Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20180907

Volume 348

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting will be Friday, SEPTEMBER 7th , 2018 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. As usual there will be a drawing for a $50 silver medallion at the meeting!

Bill Harvey and Bruce Nichols, both running for the position of Baker County Chairman, will attend the September 7th meeting of EOMA. They will introduce themselves, tell us about their qualifications, why they are running and what their goals are for Baker County.

Following this, the candidates will answer questions from the audience. Questions can be mining related, but can also pertain to any phase of Baker County management.

Come join us on Friday. We all need to be informed voters!

It is encouraging when we can see the new administration’s effect on BLM. NEPA documents are to be written, and Plans of Operation approved, within one year. No travel management Plan is being implemented. The agency is good to work with.

The Forest Service in contrast, does not appear to know there has been a change in Washington DC. It’s business as usual for them, closing the forest to the public, mismanaging the timber, range and mining programs, letting the forest burn. The Plan proposes 70,000 acres of new wilderness. They have created even more wilderness without involving Congress by designating “roadless” areas, then they do nothing as the bug infested, dead and dying stands of timber fall to the ground and rot. It is a failing public lands management agency that is slowly destroying our communities through preservationist ideologies instead of employing solid stewardship-based management.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue needs to know what is going on with the Forest Service. He has been so busy working with the farmers, he has forgotten that the Forest Service is also an agency that he oversees. Sonny Purdue has pledged he will “prioritize customer service every day for American taxpayers and consumers”. We need a little customer service ourselves. Write the Secretary that we are concerned about Forest Service mismanagement, and are requesting new management of the agency. Letting the Secretary know about the problems we face, just might make a difference.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue has made it very easy to tell him what you think. Here is part of what I told him using this link https://www.usda.gov/content/tell-sonny

The Forest Service (FS) is just a small part of the Department of Agriculture, but over the last several decades FS policies have destroyed our rural communities. Unfortunately, for the few of us still holding on, the FS is going ahead full steam with their destructive policies, as if there had not been a change in administrations.

The Forest Service has released the Blue Mountain Forest Plan Revision (BMFPR) which embraces the “shut it down, burn it up, and make the National Forests wilderness” philosophy. It is the final legacy of retired Regional Forester Jim Peña of region 6 and will be the guiding document for the future of three National Forests. The BMFPR proposes buffers of “non-motorized areas” around wilderness and so-called “roadless areas” that have been used by the citizens for over a hundred years. The plan will overly restrict access and penalize people for using the forest. This will further destroy not only the communities, but the custom and culture of the people who still live in this area.
EOMA, Baker County and many others have filed objections to the BMFPR, but we fear that this “lock it up, close it down” plan cannot be stopped. Wise use of our natural resources with environmentally sound practices can be accomplished with reasonable regulation and good management. Request that Sonny Purdue appoint new Forest Service leadership and cancel the BMFPR.

Currently those engaged in mineral exploration on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administered lands are allowed to conduct low impact exploration activity on 5 acres or less (only one 5acre parcel or less at a single time) without “triggering” a NEPA action, by filing a Notice of Intent (NOI). This allows for a progress of activity that fits the iterative exploration model of locating minerals when the mineral potential of an area is unknown. Conversely, the USFS does not allow similar exploration without filing a Plan of Operation subject to NEPA. In many cases, this causes responsible, low impact exploration from ever occurring.

This is a good example of how two agencies regulating the same activity diverge in their approach. On the Forest, even simple exploration EAs will delay a project 18-24 month delay, (10 years on the Wallowa-Whitman) and because of this, companies will not invest or conduct exploration and development of mineral deposits on National Forest System lands due to this unnecessary burden.

In 1999, the National Academy of Sciences National Research Council published a study on the effectiveness of environmental regulation of hardrock mining on federal land. Only two recommendation remain unfulfilled; Good Samaritan legislation and for the USFS to adopt BLM’s 5 acre NOI process.

This is from AMRA Facebook page. These miners were suction dredging in Idaho with the proper State permits when the FS told them they cannot do that without a plan of operation. They have gathered a lot of interest from other miners who have also been frustrated with interactions with FS employees. They have a survey they would like you to take: https://www.facebook.com/pg/americanminingrights/posts/?ref=notif

“Since we have returned from our trip to Idaho we have received an overwhelming number of calls from miners and public land users all across the west with documented problems with the USFS. Problems like ignoring Plans of Operation applications, in some cases for years....they are supposed to respond to them within 30 days. They've been told "we are not going to let you mine no matter what you do". Other issues include blatantly putting up gates on roads which have been in existence for over a hundred years.
This does not have to involve mining, we are also interested if you have been harassed while camping, fishing, hiking, hunting or any other outdoor activities. Most FS employees are good people. This is why many, many within the USFS have come to us to expose the bad apples.

EOMA, Baker County and many of our members sent objection letters to the Forest Service concerning the Revision of the Blue Mountain Forest Plan. The Plan is an assault on Forest access, including mining access.

EOMA objected to changing the Malheur and Wallowa-Whitman Forests to “closed, unless designated open”. The RLMP needs to recognize the importance of all the rich mineralized areas and the importance of keeping them open to access. The Forest Service Preferred Alternative still features backcountry nonmotorized along with additional wilderness proposals. Open roads within mineralized areas are necessary, and all mineralized areas should be designated suitable for motorized access without the miles/section restriction.

The Plan will designate which roads the public can drive. Anyone driving a “closed road” (a road that is not on the Forest open road map) will be cited. Roads currently used for hunting, prospecting, berry picking, mushrooming, picnicking, access to hiking trails, will be closed.

Basically all roads within 300 feet of waterways will be deemed “hydrologically connected” and will be closed. EOMA objected strongly to this, stating that as long as roads are not adversely affecting water quality, the number of roads in a watershed, and the distance from waterways is irrelevant. All road closures should be done on a site- specific basis, and in coordination with the Counties. If a road is producing sediment which is entering a waterway, and that road provides mining access, the road must be relocated or repaired. No roads needed for mining should be closed.

EOMA also objected to the prohibition on cross country travel. While prospecting, cross country travel is often necessary. Alternative A allows cross country travel, and the 36CFR228 regulations allow cross country travel while prospecting, and while working under a Plan of Operation.

There were two new alternatives and a lot of new information in the revised plan, that the public never got to comment on in 2014. One new part of the Plan was a minerals section which stated: “Approved Plans of Operation are required to conduct exploration or mining operations on National Forest System Lands”. This statement is not correct.

Under the 36CFR228 Regulation, exploration and mining which does not result in significant surface disturbance may legally take place without the need of a Plan of Operation. The Organic Act of 1897, providing for the forest reservations, was clear that lands more valuable for the minerals were to be held above other forest purposes. The really sad part of this new section on minerals, which contains this incorrect information, is the Three Forest minerals staff people OK’d the language. You would think they might know their own regulations…..EOMA and others who submitted objection letters, have requested the opportunity for an oral presentation and a chance to remedy some of the most onerous parts of the revised plan.
On March 28, 2017, President Donald Trump issued the Presidential Executive Order on Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth – E.O. 13783. Section 2 (c) states, “The Council on Environmental Quality shall rescind its final guidance entitled “Final Guidance for Federal Departments and Agencies on Consideration of Greenhous Gas Emissions and the Effects of Climate Change in National Environmental Policy Act Reviews,” which is referred to in “Notice of Availability” 81 Fed. Reg. 51866 (August 5, 2016); and (d) “The heads of all agencies shall identify existing agency actions related to or arising from the Presidential actions listed in subsection 9 (a) of this section, the reports listed in subsection (b) of this section, or the final guidance listed in subsection (c) of this section. Each agency shall, as soon as practicable, suspend, revise, or rescind, or publish for notice and comment proposed rules suspending, revising or rescinding any such actions, as appropriate and consistent with law and with the policies set forth in section 1 of this order.” (Executive Order 13783 Sec. 3 (a)(i), (iii), and (b)(i), 82 Fed. Reg. 16576 (effective April 5, 2017). Therefore, under E.O. 13783 and 82 Fed. Reg. 16576, all environmental impacts based on climate change cannot be included in the Blue Mountain Revised Forest Plan EIS. The Forest Service had over a year to make these changes, but did not do so. The RLMP must be revised, and a supplemental EIS made available for comment.

Baker County Commissioners Bill Harvey, Mark Bennett and Bruce Nichols met with Forest Supervisor Tom Montoya, Acting Ranger Ryan Falk and Engineer Dave Clemens to discuss the County bridge. Mark stated the Forest Service had reached out to him to find a solution.

The County and the Forest Service are working on a “schedule A” shared agreement for the right of way, so the road can stay open while the County asserts it’s right to the road and bridge under RS2477. The Forest Service and the county are concerned about the NW corner of the bridge where high water in the past has washed around the end of the bridge. The County has asked Tom Hanley of Hanley Engineering to evaluate the situation. If the bridge can be repaired in place, that would be the best alternative. If the bridge has to be removed, it is highly doubtful the Forest Service will agree to putting that bridge back in place. Unfortunately, under a shared agreement, the Forest Service will be calling the shots. Thus, we are hoping Hanley Engineering can come up with a suitable plan that retains the existing bridge in place while repairs are made.
Many people at the hearing asked why the county is asking the Forest Service what they want. The right of way predates the forest, it is used by recreationists as well as the miners upstream. Many members of the audience questioned why the Forest Service would have to analyze a county road and bridge. Some questioned writing an EA. That process could go on for years, and if environmentalists wanted to object and litigate, the access would never be open.
We still have 2018 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 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.


For Sale
1. Multi Quip 3/8 yard cement mixer Model MC-94P with Honda 8 hp motor. It has a polyurethane drum and is on a single axel for easy towing. It is an ex Home Depot rental unit. Asking $1,500.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
2. Syntron Magnetic Vibrator Model V-50-01. This is a fairly husky unit that bolts on to bine, chutes where material being fed does not flow smoothly. I used it to move material out of bins and chutes. It is single phase and draws 4.5 amps.
3. Krebs Hydrocyclones, 1 Model D4 and 1 Model D6, which I used to thicken my fine tailings. I have specs and installation instructions from Krebs. Asking $250.00 each. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
4. Portable 2 inch Water pump with 3.5hp Honda gas engine. $100.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
5. Sample Splitters, one with 22 slots, 3/4 inch wide, @ $150.00; and one with 12 slots, 5/8 inch wide, @$100.00.
6. Transformer,480/240/120 volt, 3phase or single phase. $150.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
7. S+S Controls Heavy Duty Motor Starter, 3 phase, 480 /220 volt. Rated for motor horsepower up to 55 horse. $350.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
8. Wilden 1 1/2 inch Chemical Solution Polyethylene Pump Model M4/Pt/Tf/Tf/Pt s/n 364361. New condition, never used. Air driven. $500.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise)
9. Onan 75kw Generator, older but with very low hours. Recently installed updated exciter circuit. $6,500.00. Call Jack at 208-284-5882 (Boise).

This 20 Acre claim is located on the North Fork of the Burnt River in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. Burnt River Road runs parallel to the river from one end of the claim to the other offering excellent access to the river and campsite. Claim contains over ¼ mile of river open to dredging. Copies of approved 2017 DEQ permit 600 PM and 2017 DEQ 700 PM (4” suction dredge) available. This claim is for sale for $2500. Contact Joe Toce email: toceja@hotmail.com

Looking for someone mechanically inclined to learn and run a hard rock gold mill. One may be available for scrap price. Time to pass on the technology and know-how. Need a younger working partner and gold ore to run. Dr. Thom: tseal@unr.edu
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.

Patsy and Randy Stockam are moving to Alabama in the next few months and have some mining equipment to sell. A Gold Grabber Highbanker with pump and hose. Asking $600.00. Text Patsy at 541-786-1080 if you are interested.

5 unpatented placer claims (160 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, will take gold, silver or will sell for a lesser price for cash. Call Ken at 541-519-9497 or Chuck 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 2019 work. Call Charles Stewart at 541-910-5435 for more information.

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.

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 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.