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Impoundment Threat from FS
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Ghost Miner



Joined: 17 Dec 2015
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject: Impoundment Threat from FS  Reply with quote

Hello, everyone. I have been watching and reading this forum for a couple years now. I have read almost everything here. I commend your efforts to learn and communicate the truth about mining law and our rights as claimants and prospectors. The government has done a very good job of obfuscating the facts and convincing the majority of prospectors and miners that they have much less rights than they really do. I have been battling these wicked people for over seventeen years now. It has taken a great toll on me. For many years I tried to do as I was told and made many compromises. Those compromises are now biting me in the ass. In the beginning I was tricked (intimidated) into getting a plan I wasn't required to have. I wound up rescinding my signature on the plan. I tried digging without a plan. I was convicted of damaging United States property (for digging on my own claim!) and I wound up placing another POO in order to continue working, by order of a magistrate. But that did not stop the FS from doing their best to hamper my bona fide mining activities. I am convinced they will not stop until I cannot mine at all. The latest is the new District Ranger has told me I must remove all equipment and my fence (all of which was approved in the POO) or they will initiate impoundment proceedures for "abandoned" property. The best way to explain is just to show you a few correspondences. I know that the general rule here is to never submit a NOI, but I was ordered by a magistrate to get a plan or stop my activities. It is important to note that I did use signing statements to show that I only meant to comply with applicable law and had no desire to enter into contracts. I hope someone can provide me with some insight, and maybe more than anything, I want people to know what has and is being done to me.

Last edited by Ghost Miner on Thu Dec 17, 2015 6:14 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Ghost Miner



Joined: 17 Dec 2015
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:11 pm    Post subject: short story Reply with quote

Short Story
1. The first words I ever heard from a federal forest service employee in relation to my claim were, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” A friend and I were digging a small pit with hand tools, activities which did not require (according to 36CFR228) the submission of a notice of intent or plan of operations. Mr. Dunfee (the forest service LEO) erroneously told me I was required to submit a plan of operations, which, being ignorant of the true facts at the time, I proceeded to do immediately.
2. My plan of operations was approved after a small bit of fuss. The ranger at that time claimed that the activities did not require a plan, but my plan would be accepted in “lieu” of a notice of intent. The ranger sent me a copy and asked me to sign it and send it back. I had funny feelings that, if I signed it and sent it back, the forest service might change my plan around and use my signature to make it look legitimate (call me paranoid, but check out what happens next). The forest service came to my claim and said they had a new plan of operations for me to sign. Huh? I read through the “new” plan of operations. It was more restrictive than the original. I showed the old plan to the forest service law enforcement officer (it was signed, I just had not sent it back). He tried to keep the old plan but I snatched it back, and returned the “new” plan to him.
3. The forest service posted notice at the local post office that they intended to impound “abandoned property”. The property that was alleged to be abandoned was my mining equipment and the equipment of a neighboring claimant, and the forest service knew full


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Ghost Miner



Joined: 17 Dec 2015
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:13 pm    Post subject: short story 2 Reply with quote

short story 2
well that it was not abandoned, as they had been arguing with me over having my travel trailer on site, which was being used on a daily basis. Finding this to be absolutely unacceptable, the neighboring claimant and I marched into the federal courthouse in Denver and told the clerk we wanted to file an injunction against the forest service in order to prevent them from stealing our stuff. The clerk was not comfortable with what we were attempting to do, and wound up arranging a meeting with a US prosecuting attorney. We went next door, up to the 13th floor, and met with the attorney. We told him we thought it would be a violation of our rights for the forest service to impound our equipment without any semblance of due process. On the spot, the attorney called the district ranger in Fairplay and told him not to take our stuff prior to a court order. The ranger agreed. We thanked the attorney and left.
4. The forest service came out and brought a sheriffs’ deputy with them. I told them, loudly, and clearly, that I thought they were trespassing, and I wanted them to leave. I threatened to bring a lawsuit against them. I wound up getting tackled, my shoulder pulled out of socket, and put in handcuffs, and my dog got pepper spray in the face. I was told I would be released from the cuffs when I shut up. Now, I was really mad! But I did quiet down, in order that they would take the cuffs off. A Forest Service LEO (I never knew his name, he only came that once) stepped just over the hill and fired off multiple shots from his weapon. I assume he did this out of an uncontrolled rage, or the desire to intimidate. Well, it worked. He scared myself and a neighboring claimant quite badly. That was one of two times I was put in cuffs for speaking my mind. This is the kind of thing we were taught in school about


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Ghost Miner



Joined: 17 Dec 2015
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:16 pm    Post subject: short story 3 Reply with quote

short story 3
authoritarian governments. We were taught that the reason our country is better is because we have all these rights that are recognized by the government, because we are a “free” people. Well, one of those rights is the freedom of speech, and it is unconscionable that I should be deprived of my freedom for speaking my mind, and told that freedom will be
restored once I shut up. And all this happened on my own property. No charges were filed, and no tickets issued. That’s because I had done nothing wrong. There was no reason for handcuffs to be put on me but to shut me up.
5. The forest service wound up taking me to court, criminal proceedings (that's what they called it, it anyway, even though the constitutional rules for criminal proceedings were said
not to apply, by the magistrate, such as the right to a trial by jury, the right to a speedy trial, and the right to have intent proven (mens rea).(Had those constitutionally guaranteed
protections been adhered to, the case would have been very different.) A freedom of information act request was made for all information related to me or my claim and held by the forest service. Some very important discoveries were made after reviewing the material
generated by the request. There was an e-mail, where it is said, “Remember Mr. (   )has rights. He has a right to mine his claim. What I suggest is that you give him what he wants, within reason, so he doesn’t go to his congressman or the US Attorney’s office, but put so many restrictions on him that he decides to do something else.” Another e-mail said “sometimes you have to break the chain of command to get the ball rolling.” Wow! A rebel faction within the forest service! The plot thickens.
6. The other important discovery within the FOIA packet was that someone in the forest


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Ghost Miner



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Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:22 pm    Post subject: short story 4 Reply with quote

short story 4
service had used white out or something to change the wording of my plan of operations in the forest service file. Could it be? It was. Forest Service employee Megan Kabeles’ testimony was deemed incredible in a court of law and stricken from the record because she had knowingly and willingly altered documents held in the files using “sticky tape”. Blatant bad faith.
7. The forest service tried to convince the magistrate to order me to remove the trailer and fence, but the magistrate said “I will not order him to remove anything that can be approved”.
8. The Forest Service had charged me with “Interfering with a Forest Officer.” I was found not guilty because all I actually did was exercise my right to freedom of speech. False charge.
The Forest Service wanted the Judge to put me in jail for exercising my right to freedom of speech! Doesn’t this sound like the kind of things that happen in an authoritarian country?
9. Then the forest service brought additional charges against me, for maintaining the fence
and the trailer, but, after substantial discovery had been exchanged, and the matter was set for trial only a short time after (it was set for only several days later), the charges were dismissed by the US attorney’s office. This dismissal came after an onsite visit to the mining
claim by the prosecuting attorney from the US who was handling the case against me, this attorney having demanded that I build the new fence or face trial. I built the fence. It was
costly, and took a significant amount of time, but I did it. I was told to put up this fence or face trial in a criminal court. Wanting to stay out of trouble, I put up the fence.
10. Now, the forest service and I were in “negotiations” over a plan of operations I had
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Ghost Miner



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Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:24 pm    Post subject: short story 5 Reply with quote

short story 5
submitted during the first court case. This plan of operations described the full extent and duration of mineral activities on the Dreamtime claim as foreseeable at the time, as prescribed by the 36CFR 228 regulations. A surface use determination was conducted for my activities, and the mineral examiners determined that the operation could take twenty years or more, but yet the ranger was refusing to approve my plan for more than five years, which is plainly contrary to the intent of the 36CFR 228 regulations. (The surface use determination had also documented that it would be reasonable for me to maintain a fence up to 200’ from any active or proposed digsites, which was eventually approved by the ranger.) Also, the forest service was well outside (by over a year) of applicable timeframes for approval, as per the 36 CFR 228 regulations. Matter of fact, if they would have adhered to said applicable timeframes, the plan would have been approved prior to the trial in the first court case, making said trial unnecessary. It is my opinion that the forest service was deliberately dragging their feet on the approval process in order to cause me as much trouble as possible. Remember, “so many restrictions he decides to do something else…”
11. The ranger approved the plan, but only for five years, and refused to approve the "workcenter”, as it was referred to in the plan. Said workcenter was a 20’ x 20’ building which caused no disturbance to surface resources. It was built on poles, and left no footprint, and was to be used for storage and display of minerals, storage for tools, shelter from the elements for myself and visitors, and a meeting place to discuss mineral related
matters. Obviously reasonable for an operation that was deemed by forest service mineral experts to have a lifetime of “twenty years or more…”. The refusal to approve said
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Ghost Miner



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:53 pm    Post subject: short story 6 Reply with quote

short story 6
workcenter was not consistent with other approved operations nor controlling statutes and case law. Said refusal to approve this item resulted in extra time and money spent, by myself (and others) to carry on the activities on my legitimate and bona fide mining property. And the refusal to approve my plan for more than 5 years causes unnecessary time and money to be spent by both myself and the forest service in hashing out a new plan every 5 years. And, from my experience, it always takes the Forest Service years to approve a plan, so miners and prospectors wind up sitting on their hands during trying economic times. It is downright wasteful, and the only reason I see for it, is the forest service hopes the law will become more restrictive and they don’t want anyone to be “grandfathered in”. This is a plain case of outcome based decision making. From my perspective, it seems obvious that the forest service people in this area do not want people like myself to engage in our right to mine, therefor they throw as many roadblocks up as they can. I wonder why someone who works for the government would want to inhibit mineral related activities, contrary to the intent of the United States Congress? Isn’t their job to administer to the fulfillment of the intent of the congress? Further, isn’t it their job to help me carry out the objectives of Congress? I have read the mining laws of our country, and they support me in my quest. They were written by educated and just men who had a great deal of foresight. Obviously, Congress feels the same way. Why would a government employee try to get in the way? Moreover, why would numerous government employees, over a span of over 14 years, (these employees assumed to not be in cahoots through some unknown organization) carry on the tradition of “give him what he wants, within reason, but put so many restrictions on him that he decides to do something else.” I know the truth. Others
know the truth.
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Ghost Miner



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Posts: 20

PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:58 pm    Post subject: short story 7 Reply with quote

short story 7
12. So. I had gotten a plan approved for 5 years. 4 years into it, knowing I would be continuing my activities beyond the 5 year period, I requested that the ranger approve me for another five years. Somewhere in this period, the position of ranger was shaky, and it took a little bit before I received a response, which was from the new ranger, Sexton. Ranger Sexton informed me that I would need to place a “new” plan of operations, contrary to the 36CFR228 regulations, which state that an application shall be for the entire extent and duration… which is what I submitted. There had been no change to that foreseeable extent and duration, and there had been no change in the methods used, there was no need to amend the plan. I was looking for approval of the ranger to continue in the way I had been
mining, in order to avoid hassle with the forest service. I am well aware that it is a fact of law that the forest service does not have any authority to impede or prohibit legitimate, well planned mineral activities, such as mine. The ranger insisted that I must have a “new” plan of operations. I insisted that I had already submitted a plan for the entire scope and duration. The duration that I had placed in my submittal was until the minerals have been exhausted. That makes sense, doesn’t it? I am in possession of a rare and valuable load, which meets the prudent man and marketability standards, and I intend to continue my activities until the mineral potential has been exhausted. With the care and time it takes to extract the types of minerals found on the (      )claim, it is hard to determine just how long it will take. But I think the mineral examiners’ determination that it could take 20 years or more is highly conservative. Valuable mineral specimens are (relatively) abundant on the claim, and extreme care is required to extract said minerals without damaging them and thereby decreasing their value. I have maintained a physical presence and conducted mineral related activities on the claim for over 14 years, and I have only touched the potential. Tip of the iceberg, so to speak.


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Ghost Miner



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:03 pm    Post subject: short story 8 Reply with quote

short story 8
13. It was during this period that Mr. John Ames came to work for the Fairplay ranger. Mr. Ames was a piece of work. He insisted that I had no ownership to the claim at all, but that I was leasing the land from the “Forest Service”. One time, when he said something to that effect, I responded by quoting the law. He said, “Where does it say that? In the Miners’ Manual?” Mr. Ames liked to pay surprise visits to the claim; to what legitimate end, it is impossible to say. Once, when I asked him, “Is this an official inspection?” He said “No, just a visit” He got me to stop working my load for “a visit”. Wasteful and a material interference and endangerment of my bona fide mineral activities. One time, Mr. Ames was doing an inspection. I showed him an area that I had reclaimed, and asked him if it was adequate. He said it wasn’t. I asked him why. He said I hadn’t spread any seed. I asked where did all the fresh blades of grass come from? He said the seed must have blown in.? I said, “Why don’t we do this? I would like to run the video camera while you describe what is inadequate with this reclamation?” He said, “No.” ? “No? Why not?”. Mr. Ames said, “Because you might use it against me.” Infuriating! This is what I have been forced to deal with, and I am quite weary of it. If there was something inadequate about the reclamation, why not document it
on the spot? The reclamation was accepted in the end. And the spot looks great!
14. The ranger issued a “decision” that I cease and desist mineral related activities at the (           ) mine, saying that I needed a “new” plan of operations for the mine. I appealed the cease and desist, and the “decision” that I must have a new plan. The ranger responded,
saying that a notice of noncompliance is not an appealable decision. Only the cease and desist was appealable, and that had been dropped. She referenced the 251 regulations, but


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Ghost Miner



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2015 5:05 pm    Post subject: short story 9 Reply with quote

short story 9
failed to understand them, I guess. Because the 251 regulations plainly show that a notice of noncompliance is appealable. After I responded to the rangers’ reply, the forest supervisor sent me a letter, saying that the appeal record was closed, and a decision would be made. To this date, I have received no “decision” for that appeal. I need you (forest supervisor) to address the issues raised in that appeal as well as the issues raised in this document. +
15. And now, the ranger has sent me the current notice to cease and desist and notice of noncompliance, which has no basis in fact. This has already been addressed above. I have jumped through hoops again and again for the Fairplay ranger district, but instead of fostering and encouraging me in my lawful activities (as required by law), the forest service has tried to throw up yet another roadblock. I am not postulating a conspiracy theory. This is a conspiracy fact; to “put so many restrictions on him that he decides to do something else.”
All these years later, a whole different crew, and yet, the violation of my rights under color of authority continues unabated. So, what once seemed like a rebel faction is beginning to look a bit more ubiquitous. I need you (forest supervisor) to alleviate this continuing harm.

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