Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20160406

APRIL 2016
Volume 319

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting will be Friday, APRIL 1, 2016 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.

Everyone is welcome to attend these meetings. There is time for discussing mining and getting to know other miners. Lots of good discussions on looking forward to the next season and solving problems. And, every meeting, there is a drawing for a $50 silver medallion!

This is a free event at the Baker County Events Center, 2600 East Street, Baker City, OR.
Sponsored by the Oregon Mining Association, Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Assoc., Oregonians in Action, Baker County Economic Development, and Eastern Oregon Mining Association. We have an abundance of minerals waiting to be developed in Eastern Oregon. This will be an opportunity to meet and hear from people involved in the mining industry. The latest on the legislative front will be discussed and this will be an opportunity to find out what is going on in the industry.

The new miner training dates have been changed to April 8, April 10 and April 11, 2016. Saturday, April 9 will be an 8 hour annual refresher, and Sunday April 10 will also be an 8 hour annual refresher (combined day with the new miners). Classes are pretty full, so call if you need training and we might be able to put on one more training session. The cost of these classes is $20 per person per day. If you are a paid up member of EOMA, you will only have to pay $15/day. Call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413 to register, since there can be no more than 30 miners in each class.
Find the last page of this newsletter, fill it out and get it back to EOMA ASAP along with your membership fees. That way you will continue to be informed on what is going on with mining in the west. We are fighting hard to keep your right to mine. The information you need to renew your membership is on the last page of this newsletter.

There was an opinion piece in the Capital Press by Loren Stout that caught my attention. He pointed out that “During the last 20 years a huge amount of lawsuits have been filed by the government and environmental groups to try and put the miners, farmers, ranchers and loggers out of business.” http://www.capitalpress.com/ I don’t think there is much question that the vast majority of the powerful environmental organizations responsible for the destruction of the rural economies in the West are funded by numerous wealthy multi-billionaires and their foundations, along with government payouts. The State and Federal Governments also add their overpowering bureaucratic regulation, along with obsessive enforcement, to the destructive mix. It is a surefire recipe for the devastation of natural resource based rural industries. One question that needs an answer is, “Is it actually the plan to depopulate and destroy the communities and economies of rural areas?” There is no doubt that rural resource based economies have suffered over the last 20 years. There also is no doubt that environmental organizations have profited from selling the idea that natural resource industries destroy the environment. Are we going to be better off if we are increasingly dependent on resources grown and mined in other countries? I know from having lived in a rural area most of my life, that the people close to the ground care more about protecting the range, forest lands, and the wildlife than the so-called "environmentalists". Miners need to promote our industry, our record of reclamation, and the positive impacts our industry has on local economies.

EOMA ELECTIONS…..2016-2017
Election results for March 3, 2016 are as follows:
Ken Alexander – President
Chuck Chase - Executive Director
Ed Hardt - Vice President
Bobbie Danser - Treasurer
Norma Myers - Corresponding Secretary
Carmelita Holland - Recording Secretary
Terry Drever Gee - Director of Governmental Affairs
Jan Alexander - Mineral Policy Director
Fred Zimmer - Sergeant-At-Arms

Board of Directors for 2016 and 2017
Scott Guthrie Bob Heitmanek
Ed Bechtel Craig Monpas
Keith Magnuson Tork Ballard
Becky Guthrie Jim Haney

The Wallowa-Whitman and Umatilla National Forests released the Granite Creek Watershed Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) and draft Record of Decision (ROD) on March 16, 2016.  The release of the FEIS and draft ROD will be followed by a 45-day pre-decisional objection period. Twenty eight mining Plans of Operations taking place over a ten year period involve a total of about 100 acres in a 94,480 acre watershed. Reclamation bonds and any 401 certifications and valid water rights determined necessary as a result of this analysis will be required before the Plans of Operations are approved and mining activities commence.
Of utmost importance in the small-scale mining and prospecting arena are the now active two lawsuits. One case involves DEQ permitting. Did you know that suction dredging is the only activity in the country, the only one (!) that requires both 402 and 404 permitting? That case is in the state courts.
The other is the federal case requesting injunctive relief from the Senate Bill 838 moratorium. Thankfully, Senate Bill 1530 did not make it out of committee, but we still have a moratorium that affects mining in essential salmon habitat areas.
Funds are needed now to see these cases through to their ends. Every dollar is appreciated! Please send donations to: Waldo Mining District, P.O. Box 1574, Cave Junction, OR 97523

I just heard from our attorney, James Buchal - the State has asked for a 42 day extension to file their Response to our brief on mootness in the Oregon Supreme Court over the DEQ permit issue.  Right now they are supposed to file by March 31... so the extension would start April 1.  I talked to Buchal about this and seeing as we had gotten two extensions ourselves, and seeing as there "might" be some news about the SB 838 case by mid-May, and seeing as even if we challenged the extension it would just cost us $$ we don't have and we would probably lose anyway; and seeing as it gives us a little more time to work on fund-raising; I told him we would not oppose their extension.

This means we have until mid-May to June to find some money - or at least get something going.  Luckily, our bill is paid to date.  Unfortunately, we have maybe $100 left.  Luckily, we won't need any more $$ (i.e.; Buchal time) at least until the State responds.  At that time, depending on their Response, we "might" want to Reply (if allowed) - like if the State says something we must repute or respond to . . . and won't have the $$ to write the brief.  If there are no other briefs to be filed, then we won't need more $$ until we get a decision on mootness from the OSC.  If we win, we'll need money to argue our case.  If we lose, there is one level of appeal (to the whole OSC) if we have the $$.

Miners who are trying to purchase the DEQ 700 NPDES new suction dredge permit for $25.00 it will not be available until DEQ Jim Billings completes DEQ’s new maps for SB838 limitation requirements. The $150.00 sur charge expired as of 2016 so that is a good thing.  I spoke to DEQ Beth Moore a few minutes and DEQ Jim billings is supposed to call me today when they expect to have the suction dredge application on their DEQ web site.
DOGAMI regulations, which require a permit if a miner excavates 5,000 cubic yards and/or disturbs one acre of ground annually up to five acres, are still in place. That permit now costs large-scale mine operators $1,750, with an annual renewal fee of $850, plus $0.0095 per ton of aggregate or mineral ore extracted during the previous 12-month period. This fee increase became effective Jan 1, 2016.
Senator Whitsett stated "Also controversial was SB 1530. If passed, this bill would have required certain state agencies to consult with certain federal agencies to determine whether state and federal mining programs can be better coordinated. The bill was originally the result of social conflict between a few southern Oregon suction dredge miners and other river users. However, it morphed into a bill that would have essentially banned mining in or near any perennial of intermittent stream or river in almost all of the state. A public hearing and work session was held on SB 1530 in the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources February 9. As a member of that committee, I voted against it, along with Sen. Alan Olsen (R-Canby).
SB 1530 was sent to the Ways and Means Committee February 16. It remained there upon adjournment".

“A new version of SB 1530 will appear in the 2017 legislative session, which begins in January. Like SB 1530, we suspect the bill will seek to limit or ban both instream and upland mining. In addition, proponents have indicated that they will consider filing a ballot measure to ban instream mining in Oregon. The instream mining debate will not go away.”-OMA
This is one important reason it is necessary for every one of us to spread the word and educate people about the benefits of mining. We need to think about how we can minimize the effects that our activities have on the activities of others who also just want to enjoy the great outdoors. You can take your kids fishing, or you can take them out to find gold or other minerals. It is not hard to figure out which activity is going to harm the fish the most.

Eastern Oregon Mining Association now has a Facebook page. For those of you who use Facebook, check it out. There is a step by step photo display of a couple of miners who are building trommels. Sign in, and come learn, add your suggestions, and get to know other miners.

There is also a Facebook page for Oregon Mining Association. Lots of useful information can be found on these sites. It is not hard to become a user of Facebook once you get used to the idea that Facebook “friends” can have a little different meaning than what you may have thought of as “friends” as you were growing up. Facebook certainly gives you the opportunity to share info not found in the mainstream media.

You can call any Congressman at (202) 225-3121. Fax: (202) 225-5774.
Urge Representative Walden to introduce and get passed a bill taking out the five year minimum sentence from this anti-terrorism law, when it is applied to non-terrorism cases. There is no way the Hammonds were involved in terrorism. Most people don’t consider burning sage brush to be terrorism or arson. Walden knows the Hammonds personally and knows they are not terrorists.
At the very least, ask Congressman Walden to pass a bill that would Pardon or provide clemency for Dwight and Steve Hammond. He can do that, and he should. It could be attached as a rider to lots of other bills. So far the only thing Congressman Walden has done to help the Hammonds is give a strong emotional floor speech on the floor of the House. This is good but too late to help the Hammonds, who are now in prison.

Utah's four House Republicans introduced a bill Wednesday that would strip the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service of their power to police federal lands, and give that power over to local law enforcement. Rep. Jason Chaffetz and his three GOP colleagues from Utah introduced the Local Enforcement for Local Lands Act. The lawmakers say the growth of police authorities in both agencies has distracted them from their main mission of managing federal land, and has created conflicts with local authorities. They also say federal agents are not as trusted as local police, and should be removed. "Federal agencies do not enjoy the same level of trust and respect as local law enforcement that are deeply rooted in local communities," Chaffetz and other lawmakers said. "This legislation will help de-escalate conflicts between law enforcement and local residents while improving transparency and accountability."

Recently, a new claim owner submitted the same plan of operation that the previous owner had submitted, a plan that was analyzed under the NFBRSEIS. We were told by Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya and District Ranger Jeff Tomac at a recent Round Table Discussion, that plans on the North Fork will be easy to approve if they are basically the same plan that was analyzed under the EIS.

This process has been anything but easy. Forest Service personnel called the previous owner of the claim and suggested she should charge the new owner a fee for the use of the plan of operation. Forest Service personnel have also insisted that previous claim owners submit written documentation that they no longer have an interest in the claim.

It is EOMA's understanding of the regulations, that the FS does not adjudicate ownerships of claims, nor plans of operations. In fact, as we understand the regulations, more than one plan of operation can be submitted, and approved on the same claim. EOMA has asked for clarification as to where in the regulations these requirements can be found or why these questions are asked.

EOMA, along with Rich Angstrom and Dave Hunnicutt have been discussing a rule change with DOGAMI. This pertains to Exclusion Certificates (ECs). DOGAMI has proposed having mine operators, using mechanized equipment and disturbing/processing less than 1500 cubic yards of material, to apply for an EC at the cost of $150. Larger in scale operators processing 1500-4,999 cubic yards will need to pay $400 the first year and $150 thereafter. The first meeting will be at Albany City Hall, Santiam Room,  April 12,  2-4pm. The second will be in Baker City, at the Geiser Grand Hotel, Cellar Room, on April 19th, 5-7pm. Here is a draft of the proposed rule:
632-030-0016 Exclusion Certificates
(1) Pursuant to ORS 517.753, an exclusion certificate is required for a surface mining operation that falls under the yard and acre thresholds for which an operating permit is required. A person seeking an exclusion certificate must file an application as provided in section (2) of this rule and the application must be accompanied by the nonrefundable fee required under OAR 632-030-0022. The application must be filed in accordance with the schedule established in section (3) of this rule.
(a) When a mining operation that is subject to an exclusion certificate loses its eligibility and is required to obtain an operating permit, all areas and operations at the site are subject to the Act and the rules adopted thereunder. When multiple mining areas are located within one parcel or contiguous parcels, the volume of minerals extracted or produced or mineral deposits and overburden disturbed, and disturbed acreage shall be calculated based on the total of all sites within the parcel or contiguous parcels.
(b) Excavation or other land disturbance operations reasonably necessary for farming include only the term “farming” as used in ORS 517.750(15)(b)(B) and means “farm use” as defined in ORS 215.203 but does not include other uses permitted in exclusive farm-use zones under ORS 215.213 or 215.283. Farm excavation or other land disturbance operations are reasonably necessary only if it substantially contributes to the profitability of the farm use and other alternatives to accomplish the same objective are significantly more expensive or otherwise impractical. Farming does not include excavation for ponds intended for recreational or aesthetics purposes or for fish or wildlife habitat.
(2) An application for an exclusion certificate must be made on the form approved by the Department. The application must include the following information:
(a) The name of the operator;
(b) Location of the excavation;
(c) The ownership of the property; if the operator is not the landowner, the operator shall provide written proof of land owner’s permission to mine the site on the landowner’s property;
(d) Size of the mining related disturbance at the site;
(e) Date of commencement of the excavation;
(f) A detailed summary of the mining activities during the previous 60 months;
(g) An explanation of why the activity is exempt; and
(h) Any other information that the Department determines to be useful to determine whether an operation is properly excluded from permitting and reclamation requirements.
(3) Applications for nonaggregate mineral surface mining operations (including metal placer mines) must be filed no later than July 31, 2017, or within 90 days after excavation commences, whichever is later.
(4) Applications for existing sand, gravel, aggregate, or crushed stone mining operations must be received no later than September 30, 2016, or within 90 days after excavation commences.
(5) The Department will review an application upon receipt and notify the applicant whether the application is complete. If an application is deemed incomplete it will be returned to the applicant with a description of the missing information.
(6) The holder of an exclusion certificate must file an annual report on the anniversary date of the issuance of the certificate. The annual report must be accompanied by the annual fee established in ORS 517.753 and must include the following information:
(a) Volume of minerals extracted, or mineral deposits and overburden disturbed during the previous year;
(b) Amount of additional lands affected by mining during the previous year; and
(c) Total number of acres affected by the operation.
(1) The fees applicable to this rule division are the maximum fees allowed by ORS 517.753 and 517.800, except as provided below.
(2) Annual fees are due on the anniversary date of the issuance of the operating permit, limited exemption certificate, or exclusion certificate unless a different renewal date is established by the Department. The Department will provide the permittee or certificate holder with 60 days advance notice before establishing a new renewal date. The Department shall prorate annual fees at the permittee's or certificate holder’s request if a new renewal date is established.
(3) A permittee or certificate holder must renew their permit or certificate annually, on or before the last day of the month shown on the permit or certificate as the renewal month. Operators that hold both a limited exemption certificate and an operating permit on the same property, or contiguous properties that are operated as a single mining activity, shall pay a single annual renewal fee pursuant to ORS 517.800, based upon the total reported production from all sites within the parcel or contiguous parcels. The non refundable annual fee must be paid and the annual report form returned prior to renewal. A permittee or certificate holder must pay all delinquent fees and accrued interest owed to this Department prior to renewal, transfer, or amendment of the permit or certificate;
(4) Notwithstanding the fees established in ORS 517.753, nonaggregate mineral surface miners (including metal placer mines) who disturb less than 1,500 cubic yards of overburden or mineral deposits by excavation or any other surface mining or milling methods on any land surface during any stage of mineral production, shall pay an application fee of $150.
(5) The Department will impose a late fee equal to five percent of the amount of any annual fee that is more than 60 days past due.
(6) The fees established by this rule also apply to emergency permits issued pursuant to ORS 517. 832 and temporary operating permits issued under ORS 517.834.
(7) The Department may waive the fee for a minor amendment in those situations where significant administrative resources are not needed to process the amendment.

The advertising listings are only $1 per month to get your ad listed below. Send your ad to: EOMA, Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814 along with your remittance for each month you want us to run your ad. The number next to your ad is how many months your ad will run.

EOMA medallions are beautiful proof grade one ounce silver medallions with the addition of real gold “nuggets” in the pan. We still have a limited supply of previous year's medallions, as well as the gorgeous new 2016 medallions. These 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.

Bob and I are no longer able to mine, but this is a great opportunity for someone younger than us to mine on LDMA properties, meet people interested in mining, and at the same time have some fun and get some gold. $2000.00. Also, State Highway classifier with 4 different screens, motor and pump $150. Case tractor with loader and back hoe mounted on 5th wheel trailer.  $7,500. Call 541-526-5998 or gulchgold@yahoo.com

Want to buy raw gold, looking for a couple of ounces. Contact Bob Sunderman at 541-962-5202

The Oregon Mining Association is a non-profit corporation dedicated to promoting mining and the mineral industry in Oregon. Supported by donations. Please send what you can to save mining in Oregon.
Oregon Mining Association
P.O. Box 23213
Tigard, OR 97281
They have both a website and facebook page. http://oregonmining.org/
Wanted:  Full time caretaker for remote property about 20 miles from John Day, Oregon. Primitive, well insulated house, wood heat only, good water from spring.  Off the grid, power from gas generator if needed.  ¼ mile level driveway off county maintained road.  Must have own chain saw, 4 x 4 vehicle with chains, cut own firewood, and help with chores.  Inquire by e-mail (tseal@unr.edu) or by mail to Caretaker, PO Box 8353, Spring Creek, NV 89815.