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John Crossman

Idaho mining and dredging laws

We appreciate all that is here on this sight. However, can somebody tell me if we need to have a dredging permit through the water of resources department because we are not using the water?  Also, can the forest service in Idaho tell me that I am not allowed to dredge without an EPA permit, but there is no permit for the EPA in Idaho that we can find, so we don't have or want one.  What are our rights?  

On the GPAA forum, one of the guys there stated that we can dredge where ever we want if we aren't hobby/recreational dredgers, but professional dredgers instead, meaning dredging for income.  What is the rule and laws on this?  

What do we do?  What do we tell the department of forestry person or local sherriff when they come up and try to give us a non existing permit citation fine?  I have heard of people getting their property taken from them by the department of forestry, I don't want my equipment taken and I don't want an outrageous and outlandish fine.  

Any info helps thanks,

John Crossman Question

Read under U.S.F.S. on this forum.

Welcome to the sight John, if you read what Hefty posted under USFS, I believe your question well be answered. Drop the word recreational, your a miner the 'r' word leads to trouble. It was reccommend to create a 'Law Bag' and have copies of the Grants and other data that you would deem important should you have to educate someone whom doesn't have the knowledge or has been misinformed of your rights.


John this was posted by Boxy on the GPAA forum under one man dredge:

1st Post:
This all started when one man this year refused to stay for more than 14 days on the claim or dredge because the director of the EPA refused to respond to an attempt at a one paragraph Notice Of Intent. He panicked his prospecting partners into believing they would be jailed and their equipment, cars and RVs would be confiscated.

Of course the EPA had no process or legal right to respond to his NOI. There is no EPA ban on dredging and there is no EPA permitting process for gold dredging.

The upshot of this whole incident is that one man finally contacted the Forest supervisor to clarify matters. Within the week the Forest geologist went to their claim and informed them that they could dredge their claim as they wished, no one was going to cite them for doing so and no one was going to make them leave their claim if they were there more than 14 days and no one had the right to make them produce any permits.

I don't know if the man that originally got everyone riled up and scared to mine ever did dredge his claim this year - I hope he did. I do know that his partners did dredge this year. They have good claims and I suspect they enjoyed their gold just as much as if they had never been fooled into believing their mining rights could be taken away by the EPA or the Forest Service.

2nd post same thread:
The EPA and their boss the Army Corps of Engineers are on their fourth round in the last 12 years of trying to expand their powers beyond what Congress gave them. They write some new CFRs and put some pretty wild stuff in there. Someone gets fined heavily for stepping on a frog in a radiator leak in the desert and sues. The courts shot them down the last three times and they have even lost ground in those decisions. The Congress has refused to expand the EPA's powers despite some heavy lobbying attempts.

Many congresscritters on both sides of the isle would like to abolish them and are counting the votes they would lose to the enviros as opposed to the votes lost every time the EPA actually tries to control stuff they have no legal power to control. They are a walking advertisement for intrusive bad government. Most representatives do their very best to keep them out of their state and that is our saving grace.

The stuff I wrote about is all first hand or shared by those miners. I have the documents and responses by the FS in my files but I will not drag other miners into the limelight to prove my point. They have a right to mine in peace - that was the whole reason for my getting involved with this issue.

The EPA is a real danger but they have no authority to control or permit mining carried out under the mineral estate grant. There is no gold dredging permit in the process at EPA. There is no funding and they would be foolish to make themselves a target over an issue they can't win. They will however still try to fool around with our rights by rumor and confusion. The verbiage on the dredge permit application is very confusing and does appear to some to be threatening extreme requirements to dredge. This is the only way they can control miners, by empty threats, fake regulations and harassment by greenie groups who are easily manipulated.

I was dissapointed the Idaho State folks let this EPA nonsense get published along with their dredging permits but I have been getting hints that may come to an end before next season. They too are getting tired of the enviros tactics.

If you would like to read the Supreme Courts opinion from the last time they tried this crap you can Google RAPANOS ET UX., ET AL. v. UNITED STATES. It's not a really long decision but it makes it clear that the Supremes are getting a little tired of ruling on these same unlawful tactics being used over and over for years.

according to this Idaho does not have an approved system in place to issue permits under the clean water act! Idaho does not have an approved state NPDES permit program nor do they have an approved general permit program by the EPA under the CWA...

There are changes in the policies everyday. But if we see positively we can get to learn through all this and surely because it helps things in growing a different manner there is a lot which can be taken care of. Forum Index -> Mining Law Tibits
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