Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

USFS Terror: USFS Steals Miner Dave's Personal Property


Recommended Posts

USFS Terror: USFS Steals Miner Dave's Personal Property

Saturday, September 29th, 2012 - Continuing their ever-so-unlawful ways, employees of the United States Forest Service have apparently recently stolen the personal property of gold miner David Everist that was situated upon Everist's "Twin Cedar Placer" property on the Sturgis Fork of Carberry Creek in Josephine County, Oregon.

The incident was reported by two local miners who had been periodically checking on Everist's personal property at Twin Cedars, which included two camp trailers which Everist called home. According to the report, on their way up Thompson Creek Road, the miners witnessed two United States Forest Service Law Enforcement vehicles escorting what was described as "a roll-back trailer" into the vicinity of the Sturgis Fork. Later in the day, the two miners did a routine check on Twin Cedars and discovered that both trailers and other items had been taken by USFS from Everist's property during the course of the day.

It is assumed that Everist's property was transported out of Josephine County and into neighboring Jackson County where county law enforcement officials have not been critical of USFS's illegal behavior. At this time, it is believed that the Forest Service did not have a warrant to go on Twin Cedars and seize the property.

Speaking by phone from a patented claim located above Sunny Valley, Everist stated that he was stunned that the Forest Service had taken his property from "Twin Cedars" considering the fact that he is still awaiting a final judgement on his most recent case involving the Forest Service. He remarked that he had not been notified of any plans by USFS to seize his property, nor does he believe that they had a warrant.

"I don't own much, and once again, the Forest Service has stolen what little I do have. That means that even if I went back to Twin Cedars, I'd have no shelter this winter. I really can't stay where I'm at right now come winter because the snow can get 6 to 8 feet deep up here," Everist said, remarking about the remoteness and high elevation of the place he's currently staying. "Basically, they've made me homeless and taken my livlihood from me," Everist added.

Everist had planned to go back down into a lower elevation come winter, and at the suggestion of local miners, was intending to go back to school to study mining law.

"I don't know how I'm going to do it now," Everist said, "but my intention is to go to college and become an attorney. These judges won't let you submit any law unless you're part of their little club. I won't give up, so that means that I need to go to college, study law and become an attorney specializing in mining and trust law."

Everist, who is known by miners everywhere as "Miner Dave", became well known after taking a stand against the U.S. Forest Service when they violated his rights.

In the meantime, Everist intends to take local USFS to task over the theft of his property.

"It might take years," Everist said, "but I won't stop until these people are in prison."

So according to the law who do you feel is wright or wrong here and why?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How did the FS "steal" anything? If they impounded a couple of campers from public land for some reason they must be backed up with some law. Was he setting up housekeeping on a mining claim or was this his personal property that the campers were on?

I would assume that they had a law to back them up and that this fellow could simply go and recover the impounded property. The article purposely leaves out the things that you could use to determine if the FS was in the wrong. There are rules and laws about what you can have on public land, for how long, and under what circumstances. And they just dont show up and take stuff for no reason. So from the info given you really cant say exactly what was going on.

My guess is that he was gone from the claim, was in violation of a time limit, was not able to be contacted at his camp and left no way to be contacted. They came and removed the campers. Just like any other camper left in the National Forest for an extended period without anyone to connect it to. And I would also guess that he could have his "personal property" back by paying the impound fee.

From what the article indicates the FS did not "steal" anything from him. They did not "tresspass" either. And if he wanted to insure his property was there when he got back he should have made sure he followed the regs or parked them on private land so the FS would not be a concern.

I'll bet a nugget as big as your thumb that BY LAW the FS was in the right. Now, whether a man agrees with that law or not may be an entirely different matter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the "State of Jefferson" the FS has been doing this for years and most times if the miner can afford an attorney they can get their stuff back and if they can't they are screwed. The FS in that area of Oregon has an agenda and is very heavy handed with miners. Kind of shoot first and ask questions later attitude.

Even when the miner shows up at a hearing with an attorney, the judge will most likely postpone the hearing as many times as needed till the miner gives up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know here in AZ you can not set up house and home on your mining claim and if you do and pass the Federal time limit same result.

Can one get a POO allowing them to live on a claim to work it for several months at all anymore or is it 2 weeks at a time at one spot before you must move?

Hope to hear more input on this one as it has me curious....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes you can get a PoO ,but without one the limit is 14 days.

Any property left on Forest Land over 30 days without a permit is considered

abandoned property,and can be removed without a warrant. I have to have

permission in writing just to leave a brush rake or any equipment ,on Forest Land,

even though we will use it for the next job. I had to have a permit just to park my

road grader and a cat,between snow storms,and was maintaining Forest Service

roads.

This is not a case of the Forest Service picking on a poor miner. It is the case of

a miner either not knowing or ignoring the law. That same law applies to any Forest

land user,not just miners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The plan for setting up a temporary dwelling are in your POO. The only time you can stay longer than 14 days is with explicit permission by the BLM/FS in your POO. If you deviate from that you are subject to being evicted. (The only reason his stuff was taken was becasue he wasn't THERE. I am sure they would have simply asked him to move if he was available for comment.) The National Forest is not private property and the FS has rules. If you dont follow the rules you get smacked down. We may not agree with the rules and we have that right. But never the less rules is rules.

Why fellows think that a mining claim somehow makes it private property I dont know. I don't know anyone that has been denied reasonable rights to camp on their claim... Or anywhere else for that matter! Heck, all anyone must do is move the camp every 14 days and make half an effort to abide by the rules. But I know a whole bunch that try and make a BLM/FS claim into some sort of private recreational hideout. And each and every one of them cry foul and whine when the BLM/FS runs them off. If no one is around the camp and has not been for weeks I would bet that it would not be too long before the campsite is removed. And rightly so. There are so many people trying to take up permanent residence on public land it is not even funny. And there are plenty of wannabe miners that have a claim and are willing to try and live there, run people off, store household goods in temporary buildings, etc, etc.

The FS must abide by the law like everyone else. If they are outside the law then it is up to people to challenge them. In this case I don't see a darn thing that indicates they were out of line at all. And nothing has been presented in any way to indicate the fellow had the permission needed to set up a semi-permanent camp. As far as the facts given the FS was just doing their job and running off a squatter that would have made a summer home on public land.

This sounds like the case of an opportunist trying to take advantage of public resources and trying to make the FS out to be the bad guy when he got caught. We all know that there are these types of people in every placer area. We also know one or two in each area that take advantage of the system to try and live on the cheap. They just trash out a spot in the forest and after a couple of years wind up leaving it all behind for someone esle to clean up the mess. It is generally nothing but an attempt to live rent free in my opinion.

If a guy wants to live rent free in the National Forest all he has to do is just move his lazy butt every 14 days. And if he wants to work a claim more than casually then he needs a POO. So what's new? Sounds just like a daily occurrence in gold country to me. It is either this or some fellow in a Winnebago parked around on BLM land hygrading the crap out of everything regardless of property lines. We know 'em and love 'em. They are as common in gold country as coyotes.

The only answer to the original question lies in the facts surrounding the taking of the guys stuff. The article took great pains to present an opinion without presenting the facts needed to arrive at an opinion. This tells me that the guy was probably playing the system for a place to park his camper while he was somewhere else. After all, he chose to leave his stuff in the forest rather than get a spot somewhere on private land and that speaks volumes about his intentions.

I bet the stuff they took is not worth the retainer for a decent lawyer and the FS would love for him to get it off their impound lot. It probably cost more to clean up his greasy spot on the creek than the whole shooting match is worth.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This was kind of my thinking as well guys and why I made this post asking for you guys with more experience in these matters to offer input. We are as Bob mentioned earlier missing some key facts here, but I am thinking in this case a fellow made a mistake in his interpretation of Federal mining laws....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am assuming he had a POO. But that is an assumption just like others here assuming he did not. FYI, when I first got a claim on Nelson Creek around 1990, I sent a NOI to the FS ranger and let him know I would be dredging my claim for the summer and planned on staying there for the entire summer. I was informed in writing that my NOI would suffice and no POO was needed. So, not in all cases is a POO required for full time occupancy. I mined that claim for over 12 years without a POO with the local ranger visiting often.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah we are missing some facts for sure and were you on FS Steve or BLM? Can FS dictate land use rights differently? I am really curious on this case and wish there were more facts available, but it just happened and I am sure more info will come out.

I wanted to live on a placer claim on BLM here in AZ years back and was told I could not for any reason. Also had a friend here Bill Weisman who had a tromel, backhoe, and the whole works set up on his Golden Rainbow claim with POO and all other paperwork and they would not let him live there for a few months either, but his claim watchman could????? So the watchman stayed in a small trailer, but was not allowed to help with mining operation??? At least that is how Bill told it and he stayed in an RV park 4 miles away....

Boy did he get some nice gold out of Ox Wash :thumbsupanim

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yup, Bill. It was true about the watchman. You cant "live" on a claim you can only "work" on a claim. It is simply NOT residential property. The watchman was there after hours and can have a break room. It is a part of the "work" of the mine.

The POO can definitely extend the 14 days...I could leave my camper on site full time but I explained that I would not LIVE there nor would I be occupying it for more than 14 days at a time. It was allowed as a convinience to keep from having to tow it in and out of the canyon. It made sense and the BLM saw that it met the intent of the law. So I was covered and no one ever bothered me about the camper.

Even if I wanted to occupy full time the POO will allow it but you must account for your waste and jump through some enviro hoops...especially if on a stream bank. I know of a big operation where they were allowed up to five self contained RV setups for a six month period with an extension possible after an inspection. But they had to be kept inside the excavated perimeter of the workings and not add to the total disturbed acreage, not generate any waste stream, not be closer than 100 feet from water, and that sort of thing.

You can certainly stay for more than fourteen days with no crap from the BLM/FS on a small seassonal project because they have your plan and know what you are doing. But if after your project was over you left the camp for any length of time just as a parking place for your stuff I am CERTAIN there would be problems. Mining claims are not storage areas or parking lots! This is exactly what it sounds like this guy was doing...Parking his camper on his claim in the "off season" while he mined elsewhere. I believe that is the definition of exactly what you CANT do.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hey, right now I am woking a job where I am camping on BLM land and it is within the plan. We are drilling test holes for REE's and we can stay at the rig with our campers. We don't stay in one place for more than fourteen days but there are four campers. I know the company that is doing the testing has a plan that allows this. And I also know that as a commercial operation that you have to have a plan or you cant even stay ONE NIGHT. Unless a company has those campers in the POO they arent allowed at all...And they gotta be parked at a designated location and be self contained, not have any waste streams and not add to the footprint of the operations, etc.etc.

It makes sense becasue this is not a small operation nor a personal/recreational one. That is the intent of the 14 day limit. As a business you can not use public land to house your employees (or you and your business partners)not for even one day! So when you cross the line between private/recreational and professional/corporate there are some big distinctions in how you can use the land.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill is was USFS land in the Plumas National Forest. We kept a very tidy camp, had provisions for a pooper and ALWAYS left the camp 100% clean and empty after dredging season was over. The FS even asked if it was OK for them to use the camp after dredging season for a 2 week biological survey.

I was also able to occupy a dredging camp on BLM land for an entire summer with their permission and with the understanding we could get inspected at any time by armed BLM rangers. That was on the S. Fork of the Yuba River and not even on a claim in 1988. It was the South Fork Recreational Area just below the Malakof Diggings. It was an experimental program that Don Robinson helped us with. By the way, those BLM rangers wore full black uniforms and carried M-16s. When they did show in our camp, they told us they had been watching us from afar for 3 days and were satisfied we were not pot growers and there for dredging only!

Now you can't even have a dredge near a river in this State........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill and All

There is a serious misunderstanding of a Plan or Notice,and this is a big cause of most

problems. A plan in some cases can be as simple as a 1/2 page note and a $50.00

bond. In some cases there may not even be a bond. The biggest mistake most people

make, is not including the management agency in your operation from the start. The next

big mistake is confusing mining law,with Federal land use laws.

Basically you just have to show a cause or need,and get the District Rangers approval via

a permit in advance. I have to do a Plan of Operations for every project or timber sale. The

last Plan was two sentences long ,and a small bond. It took less than 10 minutes for the permit.

The bond is refundable too. A notice is no longer acceptable for extended camping. A notice

does not require approval unless bonding is required. Extended camping requires approval at

all times,and a permit,hence plan of operation.

A plan of operations is a common requirement for any project on federal lands,requiring offical

approval,or bonding. A plan is not the big scarey monster everyone thinks it is unless they make

it that way. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be,depending on the scope of

the project.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have also had a 40 acre claim on BLM withdrawn land. It is adjacent to my patent on the South Fork of the American River. In order to mine that and keep the BLM happy, all they wanted was a bond in the amount needed to remove my equipment in case I would have died and left same.... simple, easy and no POO, NOI or anything complicated. Much easier than USFS land. I gave up the claim but still have the patent... (only way to that claim is via my property)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This summer I was staying at a KOA in Gold hIll, Oregon (Josephine County) and talked to one of the people running the place. The person stated he had talked to someone i.e. forest personel, fish and game or who ever is responsible for dredging in Oregon. He was advised that Oregon law requires that dredges must be pulled out of the water each day. He further stated people were violating the dredge rules and some of them even failed to get a dredging permit. During the discussion he advised that he was told that officials were going to confiscate dredges and property in violation of the above mentioned law and as they were also leaving them unattended. Supposedly these dredgers were aware of the rules and decided to violate them anyway. Not sure what happened. This conversation was in late August. FYI. Jerry

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The point I have been trying to make is each and every area or State is different. A POO is not always needed to occupy a claim. When the heavy hand of the government comes down on a small scale miner, I ALWAYS take the side of the miner first. The government agencies involved in mining have corrupted the longest standing laws on the books. It hurts small scale miners that only want to get out there and create some wealth for themselves.

So just like some of you that want to immediately lame blame on the miner, I am the opposite and will immediatly lay blame on the government!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Once I read that he was mining somewhere else in the summer and left his junk there for the off season I automatically layed blame on the miner 'cause that is exactly what I have always thought was prohibited. But with the facts given and no more than that I suppose it is all just guessin anyway. The whole write up might be lies and left out a bunch of facts. I tried not to assume anything and rely on only what was given.

I based my position on the info that he left his stuff there and was gone to some other place when the FS came around. That was the only element of the story that shed any light on it for me. Whether he had a POO, was there for more than he was supposed to be, or even had a valid claim to begin with seems to be irrelevant if he was camping elsewhere at the time. If he left his stuff on public land unattended for an extended period I think that a fellow would be on pretty shaky ground assuming that anyone was in the wrong except him.

That certainly does not mean the Forest Service is not as evil as you visualize them to be. It just means that in this case I don't see how he would be justified griping about losing his stuff. I dont know of any way he could possibly have had permission to leave it there under any cicumstances. At least that is the way that I understand these things and there is no guarantee that I understand them correctly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Steve, I don't think anyone is laying blame anywhere just trying to figure this out, but if we live in this country we do have to abide by the rules set forth by government like it or not....

I do not like government and their ways often times either, but law is law and I never jump to one side or the other automatically in any situation and want to hear more on this one before taking either side.

This part is why I said he may have been in the wrong,

The incident was reported by two local miners who had been periodically checking on Everist's personal property at Twin Cedars, which included two camp trailers which Everist called home. According to the report, on their way up Thompson Creek Road, the miners witnessed two United States Forest Service Law Enforcement vehicles escorting what was described as "a roll-back trailer" into the vicinity of the Sturgis Fork. Later in the day, the two miners did a routine check on Twin Cedars and discovered that both trailers and other items had been taken by USFS from Everist's property during the course of the day.

Making a unpatented claim "home" will likely get one more attention from authorities than ya want...

Like I said I will wait on more info before making an opinion as we do not have all the facts on this yet. But if he was indeed living there than......

Or if living in one place winter and the other summer with no other actual base home than again.....

Personally I think one should be allowed to live on and work his own claim as long as he is working the mineral deposit claimed, but the law says otherwise and that is just what it is I guess.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't own much, and once again, the Forest Service has stolen what little I do have. That means that even if I went back to Twin Cedars, I'd have no shelter this winter. I really can't stay where I'm at right now come winter because the snow can get 6 to 8 feet deep up here," Everist said, remarking about the remoteness and high elevation of the place he's currently staying. "Basically, they've made me homeless and taken my livlihood from me," Everist added.

________________________________________

He admitted right here he had left the stuff while he was mining elsewhere. He also admitted he was using public land to live on, not only at "Twin Cedars" but where he currently was staying. And it looks to me like he was homeless a long time before the FS took his abandoned camper. This is just how I am interpreting this statement. If you can interpret it any other way I would be open to listening. And if you can interpret the rules in any fashion so that he could be justified doing this I would be open to discussing that as well.

And we must remember, the FS did not hassle him for camping where he was actively mining, even though they could. They impounded a camper he had left abandoned in the National Forest. This is not an issue of the FS targeting miners or being agressive.

The entire article is an admission. I am sorry. He was plainly in the wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The place he was at during the summer was said to be a patent.

Never gave official land status of the twin cedars placer, but the name implies a normal mineral claim.

No info provided about attempted contact from FS, only that they rolled a flat bed in and the owner's stuff was gone.

Just simply not enough info here. I'm all for the miner, but in light of the lack of facts it doesn't look good for him here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...