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Mining Law

1872 Mining Law Summary

CFR 3809--Mining Claims Under The General Mining Laws

Useful Court Cases

  • US vs. McClure (.pdf) February 2, 2005. The Forest Service cited the miner for "use or occupancy of national forest system land without special use authorization. (Case reviewed in the March 2005 issue.)
  • US vs. Lex & Waggener (.pdf) May 2003. The Forest Service cited the miners for "taking possession of, occupying, or otherwise using National Forest System lands for residential purposes without a special-use authorization, or as otherwise authorized by Federal law or regulation." (Case reviewed in the January 2004 issue.)
  • US vs. Steve Hicks (.pdf) January 2009. The miner was inviting individuals, groups and tourists to his mining claim, where, for a fee, he would teach them how to pan for gold. The Forest Service cited the miner for failing to obtain special-use authorization.
  • South Dakota Mining Association v. Lawrence County (.pdf) September 1998. Lawrence County passed an ordinance prohibiting issuance of any new or amended permits for surface metal mining.
  • State of Wyoming & Colorado Mining Association v. United States Department of Agriculture (.pdf) August 2008. Judge Clarence A. Brimmer rules that the Clinton-era Roadless Rule is invalid.

Other Recent Court Cases

  • June 1, 2012 Karuk Tribe of California v. US Forest Service. 9th Circuit reverses prior judgement, rules Forest Service must consult with wildlife agencies prior to approving a Notice of Intent for mining under section 7 of the Endangered Species Act when the activity may affect critical habitat for threatened/endangered species.

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