Eastern Oregon Mining Association
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- Eastern Oregon Mining Association
- 20151022

OCTOBER 2015 Newsletter
Volume 313

Meetings are held on the first Friday of the month. The next meeting is Friday, OCTOBER 2ND 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.
Our guest speaker will be BLM Vale District Manager, Don Gonzales. Baker Resource Area Geologist Steve Flock will be with Don to answer mining specific questions, however, the main topics that Don wants to address concern BLM and conservation of Greater Sage Grouse.

There is a lot happening on the political front to counteract the environmental extremists who have been using the courts, legislation, and misinformation to shut down mining and close off access to our public lands. American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA), (Public Lands for the People (PLP), Forest Access For All (FAFA), Mining and Minerals Advisory Council (MMAC), American Lands Council (AFC), and the new Oregon Mining Association (OMA) are just a few of the organizations working for you. EOMA has filed a petition with the Oregon Supreme Court to review the decision of the Court of Appeals. The court made our case moot for the second time because they refused to make a decision before the permit expired. EOMA is also supporting the efforts to stop the Oregon moratorium on mining that will be going into effect January, 2016.
It now looks like the Sage Grouse listing was just a smoke screen to get Land Use Plans in place to lock up more land. (See the press release in this newsletter from the AEMA.) The point is, it takes a lot of time, money, and energy, to stop the madness and restore and preserve our right to utilize our mineral resources in a responsible manner. EOMA is appreciative of the people who have already stepped up to help. The fight is a long way from being over, and it is going to take your support and energy to be successful. Please, come and join the battle.

Tom Montoya, Wallowa-Whitman Forest Supervisor, let the bonding committee know that Forest Service would not allow miners to be bonded using EOMA funds. He said this was because the Surface Mining Regulations say, \any operator required to file a plan of operation shall, when required by the authorized officer, furnish a bond.\. We could have argued that operators do furnish a bond when EOMA puts up the cash in an assignment of deposit on behalf of the miner, but we just figured they had their minds made up.

A suggestion was then made that each operator who wanted to bond using EOMAs funds could change the first page of the Plan of Operation, list EOMA as operator, and it would all work fine. Tom appeared to think this idea had merit and he said he would check it out. He said changing operators, when the Plan of Operation was exactly the same, would be a simple thing and would not take the Forest Service much time to approve the new operator.

For instance, if Joe Miner wanted to do this, he would still own his claims, the only change would be the first page of his Plan of Operation.
A. Name, address and phone number of operator: Eastern Oregon Mining Association, PO Box 932, Baker City, OR 97814 541-523-3285.
B. Name, address, and phone number of authorized field representative (if other than the operator). Joe Miner, P.O. Box X Minersville, OR. 519-1000
C. Name, address and phone number of owners of the claims (if different than the operator) Joe Miner. P.O. Box X Minersville, OR 519-1000

Tom will be getting back to EOMA soon with his decision on this way of bonding. Several miners have indicated they would like to bond through EOMA in this manner. If this looks like an option for using the funds in the EOMA Bonding Account for miners working on the National Forest, the bond committee will meet to discuss our options.

BLM has the old land records on line now, and I looked up the Buck Gulch road on a 1900 plat map. On Buck Gulch, the surveyor shows a road along Buck Gulch through Sections 26 and 27, and ending at a house. In 1900, the road may not have gone through to the ridge to meet the Sumpter-Granite road, but the road segment that we are interested in was definitely in place in 1900-predating the Forest Reserve of 1905. As an RS2477 right of way, Bill Harvey, Baker County Commission Chair, will work with his road department and the Forest Service to claim this road as a county road under RS2477, and to repair the road so the miners and the public can use and enjoy it.
“In the management of each reserve local questions will be decided upon local grounds; the dominant industry will be considered first, but with as little restriction to minor industries as may be possible;”… 1905 Forest Use Book
Revised Statute 2477 (RS2477)
For those who do not know, although R.S. 2477 was repealed on October 21, 1976 by Federal Land Policy and Management Act (43 U.S.C. 35), R.S. 2477 right-of-ways (FLPMA 43 U.S.C. 1701 et. seq.), in existence at that time, continue to be protected by congress. Nothing in FLPMA had any effect of termination in regards to an existing right of way (FLPMA sec. 509 and 701). Federal administrative agencies entrusted with the management of public land, are subservient to and must act in accordance with the congressional dictates of FLPMA.
The R.S. 2477 (43 U.S.C. 932) grant was accepted by establishing a public highway in any manner recognized under State law. No approval or record was or is necessary.

The U.S. Department of Interior has decided that the greater sage grouse, a peculiar and distinctly Western bird, does not need protection under the Endangered Species Act.
In a statement, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said that an unprecedented land conservation effort has already significantly reduced the threats to sage grouse.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the conservation marked a successful effort by the government and ranchers on public and private lands. \Together, we have shown that voluntary efforts joining the resources of private landowners, federal and state agencies, and partner organizations can help drive landscape-level conservation that is good for sage grouse, ranching operations, and rural communities,\ Vilsack said.

NPRs Nathan Rott, who has been following the story, reports that this is a big deal for the West. Economically, for example, a listing of the greater sage grouse would have resulted in big changes to the ranching and energy operations in the region. Nathan reports: \Environmental groups say they didnt list it because of political pressure. Western industries — like oil and gas, mining and agriculture — say that listing would cost them billions of dollars in lost economic activity\.

Today, the federal government says things have gotten better. \The service has concluded that numerous large populations of greater sage grouse and numerous large areas of high quality habitat remain distributed throughout the landscape,\ Gary Frazer, the Fish and Wildlife Services assistant director for endangered species, said. \And\, Frazer says, \those birds and habitat are better protected than ever before.\

A report released by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in advance of this decision showed that the sage grouse population had begun to rebound. In 2013, for example, the sage grouse population had plummeted to 16.7 males per traditional mating area, or lek. In the last two years, that number has risen to 25.5 males per lek. The U.S. says it will keep tabs on the population and reassess the need for protection in five years.

The Oregon Mining Association is formed, by laws have been written, and our first organizational meeting will be in December. All placer and hard rock miners who had joined OCAPA, will be moved into the OMA so that the specific problems associated with metal mining can be addressed.

We are hearing that Senator Bates is working on a new mining bill. As we get news of this legislation, we will keep miners informed.

DEQ employee, Karen Tarnow, reported that the $150 surcharge on suction dredge permits goes away January 1, 2016. Those miners who are still eligible for a permit in 2016 on streams that are not shut down under SB838, may see higher permit fees.

At the September EOMA meeting, the Board made the decision to donate $500 to the Oregon Moratorium Fund. Scott Guthrie also pledged $500, and challenged miners to match his contribution. Chuck Chase pledged $500, and Alice Knapp pledged $100. Many thanks for these donations, the money is badly needed.

The Board asks other miners to join the fight for mining in Oregon by sending money for the fight against SB838. The Waldo Mining District and Galice Mining District believe the moratorium violates rights granted to all citizens under the federal 1872 Mining Law; and is in direct conflict with the National Mining & Mineral Policy Act of 1970. The WMD & GMD need the help and support of all Oregon miners in the form of donations to help fund this litigation. Checks can be made out to “OREGON MORATORIUM FUND”. Donations can be sent directly to either:

Waldo Mining District James Buchal
P.O. Box 1574 Murphy & Buchal
Cave Junction, OR 97523 3425 SE Yamhill Street, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97214

Rich Angstrom reports that the Oregon Mining Association has contacted the Western Resources Legal Center at Lewis and Clark College, and has talked to several attorneys about the moratorium in Oregon and preemption. After much negotiation, WRLC has accepted the preemption case and we are preparing to litigate.  This work is being conducted pro bono, by the law students, led by their professors. Many thanks to Rich and Dave Hunnicutt for making this contact, and getting this agreement in place. Miners need to support OMA, they are working for us.

The mining world has lost another one of our best, with the passing of Omer Vandehey.

Omer and his brother Larry became interested in gold mining in Baker County from the moment they arrived here, and they owned a hard rock gold mine near the end of the road along East Eagle Creek. Omer and Larry were personal friends, and I did fire assay work for them in the early development of their mine. They became life long members of the Eastern Oregon Mining Association and were very active in EOMA, attending meetings and working on mining projects. Omer was preceded in death by his brother Larry a few years ago. The Mining Association, and especially myself, will miss both of you.

Utah State Representative and Attorney Ken Ivory, who openly advocates the states taking back their public lands, came to Baker City on September 12, 2015. Those present leaned a lot from this session.
Kens lecture included the fact that at statehood, the federal government promised all newly created states they would transfer title of public lands to the state. The U.S. Government controlled more than 90 percent of the land in 10 mid-western and southern states for decades. Missouri Democrat Senator Thomas Hart Benton worked tirelessly for 30 years to change this situation, with the result that today, the U.S. government has transferred all but about five percent of federal land ownership to the private sector and to state governments in the states east of the Rocky Mountains, This needs to happen in the west. Local control is possible.
While the American Exploration & Mining Association (AEMA) applauds the decision not to list the Greater Sage-Grouse as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act, the Land Use Plan Amendments (LUPAs) extract a price too high.
“It is disappointing that the collective efforts of the western states were rejected in favor of draconian land use restrictions and mineral withdrawals. The ‘not warranted’ determination is proof that the state and local plans, coupled with private conservation efforts are working.” said Laura Skaer, AEMA Executive Director. “We call on Secretary Jewell to explain why the states’ Sage-Grouse conservation plans were rejected in favor of the federal LUPAs, especially in view of the fact the Department of the Interior (DOI) reached a ‘not warranted’ decision without them.”
The lek buffers, disturbance caps, travel and land use restrictions, and recommended mineral withdrawals in the LUPAs will have a devastating impact on access to public lands and the ability of our Nation to produce the strategic and critical minerals required for national defense manufacturing and economic prosperity.

The scope of the mismanagement of our more than 300 million acres of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) federal lands was once again made evident by the smoke-filled August skies. Our timber and rangeland resources have been incinerated by multiple, enormous wildfires raging out of control in most of the western states.
According to the National Interagency Fire Center, over eight million acres had burned as of the beginning of September. 

Annual greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires dwarfs our nation’s emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels. Their massive destruction and wholesale pollution has become an annual and ever-enlarging consequence of failed federal resource management. Those repetitious wildfires are serving to focus the attention of a rapidly growing group of western legislators on the need to change the scope of federal land management. Many state legislators now believe the transfer of federal lands into state ownership is the method of choice for accomplishing that goal. I strongly agree!

The U.S. Government controlled more than 90 percent of the land in 10 mid-western and southern states for decades. Missouri Democrat Senator Thomas Hart Benton struggled for more than 30 years to successfully rectify that untenable situation. Largely due to his efforts, the U.S. government has already transferred all but about five percent of federal land ownership, in the states east of the Rocky Mountains, to the private sector and to state governments.

However, our federal government continues to own more than 50 percent of all the land in the 12 most western states. According to a recent 60 Minutes documentary, that land contains more than $150 trillion in mineral resources and more recoverable oil and gas than the rest of the world combined. It also encompasses the preponderance of our nation’s public forest, grazing and recreation resources. Naysayers tell us the population in states east of the Rockies want “their” public lands preserved for the future at all costs. We might suggest that they sell some of their own private and state owned lands to the federal government to be “saved” for their posterity.

Other pessimists say the states do not have the scope of management skills to oversee such vast areas. They worry the cost of resource supervision would be too great for the states to bear.  
It is true that the western states currently manage much less public trust lands than their federal counterparts. Most states received ownership of between five and 10 percent of their land mass when they obtained statehood. That public trust land is generally fragmented, separated by long distances and difficult to oversee.

And it is also true that many of us are not unwavering supporters of current methods used to manage our state trust lands. But the fact of the matter is that states are currently doing an exponentially better job of managing their public trust resources than their federal counterparts.

According to the Congressional General Accounting Office (GAO), the federal government generates only 73 cents in revenue for every dollar spent on resource management. Incredibly, it loses 27 cents of every dollar spent on managing the most valuable public estate on the planet.
Western state governments can and already are doing better. According to a recent Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) report, on on average, the western states generate more than $14 in revenue for every dollar spent on resource management. Despite the fragmented nature of state trust resources, western states generate more than 50 times more net revenue than the federal government for every dollar spent on public land management. 

Federal lands are required by law to be managed for multiple use. The 1960 Multiple-Use Sustainable Yield Act mandates how the USFS manages its resources, including timber harvest, livestock grazing, mineral extraction and recreation. The Federal Land and Policy Management Act of 1976 similarly regulates BLM management.

It turns out that managers of that federal land lose money on all four of the mandated multiple uses! But at the same time, state resource managers make significant profits from all four sectors.
The PERC Report found that the USFS loses nearly $150 on each one thousand board feet of timber it sells in Montana and Idaho while the BLM loses nearly $200. On average, state trust lands make a profit of about $115 per thousand board feet of timber marketed in those states. The difference is stark! Management of federal timber harvest sales costs between $260 and $315 more per thousand board feet of harvested timber.

According to the PERC Report and GAO data, the USFS loses 90 cents of every dollar spent on grazing management. It generates only about six cents per acre on its forest rangeland.
The BLM does only slightly better, losing 86 cents per dollar spent on grazing management. That agency generates about eight cents per acre of rangeland managed. In contrast, average state trust lands generate nearly $5 in revenue for each dollar spent on state grazing management. The state agencies earn more than $1.60 per acre managed. The state’s return per acre, on grazing trust lands, is more than 20 times better than that of the federal government.

Federal performance in managing recreation is even more abysmal. The USFS and BLM lose about 75 cents on every dollar spent on recreation management. State trust lands are nearly 30 times more cost efficient, earning nearly $7 on each management dollar spent on recreation.
The federal performance on the management of mineral extraction is a little better. Those federal agencies earn nearly $20 for each dollar spent on resource management.

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.

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

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

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