Eastern Oregon Mining Association
Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20130912

SEPTEMBER 2013 Newsletter
Volume 288

President Ken Alexander 541-446-3391
Executive Director Chuck Chase 541-523-3285
Director of Governmental Affairs Terry Drever Gee 541-523-6228 Editors....Chuck Chase ……541-523-3285 and
Jan Alexander.......541-446-3413
Mineral Policy Director Jan Alexander...541-446-3413
EOMA INTERNET ADDRESS: http://www.h2oaccess.com/

The meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, SEPTEMBER 6TH at the Baker City Hall. The building is located at 1st and Auburn Streets in Baker City. The Board meeting starts at 6:00PM, and the general meeting starts at 6:30PM.

WIN 1/2 POUND OF GOLD-Chuck Chase
The Eastern Oregon Mining Association, along with the Waldo Mining District, is selling tickets for the drawing on a ½ pound of gold. The big Final Drawing with a Grand Prize of 1/2 Pound of Gold will be held in the spring of 2014. The cost is $5.00 per Entry, or Six Entries for $25.00.

You need not be present to win! So, fill out the tickets in the back of the newsletter and send them in to Drawing, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814. Your money goes to help miners continue litigation on miner’s rights. Thank you for all your support.

Miners who submitted plans of operation for mining in the North Fork Burnt River watershed ended up waiting for 10 years or longer for the Environmental Impact Statement to be completed by the Forest Service. EOMA’s appeal of unreasonable mitigations is now finished. The judge lifted the order that shut down all but a few operations in the watershed. This lengthy delay was a huge blow to the mining community.
The opportunity to get approval of our Plans of Operation is almost anti-climactic at this point. The Forest Service no longer recognizes EOMA’s good-will reclamation bonding agreement, so miners must post bond in the full amount. In the 10 plus years since Plans of Operation were submitted, some miners have died, some gave up and went away, some lost their funding, some sold their claims, and some are just too old now to mine. But a few of us still want to get out there and develop our private mineral deposits. For those that do, or those that want to buy claims where mining activities are now covered under the EIS, this is the opportunity we have been waiting for.

Unfortunately, the Forest Service sent out the list of general stipulations found in the final supplemental EIS, rather than the list agreed to by the Forest Service during the EOMA appeals and appeal resolution meetings. Miners can go ahead and post bonds if they wish, but no one should sign that they agree to the stipulations until the correct list is provided. Two stipulations were dropped from the list, and 10 were modified so that they were clear and reasonable. Mike Hall of the Forest Service assured EOMA that the correct list would be sent out for miners to sign, and if any miners inadvertently signed the wrong set of stipulations, that set would be voided and only the correct set would be binding on the operation.

Every miner with a mining operation in the North Fork Burnt River EIS will receive a letter requesting that a bond be posted. If you are not satisfied with the bond amount, the letter lets you know how to appeal this decision.

In May, the Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) released a report, “Rulemaking American Security: Supply Chain Vulnerabilities & National Security Risks Across the U.S. Defense Industrial Base.” The report—which coincides with a recent decline in U.S. manufacturing activity  for the first time since November—emphasizes that America’s manufacturing resurgence is reliant on the ability to secure the metals and minerals essential to today’s advanced technologies including medical devices, computers and cell phones and the vehicles we rely on every day.

Earlier this year, Behre Dolbear ranked the U.S. as last in the world for permitting delays and the AAM agrees: “No country has such a cumbersome and impenetrable authorization process as the United States which receives the lowest rating for a ‘mine-friendly’ business environment among advanced industrialized countries,” said the report. “While seven to 15 years is the standard for bringing a mine into production in the United States, Australia and Canada can complete the process in two to four years. Thus, the U.S. federal government and Congress will have to reform the permit process to expedite the opening of mines that hold promising critical minerals.”

Lynn Oliver joins the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest as the Customer Services Staff Officer in Baker City as of July 28. The Customer Services Staff Officer position is a key position on the Forest Leadership Team and oversees the Recreation, Planning, Budget, Heritage, Lands, Minerals, and Administration Departments on the Forest.
Lynn joins us from the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area where he is currently the Resource-Planning Officer. Prior to that, he was the Mineral Programs Manager on the Inyo National Forest and started his Forest Service career with the Black Hills National Forest. Lynn also brings experience in the private sector as a geologist and environmental manager. Lynn grew up in Juneau, Alaska and spent his formative years exploring the outdoors and the mining history of the area. He completed his Bachelors of Science Degree in Geology at the University of Alaska, which is located in Fairbanks where temperatures sometime reach negative 50 in the winter. From there he chose the warmer climate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to complete his Masters of Science Degree in Geology. “I spent several summers in an old mining camp in Gold Point, Nevada and completed my thesis on the paleoecology of early Cambrian fossils.  After I graduated, I spent roughly 10 years in the mining industry as a geologist and environmental professional working in Alaska, Nevada, California, Washington, and the Philippines,” said Oliver.
Before joining the US Forest Service in 2001, Lynn returned to school and received a second master’s degree in landscape architecture. He enjoys fishing, hiking, skiing, camping, and photography. When it comes to free time Lynn said, “Nothing is better than being outdoors with my wife and our pets. I look forward to living in Baker City and exploring the wonderful country of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.”
If you failed to send your maintenance fee waiver form to BLM (required to be in the Portland office by September 3, 2013), you have lost your claims. Failure to submit this form (or pay fees if you own 10 or more claims) is not a curable defect and you will need to immediately refile your claims.

Your proof of labor must be filed in the county where the claim is located by September 30, 2013. You must have performed at least $100 worth of assessment for each claim you own. After the form has been recorded, send a copy to BLM along with $10/claim before the end of December.

The Environmentalists (really they are Obstructionists), are working with state and Federal agencies to heap draconian regulations on Oregon’s miners. They have found in the last few years a new way to instill their will on the American Public, whether you are a miner or not. It is called Sue and Settle. They sue an agency, saying the agency is not looking out for the environment. The agency then reacts by settling out of out of court, slipping thousands of tax payer’s dollars to the Environmentalists for not suing! But that is not the worst of it. The agencies allow the Environmentalists to have extensive input in writing environmental regulations. Or course, this is at the expense of miners, loggers, cattlemen, and anybody that has anything to do with making his or her living from resources. The Environmentalists’ favorite targets are EPA, the Interior Department, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept. of Fish and Wildlife. Sue and Settle has spilled over into the State Agencies. In Oregon, we see a pattern of new regulations, with input from the Environmentalists, in conjunction with nice, juicy cash settlements.
Recently, the Oregon based Environmental Organizations showed miners how it works. The Department of Environmental Quality settled with the Environmentalists when the Environmentalists were about to lose standing in a law suit between the EOMA and DEQ. The Environmentalists walked out with about $5,000 bucks in their pockets, and of course the assurance that the new DEQ suction dredge permits will be based on input from them.

MINING IN OREGON-Northwest Mining Association (NWMA)
Mining in Oregon accounts for 1% of Oregon’s jobs and over $430 million in tax contributions to the state. NWMA serves as the State mining association for Oregon and we include among our membership a number of responsible small scale miners and suction dredgers, including Joseph Greene, the Eastern Oregon Mining Association and the Waldo Mining District. Our members take great pride in operating responsibly and in compliance with applicable federal and state laws and regulations. We are aware that there are a few small scale miners and suction dredgers, primarily in southwest Oregon, who may be the reason the anti-mining legislation from this past legislative session advanced as far as it did. These miners are not members of NWMA and our members do not support their actions or interpretations of applicable laws and regulations. Furthermore, NWMA believes the BLM, the USFS and the State of Oregon have sufficient regulatory tools already in place to stop or prohibit any unauthorized use and occupancy of federal mining claims.

My stomach is still in knots from all of the anti-mining bills in the last session of the Oregon State Legislature. We were able to stop all but one of these anti mining bills, SB 838. It was a very stressful summer and we owe a ton of thanks to a lot of people. Tom Quintal, who has been EOMA’s eyes and ears in Salem during the past legislative sessions, stepped up to the plate again last session. His insights and leadership and direction were much appreciated. Joe Green and Claudia Wise, retired EPA scientists, worked hard educating legislators about the lack of scientific evidence that suction dredges cause any harm to fish, water quality or the environment. Tom Kitchar, Eben Ray and Guy Michael were also instrumental is providing input in Salem.

About half way through the session, as things were going from bad to worse, Rick Angstrom, lobbyist for the sand and gravel industry, came to our assistance and his help was greatly appreciated. Northwest Mining Association staff, Matt Ellsworth, also helped soften the blow of SB 838. Matt worked with Rick Angstrom, and it was through their efforts that a compromise was reached for creating the stakeholders panel and getting two additional years before the moratorium is implemented. A great big thanks to all of you who worked so hard to defeat and/or amend SB 838. It is hard to defeat a bill when the Governor has signed on, the Democrats vote party line, and a few Republicans decide to vote with the governor’s office.

A big THANK YOU goes out to Northwest Mining Association for their continued support of the small scale mining industry during this past legislative session. Matt Ellsworth, of NWMA, was instrumental in stopping passage of SB401 (designates scenic waterways and prohibits suction dredge mining) and other anti-mining bills. Without Matt’s involvement, I don’t believe SB838 would have been amended to include the creation of the stakeholders panel, nor would the bill have contained the portion about putting off for two years a decision on implementing a moratorium on suction dredge mining and mining within 100 yards of most of Oregon’s waterways. Yes, there is a cap on the number of suction dredge permits and increased fees, but there is no ban on suction dredging during the next two years. Whether a ban is enacted in 2016 will depend on how the legislature responds to the recommendations of the stakeholder group.

Matt and Rick Angstrom, who works for the gravel industry, worked together in Salem during this past session, and were actually able to discuss mining issues with Brett Brownscombe, of Governor Kitzhaber’s office. Brett Brownscombe and Matt developed a good working relationship in the week Matt spent in Salem, and hopefully, Matt can build on that relationship during the next legislative session when mining will again be hard hit.

Laura Skaer of NWMA, told me that Brett Brownscombe, actually sought her out at the Western Governors’ Association meeting in Park City to introduce himself and tell her that Matt played a pivotal role in reaching the compromise that created the stakeholder panel and prevented a ban from going into effect now. Laura told me, “Brownscombe said that Matt brought credibility to the suction dredge mining community and, most importantly, Matt was able to differentiate EOMA, Waldo and other responsible mining organizations from the members of more radical Mining Districts (the 1866 crowd)”. Brownscombe made it clear that the governor would not have supported the compromise without Matt’s involvement and assurances. He also told Laura that they will be looking to NWMA to help select mining representatives to sit on the stakeholder group.

EOMA is a member of Northwest Mining Association, and several EOMA members, including myself, are individual members. Membership dues for individuals are $105/year, for retired people (65 and older) the dues are $25/year. The application was included in the June newsletter. You will get a monthly newsletter, and membership gives you access to attorneys and professionals who understand locatable mining. NWMA has done a lot to help the small scale mining industry in Oregon, we miners need to support them.

A BATTERY MADE OF WOOD From the Alaskan Miner
A sliver of wood coated with tin could make a tiny, long lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery. The components in the battery tested by scientists at the University of Maryland are a thousand times thinner than a piece of paper. Using sodium instead of lithium makes the battery environmentally benign. Sodium doesn’t store energy as efficiently as lithium, so you won’t see this battery in your cell phone. Instead its low cost and common materials would make it ideal to store huge amounts of energy at once, such as solar energy at a power plant.

PRESCRIPTIVE EASEMENT – From e-mail by John George (edited)
A prescriptive Easement is a title of use granted to an individual who has established a pattern of use through or on another’s piece of property, with or without the landowner’s knowledge or consent. This type of easement is what federal agencies claim when needing access through private property on roads they do not control.
Conversely, this type of easement may also be used by private individuals to justify right-of-ways that they have historically used but may be threatened by changes in landownership or management styles.
While not a silver bullet, because nothing is, this legal remedy may be an area the people of Northeastern Oregon may want to explore in protecting our rights to utilize roads and public lands in a manner consistent with our way of life and our historic use patterns. In Oregon, use has to have taken place consistently over a ten year period to be considered a prescriptive easement.
These 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 2012 medallions. These medallions are currently selling for $50 dollars apiece plus $5.00 shipping and handling and insurance. These prices are subject to change. You can order a 2013 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 whether you want a 2012 or 2013 medallion.

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.

Save that ultrafine gold with this high gravity separator. It runs on 12volt, only weighs 45 pounds, is easy to set up and run, and can run all day long without a clean up. This is a must see, and sells for only $1304. E-mail Ted at tedcraghead@gmail.com. See Video on UTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAP5CMdIjFs
Or come on down and take a look at 10415 HWY 95, Payette, ID 83661.

Placer Mine, 59 Acre upper gravel bar placer claim near the Burnt River in Oregon, best offer in writing with deposit by Oct.1st 2013. There is 1/8 + mile diggings and fresh tailings. Four plus shafts, water nearby, borders previous mining district and patented ground - with possible equipment options.  Contact: Craig at 406-579-5291, or Leave Message.

A set of EOMA one-ounce silver medallions dated 1988 through 2011, plus one “In Gold We Trust 75th Anniversary 1907 – 1982” one ounce silver medallion and one proof coin of the same. The 25-coin set is contained in a hand made solid wood folding display box with spaces for an additional 17 coins. Price, $1,000 firm. Call 541-524-9386 or 541-403-0043.

The Goldfield Prospector is a portable, heavy duty wash plant designed for the recovery of placer gold to be used for sampling, small-scale production, or clean-up of larger processing plants.  The Prospector lists new for $8,500 (www.goldfieldint.com/prospector.aspx).  This particular machine has been rebuilt/modified.  Price, $2,000 or OBO. Call 541-524-9386 or 541-403-0043.

I am always looking for new sources of quality gold nuggets and specimens.  I market to collectors and can generally pay more than refiners for nice nuggets.  Contact Matt at (208) 867-2594 or e-mail: goldrush@goldrushnuggets.com I travel through Baker City frequently.