Archive for mining, mining law, prospector, mining claim, 1865, 1866, 1872, legal, illegal, government, policy, administrative, mineral, grant, right, forest, service, BLM, DEQ, wild, scenic, hobby, gold, placer, hard, rock, hardrock, dredging, highbanking
  Forum Index -> COURTS & CASE LAW

Looking for case law

I've been reading a lot of case law over the last few days and I've not been able to find any cases of a miner being convicted for not filing a NOI or POO or failing to post a bond, when said miner had a valid claim and had no previous contracts with the USFS or BLM.

I've read plenty of cases concerning non locatable minerals, but nothing in regards to minerals located under the 1866-1872 acts.

Does anybody have any cases they could point me to?

Offhand, I can't point you to a single one. But I can show you plenty where miners were convicted after they filed a NOI, PoO, etc. The recent Tracy cases stand as prime examples of what happens to a miner when he works inside the agency system.

I keep hearing it said that once a miner filed a NOI, POO etc, and thus agrees to work inside an agencies system, he is subject to those rules per the agency.
Question.  If a miner has a claim in one county and has filed a POO with an agency regarding that claim, and also has another claim in a different county, and not done a POO with an agency on the claim, does the POO follow the miner or is it restricted to the specific claim?


Lawfully, the contract you signed for Claim #1 cannot be applied to Claim #2, as these contracts usually describe the area affected. Hence the contract is only binding as outlined in the document.

That said, the agencies care little for law and I would not put it past them to try to utilize an earlier contract against you at a new location. Also, re-examine what you signed, paying particular attention to the language that used. People sign a lot of documents without realizing what they've actually done.

Well I prepared the POO per the request of the USFS on my claim #1 and I will pull it out and see what all I agreed to 20 years ws pretty basic as it applied to how I would conduct my dredge activity. My 2nd claim is in a different county that utilizes a different surface managment agency...the BLM.  (See I am getting the terminology down).  So your response clarifies that question.

But there has been general State permits that I have obtained regarding dredging.  DEQ and DSL both.  And DSL has requested an end of year document identifying the amount of material dredged.  On the DSL doc I have been specific; and on some claims never reported any dredge activity.....limiting my permit to one specific claim.  

On my annual assessment docs I have listed all claims, and been general in the application of what was specifically done on the claims.  Example: Claims #1, #2, #3, #4, etc....all on the same recorded assessment doc.  With language that stated everything from dredging, to road maintenance, trail improvement,clearing brush & debris for fire hazard issues, etc etc.

So it would appear I have, to some degree, entered into an agencys' agreement.  This has given me pause for some concern.  

I would imagine you have heard this "pause for" question before.   Lately I have been giving thought as to how I should proceed,....trying to keep my agreement actions separate from one claim to the next, and in a few cases have NO mention of my mining claim activy presented on a surface agency's/authority's doc.  

I am giving a great amount of thought to all that has been presented and I am trying to achieve an understanding that keeps me moving on the right path.  If I have error'ed I would like to proceed in a manner that gives me back my rights, if in fact I signed them away to some degree.  Believe me when I say this has my utmost attention.

Oh I almost last thing.  If a person has a claim, and for reasons of annual documentation failure the claim becomes abandoned, and the claimant is notified of such.  Then the  claim sits idle for 6 months and the original claimant refiles on the claim,.... if the POO was done on that claim prior to abandonment.  Would the original POO be brought forth again and become applicable to the new filing?


1866:  The Tracy case was actually a 50/50 deal. Had he not filed the POO, he would have beat the whole case against him.

bejay;  Great question!  Not so easy of an answer though. Based on the laws that I have reviewed and laws that I know, we have pause to consider if all cases would be the same.

Here is my take:

Case #1:  A miner refuses to file for any permit or sign any administrate document, before prospecting an area.

Answer:  The miner has kept all of his rights intact and has not provided any opportunity for the government or any special interest, to pierce such legal protection under the 1866 / 1872 Congressional mining laws.

Case #2:  A miner files one or more applications for permits or other administrative documents, to prospect an area.

Answer:  The miner in “Case #2” has voluntarily waived his protected rights under the 1866 / 1872 Congressional mining laws, but only on that area that was “permitted”.  If that same miner goes to an area outside of the original “permitted” area and does not again voluntarily waive his Constitutional mining rights, the first or original waiver becomes mute.  However, in the eyes of the government and special interest groups, the miner has pierced his Constitutional rights and thus becomes a prime target for legal action.  In almost all cases where the government or special interests depend on the “piercing” of a right, or seek relief on other such technical grounds alone, they fail, more often than not.  The added risk and the added expense to defend against both the original charge against the miner and the added costs and time to defend the “piercing”, simply isn’t worth having ever, voluntarily given away your rights at any time.

The same applies to claim owners.  The costs, delays and legal expense are far more costly, than under Case #1 or Case #2.

I understand the complexity of the question. So in an attempt to keep it as simple as possible.  If a miner were to obtsain a State Dredge Permit.......would his action result in the piercing of his Fed rights and place him under the States Authority anywhere in the matter what claim he had within that State and/or even  transfer the loss to another mining activity he did on a claim within that State.....lets say even change to a trommel operation.  Is that miner bound forever to that States' authority?   I am sorry if this is more complex than can be easily determined but I would like to know if I am doomed forever within the State of Oregon.  My recourse of such a situation would be to sell off all my claims in Oregon and pursue mining on other claim(s) in another State.


It's true that the last Tracy case was a 50/50 split. Ironically, he managed to beat the CWA violation, which should have been the hardest to beat.

Having attended the case that day, I believe that he got out of the CWA violation due to the fact that he and his assistant testified that they were actively monitoring seepage from his holding pond and actively employing means to limit said seepage. A neighboring miner also testified that Tracy had come to him for advice on how to prevent his pond from leaking. Tracy also explained that there was a process involved to seal the holding pond that usually required time to allow the clay to seal any cracks. The jury paid very close attention to these testimonies, so clearly, they believe that Cliff was not just wantonly discharging and were therefore sympathetic.

Beyond that, Cliff's big mistake was that he filed the NOI. That's where they got him.

Bejay:  As a claim owner, unless you voluntarily signed an administrative document on each of your claims, you should have little problem.  If you have, I think you know enough to know that you could be in serious jeopardy.

Having said that, I would proffer that all of the administrate agreements, permits and bonds that have been signed to date, are in fact illegal and not enforceable, under the Constitution, relating to the violation of your civil rights.  I base this conclusion on the same facts and merits as found by the Supreme Court, which created a standard, required in all states of the Union.  That standard is called Miranda.  I sincerely believe that the applications that are issued by the Federal and State government would necessarily, by law, have to contain a warning, “that by signing and agreeing to this document, I understand that I am voluntarily giving up my individual rights and liberties under both Congressional and Constitutional law”.  I know of no such warning on any administrative document for miners.

As I wrote before, the “piercing” of your rights on a claim that has not otherwise been destroyed by a signing of an administrative document, is VERY difficult.  While I have not studied the problem or the solution, you may be able to install an administrative wall by selling your interests to a corporation, which you would have control over.  I’ll look into that concept, when I get a chance.

For the past few hours I have felt as though I ought to sue the USFS Dist. Ranger for requesting me to file a POO;  as a means of helping the USFS succeed in detering a court battle brought forth by some enviiro group that were trying to stop mining in his district.    Additonally after many years of actively mining my claims, I was notified by that same Dist Ranger that I was required to obtain a dredge permit and a DEQ permit.  Then even later I was notified by the State that I was required to fill out an end of year dredge report.  Then, even this year...via email.....I received notice that even if I did no dredging I had to send in the roport with a a zero...showing no dredging occured.  It is obvious I have now come under the authority of the State and USFS.  

I would like to point out that I am a Viet Nam Vet.  I was taught to say yes sir and no sir to proper authority.  I was trained to respect and obey proper authority.  Since I was on USFS designated land and I was required to fiile end of year docs with the BLM,  I believed I was doing what was required of me.  Basically I was clueless.  But I know I am not the only clueless one; as my grandfather had many old mining friends that were burnt out by the USFS.
But this is exactly why Hal Anthony and others have been working hard to correct the problem.

I appreciate everyones  effort and advice.  While learning and reading, all that I have been presented so far, I have been mindfull of language that would allow an escape from any peircing doc(s) I may have signed.  My (1) POO, on a claim that I held for many years, had a paper doc lapse issue.  I appealed the doc issue, and after a 6 month period, with the help of legal council,  I refiled and have held the claims ever sense. But there was a 6 month period that I was NOT the claim holder. Had someone else filed on the claim they would not have been liable for my POO.  (Hello...a llittle light just came on).

But the issue of State permits gives me grave concern.  I, the miner, can not escape the fact that I did in fact obtain and pay for some state permits.  (Dredge Permit and DEQ permit).....although the dredge permit is done on line and no signiture is present in their files; except for the end of year report.

Further I understand that I may just continue down the road of "wrong authority" doing what I can for as long as I can.  But then again I could sell the claims to someone like my son.  He has never signed anything.....or even a Corp. which already exists in structure with my existing business.

Somehow it may be: It is what it is.  But I am angered that rights were taken from me and I am angered that my grandfathers' friends were harmed as well.


You know, it is possible to withdraw from these contractual obligations, by simply issuing a notarized notice informing them that you believe that you were decieved into entering into a contract that they had no authority to impose. This should not only be notarized, but sent via Return Receipt.

My only word of caution is that doing so is a red rag to a bull. It WILL get their attention, if you didn't already have their attention.

No, I have escaped attention since my last formal visit by the Coos County Sherrif and the District Ranger (along with staff) many years ago.  I have been free from anyone checking to see if I have proper permits etc.  I have had concern over the USFS access travel plan and how that might come into play....but all my docs have always shown road maintenance.  

If I fail to aquire State permits there may be a notice sent to the District Ranger.....I am not aware of how the State and Feds communicate such matters.  But the less than 4 inch dredge permit is done online. The DEQ pernmit is a paid permit for almost 5 years.  

But for me the question is my two different claims in two different counties. (actually more than two in each).  I can ignore the permit that gets conveyed to the USFS would be questionable.  I agree with your suggestion.  But prior to doing that I would want to have my legal portfolio complete.
Thanks for the info......I would like to feel that my State permits were non-encompasing to any claims I have.  For me that is my main issue of concern. i appreciate your word of caution.


Frankly, I'd be surprised if there is this level of communication between DEQ and USFS exists, at least on an instant basis.

As for the county question, on an NOI or PoO, there would probably be a separation, but only because these are contracts attached to claims. My concern here is that this permit (the 700 PM) is atttached to your legal entity and make no mistake about it, that is a FEDERAL permit, not state. ODEQ are simply a wing of EPA and your permit is recorded with EPA. For this reason, the 700 PM poses a significant problem if you have it.

I would worry a lot less about your DSL permit, because this so-called "required permit" is really an authorization to mine on STATE managed lands. (Read the top, it actually says "authorization"). DSL don't have any authority on your claim. That is YOUR property and the state has no management power there. You don't need their permission to mine your property, you already had that.

One thing to keep in mind about this DSL permit and that is the fact that the Grant is specific about where your rights exist. The Grant does not extend to lands that are owned by the state, nor the counties, regardless of whether they own the minerals or not. (Keep in mind that in the current guise of government, the counties (and your county leaders) are agents of the state - not independent. It's not really supposed to be this way, but is this way currently). Needless to say, if you mine on STATE OWNED lands, you do need that DSL permit because it is an authorization to work on those lands.

One thing to also consider. Even though some waterways are considered to be "State Managed", it is not necessarily their property. This is especially true of navigable waterways which CANNOT be owned by the states for the simple fact that they are public domain. (And here's a hint about jurisdiction: did you know that the ONLY agency with a lawful law enforcement authority on navigable waterways is the United States Coast Guard? Think about that the next time you see BLM, USFS or some state or county patrolling a navigable waterway and especially think about it if contacted by one of these agencies while mining on a navigable waterway. You might start by asking them if they have a co-operative agreement with USCG to police mining on that particular river. Considering the fact that USCG are not mining police and deal largely in "commerce" policing, I can also tell you that there cannot be such an agreement either. None of them have the authority to "police" your activity).

Once again, read not only the language of the grant, but also your permits. Also read the authority that is attached to these permits and pay specific attention to the lands and waters described. Also remember that the legal definition of a term may not be the same as the common definition. Black's Law Dictionary is your friend. Every miner should have a copy, preferably a 2nd, 3rd or 4th edition if you can have only one. Once you examine the language and the places described, you'll start to see the answer to your questions almost immediately. This is why Hal stressed the importance of the "Layer Cake" and learning as much as you can about "land". Even if your knowledge is so basic that you simply understand that your property is on public domain, not public land (or Oregon Waters), you'll start to see that they do not affect you and your property.

Here again, you might start with the legal definition of the basic element: "land".

bejay;  Son, you really know how to ask a question!!

So here's a couple of questions back at ya.

(A1)  Did you fill out the paperwork or did you have your legal counsel fill it out? (It matters)

(B1)  Was the claim threatened to be deemed as "abandoned" by the agency, or was the claim ever actually "found" (ruled) to be "abandoned?

(C1)  What if anything, did the agency do to mitigate your liability, as it pertains to the “abandonment”? (did they call you, send registered mail, etc.) (this in it’s self could possibly be a tort on the part of the agency)

I may be on shaky ground here, but if in fact the agency ruled (and you have paperwork to that effect) that your claim was in fact ruled as "abandoned", the agreement would then be also necessarily vacated.  

You might start with the application it’s self.  Read it VERY carefully, both sides and the edges (those stinkin guys are sneaky).  

(1)  You would be looking for a word, words or phrases that directly, or indirectly may be loosely construed as ageless, eternal, perpetual, interminable, continual, continuous, and or hereditary.  If you can not clearly ready one of the words, or meaning I just listed or a compatible word or phrase within the document, it would necessarily be prima facie evidence that the document was, or should have by law, be automatically vacated upon the wrongful claim of “abandonment.”  To be a lawful document, it must have starting point and an ending point that is both clearly stated and agreed to by both parties, which in legal terms is a “prima facie tort.”  A prima facie tort is a facial tort, that is a rebut table determination of the existence of a legal duty, breach of that duty, and damages which flow there from due to proximate and legal causation.  Every prima facie tort consists of the following elements:
               1) The existence of a legally recognized duty of the defendant to
                   the plaintiff, or from the defendant to the plaintiff,
               2) A breach of that duty by the plaintiff or plaintiff, and
               3) Proximate and legal Causation

(2)  If (1)above is applicable, the agreement is null & void and can not be used in any way, by either party, as it is completely unenforceable in law.

(3)  Unless there is a clear and concise disclaimer, that states, “by agreeing to or signing the document will invalidate one or more legal, moral, civil or in this case, mining rights and or would by it’s signature invalidate a legal standing“, such a document by a government agency, that under a fictitious claim of the necessity thereof, and or duress, threat or promise of a denial of another right or privilege, the applicant is therefore commanded to comply by the signing of the document, can not be upheld by a court as a lawful document or contract.  The United States Constitution guarantees that no person shall be deprived of life, liberty, right or property by the federal, state, or local governments without due process of law.  

(4)  That without the legal disclaimers advising the signor, that to comply with the orders of the agency and or the demand of documents, will breach and invalidate a superior right, privilege or standing, is a violation of the signor’s civil rights and a direct violation of the signor’s Constitutional rights and protections.  Furthermore, for an agency of the government, regardless of standing, to willfully and with forethought, created, designed, printed and issued any document that would by willful omission, take or otherwise cause a superior right, privilege or standing to be replaced by a lesser right, privilege or standing, is also unconstitutional.  And if such agency, representing a local, county, state or federal government requires such a document to be signed, as to be required under any lesser law, and if such facts are found by any common reading of such document confirm such willful omission, a prima facie case can be brought against all participating agency personnel and those local, county, state and federal governments that failed in their responsibility to uphold the laws of the land and the Constitution.  

(5)  That the purposeful and designed omission of a proper and an inclusive disclaimer, as to warn the signor, is a regulatory, administrative and managerial conspiracy of deceptive fraud, collusion, conspiracy and a civil rights violation, as well as a wanton abrogation of the responsibility to act within the Constitution.

Good post, GP.

Unbelievably great info.  I do know about the USCG and navigable waterways as I have held the USCG pilots license for Oregons inland waterways.  I just got a new pair of glasses.  A very good thing, as my reading is endless at the moment.  Thanks I will take more time to study your replys.  Must get back to work.


1866:  Thank you.  I must admit, that while I considered the facts regarding the different administrative demands made on the mining community and the individuals therein, my temper only grew.  I’ve met bejay and his son and they are decent, hard working Americans that pay their taxes and try to be good and upstanding examples within their community.  What really fries my bacon, is that bejay, like most Americans, go out of their way to comply with the laws, at no small cost to themselves.  Many served their country proudly and for all of this, the government lied, misdirected, betrayed and have with no mercy, made it their job to strip such hard working Americans of their rights.

Earlier, you posted to bejay, that to “challenge” the government may “raise red flags”.  You were not wrong in your statement or concern.  I even agreed with you on your points.

But after due reconsideration and after writing my earlier brief, my stance on the subject has dramatically shifted from one of tactical defense, to one of complete tactical offense.

At this point, I longer see the these issues as just “individual” civil rights questions, but one of an industry fight against the outrageous usurpations of our civil and Constitutional rights by a preplanned program of deception, fraud and intergovernmental conspiracy.  There can be little question at this point and with the current facts at hand, that such preplanned program of deception, fraud and intergovernmental conspiracy is not only multi agency wide, but has been adopted, implemented and approved by local, county, state and federal agency counsels, which knew or should have known, that the acts of the agencies were unlawful at best and seditionary to the extreme.

I also sincerely believe that it is far past the time that a line be drawn and force the issue of deceptive and marginalized civil and Constitutional rights being abridged, where no agency or special interest wants it, or can defend or withstand the legal scrutiny of it.

These issues belong, not on our shoulders, but in the public view and in the courts.  

While I am not a Board Certified attorney at law, I never the less have a legal opinion on this matter. (like someone didn’t expect that).

My recommendation are as follows:

For each and every miner that has been duped into complying with any local, county, state or federal agreement, as per any “Plan Of Operation”, “Permit”, “Bond”, Environmental Impact Study” or any other agreement, and or any other government sponsored document that in fact confers a lesser right, privilege or freedom as would necessarily be found within the 1866 & 1872 unabridged mining laws or in the United States Constitution, you must act to “Quit” such agreement and or document and insist that the sponsoring agency immediately surrender any right, privilege and or freedom, taken by the direct result of the deception and willful fraud.  

That notice should be drafted as a “72 Hour Notice To Quit”.  Within such document, each miner so damaged by the deception and willful fraud must insist that their original rights, privileges and freedoms as granted in trust and perpetuity by the Congress of the United States as found in the 1866 and 1872 mining acts so insured, be fully and without exception, restored in their entirety.  

That the aggrieved miner demands no less than $100,000.00 per deceptive agreement or other document, per year that the agency demanded compliance to such unlawful agreements and or other documents.  

That each aggrieved miner demand a full and complete refund of all fees, deposits and all other costs that the aggrieved miner was defrauded out of, together with interest of not less than 7% per annum.  

That ANY failure to FULLY comply within the “72 Hour Notice To Quit” by any agency of any governmental body within the United States, that has ANY direct or indirect responsibility of oversight as to protect the civil and Constitutional rights of the aggrieved miner, shall force such aggrieved miner to seek triple damages for each act as well as all costs and any other statutory damages as seen fit by the court.

Finally, the aggrieved miner must give statutory notice that “the aggrieved miner shall immediately dismiss, reject, deny and refuse to comply further with any and all agencies of the government, not required under the 1866 and 1872 mining acts.  

This notice requires it to be notarized with copies sent by registered mail, return receipt required, to the office which such agreements and or documents were signed at, with a “true copy” being equally sent to the main state and federal office, if applicable.  In addition, a copy should be turned over to the local media outlets, along with a simple “Press Statement”.  I would also encourage the posting of such notice as a “Letter to the Editor” in each paper that may serve not only the immediate community, but statewide.

Remember, the ONLY thing government fears, is an educated, informed and active public that is not afraid to shine the light of truth on the despicable actions of the government.

Me Gold Seeker

Here's an free online source for the 1st and 2nd edition of the Black's Law Dictionary.

I also posted this link in the thread "Legal Definitions" in the "Courts and Case Law" forum


Thanks Skip!

[quote="1866   "Frankly, I'd be surprised if there is this level of communication between DEQ and USFS exists, at least on an instant basis.

My concern here is that this permit (the 700 PM) is atttached to your legal entity and make no mistake about it, that is a FEDERAL permit, not state. ODEQ are simply a wing of EPA and your permit is recorded with EPA. For this reason, the 700 PM poses a significant problem if you have it.

Well it looks like I have that significant I have the 700PM DEQ permit.....for another 3.5 years.....I bought the extended permit.  I am sitting here shaking my head. When the Dist. Ranger stated that I needed that permit ;  I complied.

In the authoritative agency process of things who is the authoririty servant....who has the authority to come issue a citation?  What role if any does USFS, USFWS and BLM have per this 700PM permit?  I am thinking fish habitat $$$....where did that money originate as well.   Does DEQ and BLM office comunicate the status of this 700PM?

That 700PM is signed by evidently follows "me" and "my claims".  But another individual did not sign the 700PM.  Another individual such as my son, or neighbor or minister did not sign that permit.  

Via sale or inheritence(sp)..........could the claims not be left to my son.?  Would he not have the right to deny aquiring the 700PM?

I am not a spring chicken anymore, and reality is age is becoming a factor.  But I could give the claims to my son....they were to be his anyway.  Please shed some light here for me........if you have any familiarity with this situation.



To my knowledge, there is SOME communication between DEQ and BLM/USFS regarding mining. That is based in part off of a communication between KS Wild, DEQ, BLM and OSP that we were able to get our hands on. This communication was intended to address our forays into the Rogue near Galice, which the enviros were whining about.

From an enforcement standpoint, in my neck of the woods, Fish & Game attached to OSP have been the primary enforcers of the 700 and DSL over areas that are viewed as BLM managed or areas in which there is no federal management. The only time this differed was when BLM went after Tracy, even though the same BLM employees would not contact miners on the Rogue, beyond photo taking at a distance. Clearly you can see that Tracy's NOI may have played a role in determining who visited him. That said, in areas managed by USFS, they seem to take the primary role and in some cases, USFS has even moved against miners working the beaches - even though the beaches are state lands. In my opinion, if you are inside a National Forest, you can expect USFS to take the primary enforcement role.

While there may not be an instant communication bridge between the agencies and DEQ, if a citation arises, you can be certain that this gap will be narrowed before you get in court. ie. They will find that permit and use it against you.

Obviously, if you were to transfer your claims to your son, he should not be encumbered by anything you've done in the past. But, you will want to be careful of your title. For example, if you use a pre-printed form, you will find that these forms do make you subject to certain things and have almost nothing to do with the Grant. I am sure that you already saw MEG's post elsewhere on location notices.

Now keep in mind, that if you think your title is somehow insecure, you CAN amend it by filing an amended location notice. Some people think that amendments are only for changing boundaries, etc., when in reality, you can amend any portion of the notice. That will cost you a county filing and $10 to BLM. If you intend to transfer to your son, I would look at amending the location notice before that.

As for the transfer, I would also avoid pre-printed "Quit Claims". In fact, instead of "quit claiming", I would GRANT him the property, using the proper language. (Remember my posts about patents and warranty deeds? Remember that a "Color of Title" is not a lawful title. I think it's reasonable to assume that most pre-printed mining quit claims create a Color of Title similar to a warranty deed. You want to avoid this. Do your own, inserting the language of the law and the grant.

After that, no matter how old you are, you might consider severing the contract forged by the 700 PM by notice. At that stage, while you will probably still be mining, they can longer come against the property as a means of retaliation.

One of the best ways to get out is to simply notice ODEQ that you "no longer utilize a suction dredge" and that you are no longer engaging in any activity that comes under their administrative or territorial jurisdiction and that you request notice of the cancellation of your permit (insert the # and other relevant info). Whatever you do, don't lie and say "Well, I've quit mining", just address it through the language of the law. Obviously, they will not refund you any monies.

Once you do this, you are not encumbered, leaving you with the ability to retain interest in your property or to obtain new property without fear of (lawful) retaliation.

I need to take care of some housekeeping issues within this thread, regarding issues raised by my personal posts and or clarification of my positions regarding posts by others.  

“Piercing”:  While my basic legal concern was correct, the degree of construct consideration I suggested to my fellow miners was in unrealized error.  I unfortunately drafted the concern regarding “piercing”, prior to my thoughts and consideration of the administrative agreements and or contracts which are unlawfully being compelled and forced upon unsuspecting miners.  To have had a “concern” of “piercing”, you must first have a legal and binding contractual foundation.  This is where my error in judgment was made.  While I did attempt to demonstrate that the effort to “pierce” was technically very slim, my statements were made, assuming that the agreements and or contracts were legally binding and or lawful, which clearly they are not. So please disregard the totality of my errant suggested concern over “piercing”.  I am sincerely sorry for that error.

As there may be some confusion as to suggested remedies that have been put forth by others and myself, I want it made abundantly clear that my suggestions are no less valid that others, nor are they necessarily better.  From my perspective and level of legal knowledge, the effort to devolve from any signed agreement or contract in question, is easy pickings.  The contracts and agreements in question are just that bad.  If there is a real difference between the proposed remedies, it would be to the degree and scope of the desired results and whether the end results are to be a personal or a industry victory.  Each proposed remedy has its own valid points and problematic weaknesses.  However, I have yet to read a proffered remedy on this forum, that is totally wrong or for that fact, unworkable.  I dare say, that the skill level, knowledge and degree of professionalism that has been posted on this forum, is of the highest level and I am proud to be a small part of that effort.

In closing, let me make one final point.

I would suggest to everyone on this forum and those that haven’t joined yet, that time is running out for each one of us connected with the mining industry.  I would make the same warning to all Americans, within or outside of our industry.  That warning is this.  With each passing minute, the Constitution is being destroyed, piece by piece by this administration and as it goes to the wayside, so does every Constitutional right you have ever known.  No longer a “Limited Republic”, the breathtaking escalation of government assault on our individual rights, civil rights and property rights, left unchecked and or unchallenged, only breeds more unlawful acts that when reaching the tipping point (almost there), will see each and every right destroyed and national enslavement will become the norm.  If you choose to challenge my point, just ask someone over 50 years old, as to how our freedoms and liberty have been eroded, just over the last 40 years alone.

Those losses are NOT the government fault.  It is our own fault for not being engaged, not challenging and not being good stewards of our government or our laws.  Yes it is reasonable to think about only yourself and family.  But if that is the end game of the American people, then the totality of blood and treasure spent and invested in our freedoms and country have been to no avail.  Mining and miners are older than this country is and if we are unwilling to take a stand in defense of our industry and its proud history, then America is surly finished as a country.  But I still have unshakable faith in the American people, no more so, than the American miner.  Taking a stand is still, the American Way!

Ok, I thank you both for the insight.  Regarding 1866 earlier post.

I will share a little info, I personally have never seen OSP anywhere around my Coos County Claims near Eden Valley. But my mining partner, who I have known since he was 17, is deaf.  His educational skills are probably that of a 4th grader...but he is smart. (he is 59 now). Anyway, he used to be camped permanantly up on Roseburg Lumbers property on a road alongside the West Fork.....about 5 miles below my claims.  He painted rocks saying it was his claim, and he dredged there for many years.  Finally RL decided to have him evicted so they contacted the OSP office and an officer was dispatched to do so. (I was not there but my deaf friend Terry told me of the situation). Anyway the OSP officer got to Terry and commenced telling him that he had to leave.  Well for the OSP officer that was futile because talking to Terry is pretty difficult and the officer became aware that his msg was falling on ears that did not work and the officer finally, in frustration, just threw up his hands and walked see Terry would tell the officer the way he thought it is.  Terry remained there for a long time.  When Terry came up on my claims and told me about the situation I told Terry he ought to just come up on my claims and I would give him a claim and I would also allow him to be partners on yet another claim.  Terry did and things have always seem to work for the better.

However Terry started doing things that USFS did not like.   I received letters stating such and the USFS wanted a big meeting at my main claim and camp.   The USFS tribe came, as well as the County Sherrif.   They had taken issues with even a plastic bucket used as a latreen.  Other things as well.......plank bridges....trail wideening......a big retaining wall on a major access trail ( which they were calling a road)......other access trails....pole plastic covered awnings with posts in the ground...etc.

When they showed up on my claim they wanted to address ME as they were already clued in as to Terry and his being deaf.  Although the District Ranger Commented that he felt Terry was intentionally "acting" dumb on order to deceive the USFS.  I assured the D.R. that Terry "was" smart as he suggested but his communication skills and educational skills were poor.  (I have always done Terry's paperwork, filings etc))

I told the D.R. that I was not responsible for Terry's actions, that he (the Range)r and Sherrif  needed to understand that Terry was his own man.  Which they in turn agreed to; and  stated as such.  But they asked if I would work to help them help they were wanting to WORK things out: [Quote}... "The USFS wants to work with the miner to avoid such conflicts...that is why we are here talking with you today".  

I agreed I would and the main issue they wanted resolved was the post in the ground plastic shed overed shack removed (they had burned mine down that existed on the claim when I filed on it) and the variety of Terry made trails (quad) were to be covered up.  They made an exception to the main historic mule trail that we used to haul equipment (dredges ) I took issue with them!!  The big retaining wall and plank bridges and a culvert are still intact.  The main access road down into the claim, (It actually lies on two claims) has always been maintained by us using hand equipment.

But Terry has nothing of substance, taking Terry to court is almost fruitless and the USFS knows it.  But I have taken Terry down the wrong permit path.  

I thought I might share some info.  At times I have felt Terry could be a scapegoat for me.  And the USFS will throw up their hands and walk away.
I have never seen or spoken to the USFS or the Sherrif since that meeting on my claims 12 years ago if not longer.

So it is not just "I" who I must consider in my actions, I feel my actions will affect Terry.  If I were to tell Terry he could go mine any time he wanted and do things he wanted:  "Watch Out" he is one hardworking son of a gun.

Thanks again for you info/insight.


As I have stated before, bejay... you Sir are a good man.  Proud to call you my friend.

GP, I totally agree with your assessment and 72 hour notice, law suit etc...but what concerns me is this... "With each passing minute, the Constitution is being destroyed, piece by piece by this administration and as it goes to the wayside, so does every Constitutional right you have ever known."
who is to stop obamba from just changing the constitution to his /their liking..Can he/them?
If we the miner do stand up and demand, can he change the acts?
If we are able to individually beat them by not giving up our rights and or selling our regulated claims to say bjs son (ex.) to remove the unlawful regulation
I believe I saw on one vid you posted them saying 1866/72 act are unchanged and outdated, therfore need to be updated...Im no scaredy cat sissy boy...but if we demand, wont they just fix it to their benefit?
my question is can they ??

Also is the washington state gold and fish pamphlet legal if you are mining under the 1866/1872 acts on federal land? In washington state for hose tht dont have to have a copy on person for each person prospecting and follow it to the letter.
I will post a link to the document


Cingressman Peter DeFozio of Oregon has been advocating changing the Mining Laws for a long time.  He is currently drawing up plans to do an "end around" in southern Oregon.  (See SWOMA webpage).

I can not disagree with the conept of placing the Gov on 72 hr. notice.  It would be certain that such an action would begin an action that could result in a court battle before a judge: with a substantial amount of Gov money paying for Gov attorneys to beat you down.  A decission would have to be made by the miner that rather than go find gold he wants to spend all his time and money fighting in the courtroom.  There NEEDS to be such cases undertaken.  There needs to be a vast resources available, on behalf of the miner, to enter into the battle.  I am sure there are better minds than mine beginning to do just that.  I was a very early player in WMA (Western Mining Alliance)and I know such matters were discussed there.  I am sure they are being discussed in other places/organizations as well.  I do know this:  There is a relunctance by such people/organizations to devulge their actions to do so.  No use letting the enemy/opponent know your plans of attack.  But when you do attack, surprise with a strong plan and force is the best way to achieve the desired outcome.  We are not the only ones concieving POO's to attack.  You just got to love turning the POO into a "Plan of Operation in order to ATTACK!   (POOIOTA) Kind of has a nice ring to it! Does it not?  Just some things for thought.  But I believe the final straw that broke the camels back has just happened.....there are going to be some big things happen soon....but that is just an observation based on some gut feeling.


A War Chest


Just a thought here, concerning how a war chest might be made more substantial.  How about a donation of a placer claim to be worked by member volunteers, with the profits directed into the war chest?  In this economy, asking for donations is a tough sell.  I can’t think of a better cause.. Can you?

Well it would have to be a claim that produced sufficient gold to enable enough $$$ to be generated.   Raffling a gold claim might generate a lot of $$$$, but a non-profit would have to be set up to establish and create a legal fund.

But for the life of me I can not understand why there has not been a unified effort amongst all those who are battling individually or as small groups.

BUT I will give you a example of my efforts many years ago to do something of the same.  As you know the timber industry was a HUGE major part of Oregon's economy.  I was a major player in the battle to preserve timber harvest/multiple use off/of public lands. (A board member of : Concerned Citzens of Wesatern Lane County,,,which closed all of Florence for the better half of a day....and it made National News).  I decided that the industry needed to unite and confront the threat head on with a lot of money.  I met with many owners of timber companies who harvested off of public lands.  BUT non of them wanted to unite.  They were all busy fighting their own battles over specific things.  Now you would think they would have banded together,  NOPE...never happened.  Best we could do was find a few City's to join in letter writing opposing the ban of harvest off of public lands.  So look where we are today....the big big boys who owned their own timber got richer as the price of lumber increased, while the smaller mills dependant on public land harvests had to close.  It appears everyone is caught up in their own battles.

But if a a claim holder/dredger were to be the one to challenge the Calif. ban, and an Oregon miner were to challenge the USFS/BLM per FLPMA or CFR's, and someone in Washington did another and Idaho yet another I believe the funding (legal staff costs) would be justified and all the small stuff would go away.   But then again mayber Peter DeFozio would get his way and the mining laws would be amended (I am not sure if they can be as class has not strated yet and I don't know the answer to that question; as  I have held it within for the past few weeks).  

Sorry for all the rambling as I know many are stratigizing and trying to be creative in their quest to overcome the negative issues confronting the miner. Thank God for Sherrif Gil Gilbertson.  A gov paid elected official with more power than the President of the USA.  We can not forget him and his mission, for it is our mission as well. and credit hasa to be given SWOMA and Hal Anthony as well.  Remember the picket fence gets built one picket at a time.

bejay:  Well stated and although I wish I had a different answer, I don't. I have waited for more than 30 years to see the mining industry unite for their own protection, but like the lumber and fishing indusries, everyone's too busy fighting the small fistfights and can't be bothered with the outcome of the war.  Maybe this forum will help unite miners to a point that we all know that we have to take a stand and fight to win. Losing isn't an option.

The value of a real understanding of the Grant far exceeds any war chest or assistance you can buy.

Please take your studies seriously. Your opinions about politics, law and civil rights are a detriment to understanding the Grant. Mixing these opinions with the facts being presented can only impede your studies. The reason you are here is to improve your lives as miners through education. You can not learn something new to you while you are concentrating on the old.

Once you have a complete understanding of the Mineral Estate Grant the following statements will ring true:

Mining lawyers are your worst enemies.

No money is necessary to retain and enforce your rights under the Grant.


Woof! wrote:
The value of a real understanding of the Grant far exceeds any war chest or assistance you can buy.

Please take your studies seriously. Your opinions about politics, law and civil rights are a detriment to understanding the Grant. Mixing these opinions with the facts being presented can only impede your studies. The reason you are here is to improve your lives as miners through education. You can not learn something new to you while you are concentrating on the old.

Once you have a complete understanding of the Mineral Estate Grant the following statements will ring true:

Mining lawyers are your worst enemies.

No money is necessary to retain and enforce your rights under the Grant.


Woof:  While I am in agreement with the general spirit of your comments, I would disagree that knowing the mining laws is a somehow a magic bullet for every assault on the American miner.  It certainly is not.

As you well know, these assaults are not confined to just government agencies, but it also involves greens, and other wackjobs.

We both agree that it is essential for every miner to know and understand the mining laws, what they grant, what they guarantee and what they do not.

I think that we can also agree that the mining laws are now set in stone, the foundations for not only a credible defense against actions, but they equally provide the legal basis to hold agencies, groups and individuals that would organically assault the rights of miners, as found within the mining laws, criminally and civilly responsible for their actions, words and deeds.  

Would you disagree that to limit the education of our mining members to the legislative framework of the incorporated 1872 mining laws, while omitting the fact that these same laws have been upheld by the Supreme Court, doesn’t serve to have the fullest understanding of the powers held within those laws?

While I can appreciate your distaste for the legal profession, which we share in common, I would only point out two things.  First, I know of no real mining attorney within this state.  By that I mean, an expert in mining laws and a passion (hate) for those that would avail themselves to transit the legal rights of miners or violate the rights of miners to conduct the day to day operations of their mining efforts.  Secondly, miners that are under or threat of eminent assault by government agencies, greens and or other wackjobs, have no alternative but to put up a defense and more times than not, suffer the court costs, legal costs and loss of income, in dealing with the legal issues facing them.  A miner under these assaults are faced with any number of false reports, falsified documents, entrapment, unfounded complaints, threats, clear violation of civil and mining rights and of course, extortion.  Miners can only make money by mining, not by sitting in courtrooms or filing endless paperwork to defend your rights, at every turn. A true legal advocate would not only address the criminal charges against the miner, but seek substantial relief from future acts of the assaulting party and lay demand for damages against those that would assault or otherwise seek to impede the miner or claim owner.  Such advocate would seek and demand pecuniary compensation and or indemnity damages, which may be recovered as “actual”, “exemplary” and or “punitive” damages in the courts by any miner and or claim owner who has suffered loss, detriment, or injury, whether to his person, property, or rights, through the unlawful act or omission or negligence of another.  

My thoughts concerning a “war chest”, were made in the spirit of using the same tactics against the assaulting parties, as is used against miners and claim owners.  In this sense, the proposed “war chest” would allow for a pool of funds to be reserved, to help miners and claim owners fight, win and hold the assaulters responsible for their actions, to a degree that it would force them to use their money to defend, rather than use those dollars to create more trouble and grief for miners and or claim owners.

I agree and stipulate that the comments herein, do NOT belong in the Classroom, while our members are attempting to learn and understand the mining laws.  But I do believe that such discussion do belong on threads, away and apart from the Classroom.

"No money is necessary to retain and enforce your rights under the Grant."  This is also true, but only holding a static line alone, will not stop government, groups or other wackjobs from continually making life miserable for miners and or claim owners.  Yes we have to stop them in their tracks, but we must also make them pay a very high price for their evil agenda and efforts.

I meant just what I wrote Gold Patriot.

I do speak from real life experience Gold Patriot. I have taken the ticket and won more than once.

I have been instrumental in frustrating more than one agency in their efforts to apply administrative regulations to our rights. I have never spent a dime in doing so other than to pay for gas for my car and the time (minimal in each instance) to quash their attempt to regulate what is not theirs to regulate. In none of these matters have I had to resort to attorneys or administrative law. In one instance my win lead to the retraction, by Congress, of a pilot program that violated several fundamental rights as it was implemented.

The constant distraction of miners from the organic Grant by administrative action and language is not coincidental in my opinion. Many times miners are their own worst enemies due to their propensity to mix rumor with fact. This habit has been developed by a constant mixing in their language and culture with the language and culture of regulation of recreation and privilege. The Grant encompasses neither regulation nor privilege to be taken away at the whim of executive branch agency employees. Until miners regain the language and habits associated with the rights clearly expressed in the Grant they will continue to bury future generations of miners in a regulatory morass.

If my attitude towards these matters seem aggressive and assertive then you are beginning to get a sense of the power that the Grant invests in those that partake of it in an unadulterated manner. Until miners leave behind their preconceptions that the Grant has been modified by executive agencies, executive orders, or greenie attacks in the yellow press they will continue to sell their birthright to the nearest man in a clown suit telling you he has a right to regulate you or your actions.

It does a miner no good to have a pair of brass ones if they don't use their brain power to understand who their enemy is. I am naming their worst enemy here and now.

In the immortal words of Pogo "We have met the enemy and he is us".

Concentrate on understanding your heritage of right, as expressed in the Mineral Estate Grant, or continue to sink into the swamp of slippery regulatory nightmares.

The choice is yours - as it always has been.

1866 is it posible to share what was said in this communication between agencies?
That is based in part off of a communication between KS Wild, DEQ, BLM and OSP that we were able to get our hands on. This communication was intended to address our forays into the Rogue near Galice, which the enviros were whining about.

"If there is a real difference between the proposed remedies, it would be to the degree and scope of the desired results and whether the end results are to be a personal or a industry victory." (GP)
I believe we are here to achieve the personal victory for each and everyone of us participating by learning the acts therefore becoming stronger industry wide. This very act we are pursuing can possibly lead to a solution such as GPs suggestion in that we can achieve said goals industry wide.

The value of a real understanding of the Grant far exceeds any war chest or assistance you can buy. (woof)
Individually yes, I totally agree.....I do however disagree with you woof in that it would not cost any $. I am at a transitional time later in life where I lost 2 business this last year and am fighting to save my 10 acre piece of heaven..I am not a fulltime miner, and I can assume the majority of us miners are not.. I cannot afford to miss aday of work right now, that would be one additional cost..i see your point in that an attorney is not required to defeat an illegal assault on my right to mine on my grant.If you and others here educated me on how to defend myself, which in fact is what we are doing here...

"Please take your studies seriously. Your opinions about politics, law and civil rights are a detriment to understanding the Grant. Mixing these opinions with the facts being presented can only impede your studies. The reason you are here is to improve your lives as miners through education. You can not learn something new to you while you are concentrating on the old."
I dont believe anyone on here involved in this particular thread/discussion doesnt take the studies seriously..This is very impoortant to us, or so many hours wouldnt have been put into this to get it going. I understand where GP is coming from in taking the fight right back at them, which could, should and possibly would get them to back the hell off. This is not the classroom discussion, where it is kept on task..This is a brainstorming session!!!!!
I sense this might be getting a tad bit heated, maybe not, but if so, we need to keep it cool as we are all on the same team and are greatly outnumbered and underfunded..
If there was a lawyer with the hatred, passion, mining law understanding and will of you woof, GP, MEG, bejay and 1866 (sorry if I forgot someone Hal) towards the anti-mining locomotive, how could such an attorney be the enemy after I fully comprehend the mining laws?
And even better, after the attorney defended the miner, countersued for at least attorneys fees...I know from personal experience, when the courts time is wasted, attorney fees are more ofte than not granted..
Just my 2 cents worth
Ive had many a side-bar with GP he is far from beginning to get a sense of the power of the grant as well as the empowerment it "grants"

"then you are beginning to get a sense of the power that the Grant invests in those that partake of it in an unadulterated manner."

At this point, Woof is certainly right in this regards and his stance on it is VERY similar to what Hal Anthony has put forward before on this subject.

Attorneys are not your friend, tend to do more harm than good, and it is possible to fight without much a war chest.  Indeed, most early mining camps looked down on attorneys, resented them and often, put local rules into place to keep the attorneys out of the camp. This attitude did not change until the rise of William Stewart, an attorney and senator who was then considered the foremost authority on Mining Law. That said, it's important to mention that Stewart was a miner and learned mining law in the classroom of the placer fields. This was also true of some of Stewart's contemporaries too. They did not learn the camp laws in a college. Later, Stewart in particular, played a dominant role in federalizing those camp laws. (Note: The 1866 Act was largely based off the camp laws of the Grass Valley District).

In the battles that I've fought, the expense was very low and mainly limited to postage and green cards. We are talking about the expense of less than $20 per case. No amount of money would have made it easier, made it faster or made it more successful.

The fact is, while there appear to be lots of expenses involved, there are also ways to typically avoid those expenses. Take FOIAs as one example. Duplication costs are very expensive and can run into the HUNDREDS for a relatively simple query, but if you read the FOIA statutes, there are also provisions to waive those fees. In that case, FOIAs that are not filed for commercial use are not subject to fees. But you have to know that.

So is a big war chest needed? Not really.

This is not to say that a war chest could not be beneficial in some way, but it is to say that it will not guarantee better results. The only thing that does seem to come close to guaranteeing a better result is research and follow through.

I missed this earlier woof:
It does a miner no good to have a pair of brass ones if they don't use their brain power to understand who their enemy is. I am naming their worst enemy here and now.

In the immortal words of Pogo "We have met the enemy and he is us".

This is the reason I am hear and conveyed such in my arguments/suggestions/agreements to get together and learn of the mining laws. I agree and it appears from what Ive read Tracy was his own worst enemy as well
This attorney you mentioned 1866 is the attorney i had in mind to be afriend..An attorney with the knowledge of the laws that are represented on here and at the other forums as well as SWOMA...A miner attorney..
I assumed to beat the agency you had to go to court...what you two, woof and  1866 are saying is the majority of time all is needed is a piece of paper, I would assume is stating the act/s,. This is beyond my understandingas I have yet to file a claim, or experience this first hand..I stand corrected and am grateful that I am here....and at no cost!

Larry, what you are putting forward is, in my opinion, the only value that a BIG war chest may have.

In that regard, instead of blowing TENS, if not HUNDEREDS OF THOUSANDS to pay some attorney, mining groups would do much better to establish a scholarship and to raise their own attorneys and judges. Certainly there are some miners out there with kids who have an interest in not only mining, but also in becoming lawyers? It might take 10 to 20 years to really get somewhere, but putting those kids through law school and having the Hal Anthonys, Ron Gibsons, Woofs, etc. of the world pass their knowledge on to them routinely is a FAR BETTER investment than paying some attorney thousands to badly represent the latest mining group who cannot even manage to establish standing in some case. I'm no fan of the BAR ASS, but sometimes you can do more inside the system than out of it. You get five or six people with a BAR ASS membership and the same sort of knowledge of those guys and you can do a lot.

We have to also keep in mind that before the 1866 Act, miners were in a situation similar to where we are today. Before then, the miners were seen as outlaws who were supposedly trespassing on the government's land and stealing from society at large. Read your mining history. One year before the 1866 Act was passed, there were Eastern Senators who wanted to send the U.S. Army out here to force the miners out. Right here down the road from me there were miners patrolling the military and stage roads watching for those troops to show up, fully intent on repelling them from their district. Big Bill Stewart averted the whole thing, which was a potential second Civil War in this country. Stewart and his associates were miners who gradually worked their way into the system and changed things.

Today, we are back where we started. If our forerunners could WALK across a continent in the search for gold, avert the threat of military force and ultimately get their own little camp laws established as a grant from Congress that has managed to last for almost a century a half, certainly WE can deal with some people in green uniforms and a handful of yippies.

I don't see much value in the big war chest beyond the idea of scholarships and perhaps beating GangGreen at their own game. Think billboard ads on Interstate 5 that clearly illustrate to the public that they benefit daily from mining and cannot get by without it. Or TV and Radio commercials. Those are useful things and COULD be done.

Either way, those are positive uses of the green stuff in your wallet. Taking it from your wallet and placing it into the wallet of an attorney isn't.

As for fighting the agencies, it's not always necessary to go to court. Believe me, throwing the law at them, especially when you can establish criminal wrong doing quite often gets the job done. Most of these agency employees are college educated and while they may often suffer from a massive power trip, they are not stupid people. Most of them know to back off when they are dealing with someone who seems to know a lot more than they do, especially when hit with the realization that they really could lose EVERYTHING.

Beyond that, it really doesn't cost A LOT of money to go to court. For example, you can file a small claims case against an agency employee or a greenie (if you have a damage) for less than $100 and you can file in District Court for about $300. Being miners, it's not really that difficult to go dig that much money up (literally). What does however cost money is if you are sucked into the idea that you need an attorney and you need to do this and that, when all you really need is to learn your rights, learn the law and learn about the processes involved. Just make sure that you have standing.

For that matter, as you learn, you will realize that there are things that you can do to further our rights that do not require that the agencies wronged you. This can be as simple as picking one piece of legislation (say the Wilderness Act, or the Antiquities Act, or the Surface Resources Act, FLPMA, the Wild and Scenic Act, etc.) and studying it so thoroughly that you can almost recite it. Coupled with a working knowledge of the Mining Law, you will start to see places where big jagged holes can be punched into it for the simple fact that in my experience, there is usually some sort of savings provision for the mining law. VERY few miners have done this type of special research. The ones who have are very, very valuable assets because they have a specific specialized knowledge that even our best experts on mining law do not have because they have lacked the time to study one or two things so intensely.

Well I will enter the discussion.  Upon reading everyones opinion on the matter there is no question in my mind that you are all right.  If miners were self empowered, and embodied in the knowledge Woof has or 1866 has, the expense would be minimal.  No need to pay attorneys and have big court battles; as the law is clear when presented as such.  
I get it!  I, on the other hand, like many in the mining community were not familiar with these laws, I thought I was following the laws for the past 33 years, even my grandfather and old Glen Young never spoke to me about things being different than thought/known by them; and of course myself.  Thanks to a few people and the inet/forums the realization became evident.  I personally am not here to place fault on anyone.  I, and about 39 others, are interested in learning how to become knowledgable enough to be Woof, 1866, GoldPatriot, Hal Anthony, MEG.  We are all on the same page in this regard.

But would it not be of great value to have some big wins in some of the court battles....such as those undertaken by PLP and others?  Would not some big wins raise a great amount of awareness to the POWER the miner has?  How might this happen?  This forum is a step, and I can not thank those enough for helping spread the word/power.  

There is no doubt in my mind we are all on the same page.  How, and by what method miners become aware of their rights/power seems to be the question. I for one would welcome anything that does that.

A miner, such as Tracy entered the courtroom not being self empowered, he had some advocates standing beside him; as I understand it.  How might that very concept be undertaken in such a manner as to be helpfull more often.  I would welcome such help should I be challenged right now without the full knowledgable power needed.  I may be a lot further along than Mr. Tracy, but I am not Woof, 1866, Meg, Hal, or Goldpatriot.  I'll keep trying and hopefully I can fend for myself in time, but I would venture to say that 90% of the miners out there do not have a clue of reality and the power they hold.  

So for what it is worth I can not disagree with anything said so far,  It is just a matter of getting-er-done.   Time for the rightful Power to emerge.


Hi bejay,

I hope you had a good journey. Welcome back to the warm dry land. Smile

Once you understand the Grant you will understand there is no "Big Win" to be had in a Court of Law.

I will repeat, once again, that the Mineral Estate Grant is intact.

The concept of the "Big Win" belongs more to movies and television than the Grant. When enjoying the Grant a "win" consists of a dismissal of any attack on your rights under the Grant or a summary judgement in your favor against those who have damaged you. In the case of a dismissal no court nor record is formed to use as precedence. In the case of a summary judgement the judgement only applies to the facts of the instant case and does not rise to precedence much less Stare Decisis.

The real "win" for the Grantee is that we work within settled law of right that can be relied on to assure us of our continued peaceable enjoyment of that Grant.

On the other hand when you step outside of the Grant you become a subject of administrative action that is not only unsettled but subject to the whims of various administrators and their ever changing regulations. This is where all the drama happens and rightly so. Those who choose to mine under administrative sanction, permit and license have relinquished their ability to argue their right to the grant within the contracted agency's regulatory schemes.

Many here have expressed the opinion that these agencies are out to destroy the small miner. In one sense this may be true but an understanding of the reasons and purposes for mining under administrative sanctions becomes evident when you consider the limitations imposed by the Grant on large mining corporations. I don't want to distract anyone with the details here and now but suffice it to say that the large mining corporations benefit greatly from the regulatory structure found outside of the Grant. I'll leave it to you to speculate privately as to why those same corporations might wish to obstruct those of us mining under the Grant.

In brief please be careful what you wish for. Any "Big Win" as it relates to the settled rights within the Mineral Estate Grant would equate to a "Big Loss" for those same Grantees.


I understand what you say.  And I believe I comprhehend your equation to a Big that specific issue of which I believe you speak was going to be my next question.  But I believe there is reasonable justification for leaving that discussion to a more private setting at some point in the future.  But for now my thoughts on the subject will remain my own.

So I will focus on the understanding of the mining laws and the depth of which they can benifit those who are willing to undertake their meaning and application.
Glad to be where the weather is good.


I think it would be good to have a general war chest available for miners.  

One good use of a war chest scenario would be too have funds in reserve for say 4 or 5 paid highly trained or educated miners in the “grant rights” held as a panel to continually show up to court cases which may or may not have been filed by a small miner but whom may have been subjected to one.

Having a panel of experienced miners as a suitable knowledge base to help or call upon by the pro-SE miner plaintiff or miner defendant to proceed step by step within such court proceedings would be a great thing for the small miners as a resource to have in their bag of artillery in the fight if need be.
Since miners are not usually listed as a business I don’t think an attorney is required  but if you’re listed as a business I think you have to have an attorney or the case can be thrown out and or you even loose just on that point alone that you don't have an attorney to represent you.

A panel of experienced miners in the court room could very well help lead to more positive outcomes or verdicts in mining right cases which could further set a stronger precedent and “theme” for future court filings over miner rights.
Also, when you file mining paperwork with the county for claims or the state for permits or for whatever reason what would happen if you just put “Acknowledgement only” by your signature?  

I imagine they do no scrutinize the paperwork that closely and just file it away and only pull the paperwork out when they have some sort of agenda which the statute of limitation may have already elapsed before they figured out you only agreed to reading the information but have not agreed to or with the content.

Well it sounds good and I gave thought to the same scenario.  Woof and others may have insight that requires careful innerpersonal thought.  There is possible justificatiion for keeping the "power of miners" issue from opponents that want to destroy that very same power.  Like playing poker...why announce what is in your hand to those who want to defeat you at the table.  


The fact of the matter is, the power held by miners CANNOT be destroyed through traditional means.

Do you know how long there has been a movement to amend and even to outright lay waste to the Act of 1872? Longer than any of us have probably been alive.

This is a GRANT from Congress. It is permanent. (Study Fletcher v. Peck). The only way to get rid of it would be to destroy the grantor or to attempt to bog it down with administrative policies that might be construed as having amended it. This game goes so far that I know many miners, who when they started out, went to BLM and were told "That 1872 Mining Act ... that doesn't exist anymore."

Another way to limit the power of the miner is to convince them that they have no rights, that they have no power and to convince miners that those who say otherwise are "crazy" or "troublemakers". I have seen this MANY times on some forums.

Believe me, our enemies fully understand that miners have rights and powers. It is no secret among them and they will often use this in propoganda to the public and say "Well, under the 1872 Act, mining is the highest use of public land. We have to do something to get rid of this! Please contribute some money to our fund to help do this so they will not kill the last precious 23 legged ant!."

But do you know what those same enviros tell miners, especially NEW miners? They say "You are being lied to. You have no rights."

This is the game they are playing and it WORKS.

Now this is not to say that when you are fully engaged in the battle that you show all your cards.

That said, we have lots of tools available to us and these are tools that are within EVERY miner. Every miner needs to learn that those tools not only exist, but also their basic use.

for some reason I like your montana's one post...I believe there are some of what you are saying about a "panel" happening with the SWOMA group...and 1866 volunteered to help out montana
Gold patriot first brought up the topic of a war chest and I beleive his point was that if there are wrongs being committed and the miner is being impeded, wronged and his time wasted by the agency, and if all is needed to beat it in court is the grant(If no permit,poo etc was gotten) then why not countersue the agency and make them pay for the wasted time and BS that had to be gone through to beat it.....I dont know, pain and suffering, lost wages etc.. and if there was a miners lawyer, hopefully he worked under you win you pay....Just wanted to throw that back out there.....
back to growing our own attorneys and or judges..Theres gotta be a prospecting attorney out there somewhere...Heck, MEG, WOOF, 1866,  and the boys down south (from me)could educate that lawyer lickity split...

Personally, I believe that the recent decision in the Edgar case illustrates just how correct a lot of us have been about the subject of lawsuits.

In this case, Edgar did not take on the agency. He took on one of their employees who had painted themselves into a corner and proceeded to bag himself a District Ranger. We have been suggesting this methodology for a couple of years now and now it has come to a fruition.

This is a HUGE case, especially in light of the fact that Edgar was actually under the agency jurisdiction and yet he still prevailed.

Ultimately, the lesson here is not to take on the agency, but to take on their employees. The fact is, it's very difficult to fight the government head on. You can however, fight their employees when they run violate you.

1866 did not direct you to Fletcher v. Peck for your entertainment. An understanding of the principles involved there are essential to the understanding of the nature of a Grant.

Fletcher v. Peck explains why when others say that the Mining Acts forming the Mineral Estate Grant are just old law that has been left behind with newer laws now in effect they are dead wrong. Grants are not made and then modified or repealed.

Here is Fletcher v. Peck:

Although this case was heard in 1810 it is still taught in law schools today as stating several of the most important principles of law in this country. It was the first and probably the most important Article 10 case ever heard by the Supreme Court.

And here is just a small taste of why this case is so important.
From the Supreme Court of the United States:

The Supreme Court in Fletcher v. Peck wrote:
"When a law is in the nature of a contract, when absolute rights have vested under that contract, a repeal of the law cannot devest those rights.

A party to a contract cannot pronounce its own deed invalid, although that party be a sovereign State. A grant is a contract executed.

A law annulling conveyances is unconstitutional because it is a law impairing the obligation of contracts within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States."

We've been telling you this is a powerful Grant and that it is still intact. Fletcher v. Peck is just one example of that power and why, by law, it is still in effect.


Exactly, my point, Woof.

Once miners study Fletcher v. Peck, they will realize that there are Constitutional protections for this (and any other) grant.

Any public grant, that is, one made between a government and its people, is a contractual obligation that CANNOT be abrogated.

Additionally, it is protected by the Contract Clause of the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 10).

This specifically states:

"No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility."

Read that very closely and think about all those permits, licenses, administrative policies, etc. that impair your mining rights.

As you all know, the United States Constitution is the Law of the Land in this country and all other laws (state or otherwise) must conform to it to be lawful.

Well that clears up my biggest question:  The mining Acts have been amended.....So I was thinking they could be ammended to favor reducing their authority, as opposed to strengthening it.   I mean every time I read an Act it was ammending the main act of 1866, and the main act of 1866 was a strengthening of the rules, practices and customs of previous mining activities.  Then of course there is good old Peter Defozio who has been wanting to change the Mining Laws for a long time.  So I thought they could be ammended and weakend.  I am still struggling with the issue (some) Fed authority being transferred/conveyed to States.

I will go back and read F vs P and see if I can follow thru it.


Just because Defazio wants to change the Mining Law, doesn't mean he can.

Historically, there have been a lot of Congressional Acts, as well as administrative policies that APPEAR to change the 1872 Act and are often claimed to have changed something.

The biggest problem with this idea is that there always appears to be a savings clause in the language. But you must KNOW the proper language of the Mining Law to see the savings clause. Even law makers like Defazio, attorneys, judges, agencies, etc. don't know the proper language.

i fully understand what you guys are saying and I am not trying to beat a dead horse or whatever that saying is, but, then isnt the individual employee of the "agency" personally libal for impeding mining, which is his way of making a living? And to go a bit further...the employee represents the agency so is the "agency" then libal
Again, I fully understand the power of the acts...
Im talking above and beyond...I believe GP's point was that making them pay might stop some of the illegal activities and bending of the mining employees of the agencies..
And if I misunderstood your arguement GP, please chime in
Cannot remember how to spell libal, libel,lible...whatever Laughing


I don’t think that 1866 or woof are interested in stopping the never ending harassment of miners, and if I understand (and I certainly do) their legal premise, they avoid everything but the mining law as they proclaim it.  

I am NOT discounting in any way, the importance of the mining laws that are carved from stone, but equally, there are other measures in the law that would give not only added protection, but would extend that protection beyond the mining law.

Woof and 1866 both indicate that they have had success in dealing with the agencies that have stepped on the rights of the miner and claim owners.  I do not question those claims.  But I too have had success, long before either of them defended their first case.  But unlike them, I took the fight directly to the top three abusing agencies, USFS, BLM and the DEQ and won.  Unlike them, my win resulted in real reductions in harassment for miners in Oregon, not a few solitary benefits for few individual miners. I do not mention these facts as to demean anyone, rather I use it as an example that there are many ways to skin the cat.  I believe it important that miners not only learn the mining laws and other legal options, but how to think through the problems that are created by these rogue agencies and other special interests.  

When I have attempted to demonstrate that there are several different, but connected legal options, woof has had a hissey-fit.  Not once, but now twice.  He claims that miners get confused if they are taught to think.  I disagree.  I can name any number of members on this site and on the GPAA site that not only want to learn the mining laws and other options that are available to protect their rights, liberties and property, but they are not opposed at all, to “thinking”.  Now it may come to a shock to some, but miners are not idiots either, for if they were, they wouldn’t waste their limited time on this site or the GPAA site.  

Frankly I am more than encouraged by the probing questions and the desire to learn that our members have shown.  They are engaged and hungry for every piece of legal information that we can provide. Be clear, the lessons that 1866 and woof are providing is excellent.  It is the limits to accurate and tested legal answers or innocent and probing questions, that some would demand to be dismissed, that gives me distress.  

You will notice that I have not deemed it important to insert my personal comments in the “Classroom”, as there is no real reason.  1866 and woof have presented the law extremely well and the probing questions and answers have been consistent with the Homework assignments.  As such, I think I can speak for the vast majority of member for both sites, that we sincerely thank them for their time, effort and willingness to share their knowledge with those that seek it.  Both of these folks have devoted untold hours in researching, reading and understanding these mining laws and for that effort, all miners now have the ability to benefit from those sacrifices and efforts.  

I would in closing, remind all members and Instructors that excepting only the “Classroom”, we want and need a vigorous debate and exchange of how to employ the mining laws and how they may be layered with other associated laws, for the ultimate benefit of all miners.  None of the Instructors, including myself, know every law and every legal option to stop the abuse of the agencies and special interests.  But it is clear, that continuing attempts by these groups, harms not only miners, but claim owners, suppliers and manufacturers and MUST be dealt with.  This the sole reason I created this forum.

And I am Deeply Gratful to All involved in this forum.


The U.S. Court of Appeal for the Ninth District has upheld in its entirety the 1872 Mining Laws. In the case of USA vs. Shumway, opinion filed 12/28/1999, regarding mining claims and mill site claims, Judge Kleinfeld has ruled that the mining law is still in effect.

He states in section 14938 "...the Forest Service may regulate use of National Forest lands by holders of unpatented mining claims... but only to the extent that the regulations are 'reasonable' and do not impermissibly encroach on legitimate use incident to mining and mill site claims. Congress has refused to repeal the Mining Law of 1872. ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES LACK AUTHORITY EFFECTIVELY TO REPEAL THE STATUTE BY REGULATIONS."

Other highlights of this ruling state: Sec 14923: "Despite much contemporary hostility to the Mining Law of 1872 and high level political pressure by influential individuals and organizations for its repeal, all repeal efforts have failed, and it remains the law."

"The locators of all mining long as they comply with the laws...shall have the EXCLUSIVE right of possession and enjoyment of ALL surface located within the lines of their location..."

Sec 14925: "In law, the word 'claim' in connection with the phrase "mining claim" represents a federally recognized right in real property. The Supreme Court has established that a mining 'claim' is not a claim in the ordinary sense of the word, but rather is a property interest, which is itself real property in every sense..." "The court held that the unpatented 'title of a locator' is "property in the fullest sense of the word."

Sec 14927: "When the location of a mining claim is perfected under the law, it has the effect of a grant by the United States of the right of PRESENT AND EXCLUSIVE POSSESSION. The claim is property in the fullest sense of the term."

In ruling on the 1955 Multiple Use Act:

Sec 14927 and 14928: "Mining claims located after the effective date of the 1955 Act are a right of the United States to manage surface resources for the government and whomever it permits to do so to use the surface, SO LONG AS THEY DO NOT ENDANGER OR MATERIALLY INTERFERE WITH PROSPECTING, MINING, OR PROCESSING."

Sec 14936: "The Multiple Use Act empowers the Forest Service to regulate NON-MINING activity upon mining claims, so long as the non-mining activity DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH MINING ACTIVITIES..."

Sec 14928 and 14929: " unpatented mining claim remains a fully recognized possessory interest and that FEDERAL MINING CLAIMS ARE PRIVATE PROPERTY WHICH ENJOY THE FULL PROTECTION OF THE FIFTH AMENDMENT."

Sec 14931: The owner of a mining claim owns property, and IS NOT A MERE SOCIAL GUEST OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR..."

To reiterate:



Here is a link to the whole finding of the appeal (thanks hefty for the post)

The only flaw in this decision is that the judge seems to assume that USFS has some sort of authority, when in fact they do not. When the Forest Reserve System (later known as National Forest System) was set up, miners were to be specifically regarded as inholders and their claims were not to be included in the Forest Reserve. You can see this in a lot of the Congressional Hearings and court cases of the period of 1905 to 1910. I do not believe that Shumway was aware of this fact, which explains why it never seem to have come up in this case.

That said, even if you don't consider this fact at all, you can see that USFS authority is nil and that the Grant retains immense power.

I read that error in the decision as well, and just posted on the GPAA forum my concern with a part of the decision as well.  I am not sure I could have achieved the desired outcome as posted/considered by 1866, and probably some others as well, but I would hope that a day comes when I have enough understanding to argue the issue; should it ever come before me.  But the more I read and study the more I find such comments earlier stated about the 1810 case shows I have a long way to go yet.

bejay Forum Index -> COURTS & CASE LAW
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum