Garrett Electronics - trusted by real miners & prospectors!

Magazine

PLP and Mining Districts

PLP Update

The extreme fires in California, Oregon and Washington, along with fires in other Western States, have obviously been tragic, not only for the loss of life and property, but for the fact that the risk could have been drastically reduced by active forest management practices such as managed logging, clearing of underbrush, removal of dead and dying trees, controlled burns and maintenance of roads. As I write this, fires in 2020 have consumed 3.6 million acres in California, over 1 million acres burned in Oregon, and Washington State is approaching 750,000 acres lost.

Like many of you, Public Lands for the People (PLP) board members were faced with statewide Forest Service closures of all National Forests in California during the recent spate of wildfires.

The Code of Federal Regulations specificifies who is exempt from closure orders. Section 36 CFR § 261.50(e) states:

An order may exempt any of the following persons from any of the prohibitions contained in the order:
(1) Persons with a permit specifically authorizing the otherwise prohibited act or omission.
(2) Owners or lessees of land in the area;
(3) Residents in the area;
(4) Any Federal, State, or local officer, or member of an organized rescue or fire fighting force in the performance of an official duty; and
(5) Persons engaged in a business, trade, or occupation in the area.
(6) Any other person meeting exemption requirements specified in the order.

We wanted to take this opportunity to point out that claimholders are considered private property landowners under the law.

PLP northern director Clark Pearson stated, “Thanks to the U.S. v. Hicks case, the courts have acknowledged that claimholders are owners of land within the National Forest who are exempt.”

Pearson recommends having a copy of your mining claim filing papers and a copy of the U.S. v. Hicks case with you if you are heading into a safe but closed area so you can politely present these items to law enforcement or Forest Service personnel if neede.

In this court case from 2002, Hicks was convicted in the US District Court for the District of Montana for operating a vehicle (motorcycle) in an area of the National Forest closed to motor vehicles by a Forest Service closure order. Hicks appealed, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals found that Hicks was acting as an agent or employee of a corporation that owned subsurface mineral rights in the National Forest and was not subject to a Forest Service closure order that exempted landowners. (The case is available online at www.publiclandsforthepeople.com or you can find it by searching for “US v. Hicks No. 01-30146.”)

But let’s be clear: At no time will we advocate heading into any area that could put you in danger or endanger those who might have to come to your rescue. Common sense must prevail.

© ICMJ's Prospecting and Mining Journal, CMJ Inc.
Next Article »« Previous Article

Add a Comment

Additional articles that might interest you...

PLP Update


The changes we are seeking will most definitely help prospectors, small operations and dredgers. If you haven’t yet read our proposals, you’ll find a link to it at the end of the online version of this article.

PLP Update


PLP northern director Clark Pearson stated, “Thanks to the U.S. v. Hicks case, the courts have acknowledged that claimholders are owners of land within the National Forest who are exempt.”

MMAC Update


If you are a claimholder and your Mining District is in disarray, it’s time to join MMAC and get on board so your district can benefit from these changes as they are implemented.

MMAC & PLP Update


We are quite pleased to report there are some courageous miners who have taken the time to learn their rights and have gone back to dredging while knowing they could be unlawfully harassed at any time by law enforcement…

MMAC Update


This is the third trip MMAC has made to DC this year, so some of the congressional staff members are gaining a better understanding of the current problems miners face and how MMAC-assisted Mining Districts can alleviate those problems.

PLP Update


I admit I was sitting on pins and needles, waiting to see if President Trump would sign the proposed Executive Order we presented with Public Lands for the People (PLP) prior to the expiration of his term in office.

PLP Update


We’ve built up some contacts in DC during our trips there over the past four years, and we believe we finally have the correct contacts who can get this petition reviewed by the proper people.

Subscription Required:
The Bawl Mill   • Ask The Experts - Too early to build the crusher?   • Ask The Experts - Time for small mine exemptions   • Ask The Experts - Should I be checking the culverts for gold?   • Sniping for Gold—The Next Best Thing to Dredging   • Hard Rock 101: Advanced Micro Blasting   • Now Is The Time For Exploration   • Gold in Unlikely Places—And 'Eating Crow'   • From Iowa to Alaska—How I Became A Gold Miner   • Jamestown and Our Mother Lode Gold Rush Adventures   • Why Assaying Placer Gold Deposits Doesn't Work   • Gold Prospecting for Better or Worse: Those Blasted Boulders!   • Melman on Gold & Silver   • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices

Free:

Advertisements

Precious Metals Recovery plants and equipment
Fighting to keep public lands open to the public
Specializing in the processing of precious metal ores!
Watch prospecting shows on your computer right now
Free Online Sample Issue