Galice Mining District's Notice To Roseburg BLM Regarding White Castle Protestors

Dear Ms. Jossie and Ms. Symons,
 
I am writing you in regards to the recent "protesters" who recently abandoned their tree stands at the White Castle Timber Sale in the Roseburg BLM District. Thankfully, these people have been rousted from their tree stands and hopefully, the timber sale will proceed as planned. I am also forwarding this e-mail to Mr. Dwes Hutson at Douglas County Sheriff's Office which is currently investigating the site.
 
While I appreciate that Roseburg BLM respects the 1st Amendment right to gather and protest, it appears to me, that in addition to leaving inordinate amounts of rubbish behind (43 CFR 8365.1-1), that the protesters at White Castle also engaged in illegal occupancy and use of public lands as defined in 43 CFR § 8365.1-2. As you know, while the public has the right to organize protests, there are still certain rules which must be followed on Public Lands.
 
As you are certainly aware, in the past, BLM has actively pursued and successfully prosecuted numerous miners for illegal use and occupancy under your 3809 provisions for having occupied or for having established a residence or for having engaged in "plan level" operations upon their mining claims that might cause a significant disturbance without BLM approval. This is in spite of the fact that these miners own and maintain a unique form of estate (the only type found upon public lands in this region), that the laws of this country have recognized is protected under the 5th Amendment and which miners, the courts of this country have recognized are not "mere social guests" upon their claims. As you know, bonafide prospectors and miners are the only "user group" among the public who are not considered mere permitees or licensees upon the Federal Estate, so long as they do not cause a significant disturbance of surface resources,  Congress having granted them with certain self initiating rights. As you will recall, Ms. Symons, you spoke at several miner's meetings at Pottsville near Merlin while you were appointed to the Medford District several years ago, wherein you discussed these 3809 requirements. From a personal standpoint, I do not disagree with your agency's interpretation of those provisions where claims are subject to BLM Surface Management are concerned (ie. those subject to provisions of 30 USC 612), and more effort needs to be made for the miners and BLM to work together to further the development of locatable minerals in SW Oregon.
 
However, in light of the above facts, I am requesting that your office apply equal treatment to those who illegally used and occupied public lands at the White Castle Timber Sale in the name of trying to unlawfully interfere with a timber sale that is federally required by the provisions of the 1937 O & C Act. It appears to me that these individuals, several of whom were identified as Josh Eng (aka. "Turtle"), age 29 and a native of Pennsylvania; Brian Garcia, age 34; Kate Armstrong, Age 21 and a student at the University of Oregon; along with their self described "organizer", Mary Grace Brogan, did knowingly occupy Public Lands without authorization, constructed structures from native surface resources in the guise of protective shelters without a Plan of Operation or other special authorization, did leave refuse on public lands, as well as personal property, according to press releases from the Douglas County Sheriffs Office and other media reports. While it appears that as many as 30 individuals associated with Cascadia Forest Defenders engaged in this activity, only the above four were identified by media or CFD's own published information as having taken part. According to Earth Fix, as of December 17th, 2013, Jason Eng had spent nine weeks at White Castle, which certainly exceeds the allowed 14 day camping period for the public. I am attaching copies of this material (pdf format).
 
There is also additional info to be found at:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VukPXLzSACg

http://earthfix.opb.org/land/article/tree-sitters-dont-buy-logging-designed-to-mimic-na/
 
It is my hope that BLM is not merely applying their surface management regulations in an arbitrary manner and instead see the clear need for the enforcement of these "use provisions" equally across the board. We miners request that these individuals are prosecuted to the fullest extent of both federal and state laws regarding this matter.
 

Regards,
 
Kerby Jackson 
Recorder - Galice Mining District
 

Note: A prompt response was received from Ms. Jossie who stated that she had forwarded our letter to Roseburg BLM's law enforcement supervisor.