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Hello everyone. I'm new here. Picked it up from GPAA forum. Anyway, I'm planing an extended gold prospecting trip to the SW Oregon area (traveling from Texas). As I prepare I read horror stories about how the feds (USFS) are working in disregard to mining laws (outside of their jurisdiction is what some say); against miners who are following the laws. It appears as if they've created rules, regulations and policies (red tape) that make it nearly impossible to... well, follow the law; all for the sake of the environment is how it appears. My concern (with the goal of staking out a placer claim) is that I would lay out a "lot" of money for this trip only to have obstacles thrown in my way with each step I take. Like walking through a mine field. Is it that bad out there (in general) for the small-scale miner or are they targeting medium to large-scale miners? Many of the feds are not educated about the law and if my plans are "tyrannically" interrupted I, unfortunately, won't have the time or money to fight it. My time and money is intended for gold prospecting! What are the chances, these days, of me being able to prospect in peace, stake a claim (when gold is discovered) and occupy the claim (all which are legal) without hiring a team of lawyers or spending months or years fighting for my rights? Are miners still achieving those steps on a consistent basis or is it just the luck of the draw (fell through the cracks)? Just trying too gauge the risk factor. Prospecting through the wilderness (Siskiyou National Forest) is risky enough without having to worry about crooked feds and forest rangers.


The vast majority of miners have few problems with the authorities, providing you stay within the mineral rights laws and know your mining law.  While there are rogue agents from the BLM, Forrest Service and DEQ, you should be more concerned with not shooting yourself in the foot, by signing documents that strip you of the protection of the 1872 mineral rights law, or operate with bad practices.  

Miner‘s are under attack, not only in Oregon, but in all the western states, including Alaska.  But most miners, while fairly knowledgeable in mining, haven‘t the faintest clue as to the mineral estate laws.

Unfortunately for miners, we are targeted, not for what we do, nor the wealth we create, but because of what we represent.. Liberty and freedom.  Having perhaps the most corrupt administration and agencies in the history of our country, only means that their actions are designed to have miners give up and go home.  That concept ain‘t workin and it never will.  

You have already taken the first bold step.. By the desire to learn the truth about the mining laws and joining others that now have seen the light.  We have members that have mined for 30 and 40 years, but never knew what the real mining laws were.  Now they do and they are the most vocal.  One great example would be beebarjay, a friend of mine and a member of this forum.  Read his posts… and yes.. He has seen the light and he ain‘t happy with the lies he was told by the different agencies he‘s had to deal with. Now he KNOWS the truth.. And so will you, if you continue to study and learn.

And by the way, “Welcome Aboard”!!!!

.I would suggest that you visit our “Video” section and watch the 12 part series.  It is a great example of how to lose your rights, not knowing what the real law is and how NOT to run a claim.

Our Instructors, which are miners themselves, are a bit busy right now, but classes will resume shortly.  In the mean time, you can catch up on the lessons and askany question you need to.  We may be a bit slow, but we’ll get back to you.


I would offer the following for your consideration.  Ifyou want to come out ansd mine, and file and locate a claim you can do so with little effort in Oregon.  You can go work it and read the rules and regs and be a small scale miner.  I doubt if anyone will challenge you as long as you are within the rules of the permits.  I have hardly ever seen an agent of some authority.  You have the right to mine your claim, you have the right to explore and extract minerals of value of open public lands.  

You could copy much of the info I have posted on the GPAA Forum and even this forum.  The postings are current law regarding your right to mine.  If or should you be approached by an authority you can present the info and have somne discussion.  At that point you can make a determination as to how you want to proceed.

There is a possibility that you could get cited.  But no one has ever asked to see any permits in the 33 years I have been dredging.  I have had one visit by the authorities regarding something my mining partner did that the USFS did nopt like.  But they wanted to talk and see the issue resovled.

Be smart and wise and comfortable knowing the laws.  Not just the permits.  The mining laws and their (USFS) laws are well laid out. If I get a chance I will post them to you.  Go to the GPAA forum and find my posts.


This is something I would carry and have while on a claim:

Current Mining Law;

Per the "United States Code"

The following text contains laws in effect on Jan 7th it is current law....not old stuff.

But really it is as it is verbatum of the 1872 Mining Law.

§26. Locators’ rights of possession and enjoyment

The locators of all mining locations made on any mineral vein, lode, or ledge, situated on the public domain, their heirs and assigns, where no adverse claim existed on the 10th day of May 1872 so long as they comply with the laws of the United States, and with State, territorial, and local regulations not in conflict with the laws of the United States governing their possessory title, shall have the exclusive right of possession and enjoyment of all the surface included within the lines of their locations, and of all veins, lodes, and ledges throughout their entire depth, the top or apex of which lies inside of such surface lines extended downward vertically, although such veins, lodes, or ledges may so far depart from a perpendicular in their course downward as to extend outside the vertical side lines of such surface locations. But their right of possession to such outside parts of such veins or ledges shall be confined to such portions thereof as lie between vertical planes drawn downward as above described, through the end lines of their locations, so continued in their own direction that such planes will intersect such exterior parts of such veins or ledges. Nothing in this section shall authorize the locator or possessor of a vein or lode which extends in its downward course beyond the vertical lines of his claim to enter upon the surface of a claim owned or possessed by another.

(R.S. §2322.)

§35. Placer claims; entry and proceedings for patent under provisions applicable to vein or lode claims; conforming entry to legal subdivisions and surveys; limitation of claims; homestead entry of segregated agricultural land

Claims usually called “placers,” including all forms of deposit, excepting veins of quartz, or other rock in place, shall be subject to entry and patent, under like circumstances and conditions, and upon similar proceedings, as are provided for vein or lode claims; but where the lands have been previously surveyed by the United States, the entry in its exterior limits shall conform to the legal subdivisions of the public lands. And where placer claims are upon surveyed lands, and conform to legal subdivisions, no further survey or plat shall be required, and all placer-mining claims located after the 10th day of May 1872, shall conform as near as practicable with the United States system of public-land surveys, and the rectangular subdivisions of such surveys, and no such location shall include more than twenty acres for each individual claimant; but where placer claims cannot be conformed to legal subdivisions, survey and plat shall be made as on unsurveyed lands; and where by the segregation of mineral land in any legal subdivision a quantity of agricultural land less than forty acres remains, such fractional portion of agricultural land may be entered by any party qualified by law, for homestead purposes.

(R.S. §§2329, 2331; Mar. 3, 1891, ch. 561, §4, 26 Stat. 1097.)

Amazing stuff.  And if you apply the words of "Public Domain" it excludes USFS and BLM authority.

But then lets look at where the USFS and BLM gettheir authority ...FLPMA.....and see what it says:

Consider this as well:

Where both the Forest Service and the BLM are required to adhere the congressional public land management man

date of the Federal Land Management Policy Act, FLPMA, which expressly states at 43 USC 1732 (b), that, “.

. . no

provision of this section or any other section of this Act shall in any way amend the Mining Law of 1872 or

impair the rights of any locators or claims under that Act, including, but not limited to, rights of ingress and


any assertion of federal authority by agency, such as the BLM or the Forest Service, impairing, obstructing

or closing access against, or managing the surface of Locatable mineral deposit property on public domain

in-holding the public land, or otherwise interfering in any way is committed contrary to the laws of the United States

of America, a breach of fiduciary duty, and an intentional and negligent trust tort.

{Now just how do they think they have power over any miner who exists under the Mineral Estate Grant on the public domain?}

Puiblic Domain is not Public Land.  The miner enters public lands and as soon as he begins to prospect and search for gold or other valuable minerals the Public Land he entered becomes "HIS" Public Domain.  

But of course a miner can throw away this aspect of the law and agree to accept and acquire a permit from an agency and remove himself from the "Public Domain" Mineral Estate Grant and stay on the Public Lands which are under the authoritative rule of the USFS, BLM and other agencies wanting a piece of the miner.

Originally posted by The Supreme Court in Fletcher v. Peck

"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."

Thanks for the info. It's a good idea to pack the law but the only thing is, relating to my original concern (but have been VERY encouraged by the relies here), that what's stated in the "Placer Claim" section (...shall be subject to entry and patent...) has been repealed (the patent part). How many amendments have been made to the mining law of 1872? I've read it thoroughly, a few times, but wonder about the changes. Is there one place I can go to see and remain posted of amendments? Again, because of the recent replies, I feel reassured that I won't be harassed every step of the way; but because there are guarantees, if it were to happen, it seems like (after reading the testimony of others) that knowing the law will do little good unless I'm willing to spend much time and money in court fighting for what I "KNOW" is right. Then again, now that I think about it, based on recent forum study, most if not all of these folks (who are fighting for their rights) entered into various agreements (Plan Of Operation for example) with the government which compromised their original "free" position. This is all starting to come together. Slow but sure.  Smile

That is correct on this forum what is required before you need to file a poo.I believe woof originally posted it...Most people just believe the agency that they need a poo,noi,permit and then as you said, they are under regulattion and therefore give up the rights under the grant...The stay of the patent does nothiung except not allow you to get your claim patented..It is still yours without a patent..Many of the regulations or new "laws" include a "disclaimer" stating they in no way change or amend the original acts except the flpma here:
The House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs described this provision somewhat more emphatically when it stated:

The section specifies that no provision of the Mining Law of 1872 will be amended or altered bv this legislation except:
1 as provided in section 207 (recordation of mining claims),
2 subsection 401 (f) (regulation of mining in the California desert), 3 section 311 (wilderness review areas and wilderness areas),
4 and except for the fact that the Secretary of the Interior is given specific authority, by regulation or otherwise, to provide that prospecting and mining under the Mining Law will not result in unnecessary or undue degradation of the public lands. The Secretary is granted general authority to prevent such degradation.
read ths thread:

English welcome aboard, btw the patent process hasn't been repealed NOTE: Since October 1, 1994, Congress has imposed a budget moratorium on BLM acceptance of any new mineral patent applications. Until the moratorium is lifted, no new applications may be accepted by the BLM.

When the moratorium is lifted heres a link on how to file a patent (what you must do)


Very good input so far. Thanks! I have a LOT of homework to do. This is exciting! Glad I discovered this forum.

Here is an actual case presented on the GPAA forum by Mineral Estate Grantee (MEG)

While down in the Rogue River, at ENNIS RIFFLE this last Sunday (09/13), a couple of us MEGs with a Mineral Exploration Machine had our first encounter with a couple Sheriff/BLM? Deputies with an apparent intent to get us to admit we were committing a crime of “dredging” in the wild and scenic “corridor”.  

We informed them we were not dredging and in fact it was them committing a crime by interfering with our mineral exploration work. When asked to show their authority and jurisdiction expressed in the Grant (a copy of which we carry and handed them), neither produced any. It took a bit of educating them to the fact they were mischaracterizing our work tools and what we were in fact doing was what is authorized under the Grant of 1866. Hal, after repeated attempts of one of the Deputies to get us to admit to his assertions of dredging, told the deputy if his report or any subsequent citation issued were to indicate any different then what we explained to them we were actually doing (asserting our Rights under the Grant to the locatable minerals) would be a fraud.

We went back to work and they left. A “Victory” for us in standing up for our Rights and Entitlements??? We’ll see.

1866 Grant of Locatable Minerals to all citizens of the United States, and those who have declared their intention to become citizens. See the Law page.
Oh, by the way, we got our first real sizable piece of gold; 7/16 long by 16teenth through…and a few smaller pieces as well.

MEG…Hal’s defacto publicist

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