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A Lota POO

John B.

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Hi All

For those of you that don't know what POO is besides being a lot of crap it's also a Plan Of Operation. It is now bieng required on all claims in the Greaterville area. Well we got these letters from a supposed pro mining department within the Forest Service. There only purpose I suppose is to close off as many roads and access to claims and areas as possible. Well this was my second visit to the office with my completed form. Well obviosly it wasn't sufficient so I will correct and resubmit another one. Many years ago I offererd to at my expense fill in a couple of open shafts that are deadly. I only asked for 2 considerations,one that I could close off access to the immediate area while I do it. The other was I could beep the material before I dumped it down the hole and retrived the values. The holes are over 150 foot vertical shafts that at the time didn't even have fences or warning signes at them. These holes are on the 50/50 parcels in Greaterville. Which means the Forest service owns full surface rights and 1/2 the mineral rights the other 1`/2 of the mineral rights are privatly owned. Well back then I recieved a pack of documents to fill out almost a 1/2 inch thick. Requireing me to lease the mineral rights and post bonding to do thier job. Well I made a couple follow up calls asdvising them it was no costr to them and I would do a complete landscape reclamation when completed. But that I wasn't willing to lease the minerals or pay a bond. A few months later I recieved a call asking where this hole was So I gave the ranger directions to where the road ended and told her to be careful not to fall in the hole. They did eventually fence the one hole. Well that was back in 1996 and I found my original letters and showed them to them. I started to tell them where these holes are and they told me to be quiet because they didn't want to know. For them it would have been an easy task of sending a first right of refusal letter with a time limit to the private mineral rights owner, but for me a big expense and alot of grief. Well I finnaly told them to go looking for them and try not to get killed doing it and if they ever wanted them filled to call me. On my last trip in there today I gave them as donations a piece of the Greaterville and Gold Basin Meteorites. They promply told me they were illegally collected and that they were either protected by the antiquities act or the national treasures act !! I was pretty much laughing hysterical at this point and as I tried to straighten these long time forest service employees they didn't want to hear anything I had to say other than that I expected a letter of acknowledgement for the donations and that there were only a few pieces found of the Greaterville :hahaha: . They told me they would give me a 10 minute advance notice when the enforcement officers were on there way to confiscate my meteorite collection :huh: . I quickly changed to subject to the Meteorite Men show and the piece my friend Geoff found in the area. They told me that the production company was issued a hunting and filming permit only and they had no right to collect a piece. They apparently were working on that as I arrived Soooo maybe Geoff and Steve will become as experienced in jail as I. They are more lucky than I since American jails have more sex in them than Omanie jails :rolleyes: !! I just can't wait to see how this whole days crap works out :inocent: !! It should be fun :shrug: !!

Happy Huntin John B.

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Hi John,

I wanted to pass this on to you as there is court precedent on the filings of a NOI and POO regarding the FS regs. since, in my own small world, I’m trying to stop this sort of crap from happening. I continue to follow the forums and do research as much as possible related to our mining rights.

The following is a recent post / quote by AK Jim a.k.a. Jim Foley from his forum relating to this issue.....

My advice to anyone who asks about this issue is; DO NOT FILE AN NOI unless you decide that it is necessary.

Miners down here fought long and hard, at great expense, to get the court ruling that says you do not have to file an NOI unless you are creating a significant surface disturbance. This is defined as; Using heavy equipment and/or cutting trees.

FS rangers will still try to make you think you need to have one, but they cannot force you to get one, nor can they cite you for not getting one.

I know from living in Alaska for many years that you folks up there are somewhat insulated from a lot of this stuff. But the miners down here have fought long and hard with the USFS and finally had to go to court to win.

Filing an NOI is opening the door for the FS to demand a POO. If you have to file a POO this opens the door for them to criminally cite you for any infraction of the POO.

The determination to file or not to file an NOI is the prerogative of the individual operator, not the FS. Here is a link to the court decision, so you can read it for yourself: http://www.goldgold.com/legal/McClureDecision.pdf

Here is Dave McCracken's explanation of the court order:


The entire thread where Jim makes this comment is located here.....


Hope this might help!


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Hope you didn't mention your collection of Spotted

Owl eggs,or Eagle feathers. :inocent:

Hell that was just a typical Monday morning meeting

for a logger. If the Forest Service had of actually done

any of the stuff they threatened me with,I would probably

been exiled to Jupiter by now. :yuk-yuk:

Sounds like you need to have a little chat with the Forest

Supervisor for that forest. :twocents:

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Hi JB, the problem is you are using logic and common sense. These are rare in USFS employees today. Better to use their own policies and internal reguirements when talking to them, see: http://www.fs.fed.us/geology/mgm_locatable.html

I have found that most Rangers and staff dealing with mining and public are grossly ignorant of the law and their own agency policy. They forget that the law requires them to "foster" mining and minerial development on FS managed lands. That is also their "policy" signed by FS Chief. It's on their website.


NATIONAL FORESTS" signed by Mike Doran in 2009. Mike is FS Washington Office minerial staff. Seems 99% of FS employees have never seen the document, and try to apply their own personal interpretation of the law. Many FS employees today oppose multiple-use principals required by law.

Many of us on this forum and others commented heavily on FS NOI and POO regulations back in 2004. I believe we got 90% of what we fought for on those issues. However, now the FS has lost in court acouple times so they are trying to re-invent, re-interpret, and sometimes ignore the law and those CFRs to push their personal agenda. When you run into one of those FS Rangers or LEOs be very careful, the battle can get nasty. Walter Eason (GPAA) and I discussed this when GPAA was about to bend to some crazy FS mis-guided Rangers in AZ. Like a rattler, they can bite and cause you lots of pain and suffering. AZ is full of Rangers who don't know the meaning of "foster" when it comes to minerals and multiple-use on FS lands.

Good Luck my friend...

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Hi All

Maybe I should explain why I'm dealing with these pinheads in the first place. Because they solicited the claim holders with a letter about how pro mining they are and how they want to keep access open to our claims. As of this time I'm convinced they are bullying the real claim holders in the area and forcing them to fill out a poo or risk walking a few miles to get to your claim. It's almost as if they get a commission to turn in filled out poo's. I'm absolutely certain I am more aware of the most of the laws far more than they are collectivly but eagle feathers are the perfect tooth pick for late term hard boiled spotted owl eggs !!

Happy Huntin John B.

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Fellers and Lady prospectors.

I was just having fun with John in my above post.

I have noticed some ideas and opinions recently that are

not quite right,and could get you into some serious problems.

Got Gold

Jim is a heck of a good guy,but he is missing some real

important details with his advice.

First his definition of significant disturbance is just a

general and very broad analogy. The fine print and details

are left out on purpose by the Feds to provide them more

wiggle room in a fight.

There is no definite set of rules that define exactly what

a significant disturbance is . A significant disturbance

can be as little as skinning a protected tree,or working too

near an endangered species. It can be translated in government

speak to cover just about anything.

The reason for filing a notice,or just arranging a pre work

meeting is to cover your butt. If you read all the BLM and

Forest Service claim stuff it makes sense. They can't force

you to do a notice,but they do advise you to contact the

officer in charge before starting work on a claim. This can

save a lot of future problems. There is a caution in the regs

that says,if there is any doubt,file a notice.

Get pictures of the area before any work is done. Contact

the local officer in charge. Arrange a walk around of the

site ,and ask questions. If the officer doesn't have any

problems with anything,have him put it in writing. If he finds

a problem,have him put it in writing.

If you decide to just proceed on your own without making

contact,you better make sure you know what you are doing.

If that officer does come along later,and discovers that

you have caused damage, things can come unglued pretty quick.

If the little patch of weeds that you tore up proves to

be a protected species,or you are working too near a Goshawk

nest,then you will find out the meaning of significant

disturbance,as defined for your act.

By making the decision to cut the Feds out of the loop and

starting on your own,you assume all liability,and don't expect

any mercy from the judge later.

Any Federal officer that stops by or inspects your operation

is required to do a report. Ask for a copy of a field report

for any visit. They will document the reason for the visit

and note any conflicts or agreements . If they have a problem

make them document it.

It sounds like John ran into a couple low grade upstarts that

may get an attitude adjustment from their supervisor if he or she is contacted . There really is a code of conduct for how

they conduct business in the field. Document every detail or

conversation ,never take word of mouth for fact.

I worked with one Ranger for 30 years. He is a great guy and

one of my best friends. Not one time in 30 years did I ever

let him leave a site without giving me a copy of the report.

Winning a court battle with the Feds is not as great as it

sounds. I know a lot of people that won. They didn't even get

an Im sorry. Most spent tons of money and were too broke to

operate after the win. Some lost their health from the years

of fighting and stress.

It pays to know what pushes an officials buttons up front.

After you piss them off,ain't a good time to ask. Trust me

I spent several years patching up wars between the Feds and

large corporations. You can win some battles,and come to a

working agreement,but you better know that you are right and

not just guess.

You have to be able to think about several things at once

when dealing with the Forest Service. Part of your brain is

seeing pictures of the SOB bleeding profusely,part is in legal

mode,part in making friendly. The last part is your best

option,but you can always go back to the first part to get

you through the day. :yuk-yuk:

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:stupidrb: What is completely lacking, deliberately, is HOMOGENOUS APPLICATION of the bureaus under the USDA. BLM,FS,B Of REC are all helter skelter. AND to even complicate the ungodly mess throw in all the differing state issues and mandates. WOW,anyhow another problem is that each little forest king has the own proclavitities and interperts the rules to suit their own twisted minds and agenda. Hence what you do in 1 forest you can go a few miles and be a criminal--AND(god I hate that word) just because it's legal today---you could have a new forest/desert king tommorrow and what ya did yesterday will criminalize ya today :*&$*(: AND( :zip-lip: ) each ranger/cop/yahoo also interperts the rules to their own twisted fantasies also. HOMOGENOUS APPLICATION of rule a law is absolutely paramount to the mining industry and 1 agency-throw out the stinkn' vegetable soup of repetive insane agencies and just 1 set a rules to 1 agency and be done with insane mess-John
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Well Said Sawmill,

Yes, always strive to work with not against FS and BLM. The CFR’s are agency and casual prospectors “rules and sideboards” for activity while prospecting public land and forest. On the NOI, it’s the “operator” who decides if there is significant disturbance (per CFR wording) requiring a NOI, not the agency. The FS/BLM might disagree with your decision, and they must notify you in writing if they view the disturbance differently. The agencies (and departments, USDA DOI) provide “policy direction” to their employees on standard interpretation and application of mining CFR’s. These internal policies apply to their federal employees and not the general public. That’s why I carry Mike’s “policy interpretation” to share with FS employees. Always get the true mineral policy from State, Regional, or National Office, not the local Forest or District.

Use common sense when determining significant disturbance while prospecting. Roads, perennial vegetation disturbance (trees, shrubs, etc), any mechanical equipment, etc “usually” is significant enough under CFR’s to file a NOI.

A simple NOI and POO to keep road access to your workings might be practical in this age of FS/BLM road closures. Balance out the cost/benefit to your operation or activity. If in doubt ask. If you don’t trust the local Ranger or staff, ask the FS Regional mineral folks, or better contact Mike Doran (FS-WO, Boise) directly on CFR and agency policy interpretation. The LAST avenue should be fighting in court.

One final thought: for prospecting activity that truly fall under General Mining Law, both FS and BLM require “administrative notification” and “administrative resolution” before jumping into any criminal citations, etc. That’s agency internal national policy (from General Mining Law not CFR), some Rangers and LEO’s are unaware of this national policy direction. Remember you are a casual prospector not recreational. If you tell them it’s recreation, then they can properly cite you for recreation CFR violations. Administrative resolution is only for miners not recreational activity. Keep it black/white in your mind and in all discussions with FS/BLM.

Sawmill, you were truly blessed to have a District Ranger from the old school. They are a rare breed these days.

Keep Smiling… :cigar:

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Saw Mill great points you have there, Most prospectors are not aware of what is endangered they go out there with an attitude and a lack of knowlege.This does not get you any where with them. Having a direct course or plan and having info can get you thru there questions, We went to get a POO and after a few questions and us having direct answers and plans like seperating fertile soil from sterile{ you can drywash fertile soil do not water wash it save that for the sterile layer} and replacing the fertile layer upon reclamation also protecting certain plants and installing a tortose fence around the perimiter, They looked at us and said wow you know your stuff ,No one comes in here knowing what there talking about, And you wonder why the get short tempered, It can be done but there needs to be a specific plan.yep it is more work but that way you do not get caught with your backside bare and on a hornets nest, you have to be able to work with them there is no way to beat them, :twocents:

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As usual you have things figured out to a science.

You are spot on with your comments.


I have worked with hundreds of Forest Service

people in several states. Yeah I worked with lots

of old school guys,but I met a lot of yahoos too.

There is two sides to every story. The district

ranger does have authority to close areas or make

local restrictions. They are pressured from every

direction ,by thousands of stupid laws and rules.

Most of the time they don't like having to bow to

pressure ,or nonsense any more than we do. But by

law they have to protect a lot of dumb stuff.They

are in a kind of a no win situation. No matter what

they do someone is going to raise hell.

The Forest Service is trying to run a multiple use

forest,in conflict with all of the environmental

crap that is forced on them by congress and special

interest groups. In the last few years the green

groups have infiltrated the Forest Service ranks too.

Between all of the legal pressure and internal

politics ,there is days when it is tough to be a

Forest Service official. One little mistake can cost

them years putting up with lots of crap to build a

career. Like Denny said the Forest Service guys meet

a lot of jerks too. The Forest Service used to do a

great job,until the government put them under enviro


When dealing with a Forest officer remember that

this guy or gal doesn't know what you are,until

you can show them an intelligent plan and that you

are responsible in your actions. Most of the young

up starts are scared to death of their job,and tend

to go over board. A little patience and effort can

go a long ways into winning their trust.

You would be surprised what a ranger will agree to,

once they know that you understand their concerns,and

are willing to work with them.

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Hi Denny, Nicely done having all your ducks in a row when you visit FS on NOI or POO that’s excellent. I wish everyone would do that. How many pages was your final document the FS approved?

Sawmill, I agree with you fully. Do not be combative with any FS/BLM folks that’s a recipe for disaster. But like Denny did, he knew the rules and followed them. It’s always hard to have a meaningful discussion with anyone in FS/BLM if one or both sides in the discussion are ignorant of the law, regulations, and process. That’s a disaster of the first order. Better to share your knowledge on GML with the unknowledgeable than to agree to something that is later citable as illegal. The interaction is always a dynamic situation, so keep your goal in mind at all times. GML is the foundation and CFR’s have the rules, limitations, and process for the Ranger to follow. Hopefully that will KISSS (keep it simple for sanity sake).

I also agree with you on the position many Rangers and Forest Supervisors find themselves today. It’s a tough job. But it’s also their job to know the law and CFR’s. Or, if they don’t, they need to find out the legal and agency mineral policy. That includes the NOI and POO. The Ranger has many concerns, but they also represent my interest to legally prospect. A Ranger no longer has the authority they use to years ago to restrict GML excess. The courts have now stated: “While prospecting, locating, and developing of mineral resources in the National Forests may not be prohibited or so unreasonably circumscribed as to amount to a prohibition, the Secretary (USDA) may adopt reasonable rules and regulations which do not impermissibly encroach upon the right to the use and enjoyment of placer claims for mining purposes.” (Westlaw, Modern Public Land Law) That statement has aged a little but the sense is clear. (dang I need to get a new reference book)

All I’m saying is be smart, be knowledgeable, and always discuss it with a smile (don’t ever take it personally). I’ve seen some real screw-ups occur over the past 30+ years on casual prospecting. I guess the bottom-line is both sides need to be firm but fair.

Sidebar: Whenever I see a FS notice for comments in the newspaper on proposed mining activity, I always write a very supportive letter to the Ranger for them to approve the operation. I hope everybody does this too.

Keep smiling… :cigar:

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Fritz and all

There is a couple more things that should

be addressed. John Hoser made a lot of valid

comments too.

Some of us has been through the Forest Service

thing like forever. Just because you run into

a goofy rule or situation doesn't mean it is a

recent addition.Those of us that that have had

to deal with this stuff every day for years are

used to it. It can be a real mess the first time

a newbie tries working with them.

Also this is not the same Forest Service it was.

Our district used to be two separate districts,

then they were combined. Due to all the enviro

crap there is no timber management or mineral

management left. Everything was shifted to trails,

recreation,and fire. We don't even have a district

Ranger now. No engineers,no timber staff,or mineral

officer. This is the typical set up every where now.

The office is still full,but they are all,techs,

specialist ,bird ladies,biologist,and that kind of

crap.Most are holding jobs created by the enviro,

endangered species,and other useless stuff. Every

one of their jobs depends on environmental policies.

These are the people that will try and throw a

monkey wrench in the best plans. They are all young

and have trained to fit in with the green gang.Not

a lick of common sense in the whole crowd. Their

idea of management is to burn the forest,and shut

the rest down to any activity that don't fit the

green agenda. Don't waste your time dealing with

these people,go over their heads.

Most of the people you meet on a claim or while

prospecting are field tech's .Very seldom will you

meet a district ranger or supervisor in the field.

Some of those field tech's will try to BS you,

this is why it pays to know the rules,and just what

makes the Forest Service tick.

Personally I wouldn't ever file another Forest

Service claim period. Unless you are made of money

and plan to spend years getting legal,it ain't

worth the drama.

District Rangers are not hired for what they know.

They have just worked up through the ranks,and made

the right connections. Some have less training and

education than their flunkies.

Climbing the ranks in the Forest Service is like

a Tee ball game. No real skills required,win lose

or draw they all get into a huddle and give high

fives. They get points for just showing up. If you

can take the crap ,and put in the time you can go

pretty high. :yuk-yuk:

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Excellent post Sawmill,

My first clue that something was wrong within the FS was about 10 years ago. I'm talking with a District Ranger and a few staff officers. One staff officer (18-20 years in FS) was confused by our discussion and asked me "what's a CFR?" I was speechless and the Ranger was embarressed.

A few years later I'm with a different District Ranger, Forest Supervisor, and USDA Solicitor. As the discussion came to regulatory confusion by FS employees. The Ranger didn't know until that very moment, that CFR's aways supersede internal agency policy. He was shocked, and the federal solicitor just shook her head. I guess if these are the FS people explaining GML, NOI, and POO to casual prospectors on their districts it's no wonder we have chaos on some FS uints.

Anyway it's time for a beer. Peace to all...

Keep Smiling... :cigar:

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Hey John, if or when they want to come confiscate something from you at your house, give them a bag of POO.... :yuk-yuk:

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This is an example of the crappy science

that the new breed of Forest Service people

tries to push .

How many times have you seen someone ask

why all our trees are dieing ? Then some

global warming nut tells them,it is because

due to global warming it hasn't been cold

enough to kill the bugs.

Timber beetles live just beneath the bark.

They eat a diet of glucose,that turns to

glycol. These little dudes run on anti freeze.

In the winter here at 10,000 feet elevation

where the spruce grows ,the trees freeze solid.

They stay like that all winter. They look

like a popcicle inside. While sawing these logs

the beetles fall out. They look like they are

dead. After a few minutes in the sun light they

are going every where. You can't freeze a timber

beetle and kill it,or its eggs.

This is just another lame excuse ,for not doing

their duty managing the forests. Timber beetles

have been around as long as there has been trees.

If freezing them killed them,they would have

vanished a hell of a long time ago.

Sitting on their butts and not cleaning up all

the slash and blow down trees is why we are losing

our trees. Beetles are attracted to blown down timber.

It is a perfect habitat for them to breed and multiply.

The first hatch will fly and start attacking standing

timber,until stopped they just keep munching.

If not stopped in the first instance and left alone

they just keep eating and multiplying .Before the

greenies stopped salvage logging,we didn't have a

bug problem. Bugs are like fire,if you don't stop it

quick it gets out of control.

Just how cold does these kooks think it should be?

If it gets cold enough to kill them,we will be gone

first. :yuk-yuk:

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Hi All

I am humbled by the brilliance in input on this topic :whaaaa: !! I guess I can have a nack for bieng a little testy with people :unsure: ?? Maybe it's just my shining personality or just that I'm to sexy for my own good :hmmmmm: ?? Thanks guys for your thoughts and insites on this :shrug: !! My bail was set at $250,000 or one big nugget :nono: !! Just kidding of course :rolleyes: !! Happy Huntin John B.

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John B

It ain't all about being nice. It is about

knowing how to play the game,and when to be

rough,or nice. Sometimes nice means letting

go of their throat just before their eyes

pop out. :yuk-yuk:

Oh yeah making a field contact,does not mean

chasing the Forest Service babe through the

brush like a Franconia jack. :yuk-yuk: :yuk-yuk:

Now that you got this all learned. If they give

you any more static,lay the beetle facts on them.

That will fix them. :twocents:

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