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clay

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clay last won the day on June 23

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About clay

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  1. Minelab Gold Panning Kit Prize

    34.28 Almost Thanks Bill.
  2. Why file a claim?

    A little history about the BLM and mining claims might help here. The primary duty of the BLM is to maintain a current and historical timeline of public land status. They do this through the General Land Office which has been around since 1812 and was assigned along with the Federal Grazing Service in 1946 to form the BLM. The BLM was not formed by an Act of Congress it was put together as an administrative agency by the Secretary of the Interior to assist in the duties of the Department of the Interior. It wasn't until 1976 with the passage of the Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) that Congress gave the BLM any power beyond those already given to the General Land Office and the Grazing Service. The BLM is relatively new in American history and to this day it remains a Bureau of the Department of the Interior. The DOI is an executive (Presidential) department created to carry out the laws as passed by Congress. No executive department can create laws - they can only enforce laws passed by Congress. The BLM complained to their boss the DOI for many years that they just didn't have enough resources to check the County Recorder every time they were asked by their boss to approve a right of way for a road or to facilitate the sale of sand and gravel etc. There were a lot of things the BLM was asked to do with the public lands that they couldn't legally do if there was a mining claim where they wanted to do it. For years the BLM would barge ahead with a new road or stock tank or powerline and get sued by the claim owner who didn't have a clue what was happening until a bulldozer showed up and started destroying their mining works. The claim owners would sue, and of course win. The DOI would get a rash from Congress because they weren't doing their job and it was costing a boatload of money to pay for the damages. The DOI would give the BLM a rash and the BLM would complain "we just didn't have enough resources..." Congress would approve more money and the whole cycle would start again. This only got worse over time as the 1955 Surface Materials Act promised to bring in a lot more money as long as the BLM did their job. By the 1960's things were really out of hand. The BLM was paying out more in court judgements than they were bringing in through grazing, leasing and sales. The court judgements and resulting bills were mounting. It wasn't just the miners but the groups that had paid for a right of way or grazing improvements that were suing for their losses too. Congress got tired of throwing more money at a problem that wasn't getting fixed. By 1975 the proposal of pretty much closing the public lands to the people and putting them in the somewhat sometimes capable hands of the DOI and Forest Service became the current political fad. Congress was set to eliminate any possibility of the people getting any more public land and go to a system of leasing and sales. Welcome to the 70's and the advent of the modern environmental movement. There was just one problem with the plan. Mining. Mining made the country rich. The scheme whereby the the miner footed the entire bill of prospecting doing discovery work, developing the deposit, mining, refining, transporting and marketing the valuable mineral of the public lands has worked really well. Get the little guy to take the risk and everyone benefits from the jobs and wealth created. Mining was a significant driver of the economy and if mining rights and patents were removed from the public lands the miners had no incentive to continue looking for undiscovered deposits. Taking all the risks and fronting all the capital and labor on the gamble of discovering a paying deposit just wasn't going to fly if the miner then had to pay for the minerals he had discovered. So a master plan was put into effect. The public lands in the future would no longer belong to the people as they had since 1803. All the opportunities for citizens to get a piece of the public land pie would be abolished and the Federal government would take over ownership of the public lands from the people. There would be no more patents or settlement on the public lands. This was sold as preserving the lands for future generations but the real effect was to lock future generations out of the possibility of benefiting from the public lands, as their ancestors had always done. The new policy was preservation at any cost. Taxes were needed to pay for preservation so the lands that had made us a wealthy nation would be a net expense into the future instead of a net benefit. The people of this nation paid for every square inch of the public lands many years ago. That payment was in the form of huge quantities of mined gold - two million ounces alone for the Louisiana Purchase and Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo and much more for Alaska, Gadsen etc. as well as millions of lifetimes of labor to improve homesteads and millions of men's blood to take the land through war. The people themselves, my ancestors and possibly yours, paid for these public lands. This wasn't done through taxation but though wars and sinking funds financed by land purchases. With one fell swoop in 1976 that was thrown out the door with this one statement of policy that is the opening line of the FLPMA. Not yours anymore. It's the government's now unless the government wants to sell it. That simple. Or was it? There was still that sticky bit about mining being so valuable to the national interest. So Congress in their wisdom made one exception to taking the public lands from the people. The Mining Grant was to be preserved. Miners could still prospect, claim, mine and patent the public lands. This was the only freedom to take the public lands by claim of right and patent preserved out of nearly 50 other ways that had been valid just the day before. Only miners were allowed a little bit of the freedom the public had earned and enjoyed for nearly 200 years. But... But... But the BLM said "we just don't have enough resources..." and an exception was made to that freedom. The BLM got the right to be informed directly by the claim owner that there was a current claim on the public land. If they didn't get the annual informational notice they were allowed to ignore the claim for planning purposes and the miner could not sue over damages. Instead of having to look up the public record like every other person and government employee the BLM was now entitled to a personal signed informational notice as to the status of the mining claim every year. Then there was the fact that with the passage of the FLPMA the law now said the public lands had to be protected from undue and unnecessary damage. Part of that whole preservation for the future thing the enviros wanted. So the BLM and the Forest Service were given the duty to keep mining from damaging any more of the surface stuff than was necessary to accomplish mining of their located valuable mineral deposit. Congress might want to sell off those surface resources some day. Two changes to the mining law - that's all that happened with the FLPMA. Oh... and the BLM finally got recognized as an official agency of the Federal government after 30 years of being nothing but a letterhead. They were still a Bureau of the DOI but they actually got assigned a job by Congress that wasn't already assigned to the General Land Office or the Grazing Service. I've tried to stick to the facts in this little history. I left some stuff out and concentrated on some stuff more than other stuff but what I wrote is fact you can take to the bank. Now for my two cents of opinion (your bank will not deposit this check): Miners are the last free men on the public lands. Miners have a right to the public lands that no other citizen has. That's a big honor and in my mind a big responsibility to my way of thinking. The ability to make a claim of right to the public lands used to be common knowledge among the people of this nation. It's more than likely the land your houses and businesses are on are former public lands located and patented by our ancestors. All other citizens have lost the ability to work hard, improve the land and claim it for their own. Miners can still do that. Miner's can have their right to the Public Land taken away by Congress just as the rest of the citizens did. If modern miners are fooled into believing their claim of right is the same as every other use of the public lands they will end up acting as if their unique rights to the public lands are subject to the same rules as a lease or sale. Believing that the BLM is in charge of approving a mining claim is just the tip of this dangerous perception shift. The more we misunderstand our unique place on the peoples land the more we encourage others to treat mining as something subject to the popular whim. We see this already with public education in California and elsewhere teaching fake history like "hydraulic mining was banned" (never happened) or "miners ruined the land" (less than .02% of the public lands have been mined). If we can't educate ourselves about our unique rights we might well be consigning a whole nation to ignorance of the critical and ongoing role of mining in this nation. That would be a great loss in my opinion. I hope this little bit of history will help others to look into the actual extent of the freedom inherent in the mining grant. If we can learn this stuff there might be a chance of educating others and getting some of that lost freedom (and property) back into the people's hands. Educate Yourself and Prosper!
  3. Why file a claim?

    Your documents of ownership are the public records you make at the County Recorder. The Location notice and all your subsequent public records (labor, intent to hold, amendments, quitclaims, leases etc.) form your public record of your ownership. You will need that public record if you want to sell or patent your claim. If there is a court dispute over ownership your certified public records establishing your ownership will be recognized by the court as evidence of your ownership. You make your public record at the county and file your required informational notices with the BLM. LipCa answered your question about maintenance of the claim. Your required annual Public Record, labor and BLM filings amount to maintenance. No maintenance = no claim. The BLM doesn't invalidate your claim if you fail to perform your required annual maintenance - without the required maintenance you abandon your claim. When you abandon your claim it becomes open to location. This has been true since long before the BLM was given the right to have informational notices in 1976. Abandonment of mining claims goes back thousands of years in mining custom and law. The BLM has the right to extinguish abandoned mining claims from their ACTIVE status case files since 1976. They do this by changing the case file status to CLOSED. The case file still exists. Case files are never destroyed because they are a required timeline of public land status. An order by an administrative (IBLA) or Federal court can cause the BLM to change the CLOSED case file status to ACTIVE. This happens a lot. I hope this defuddles yur fuddling?
  4. Why file a claim?

    The real property of the mineral estate is transferred when you monument and stake your location homefire. It is at that moment your personal property and will remain your property as long as you occupy and maintain your claim. There is no waiting period or agency approval involved. The serial number only designates a particular case file at that State BLM office. The serial number has no connection to mineral rights. There are BLM serial numbers with associated case files for many types of cases besides mining claims. Look around the LR2000 and you will see case files with serial numbers for many different reasons. The valuable mineral deposits on the public lands open to location are reserved for prospectors and locators. The BLM can't have mining claims nor can it sell or lease valuable mineral deposits. The surface of a mining claim belongs to the United States until it is patented. Until then the BLM has a minor duty to the surface estate. They are tasked only with preventing undue or unnecessary damage to the surface resources. The BLM's other functions are administrative only - not political or ministerial. All appropriation of valuable minerals on the public lands open to location are self initiated by regular citizens under the grant from Congress. The BLM can not and does not have a hand in that appropriation. They can not approve or disapprove valuable mineral ownership on those lands. The BLM does have a role in leasing and sale of common minerals on the public lands but that has nothing to do with mining claims or the valuable mineral discovered there. Sand and gravel can not be claimed.
  5. Why file a claim?

    No - Mining claims are a self initiated claim of right. Locators have had that right since 1866. That right was granted by law to the discoverer of a valuable mineral deposit. The BLM transfers nothing. The BLM is entitled to an informational notice when you make your claim of right location since 1976. 110 years without the BLM being involved at all with mining claims. The serial number they assign is a case file number not a claim number. The serial number is an internal administrative device to help track the case file. Case files, whether created for mining claims or other administrative duties, are classed as either ACTIVE, CLOSED, PENDING or VOID. No rights are created or transferred by the opening of an administrative case file.
  6. Why file a claim?

    I too believe they are failing as administrators of the land homefire. Most of the reason I believe that is I see a constant effort to overreach their authority. Often their job description is ignored in favor of a personal agenda. Welcome to big government - they are here to help you as long as you don't mind them bending (and breaking) the rules to bring you a different and better world (whether you want it or not). I don't see any agency overreach or failure in this case. If you do please point it out. I always enjoy a fresh perspective on the facts.
  7. Why file a claim?

    There is no failure of the BLM homefire. Their job is to receive and file informational notices and fees from the locators (done), void mining claims located on lands not open to location (done) and prevent undue and unnecessary damage to the surface resources (done). Once again there is no authority for the BLM to decide the validity of a mining claim when there is a dispute between locations. BLM has no legal right to control mining itself, it can only act to prevent undue and unnecessary damage to the surface resources. There is also no race to record a location. There has never anywhere been a "first to record" requirement in mining law - State or Federal. Federal law allows 90 + 1 days to record and file a new mining location. Some states have a shorter period within which to act to make a record. The actual date of location on the ground establishes the location date - not any filing or recording date. The date of location is the date that a monument establishing the location and extent of the claim is erected no matter when the public record or informational filing is accomplished.. As long as a locator fulfills the required public recording and informational filing within the specified time their location on the ground is secure. If there is a dispute among claimants as to who located first the recording and filings can be supporting evidence but the location on the ground is always the final evidence of the location date and extent. Here is an important Supreme Court Case from 1919 which clearly outlines this principle, as many other cases did before and since. The possession of the claimed deposit and the posting of a location monument (markings) on the ground are the actual notice and establish the date and extent of the location. The County Recording is the constructive notice of the already located claim and the BLM filing is a required informational administrative notice that a mining claim has been located. Each has their place but the actual notice on the ground establishes the location date in all cases. That's why I suggest that locators always have an uninvolved witness to their monumenting and staking. Monuments and stakes can, and often do, disappear but a solid witness always trumps a junior locator trying to backdate their location.
  8. Why file a claim?

    There is a lot more to this than will ever be discussed in public homefire. Suffice it to say that when one actively works a claim they have 30 days after a claim is closed to re locate. Junior locators have 30 days after location to take the senior locator to court to challenge their prior claim. It's not as simple as paperwork. The BLM is not in charge of determining claim validity. I think you assume the BLM have more power than the law grants them.
  9. Why file a claim?

    You are a good man. Thanks for working with him.
  10. Why file a claim?

    I've been trying to hold my tongue on this thread but the comments are sort of flying in the face of reality. To begin with I know both Desertpilot and the other individual. Many of you know both of them. In fact several people on this and other forums have been invited to work this claim through the years. Both of these guys are honest men in my experience. I'm pretty sure when things calm down and some thought goes into this there can be a resolution. As Desertpilot pointed out he's seen this claim worked for seven years. I can tell you this claim has been worked by the same family across two generations. The person Desertpilot is talking about supports his family by mining this and a few other claims. He is a miner. He has moved car sized boulders on this particular claim to get to the gold. As you can imagine he is not a small or weak man. I'm sure some of you are now thinking "Hey isn't that...?" I'd rather not get into sharing names or details here so lets just leave that for PMs between yourselves or whatever. Suffice it to say it would be unwise to consider force or violence as a possible solution. Children are involved also so any contact should remain peaceful in intent. It's not just about law but common sense, no claim is worth endangering the lives of anyone. Please leave the macho bluster behind, as I see Desertpilot wisely already has. I'm not even going to approach the issue as to whether either one of these men have a valid claim. As I have pointed out many times the law is clear that only a court can decide claim validity disputes. Not the BLM and certainly not another prospector, miner or locator can determine that. Only a court. Claim validity is decided by a court based on only one criteria - the law of possession. Not paperwork, filing dates or stakes, although those can be considered when a court determines possession. The person who Desertpilot was challenging on this claim is not required to maintain stakes or monuments. No claim owner in Arizona has to maintain those although it would be wise for any claim owner to attempt to keep his claim well marked. As Desertpilot remarked he may just "work a open location covertly". An unmarked claim is not that far from a location worked covertly. Desertpilot has become proficient at researching, prospecting and locating productive mining claims. He has learned the skills needed to become successful. The claim being discussed here is productive. As Desertpilot pointed out the person who is mining this location is not good at paperwork, maps or dealing with government requirements. The courts through the last 140 years have many times recognized the fact that often miners are better at mining than filing paperwork. As a result they have a history of being very lenient with poor location work and descriptions as long as the paperwork is recorded and filed on time. The locator's intent is often the deciding factor in determining whether a location is valid when the paper description is in dispute. I don't see a good outcome here for either claimant in court. Hard feelings between two miners in the same area is not good for other miners either. If I were asked by both parties what might be the best solution I would suggest that they talk it out. One party already contacted me on this and that is probably where the note Desertpilot referred to started. It appears they have now spoken to one another. Considering their various skills there might be a good outcome if they cooperated on ensuring a good claim location and paperwork and some mutual mining. That's just a suggestion, I'm sure two honest men can come to a resolution that suits both of them with some effort.
  11. Current Mining Claim Forms???

    That's the one Ron! Or you can go directly to the form. (Same website just a direct link so you don't have to dig through the list)
  12. Current Mining Claim Forms???

    I've searched the link you provided Ron and I can't find that form anywhere. The 2014 AZGS mining forms pamphlet doesn't have the form and the link in the pamphlet just leads to a Page Not Found. Maybe I'm form blind, this time of year I deal with a lot of forms. Maybe you could help an old man out and repost a link to that January 2017 3830-2 form? Here's what the top of the form looks like:
  13. Current Mining Claim Forms???

    Those are the forms offered by the AZGS Ron. They have been around since 2014 as you will see on the title page. Nyal Niemuth and Lee Allison put out that packet. Nyal has since retired and sadly Lee passed away last year. None of those forms are "official" but they are more likely to serve your needs than those from other sources. There is only one official approved BLM mining claim form - that being the MAINTENANCE FEE WAIVER CERTIFICATION 3830-2. That's the one you need if you are submitting your Small Miners Waiver for the coming year. No other form is accepted for that one fee free submission. Finding a 3830-2 that is current can be tough because the new OMB approved form was just issued in January of this year and most of the usual sites only have the old form that is expired. With this one form only the OMB date MUST be current for the form to be valid. All the other forms the BLM and AZGS offer are only offered for convenience - they are not "official" and in the instructions section on the BLM forms they are clearly marked as "optional". We generate our own documents to fit the particular needs of each filing but in general you can use the public forms offered as long as they have the required information. Since that required information varies by State you really need to pay attention when you are using these downloadable forms. For several years the Arizona BLM offered a Location form that didn't meet the legal recording requirements so be careful the form is adequate no matter what the source. The best and most current source for BLM forms is the BLM Forms website. Yeah who knew they even had a forms website? Obviously the Arizona BLM didn't. To directly access the current 3830-2 Maintenance Fee Waiver Certification (Small Miners Declaration) you can go to this BLM link. Notice how it has an OMB Form Approved statement and an expiration date of January 2020 in the upper right corner. If you get a form that doesn't have the statement or has a different expiration date you are not using the correct current form. This was a problem for a lot of people when the form expired the last time so don't get caught out by using an out of date form.
  14. SILVER OR PLATINUM NUGGET????

    Looks like a bearing over pour to me. They are pretty common. Probably Babbitt metal.
  15. The proof of labor requirement goes to the claimant - not the claim. The previous "small miner" owner of record is required to do the labor and record his proof. This is one of those buyer beware/due diligence issues. Since the labor is done in arrears on a promise there is no way to "go back" on the current year requirements and just timely pay the maintenance fee. If this is a current issue the previous owner can make right on the labor Recording by December 30. That date is in Arizona, in California I think it's by September 30 but you should check your State deadlines and follow those. The BLM will accept copies of Recorded proofs of labor until the end of day December 30th in all States (NOT December 31st!) The catch is Miner A only offered a quitclaim. A quitclaim only asserts that Miner A is transferring his interest in the claim. If he doesn't reveal that his interest has a labor requirement lien on the title you might have a complaint of fraud but absent other evidence that would be pretty hard to prove. The fact that Miner A's interest in the claim was due to expire if he didn't complete his labor requirement certainly does affect his transfer of interest. Miner B will not get a free ride into 2018 just because of a transfer of interest. Miner A needs to complete his obligation to insure Miner B gets what he thought he was paying for. Once the BLM realizes the 2017 claim requirements were not met they will declare the claim abandoned and change the case status to CLOSED despite their being a new owner.
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