Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20150804

AUGUST 2015 Newsletter
Volume 311

The meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, AUGUST 7TH 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.

We have enclosed a Maintenance Fee Waiver form in this newsletter, along with an affidavit of annual assessment (proof of labor) form. BLM recently wrote miners that they would prefer to have the maintenance fee waiver and proof of labor mailed together in one envelope. If you can do this, it may help BLM to keep better track of your paperwork. The waiver must be in BLMs Portland Office by Monday, August 31, 2015. The address is Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Office, P.O. Box 2965, Portland, OR 97208. If you miss this date, you have lost your claims.

Assessment work must be completed by September 1 and filed at the county by September 30. Miners have until the end of December to submit their proofs of labor, but there is no reason to wait. The sooner the paperwork is filed, the sooner you will know if everything is in order with your claims.

EOMA is now accepting applications from miners who want to post their reclamation bonds using monies from the EOMA bonding fund. Our bond fund is dedicated to bonding, and cannot be used for other projects. Thus, providing bonds for EOMA miners in good standing with EOMA and the agencies, is a win-win for the miners and for the agencies. Lori Wood of BLM is on board with our bonding program, however, Jeff Tomac has not given us an answer on this yet. Hopefully, by the time this newsletter is out, Ranger Tomac will also be on board with our new bonding plan. Miners need to work with Wade Krist of the Forest Service and work with Steve Flock of the BLM on their reclamation bond amounts.
The Miners Jubilee was bigger and better this year. The Baker City Herald led the effort coordinated by J.J. Vela, making the 2015 Miners Jubilee even better than last year. Our Silent Auction was a huge success this year also. I wish to extend a big thank you to all of you that brought in items for the auction and to those of you that participated and bid on auction items. There were so many items that we had to put a lot of the auction items over in the park itself.
Many miners, and members of the public who were interested in mining, dropped by to talk. We got several new members, sold medallions, the kids panned for gold, and the Oregon Gold Panning Championships were well attended
A great big thank you to our sponsors Energy Trust who donated the gold to the kids panning this year and last year also. And of course a long time sponsor Ash Grove Cement who sponsored the Oregon Gold Panning Championships.
A special thank you to all of you that donated your time and energy to make this a memorable Miners Jubilee.
The 2015 Oregon Panning Championships were held on Saturday and this was a real lively competition with cash prizes for the winners. The winners are listed below.
KIDS PANNING: 1st Place: Alexander Bexroad won $30; 2nd Place: Zoey Justus won $20; 3rd Place: Mikell Harrison won $10.
AMATUR PANNING: 1st Place: Samantha Williams won $75; 2nd Place: Dennis Bexroad won $50; 3rd Place: Jonathan Howarth won $25.
PROFESSIONAL PANNING: 1ST Place: Jeremiah Williams won $125; 2nd Place: Ken Martin; won $100: Rich Nickelson won $75.

Suction dredge legislation did not advance in the 2015 session. The Moratorium will go into effect Jan. 2, 2016. Senate Bill 830, which proposed to consolidate state regulation of placer mining activities, including suction dredging and upland placer mining adjacent to streams, did not pass in this year’s legislative session. The bill named the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) as the lead regulatory agency, and would have increased natural and cultural resource protections. It also would have lifted a moratorium on in-stream and upland motorized placer mining directed by a bill passed in the 2013 Oregon Legislature (Senate Bill 838). As a result of Senate Bill 830’s demise during the 2015 session, the moratorium is scheduled to go into effect in January 2016 and sunset in 2021.

What this means for miners
From now until the end of 2015, there are no changes to how motorized placer mining is regulated: The Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) issues General Authorizations for this activity in Oregon waterways. SB 838 made some changes to regulations for waterways that are designated Essential Salmon Habitat (ESH) that remain in effect until the end of 2015. Motorized in-stream and upland placer mining operations also require a water quality permit from DEQ, and in-stream operations using non-motorized mining equipment must comply with applicable permit terms.

Starting Jan. 2, 2016, miners will be prohibited from motorized mining in the following circumstances: In all streams above the lowest extent of spawning habitat in rivers and tributaries containing ESH or naturally reproducing populations of bull trout. In upland areas within 100 yards of these streams if the mining results in the removal or disturbance of vegetation in a manner that may affect water quality.
For more information: Julie Curtis, State Lands: 503-510-6860; julie.curtis@state.or.us
Jennifer Flynt, DEQ: 503-229-6585; jennifer.flynt@state.or.us

There is a lot of frustration with the seemingly endless regulations, closures of public lands and a litany of other issues regarding the use of public lands. There is also a lot of dissatisfaction with the way government agencies are treating miners with legitimate concerns. An organization that is trying to bring some sense and balance to the use of our public lands is the MMAC. Thom Seal, a longtime member and supporter of the EOMA is running for a position with MMAC as administrator for Eastern Oregon.
If you would like more information on MMAC, visit them online at: www.mmacusa.org

The Obama Administration adopted a new rule to change the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) despite the fact that a clear majority of Congress opposed it. This rule change would give EPA the ability to regulate and control activities on just about every draw, even if it only had intermittent runoff water. The National Mining Association has already filed a lawsuit in US District Court to challenge the rule and has been joined by thirteen other plaintiffs. Over twenty-five states have also filed legal challenges. The American Exploration and Mining Association (AEMA) is likely to join in litigation to stop the rule if Congress doesn’t act.

RINEHART CASE- ICMJs Prospecting & Mining Journal
The Rinehart case, appeal of People v. Rinehart, continues at the California Supreme Court. Attorneys for the State of California and environmental groups may be joined by the US Department of Justice in trying to strike down the Rinehart ruling on federal preemption. The Mountain States Legal Foundation is also weighing in and filed an amicus brief in support of Rinehart on behalf of the American Exploration and Mining Association.
One of our miners going to work on his claims in May discovered that the FS not only locked his gate on the road to two of his upper claims, but had literally obliterated the road he had been using for over 20 years to access his lower two claims. If this could happen to him, this could happen to you.
On June 4, 2015, he wrote Ranger Jeff Tomac telling him that he needed his lower road restored so he could get to his claims. In a couple of weeks he got an answer to his letter from Robert Macon, saying the locking of the gate was a “rare incident” and unintentional. (We have since heard of two other miners that were recently locked out of their roads on the Whitman Ranger District). The letter also says that the FS “retained the designated National Forest System Roads that provide reasonable access\ to his claims.
This miner turned in a plan of operations over 10-15 years ago (he is still waiting for the FS to approve his plan) showing this road as necessary for access to his claims. The road that was obliterated by the FS has been in existence for well over thirty years, was used for access by the FS, has a FS number, and is on FS maps. Macon’s letter went on to say that another road was available to the miner for access and “foot travel is permitted”.
At the June 5th EOMA meeting, we discussed this road obliteration with the Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya and special agent Jon Mayte. They said they would look into the situation and get back to us. Nothing has been done about the road yet. EOMA representatives met with Ranger Tomac and Robert Macon on July 9, 2015. Macon said that the miner could access his claims by driving a short distance further and using road #990. Robert Macon also said that he had driven the road several times.
EOMA representatives have been on site to review the situation in person since the story we were getting from the miner was so different from the FS. We have verified that the road the miner had been using for over 20 years to access his claims was ripped up, strewn with boulders, and numerous trees cut and dropped into the roadbed by the FS, making it impassable. We can also verify that the road that the FS says is “reasonable access” goes down a wet, muddy, creek bed in unstable sloping soil. Even though this problem was reported to Ranger Tomac in early June, he has yet to go out and take a look at the situation. EOMA has requested that the FS either restore the road the FS obliterated, or fix the swampy muddy road that is certainly not acceptable access in the condition it is in. Ranger Tomac has replied that maybe one of his staff would meet with the miner in August to discuss.
EOMA medallions are beautiful proof grade one ounce silver medallions with the addition of real gold “nuggets” in the pan. We have a limited supply of 2012, 2013 and 2014 medallions along with the newly minted 2015s. These medallions are currently selling for $50.00 apiece plus $5.00 shipping, handling, and insurance. (Prices are subject to change). You can order a 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 Bobbie at 541-523-3285. Be sure to specify what year you want.

“In the management of each reserve local questions will be decided upon local grounds;… The administration of forest reserves is not for the benefit of the Government, but of the people...”- The use of the National Forest Reserves

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.
Gold Cat double sluice high banker with 3.5 hp Briggs and Stratton, 2in pump, 30ft 2in hose, 14ft of 2in suction hose. $1,695 or obo. Call 541-403-4143

A mine sluice made out of wood plus a larger sluice about 4ft long out of wood all for $150 obo. Call 541-403-4143

Custom made trommel, 5.5hp 2in. pump, 60 ft. 1.5in hose, 12ft suction hose with foot valve $1,695 obo. Call 541-403-4143

(1) Four inch water pump, powered by a 2cycle Wisconsin Engine, $300.
(2) High Pressure 4 inch pump powered by 30 HP electric motor, $500.
(3) Two sets of 13-20 tire chains for tractor or grader, $100 each. Call 541-523-2521.

CLAIMS FOR SALE : Three Unpatented Placer Mining Claims: Each claim is 40 acres in size, located along Clarks Creek, near Bridgeport Oregon. The claims run from the patented Dooley Placer upstream to Blue Trigger Gulch. Come test the ground yourself. There is a Notice in place with BLM for processing on site and exploration using mechanized equipment. These claims are historic producers. Price is $7,000 per claim or $20,000 for all three claims. Call Larry Pestes, 503-663-5500 for additional information. If anyone is interested in looking at them on the ground, I would be glad to show them to you- call Jan Alexander at 541-446-3413.
Bob and I are no longer able to mine, but this is a great opportunity for someone younger than us to mine on Lost Dutchman Mining Association properties, meet people interested in mining, and at the same time have some fun and get some gold. $2000.00
541-526-5998 or gulchgold@yahoo.com

This unit has 4 different size screens, motor and pump, $150.00
541-526-5998 or gulchgold@yahoo.com