agency (IEA) released a new report that raises alarm bells about supply chain risks related to many critical minerals required for that vision. The report warns that the world’s supply and investment plans for minerals fall well short of what is needed to support the deployment of advanced energy technologies required to combat climate change.  

The IEA report reveals that the world will require huge increases in mineral supplies to meet projected demand for a range of advanced energy technologies.
Copper demand for electrical grid lines is expected to more than double by 2040.
Lithium demand could grow by more than 40 times by 2040, followed by graphite, cobalt and nickel (around 20-25 times).
Cobalt demand could range from 6 to 30 times higher than today’s levels.
Rare earth elements may see 3 to 7 times higher demand in 2040 than today.
Growing U.S. mineral import reliance isn’t due to a lack of domestic resources. The U.S. is home to an estimated $6.2 trillion worth of mineral reserves. These resources can form the foundation of our advanced energy future and can be accessed while adhering to world-leading environmental, safety and labor standards.

To meet the pending energy transition, we need mining policies that recognize the urgency of supporting domestic mineral production. If policymakers can act quickly, we can invest in a responsibly-sourced, domestic minerals supply chain for an advanced energy future.

A broad swath of House Republicans teamed up on April 14 to introduce the Building U.S. Infrastructure through Limited Delays and Efficient Reviews "BUILDER Act".

The goal of the legislation would be to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by making project reviews more efficient and less costly, essentially codifying the rule changes put in place by the Trump administration last year. Cosponsors include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Conference Chairwoman Liz Cheney, Appropriations Ranking Member Kay Granger, Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman, Transportation and Infrastructure Ranking Member Sam Graves, Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and many more.

AEMA released a statement in support of the BUILDER Act.

Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN), the new ranking member of the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, introduced the "Accessing America’s Critical Minerals Act" on April 15. Stauber’s bill would essentially seek to codify the Trump-era NEPA reforms (time and page limits for environmental reviews, coordination of reviews between agencies and elimination of redundant reviews, and several other directives aimed at better coordination and transparency), but more narrowly focusing on federal permitting for the mining industry. By comparison, the BUILDER Act would be broadly focused on any federal project, including transportation, infrastructure, forest health and just about anything else that requires NEPA, including mining.

House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) and Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee Chairman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) recently sent a letter to Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack seeking administrative changes to mining regulations. The letter echoes longstanding talking points from Earthworks/Earthjustice, and references studies involving a discredited consultant. The letter calls for the secretaries to use their authorities to:

•Establish meaningful Tribal consultation and Indigenous resource protections. Consultations and regulations on mining should seek to achieve the Free, Prior, and Informed Consent (FPIC) of Indigenous communities.
•Clarify that federal land managers have the authority to decide whether or not to approve mining plans of operations, including the authority to reject proposals that will likely cause substantial irreparable harm to important natural and cultural resources, or which require water treatment in perpetuity.
•Exercise existing statutory and regulatory authorities to minimize or prohibit harm to natural and/or cultural resources from tailings and waste piles proposed or located on lands that do not contain a valuable mineral deposit.
•Specify detailed performance standards for hardrock mining operations.
•Require best practices for managing mine waste tailings.
•Require adequate up-front financial assurances to cover all reclamation costs, including those for long-term water treatment.
•Establish an enforcement system that holds violators clearly accountable.
•Put in place a system of fees to require mine operators to defray the necessary costs of inspections, environmental reviews, and other administrative functions so government regulators have sufficient resources to carry out their responsibilities.
•Require mining companies to plan for expected impacts of climate change and changing weather patterns, such as increased precipitation levels, on mining operations.

Earlier this month, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued Secretarial Order 3398, which repeals a number of secretarial orders from the Trump administration that were important to mining. At the same time, she also issued S.O. 3399, which charts a new path forward with respect to how Interior will address climate change and implement NEPA.

S.O. 3398 repeals S.O. 3355, which set time and page limits on environmental review documents conducted by Interior agencies. S.O. 3398 returns the agency to Obama-era policies on compensatory mitigation, and also repeals an order signed by Secretary Bernhardt that was designed to coordinate reviews under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and NEPA.

S.O. 3399 creates a Climate Task Force to encourage investment in renewable energy sources and energy communities, and “provides policy instruction to ensure that the level of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis across DOI bureaus is not diminished, that climate change is appropriately analyzed, and that Tribes and environmental justice communities are appropriately engaged.”

Taken together, the orders are consistent with the Biden administration’s efforts to pause or slow down resource projects on public lands and rollback Trump-era NEPA reforms.

On April 9, President Biden unveiled a “skinny budget,” which is a preview of the budget he is likely to submit to Congress any day now. The skinny budget includes line items for $1.1 billion for the Abandoned Mine Land program.

The budget proposal states a goal of creating 250,000 jobs in orphan oil and gas well and mine cleanup. They view the oil and gas side of the cleanup as an important aspect of fighting climate change by eliminating methane leaks. It is unclear if this is exactly what they mean by a “just transition” for oil, gas and mineral workers to a green economy.

The skinny budget includes $550 million for coal workers to train for cleanup jobs through the Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA), $450 million for AML work on Department of Interior-owned lands, and $100 million for AML work on National Forest System lands.

AEMA will track this issue through the appropriations process to see how Congress receives the proposals. Ultimately, any meaningful hardrock AML cleanup will require the passage of Good Samaritan legislation to address liability concerns.
Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL) and Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) recently reintroduced the "American Critical Mineral Independence Act," which was an updated version of legislation introduced last year. The Waltz-Gosar bill would "promote the domestic exploration, research, development, and processing of critical minerals to ensure the economic and national security of the United States,” and recognizes that many “critical minerals” are byproducts of other more common host minerals.

Portions of last year’s bill became law as part of the 2020 omnibus package, so this reintroduced version contains the remaining provisions. AEMA worked with minority staff from the House Natural Resources Committee to review this year’s bill language and provide suggestions to improve it. We will continue to coordinate with committee members and staff to find avenues to move the legislation forward to passage.

Brenda Mallory was confirmed as chair of CEQ by the full Senate on April 14. The vote was 53-45. In her committee hearings she initially suggested that the Trump NEPA reforms needed to be scrapped across the board, but she later appeared to leave the door open to leaving some of the reforms in place.

Tommy Beaudreau has been nominated to serve as deputy secretary of the Department of Interior, the No. 2 post at the agency. He was nominated shortly after Elizabeth Klein was withdrawn by the White House, although technically, her nomination packet was never actually submitted to the Senate.

Beaudreau is a native Alaskan with experience in the oil and gas sector, and also served in the Obama administration as the first director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. From there, he moved on to become chief of staff for Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell. While his nomination has drawn mixed reviews from the conservation community, his chief advocate on Capitol Hill has been Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).

Elsewhere at Interior, Bryan Newland has been nominated to become assistant secretary for Indian Affairs. Newland currently serves as principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs. If confirmed, Newland will serve in the top position at BIA. Shannon Estenoz has been nominated to serve as assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks (no nominee to head the Fish and Wildlife Service has been announced at this time).
For solicitor of the Department of Interior, President Biden nominated Robert Anderson. Anderson has spent the bulk of his career (32 years) as a professor of Indian Law at University of Washington and Harvard. He also spent 12 years at Native American Rights Fund, and was an associate solicitor for Secretary Bruce Babbitt.

EOMA is a member of OCAPA. This is undoubtedly the largest type of mining in Oregon. They have a very interesting and informative website that also may be of interest to metal miners. They keep track of the bills introduced in Oregon’s legislature that may affect all mining in Oregon.
It will be necessary to remind the Oregon legislators, who mainly come from the Willamette Valley, that not all of Oregon has a moderate climate. A bill such as SB 715 which mandates higher percentages of biodiesel doesn’t work for the people who live and work at higher elevations.
Check out their website: https://www.ocapa.net

EOMA still has silver medallions available. They are currently selling for $50.00 apiece plus $5.00 shipping, handling, and insurance. (Prices are subject to change).

You can order your medallion 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 541-310-8510. Also, you can buy them at our EOMA meetings.

Two water pumps with belt driven clutch system (heavy duty) driven by a 2-cylinder Wisconsin gas engine for $250.

Also, a 5" intake 7" discharge Fairbanks and Morse high pressure pump. Driven by a 30 HP 3 phase electric motor for $450. Call Ken Anderson at 541-523-2521 or 541-519- 9497

This magnetometer measures the amount of magnetics in the ground, such as magnetite. Since magnetite is associated with gold, the magnetometer can help greatly with prospecting, since it will show you the amount of magnetite that may well be associated with gold in the ground. The more magnetite, the more gold. $400 or cash $350. Call Chuck Chase, 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 in the fall of 2021. Call Charles Stewart at 541-910-5435 for more information. I will look at any reasonable offers.

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.

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.

AMS is selling out all assay supplies, screens, chemicals and labware! Call for quote and mention this ad for 35% off! Assay supplies, concentrators, impact mills, technical books (for the beginner to the advanced mill man), & more!

Call for our free catalog or visit us online! Check out their website for information on wave tables. Want to pick up an order in Plains Montana? We have moved to Plains, Montana…. please call 406.826.9330 to place the order on will call first, this way our staff can have it pulled and ready for pick up. Otherwise, we can always ship your order! sales@actionmining.com • www.actionmining.com

A lot of information in this newsletter was obtained from the American Exploration & Mining Association newsletter. To stay up to date on mining issues, you can become a member of AEMA.
by going to their website at info@miningamerica.org

If you have informative or interesting articles about mining items to share in the newsletter send them to Ken Alexander alxk@ortelco.net, or Chuck Chase CHASE3285@msn.com, or Jan Alexander alx@ortelco.net. Be sure to indicate the source of information you send.