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Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 1:51 pm
by MMM
With all due respect, Jim, I have personal experience with the BLM and mining claims. While this is not exactly directly related to the topic, it is because the BLM controls public land uses. My father had a viable quartz claim which could be traced back over 100 years of continual operation. In that time all assesment work was done on time and fees were paid. The BLM decided to do a "mineral survey" and decided that even though we had recipts of quartz sales and customers, the BLM declaired the claim invalid and attempted to charge my father with criminal tresspass and unlawfull mining. He died before he was served. Tha mine is now empty. Now the mine was on forest service lands. The forest service said they control only surface resources. The BLM controls all mineral resources.

Therefore, with all due respect to the topic of the thread, you WILL encounter the BLM on any attempted claim on any wilderness area. I can search case law for rulings against people who attempted to file claims in wilderness. So far, to my knowledge, the BLM has won 100% of all cases and the people who tried to post a claim had major fines and penilities levied against them. My advise, if you find a viable mineral deposit on wilderness, high grade it. Leave no trace of who was there. Go at random times. I know it is harsh, but the rules are set against us.

Jim I do not mean to say anything against the topic, but here is what the BLM says. ... erals.html

Mineral materials are some of our most basic natural resources, such as sand, gravel, dirt, and rock, used in every day building, and other construction uses. These materials generally are bulky and have low unit price. Their sheer weight makes their transportation costs very high. Adequate local supplies of these basic resources are vital to economic life of any community. BLM's policy is to make these materials available to the public and local governmental agencies whenever possible and wherever environmentally acceptable.

BLM sells mineral materials to the public at fair market value, but gives them free to states, counties, or other government entities for public projects. Also a limited amount may be provided free to non-profit groups. Materials obtained free of charge cannot be bartered or sold. BLM shares a portion of the revenues from the sale of mineral materials is shared with the state where the minerals are produced.

There is no specific application form for requesting removal of mineral materials from public lands. Persons interested in buying mineral materials should contact the local BLM District or Resource Area office closest to the area of need or closest to the public land where the desired material is found. Regulations which guide BLM's mineral materials program are found in Title 43 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Group 3600. Regulations governing contracts and permits for mineral materials are contained in Title 43 CFR, Subparts 3610 and 3620, respectively.

BLM disposes of mineral materials in conformance with agency land use plans. Anyone removing mineral materials must comply with applicable laws, including the Environmental Protection Act. Use authorization includes National Environmental Protection Act compliance. BLM conducts inspection and production verification to assure compliance with the terms of the contract or permit, and prevention and abatement of unauthorized use.

The BLM is the heavy hitter for public lands management. If you have a ton of cash, I say go and fight them. Good luck.


Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 2:08 pm
by MMM
I would add this to the above post by long posts are difficult to edit. Again, please Jim, I am posting this information to help keep people out of trouble.

More on the BLM. Please, I am only posting this info because if you attempt to mine in wilderness you will encounter the federal policies. ... chure.html

The Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) administers about 264 million acres of land—nearly one-eighth of the United States—mostly in the western states and Alaska. The BLM also administers the mineral estate of nearly 700 million acres throughout the country. The BLM is responsible for the balanced management of the public lands and resources and their various values so that they are considered in a combination that will best serve the needs of the American people. The BLM bases its management on the principles of multiple use and sustained yield—a combination of uses that takes into account the long-term needs of future generations for renewable and nonrenewable resources. These resources include recreation, range, timber, minerals, watershed, fish and wildlife, wilderness, and natural scenic, scientific, and cultural values.

Can I file a mining claim on any Federal land?
No—not all Federal lands are open for mining claims. There are federally administered lands in 19 States where you may locate a mining claim or site: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. In these States, the BLM manages the surface public lands and the Forest Service manages the surface National Forest System lands. Excepting mineral materials,

the BLM is responsible for the minerals on both public lands and National Forest System lands.

Look at what you are doing here Mike. The statement above is 100% correct, but it has nothing to do with Wilderness Areas which are covered by their own separate CFR and have their own separate set of Regulations.


You may prospect and locate claims and sites on lands open to mineral entry. Claims may not be staked in areas closed to mineral entry by a special act of Congress, regulation, or public land order. These areas are withdrawn from the operation of the mining laws.

Areas withdrawn from location of mining claims include National Parks, National Monuments, Indian reservations, most reclamation projects, military reservations, scientific testing areas, most wildlife protection areas (such as Federal wildlife refuges), and lands withdrawn from mineral entry for other reasons. Lands withdrawn for power development may be subject to mining location and entry only under certain conditions. Mining claims may not be located on lands that have been:

designated by Congress as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System,
designated as a wild portion of a Wild and Scenic River, or
withdrawn by Congress for study as a Wild and Scenic River. There is usually a 1/4-mile buffer zone withdrawn from location of mining claims on either side of a river while the river is being studied for inclusion in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.


Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:01 pm
by Jim Hatt

You are getting so far away from the topic, that most of the opening post does not even apply.

I posted the Wilderness Act and a copy of a mining claim that survived after Jan 1, 1984 as an example to show that not all mining claims in the Superstition Wilderness Area were voided as most people believe.

Making an area a Wilderness Area is based on the premise that there is no mineable mineral in it to begin with. Before an area can become a Wilderness Area. The Congress of the United States requires that a Geological Survey be done of the area and it is determined to be void of mineable minerals. It also requires that Annual surveys be performed every year and a report filed to Congress that no mineable mineral exists in the area.

Policies and Procedures that contradict the law that the United States Congress & the President of the United States signed, will not hold up if disputed.

Why do you think they continued to allow Prospecting in Wilderness Areas and specifically stated that It SHALL NOT be prevented?

I have not encouraged anyone to do or not do anything. I have simply provided evidence that some mining claims in the Superstition Mountains did survive the Wilderness Act and continued to operate after Jan 1, 1994, and I made the following statement.

The same requirements of the Law that allowed these mining claims (AND VARIOUS OTHERS) to remain valid after the Superstition Mountains became a Wilderness Area, would apply to any new mining claim requests filed within that area, if an individual could prove that he had located a mineral deposit that could be worked at a profit, subject to the same restrictions that applied to the Milk Ranch claims.

One example would be: : That individual would not be able to drive any heavy equipment over any portion of the Wilderness Area to bring it to his claim and use it to work the claim.

The bottom line is: If someone succeeds in finding the Lost Dutchman Mine or any other rich deposit of Gold in the Superstition Wilderness Area. There is a legal avenue for him to pursue legal ownership of the mineral values contained in it.

How you get from there to what you are talking about I have no idea.

I am open for debate on any of my words or statements which were were included in my first post, and I have copied and pasted in blue above.

I am not going to debate the Policies of the BLM, or the Wilderness Act, or Public Land Use issues with you. There is a completely separate forum on this website dedicated to that topic.

Please restrict your posts in this forum to anything in blue type above.


Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:06 pm
by MMM
I applogise if I was getting off topic. Thank you for not deleting my posts.


Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:18 pm
by Jim Hatt
No problem Mike. I have had the same kind of debate many times over the years with some of my best friends. And we're still friends. :D

I even had a similar discussion with Sen. John McCain on the subject, which is where a lot of my understanding of the Wilderness Act comes from. If you take the Wilderness Act for what it actually says it isn't so bad at all. It's all the lower level Policies and Procedures that totally ignore the INTENT of the Act that are so hard to live with.

If you will read the entire topic at:

You will see a good example of how Policies and Procedures get tossed aside when someone (Sen. John McCain himself) that knows what the Intent of the Wilderness Act is, and does not like to see IT (IMPROPERLY) enforced in any other way.


Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:43 pm
by Guz
Jim Hatt wrote:
Plays In The Dirt wrote:I'm putting my things, pick - shovel - detector - etc. together right now. :D

Thanks for sharing this Jim, I'm sure that it will clear-up any misconceptions people may have.

Greg - (aka - PITD)

Don't gather up too much stuff Greg. You can only carry so much in a backpack, and there are no vehicles allowed in Wilderness Areas. (Even if you were able to establish a valid mining claim in one of them)
IS a Burro considered a vehicle??? :shock:

Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:49 pm
by Jim Hatt
No Sir, Gus!

A Burro is just a Burro. He walks the same as you and me. It just takes him twice as many steps to go the same distance. :lol:

I guess I should have said "Motorized" Vehicles.


Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:07 pm
by Guz
I guess there are night owls in AZ as well as here in the CV... :D

Re: MYTHS AND TRUTHS about Mining in a Wilderness Area

Posted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 3:49 am
by Mytwocents
Jim Hatt wrote:It would be nice if it did Greg, but I am sure there will be some die-hard non-believers that won't accept it.

I started this topic so I would have a place to send people to, when they started arguing that there have been no mining claims in the Superstitions since it became a Wilderness Area, or that if someone found the LDM they couldn't file a claim on it.


P.S. Wasn't it YOU that taught me that CTRL/ROLL/ZOOM trick that can be used in the middle of a post?

Oops! It looks like I may have posted this in the wrong place or in the wrong thread?
What am I supposed to do in such cases, delete it? See below.

Hello Jim and everyone else if your still involved with this thread:

I'm a very late comer to this topic but recently found this site and the topic very interesting. I'm sorry to just but in. At the same time I have a few issues that are nagging at me so I have to get them out there.

I am pasting this right out of the Wilderness Act. It is verbatim with the exception of the blue highlighted text. I didn't change the words, only the color of the text. "Subject to valid rights then existing, effective January 1, 1984, the minerals in lands designated by this Act as wilderness areas are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation under the mining laws and from disposition under all laws pertaining to mineral leasing and all amendments thereto."

I am NOT an attorney. At the same time this statement at first glance says that all minerals in lands designated as wilderness areas are withdrawn from all forms of appropriation (I looked up the definitions of appropriate and I'm going to paraphrase please forgive me. To appropriate something means to: 1. take exclusive possession of, 2. to set apart for or assign to a particular purpose or use, 3. to take or make use of without authority or right) (appropriation means to appropriate) If one goes on those definitions from my Webster's Dictionary one would come to the conclusion that he or she was not to take for oneself any minerals in the land within a designated wilderness area. Right?

It doesn't stop there though and it's not quite that simple, at least not for me and here is why. It starts out saying "Subject to valid rights then existing," That portion is what tells me I can go pick up those minerals and do it legally and with a clear conscience. I am an American born citizen with all inalienable rights of any sovereign according to the Constitution of the United States of America. You know, the supreme law of the land. We all are born with those inalienable rights but we have to assert our rights. There are a couple of points about that which stand out. If we don't assert our rights we lose them. When I was born I had the right, not privilege, to go out into any national forest or BLM land site and if it was not already claimed by another United States Citizen I could pick up and keep the gold I found and file a claim on the land and all of the gold within that claim would be technically my right to own. My rights, our rights preexisted all of these wilderness acts. To me it says these acts and the stipulations therein are subject to my/our preexisting rights. Well, I'm old enough that mine do. If you are a natural born citizen and you were born before these wilderness acts then your rights preexisted as well. To me it says this portion of the wilderness act is subject to my preexisting rights. Some might argue that it is only talking about mining rights that existed by a mining claim. Well it isn't specific.

The fact that it is NOT specific is HUGE! Do yourself a favor and search the topic of laws that have been overturned because they were "Unconstitutionally vague and or ambiguous." A law MUST be specific to stand. That is of course if someone challenges that vague and ambiguous law it has to be specific. If no one challenges it then it is left up to all of this confusion of many different interpretations and chaos. Does that sound familiar? Just look into it and you'll see what I mean. It is a VERY interesting topic. Like I said, I am NOT an attorney or lawyer and I am not practicing law or telling you to go out and do anything. You need to do your own research. For me personally, if I was out swinging my metal detector and for some reason some forest service employee with a huge ego placed me under arrest he BETTER be ready for a big court battle and he and his employer better be ready to pay me big time for violating my rights. I have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness I enjoy my liberty/freedom (liberty: 1. the quality or state of being free a: the power to do as one pleases b: freedom from physical restraint c: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control d: the positive enjoyment of various social, political and or economic rights and privileges e: the power of choice [there are more/other definitions]) and swinging my metal detector makes me happy. Yes, I know. I'm a nut case but I am quite certain that I have some valid legal points. I intend to take them to a friend of mine who is VERY familiar with law, especially constitutional law.