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Miners Will Do Battle With Bureau of Land Management
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There have been many questions about rumors of a battle brewing between the Bureau of Land Management and several miners within the Galice Mining District. While we cannot yet divulge any fine details (and ultimately must keep legal tactics completely private), at this time, we can confirm the following:
1. BLM recently (3/18/15) issued two Stop Orders on a mine, citing authority under their 3809 regulations, despite the fact that this is one of the oldest active claims in the country. The location date of this mine is so old that one of the location notices (the legal title to the mine) was actually first recorded in the original Galice Mining District Recorder's book in 1876 and then later transcribed into the Josephine County Clerk's records once the county assumed recording duties. Under the 1955 Surface Resources Act, claims of this age have exclusive surface rights unless the Department of Interior utilized a mechanism outlined in that Act to severe those surface rights. Demands to BLM to produce evidence of their surface authority in accordance to the 1955 Act have thus far garnered only "because we say so" answers and numerous stonewalling tactics. The Stop Orders came after several months of back and forth maneuvering from both sides, and are clearly retaliatory in nature.
2. BLM are in active violation, on multiple counts, of federal Freedom of Information Act statutes. (By contrast, certain mine records in the possession of the State of Oregon have been provided in a prompt and professional fashion when requested). Similar documents secured by another miner have appeared to have been "heavily parsed" of key file documents, raising suspicion that BLM is either actively suppressing the release of documents that could be very damning or has been actively destroying documents which they are obligated under Federal Law to maintain and provide on request. One of the BLM employees suspected of parsing the records in question has apparently left BLM in the last few days.
3. What few documents have been produced by BLM to date (many of which are in no way very legible) have displayed a long history of non-compliance with federal and state laws, as well as their own regulations, as well as instances of suspected forgery, fraud, extortion of real estate and other issues that suggest a well organized conspiracy that divested thousands of miners and others of their property rights, which in turn has allowed the BLM and the USFS to exercise ruthless control over the entire Public Domain of the Far West, including rights of ingress and egress.
4. A BLM mineral tech involved in this case remarked (4/8/15) to the attorney who is handling this case that he is aware that the BLM position is not "open and shut" and is proceeding on shaky ground. Ultimately, BLM's attack on the mine is a rolling of dice in the hope that they can get their way opposed to anything grounded in reality.
Where is this all headed?
This case is headed in a direction that presents what is probably a once-in-a-generation prime opportunity to strike at the heart of the very surface management authority of the DOI and USDA and to restore the "as patent" rights of every mining claim owner in the United States by striking down the actual source of that intrusive authority.
Regardless, we intend to take BLM fully to task and will not feel sorry for any civil or criminal consequences that may be leveled upon any BLM employees who are found to be negligent of wrong doing. We are actively pursuing these individuals through a wide range of tactics with the intent to reign in these wrong doers.
At this early stage, approximately $10,000 and countless hours have been expended on research and related fees in regards to this case, which could have far reaching benefits to every miner in the country. Thus far, this effort has been taken on by several miners who have sacrificed their personal funds and their personal time to the cause. The claim owners have since retained attorney James Dole, who has successfully defeated BLM in court on numerous mining issues.
Considerably more work must be done on this case and many more records must be obtained to expose this issue on a wider level.
For those who would like to contribute to the cause of unraveling BLM's surface authority, please make a donation below. Even small amounts help!
Thank you for your consideration.
~ Executive Committee;
Galice Mining District
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