Jump to content
Nugget Shooter Forums

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Dizzo

Topographic Software

Recommended Posts

FootPrints maps do not use Google Earth or any other online program. All the data for your FootPrints map is right on your computer so a direct comparison of any type is impossible. Only FootPrints maps the actual claims so you won't be seeing our custom data on Google Earth. Two very different systems for two very different purposes.

At very best the Google Earth satellite images are 5.4 foot resolution. I think you will find nearly that resolution around the LSD area on Google Earth. On our FootPrint for LSD we use 9 inch resolution ortho-rectified aerial photos. Two entirely different animals.

Our claims mapping accuracy varies depending on the quality of the description given in the claim location recording, the quality of the locational reference on the map and simple human error. We provide a copy of each claim's original and amended location recordings as part of the FootPrint database so you can use your own judgement on any particular claim.

We use the digital PLSS to determine Township, Range, Section and quarter quarter/lot line locations. This survey set is supposed to be accurate to within 40 foot. Google Earth uses the Tiger Line data that is supposed to be accurate to 140 feet. Neither can be any more accurate than the original survey and those were often wildly inaccurate. Nonetheless without a new survey scheduled for any given area the PLSS is by definition the only lawful survey standard.

We have tested our maps claims location accuracy in relation to the actual PLSS survey pins on the ground and against GPS. In all cases we have been within 30 feet. We have many anecdotal accounts of accuracy within three feet or less but we take these with a grain of salt as current commercial technology doesn't permit repeatable accuracy within those limits. We have not as yet received any complaints of locational inaccuracy greater than 30 feet.

Claims location is a tricky business. We do not check actual claims locations on the ground. Some claims are mapped in their location notices with no more than a penciled X generally within a section. The majority of locators describe and map their claims within the PLSS or by metes and bounds. Those claims are plotted with an eye to the best accuracy possible within modern mapping. We are detail freaks, as any good cartographers are by nature.

Google presumed accuracy goes right out the door when you leave the urban areas or turn on the terrain feature. The stated accuracy of Google Earth is 3280 foot without terrain on. The "native" Google projection is a running joke within mapping circles. None of the many projections they have used through the years have been vetted. The original and standard projection is epsg:900913. If you look close you will see that is actually just "google" spelled out in numbers. Clever but not a recognized standard of mapping anywhere but the Google "campus" in California.

Here is the Google published statement of accuracy:

"Google makes no claims as to the accuracy of the coordinates in Google Earth. These are provided for entertainment only and should not be used for any navigational or other purpose requiring any accuracy whatsoever.

Our imagery varies from sub-meter resolution in major cities to 15 meter resolution for most of the earth's surface, with a global base resolution of 1KM. Since our database is constantly being updated, we cannot state a specific resolution for any geographic region.

Google acquires imagery from many different sources with many different file formats, projections and spectral characteristics. All imagery sources are fused into a single global database with a proprietary format that has been developed for the specific purpose of streaming to our client software."

We work very hard for a greater level of accuracy than is available elsewhere. We do make mistakes and we do correct those mistakes when they are brought to our attention. We don't make maps of the globe - we make high resolution maps of specific known placer gold regions in the western US.

Here is a link to a somewhat out of date comparison we made a few years ago. What we have done since and will continue doing into the future is to improve those standards. You might notice that part of this comparison is based on the old geocommunicator - long gone now.

http://www.minerdiggins.com/compare.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Clay. I was obviously mistaken about the Google Earth overlay. If I understand you correctly the Footprints aerial photo overlaid with the claim boundaries is accurate to within 30 feet?

So in the field is it customary to go by the actual position of the claim markers on site or to use GPS coords from a mapping source, such as Footprints, to determine the actual boundary line?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Clay ... I have heard that there will be a new interface option for the next generation of Footprints ... any timeline for that to happen? ... You a map a few areas that I am interested in but will wait for the new interface to buy.

Mike F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you Clay. I was obviously mistaken about the Google Earth overlay. If I understand you correctly the Footprints aerial photo overlaid with the claim boundaries is accurate to within 30 feet?

So in the field is it customary to go by the actual position of the claim markers on site or to use GPS coords from a mapping source, such as Footprints, to determine the actual boundary line?

It is a basic fact of mining law that the actual stakes on the ground always trump County Recordings or maps if there is a discrepancy. Locations are made on the ground and no matter what the County Recording or FootPrints maps show the actual claim is where the locator put his monuments.

In the southern portion of LSD near and around Little San Domingo wash locators have been marking and maintaining their claims boundaries about 20 foot east of the survey lines. This has been going on for decades at least. The fact that they make their recording at the county appear to follow those survey lines does not move their location 20 foot to the west. Their stakes define their claim.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Clay ... I have heard that there will be a new interface option for the next generation of Footprints ... any timeline for that to happen? ... You a map a few areas that I am interested in but will wait for the new interface to buy.

Mike F

Yep - there is a new interface in the works Mike. I think Patrick in Havasu could update you on the timeline as well as I can. It's about two weeks until release and has been since October. :89:

We are detail freaks and we really hate to put anything out that isn't just right. We have had working versions for the last few months but none of them have met our standards. We have kept track of everything all our users have wanted over the last three years and we fully intend to put out a new interface with every one of those features. :D

If you have a current FootPrint you won't be stranded. All our program updates are free, and always will be to FootPrints users. We hate the software model that keeps you paying for improvements.

I've got one niggling little problem to solve (hopefully today) and then I will make an installer (2 days) then we print burn and ship DVDs to folks who have agreed to test the new interface. If I am as good a programmer as I have been in the past we should then have updates ready in about ........ two weeks... :arrowheadsmiley:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you find lat long of a section / township range? Unfortunately, the area I’m working in is just outside Footprints © coverage.


What I do, and I don’t know if its right, is I put the red dot on the boundary in Geocommunicator, and then get the Lat Long in Deg / Min / Sec, so the resolution is within 30’. A couple of assumptions I’m making. The first is Geocommunicator uses WGS-84. I don’t know if that’s true or not. The second assumption is that the correct format is seconds since each coordinate I pull up ends in a whole second, and not a decimal of a second, so I’m assuming the other coordinates are based off that. A whole second comes to an accuracy of about +/- 30 feet.


For locating claim markers being the final say, I’m still a little puzzled about that. Some corners I go to can have a 200’ discrepancy with multiple, unlabeled PVC pipes. Some of these unlabeled pipes I can guess by looking up closed claims that were prior expired claims. Others, I suspect someone may have put the stake in the ground knowing they were off by a little, but staked in the favor of an acceptable GPS accuracy. Sometimes I also suspect the poles may have been put in the ground prior to WAAS in GPSs and the dithering turned up on the GPS to reduce the accuracy of receivers. So to me this is very confusing, especially when the area on a claim I want to work is right on the border.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clay ... Thanks ... I think! I'll check back with you in about two weeks then! ... or two weeks after that! or two weeks after that! Hmmm ... sounds like a Ground Hog Day problem!

I don't own any footprints but saw it recently and it was demonstrated to me ... looks like a good program ... do want to see if the new interface is a bit easier to manipulate than what I saw. Switching back and forth with certain buttons to prevent the map ffrom moving (shrinking or enlarging) when I didn't want it to seemed a bit tedious ... I guess it is what you are used to. In any event I would like to try one once you get the new updates finished.

Mike F

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How do you find lat long of a section / township range? Unfortunately, the area I’m working in is just outside Footprints © coverage.

What I do, and I don’t know if its right, is I put the red dot on the boundary in Geocommunicator, and then get the Lat Long in Deg / Min / Sec, so the resolution is within 30’. A couple of assumptions I’m making. The first is Geocommunicator uses WGS-84. I don’t know if that’s true or not. The second assumption is that the correct format is seconds since each coordinate I pull up ends in a whole second, and not a decimal of a second, so I’m assuming the other coordinates are based off that. A whole second comes to an accuracy of about +/- 30 feet.

For locating claim markers being the final say, I’m still a little puzzled about that. Some corners I go to can have a 200’ discrepancy with multiple, unlabeled PVC pipes. Some of these unlabeled pipes I can guess by looking up closed claims that were prior expired claims. Others, I suspect someone may have put the stake in the ground knowing they were off by a little, but staked in the favor of an acceptable GPS accuracy. Sometimes I also suspect the poles may have been put in the ground prior to WAAS in GPSs and the dithering turned up on the GPS to reduce the accuracy of receivers. So to me this is very confusing, especially when the area on a claim I want to work is right on the border.

I wasn't stating an opinion about stakes on the ground being the ultimate definition of a mining claim location. Several hundred court decisions, including several from the Supreme Court, state exactly that. So I guess your real question relates to which claim post is the current locators.

Let me do a hypothetical for you Chris. Let's imagine the claim next to you has very tall 2" pvc pipe that marks it.

Now let's imagine that other post that is 200' away doesn't look like those tall 2" pvc monuments. It might be a reasonable assumption on your part that the post that is out of position is not related to the claim adjacent to yours. So you dig. Along comes the other claim holder and he is cranky and has you arrested for mineral trespass on his claim.

So what do you tell the judge? Knowing what I posted above about the courts seeing the post as being the corner and NOT your assumptions about GPS or the shape or size of the marker or where the claim location recordings place it or even where the actual survey line is what do you say in your defense?

Now throw in my personal knowledge that the claimholder that has the tall 2" pvc pipe would lie to his mother to get over on you or your claim where does that leave you? He's going to claim you were inside his location whether it's true or not.

How about this for a solution. You assume your neighbor is a jerk and go about proving your discovery on your 20 or 40 acres and stay a reasonable distance away from any possible disputes due to posts found in questionable positions. You will still need to prove every 10 acres to be mineral in character so it's not like your 20 or 40 acre claim will fail for your lack of discovery on those questionable 200 feet. If you do discover a profitable valuable mineral deposit adjacent to that questionable location post you can mine what you need on your own claim to buy the neighbor out. If his stakes are in fact 2" very tall pvc posts I can tell you that he would be more than willing to sell you that claim for some ready cash. That's why he made the claim in the first place.

I'm sure with some thought other solutions will come to mind. :200: This is just the gentlemanly way to deal with potential disputes with your neighbor.

Rather than mess around with the geocommunicator map to get GPS corners you might want to consider using their Township Geocoder function. Most of that is broken, like so much of the BLM mapping, but their GeoCoder Web Service function does work and will give you the GPS locations of Section corners without guessing whether the red dot is positioned just right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way to get an accurate boundary is to do a real survey.

You can rent the equipment or hire a professional.

The "Total Station" is the industry standard today.

The Leica's are sweet units with easy to learn sw for the office and field.

Get's the boundaries down to the inch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clay's statement is utter fact.

Example from years back, I saw myself, that went to court.

Adit cross cut ran staight into a steep mountain & cut a rich vein about 1400 ft in the mountain.

Claim was described on the location notice as 600 feet wide at the portal & 1500 feet up the mountain.

Later surveys of the claims showed the locators stakes were only 1300 feet up on the mountain side.

Locator made a stupid mistake, failing to consider the differance of a straight line in the tunnel, compared to a 40 degree grade going up the mountain.

End stakes high up the mountain came up considerably short, failing to cover the vein the tunnel below intersected.

Another company staked over the vein, used expert disinterested witness's & a registered land surveyor to prove the stakes up the mtn side came up short.

Court agreed.

I wasn't stating an opinion about stakes on the ground being the ultimate definition of a mining claim location. Several hundred court decisions, including several from the Supreme Court, state exactly that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What stops an unscrupulous fellow from going out an moving your claim posts and claiming over you then if the in-situ location of the posts are the final say in court? If posts were the proof then anyone could simply move their posts and change the location of their claim willy-nilly when they felt like it too.

I've not looked into this particular issue before so I'll have to go with what's said here with a healthy dose of doubt, but to me I would think that would be exceedingly flimsy and difficult to prove in court. Paperwork filed with the county recorder with their official stamp (in my mind at least) should be the final word since it's the only thing that cannot be tampered with and contains a legal description that is immutable (unlike corner posts). Overfiling is simple to prove with paperwork.

I mean, people here all the time say it doesn't matter if the posts aren't on their claim when people go out prospecting and don't see anything marked...due to trespassing, vandalism, malicious intent, etc. (and I agree, being a claimholder myself who has experienced this). So that being said how can the posts themselves be the final say in court?

Can someone clarify for me how that argument would stand in court over the legal paperwork (loc cert)? Interesting subject I haven't seen discussed at least. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the location of a mining claim the notice or certificate is not required to show the precise boundaries of the claim as marked on the ground but it is sufficient if it contains directions which taken in connection with such boundaries will enable a person of rea sonable intelligence to find the claim and trace the lines 1 Lindley on Mines f 3S1 Carter v Bacigalupi 83 Cal 187 23 Pac 361

Location notices of mining claims be being usually prepared by unlettered men must not be held to technical accuracy but must be construed with much liberality else the main object of the law which was not to wrest from the prospector the fruits resulting from honest toil and innumerable hardships but to aid him in acquiring valuable rights in mining property and to develop the mineral resources of the country will be defeated.

It Is true the descriptions should be as definite as the surrounding circumstances permit With just how much accuracy description of a mining claim in reference to a natural object or permanent monument must be stated In the notice of location is not set forth In the statute and where as in this case the location was evidently made in good faith we are not disposed to hold the locator to a very strict compliance with the law in respect to his location notice If by any reasonable construction in view of the surrounding circumstances the language employed in the description will Impart notice to subsequent locators it is sufficient.

Prospectors as a rule make no pretensions of scholarship or the art of composition are neither surveyors nor lawyers and If in their notice of location technical accuracy of expression were an absolute requirement the object of the law which doubtless Is the encouragement and benefit of the miners would in many cases be frustrated and injustice would result by the disturbing possession after much hard labor performed and money in good faith expended. Therefore mere imperfections in the notice of location will not render it void.

Courts usually construed the statute respecting the location of mining claims with much liberality and the sufficiency of the location with reference to natural objects or monuments is simply a question of fact.

Gold Mining Co v Gold & Copper Co Utah 3 i3 r 8 Pac 832 1 Lindley on Mines I 355 Wells v Davis 22 Utah 322 62 Pac 3 Wilson v Triumph Min Co 19 Utah 66 56 Pac 300 75 Am St Rep 718 North Noonday Min Co v Orient Min Co CC 1 Fed 522 Brhardt v Boaro 113 US 52 5 Sup Ct 560 28 L Ed 1113

The circumstances and conditions of the surrounding country may be and doubtless in many instances are such that stakes driven firmly Into the ground will afford the best means to Identify the claim and the discovery In such cases such identification will be considered as a sufficient compliance with the statute.

As said by the Supreme Court of the United States in Hammer v Garfield Min Co 130 US 201 9 Sup Ct 548 32 L Ed 904 These provisions as appears on their face are designed to secure a definite description one so plain that the claim can be readily ascertained, A reference to some natural object or permanent monument Is named for that purpose.

Of course the section means when such reference can be made Mining lode claims are frequently found where there are no permanent monuments or natural objects other than rocks or neighboring hills.

Stakes driven into the ground are in such cases the most certain means of Identification.

Jupiter Min Co v Bodie Con Min Co CC 11 Fed 666 Eaton v Norris 131 Cal 561 63 Pac 856

I have literally hundreds more in my library. They date from the late 1840's up to last year. If you can find any case that finds otherwise I would be very interested to see it.

There is a wide gap between "it is the responsibility of the prospector to know land status whether there are location stakes present or not" and "it doesn't matter whether there are location posts". Although there is no legal requirement to maintain location markers it most certainly matters whether others can find your location on the ground as the courts have made abundantly clear.

It should be obvious that these case cites rely on actual notice on the ground more than the legal effect of a location recording. To ignore that basic difference is to ignore the period between location on the ground and recording of that location (up to 90 days) and the quality of ones location when patent is applied for. There is much more at "stake" than simple public notice at a county office.

A man that removes or relocates mineral claim location stakes is guilty of a felony. Should we punish the claim holder for the crimes of those who violate his property rights?

For that same claim holder to falsely move his stakes to misrepresent his location is also a felony.

Both acts are against the law and amount to felony property theft. There are already well established laws sanctioning both acts and providing punishment. Shall we demand our government assume we are all felons until proven otherwise ... by producing county recordings? Why would a person intending to commit a felony not do so in his county recordings?

There is no law that prevents a claim holder from re-establishing his location after a felony has been committed against his location. It is the legal obligation of the mineral claimant to possess and occupy his claim. Part of that obligation is to defend the claim location against those who would abuse it. The claimant who doesn't defend his location in all senses of the word will lose it. Remember this is a possessory right. No possession - no right.

Court cases involving mining claim rights are mostly focused on the subject of location. With accurate, documented and well marked locations that respect the land status of other locations most of these cases would not exist.

This controversy you perceive Jason is good reason to understand why both nvchris and elder-miner are saying the same thing. Chris properly advocates accurate locations while elder-miner properly points out that if you make a sloppy location that becomes your burden - not the courts nor subsequent locators.

They are both advocating personal responsibility for one's actions. A mining claim is a claim of right. To look to others to enforce or prove that claim of right would make it into just another government babysitting operation. The choice between "show me your papers" and let me see where you have made your location is the choice between big brother and the freedom our forefathers struggled for.

Be careful what you ask for... there are many out there that are just waiting to give it to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What stops an unscrupulous fellow from going out an moving your claim posts and claiming over you then if the in-situ location of the posts are the final say in court? If posts were the proof then anyone could simply move their posts and change the location of their claim willy-nilly when they felt like it too.

If you are carefull, when you establish new or corner markers. Take digital pictures with that days newspaper IN the picture & landmarks in the back ground that will never move. Also establish witness monuments. Like shaving a square on trees with a draw knife & paint it red with marker spray paint. Things like that last decades. Some AO can move a post, but will play hell moving trees & landmarks. You can also bury a magnetic marker. Lots of ways to skin that cat, including credible witness's that will testify in court.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clay,

Thanks for the Geocoder. What Datum does this display?

I read the instructions and was able to use Geocoder, but took me about an hour to figure out. I could not find in the instructions what Datum the coords were delivered in, but for the GetTRS option the two values are NAD27 and NAD83. For the Get Lat Lon Feature that I'm using, Datum is not an option. When I look at my Wickenburg 1964 map, the datum is NAD27, and the legend says to convert to NAD83 go 1 meter South and 67 Meters East. When I look at my 2011 Wickenburg map it says that its in both WGS84 and NAD83, so at least in this part of the world its the same coordinate.

One of the common misconceptions I've seen is to if you're confused about the datum you're using when using MGRS, is to just convert it to Lat Long and you'll be fine. If all you're doing is land navigation, that could be fine, but if I'm putting a claim marker in the ground and I have the wrong datum, I'll be 1 meter South and 67 Meters East of where it should be.

Thanks,

Chris

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess what I'm wondering is if this is one of those things where old law predating the PLSS survey system where much of the ground in the west was still unsurveyed applied where it may not now.

I know when I worked in the oilfield (I was a Well Planner for 5 years of it, working directly with surveyors and site locations) that it didn't matter where a surveyor staked any feature. What mattered was the legal land description for that particular lease parcel which were based off the PLSS. Granted this is for leasable and not locatable but I'm having a hard time understanding how locatable minerals are different? If a surveyor got a boundary wrong, or a directional driller went past a hardline is was the fault of the company involved, dealt with this issue before, it didn't matter where anyone arbitrarily or incorrectly placed a post or boundary.

Also if I own the surface rights for a piece of property for instance, what matters is the legal description of that property that is on my deed and not physical markers. I can go put up corners or a fence on my property wherever I like including over someone else's land, but that doesn't give me rights to the land that isn't included in my legal lot description. I just went to court over this actually, where my fences were erected incorrectly 75 years ago and another person was using my land as their own (including erecting structures upon it until a tree fell (that was on said land) and they sued me for not trimming it when I didn't even know it was my land to begin with, and I lost.

Is it different with mining claims? I realize a deed or a patent or mineral lease is not a location certificate and I am talking about surface rights in my personal example, but I just don't see how posts could be the final say in the modern world when they are not immutable, and even photos and GPS could be faked or misinterpreted where a publically recorded document (conceivably) could not and are certainly used all the time as the basis for ownership proof in court for most other disputes. Landmarks do move, the earth is geologically active. Some landmarks even move in a short time span. Also, it's difficult if not impossible to pin the down the exact location in a photo from a landmark (assuming it doesn't move), depending on the type of lens alone used (among other factors) you could be off by miles depending on the photo and landmark. A clerk recorded and stamped document does not suffer from that interpretational error.

I dunno...can someone post a link to a recent court case they are referring to just out of curiosity? Like 1980's or newer. I'd like to see what the basis of the decision was. A case well after the FLPMA and BLM involvement.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jason the PLSS has been around since 1785. It is specifically addressed in the 1872 mining act.

Laws and court decisions do not expire with age.

The FLPMA did not change the laws of mining locations. Looking there will not show you any thing new but the requirement to make an annual informational filing with the BLM.

"FLPMA section 302

Except as pro­vided in section 314, section 603, and subsection(f) of section 601 of this Act and in the last sen­tence of this paragraph, no provision of this sec­tion or any other section of this Act shall in any way amend the Mining Law of 1872 or impair the rights of any locators or claims under that Act, including, but not limited to, rights of ingress and egress. In managing the public lands the Secretary shall, by regulation or otherwise, take any action necessary to prevent unnecessary or undue degradation of the lands."

A lot of folks will try to tell you the FLPMA created new law by inference. The FLPMA itself will tell you otherwise:

"FLPMA Section 102 Declaration of Policy

(b) The policies of this Act shall become effec­tive only as specific statutory authority for their implementation is enacted by this Act or by subse­quent legislation and shall then be construed as supplemental to and not in derogation of the pur­poses for which public lands are administered under other provisions of law."
Elder-miner gave you a recent first hand account of a case demonstrating the principle that stakes on the ground are the determining factor when there is a conflict in the location. Now you want more proof that the law is what the courts say it is. You even up the ante by bringing photography and lenses into the equation. Some people might be offended by your persistence but for myself I have a soft spot for skeptics. We need more people that will question what they are told. :thumbsupanim
I did a search of my library and came up with several recent cases then I happened on this one from the 10th Circuit involving a large mining company (Kerr McGee) photographic evidence and the issue of stakes establishing locations. It's from 1978 - post FLPMA. It quotes the same cases I gave earlier as authority and if you read closely the court obviously considers the possibility of staking creating a valid right to the land without any county recording.

"Rasmussen examined the area, including Section 17; that Rasmussen remarked that, upon such actual examination, he found one post with a location certificate on it reputedly locating a lode claim, signed by a person named Ladd; that Rasmussen had Ed Engleman check the County Clerk's records in Converse County relative to any filings of any location certificates in Section 17 and was thereafter informed that none existed; that when Brown requested that Rasmussen describe what he saw on the ground (in Section 17) he (Brown) diagrammed that which Rasmussen described; that Rasmussen described what he (Rasmussen) regarded to be two lode mining claims, end to end, located in the southeast quarter of Section 17; that Rasmussen also referred to two similar lode mining claims located in the northeast quarter of Section 17; that Rasmussen described two posts at or near the common ends of the two "sets" of claims; that Rasmussen, after observing the location notice and posts, concluded that the locations were, per notice, made the previous fall...
On direct examination, Lowell Rasmussen had testified to certain photographs depicting a particular cattle shed and the general area of a portion of Section 17, which had been admitted in evidence. On cross-examination, Rasmussen was asked how far away from the nearest highest point in the photograph admitted as Plaintiff's Exhibit 3 he was standing "when you took the picture?" Rasmussen responded "I'm not sure I took that photograph. Did I say I took that photograph." (R., Vol. VI, p. 114.) Rasmussen then stated that he believed the photographs, renumbered as Plaintiff's Exhibits 38 and 38A, were taken by Ed DeJulius and that he (Rasmussen) was not present when they were taken. (R., Vol. VI, pp. 115, 116.) Previously, during voir dire by counsel for Kerr-McGee, Rasmussen was asked where he was standing in Section 17 when the photographs were taken. He responded "I was approximately a hundred feet from the south boundary of the section." (R., Vol. VI, p. 54.) Again, when asked "how far away this nearer highest point is from where you were standing when you took the picture ?", Rasmussen responded "It appears to me that that is a quarter of a mile, I would guess." (Emphasis supplied.) (R., Vol. VI, p. 56.) Then, when asked "do you remember seeing the stakes at the time you took the picture?", Rasmussen replied "No, no. It was an after thought." (R., Vol. VI, p. 57.) The trial court had previously admitted Exhibits 38 and 38A in evidence, without objection, based upon Rasmussen's testimony that he had taken the photographs.
Discovery of a valuable mineral (as stipulated to in this case) is a primary prerequisite to a valid location. Discovery is not established, of course, by proof of staking, marking and recording of a location certificate. It has long been held that the prime requisites for establishment of valid possessory title to a lode and/or placer mining claim are the discovery of a valuable mineral, the distinct marking on the ground of the boundaries, the actual taking of possession of the claim and the performance of the requisite amount of development work. Donnelly v. United States, 228 U.S. 243, 33 S.Ct. 449, 57 L.Ed. 820 (1913); Erhardt v. Boaro, 113 U.S. 527, 5 S.Ct. 560, 28 L.Ed. 1113 (1885); Slothower v. Hunter, 15 Wyo. 189, 88 P. 36 (1906)."
This was all about one set of stakes with no county recording. The court obviously took those stakes very seriously as well as the photograph taken of the area. The discussion revolves around whether there was clear testimony made by the man who took the photograph. The photograph and the stakes are evidence.
You will notice in the last paragraph quoted above the court establishes what constitutes a valid claim with two Supreme Court decisions and one Wyoming State Supreme Court decision as it's authority. Notice something missing from that description? Yep - the same county recording that you propose should carry more weight than stakes on the ground is nowhere to be found in their definition of a valid location.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting food for thought, I appreciate the reply.

Just to clarify, I know the PLSS has been around quite a while but much of the west was still unsurveyed during the period mining law was first being written so that many (actually - most in my experience) placer claims were still described by metes and bounds rather than by aliquot parts as is required today (I realize there are exceptions to this) as it was just not possible at the time. In that way it was difficult to include a specific location on the recorded location certificate but today it is required by the BLM, hence my curiosity about post-FLPMA court cases.

But, I'm still not convinced that a guy with a valid location certificate filed at the county who had his corners pulled or vandalized would be trumped in court by a fellow who just went out there and staked some posts without filing a location certificate. Or any of the almost infinite other cases I can imagine... But I can certainly imagine many cases where the loc cert would trump some random corners.

I mean just in that case you referenced, no one is certain where the photo is even taken at during testimony...it's just too difficult to prove where a marker is from a photo and also very easy to fake. A location certificate on the other hand is absolute and there can be no disagreement over where a claim is.

Photoshop also didn't exist a few decades ago which is another reason I was curious about recent decisions. I have friends who do FX in the movie industry that can make things realer than reality, faking a corner post would take about 2 minutes and no one short of a digital photo specialist could ever tell the difference, and likely most of them couldn't tell either. Could put a fake newspaper in with a fake date just as easily. Times a changin'....

I know court decisions never change, but the precidents they set certainly do as laws and newer court precedents change.

Anyways, interesting discussion, always nice to hear about this kind of legal claim stuff from other people as it's not discussed much on forums.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the exception of placer claims described by Metes & Bounds, all placer claims are described by aliquot part legal description or Lots. The locator is only required to have a single prominent monument inside the lands the legal description covers. You could remove that monument, but it would move the claims boundaries.

Lode claims in mountainous terrain located by the inexperienced or unprofessional are seldom properly established with all corners in place. They will put in any readily accessible corner, because its easy. The ones up a steep mountain, across a canyon, or river seldom exist.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The locator is only required to have a single prominent monument inside the lands the legal description covers.

That being the case then how could the corner markers be the legal and official location of the claim if corner posts are not required? The legal description as you say is upon the location paperwork...otherwise wouldn't it be the "here is an ambiguous non-binding in a court of law location upon my paperwork that doesn't matter" certificate? :arrowheadsmiley:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That being the case then how could the corner markers be the legal and official location of the claim if corner posts are not required? The legal description as you say is upon the location paperwork...otherwise wouldn't it be the "here is an ambiguous non-binding in a court of law location upon my paperwork that doesn't matter" certificate? :arrowheadsmiley:

© Placer claims. (1) You must describe placer claims by aliquot part and complete Lots using the U.S. Public Land Survey System and its rectangular subdivisions except when placer claims are—

(i) On unsurveyed Federal lands;

(ii) Gulch or bench placer claims; or

(iii) Bounded by other mining claims or nonmineral lands.

(2) For placer mining claims that are on unsurveyed Federal lands or are gulch or bench placer claims:

(i) You must describe the lands by protracted survey if the BLM has a protracted survey of record; or

(ii) You may describe the lands by metes and bounds, if a protracted survey is not available or if the land is not amenable to protraction.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/43/3832.12

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

elder-miner

Jason makes some good points. Also some states require 4 corner posts on all placer

claims that are laid out with the aliquot system. Lets say that you made a placer claim

using PLSS and the aliquot system. You claim 20 acres on the west side of the SWSW

quarter quarter of section 3. Your claim map and papers will show the location as the

west half of SWSW quarter quarter of section 3 . You can take those posts for a ride

but that does not affect the legal location or boundary or size of the claim.

It is where it is,and is tied to legal section survey corners ,The description on the map

and paperwork defines where the boundaries are regardless if there is a post in place

or not. That 20 acres can not be moved ,but corner posts can. The description on the

map and papers are a permanent legal record of that parcel ,and is what any surveyer

or the BLM will use to determine the location of corner posts. It is what the claimant will

use to replace or set corner posts too. The claim is for the West 20 acre half of the

SWSW quarter quarter of section 3,not what is inside the corner posts. The law does

allow for mistakes in staking and allows the claimant to amend the corners with a legal

survey. If your description says your claim is 1320 feet by 660 feet running N and S

with the SW corner abutting the SW section corner of section 3, and is the West half

of SWSW quarter quarter of section 3 ,that pretty well ties it down even for a court of law.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree.


PLSS aliquot part mining claim legal descriptions (if correct) cannot “move”.

Because they are derived from the PLSS system. As are all surveys in the United States.


http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/boundaries/a_plss.html


http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/cad/manual.html


http://www.blmsurveymanual.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=992

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, so if a correctly described PLSS aliquot part mining claim legal description cannot move, how then can the stakes on the ground be more important and carry more weight than the description on the location notice filed with the county and BLM? It seems to me that would make it very clear and finite where the locator intends his claim to be?

In Sawmill's example would the following description be correct?

W1/2 SW1/4 SW1/4 Sec.3, T._,R._,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps stakes matter for a Lode Claim that can't be described soley by township / range, but not much for a placer claim???

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clay,

Thanks for the Geocoder. What Datum does this display?

I read the instructions and was able to use Geocoder, but took me about an hour to figure out. I could not find in the instructions what Datum the coords were delivered in, but for the GetTRS option the two values are NAD27 and NAD83. For the Get Lat Lon Feature that I'm using, Datum is not an option. When I look at my Wickenburg 1964 map, the datum is NAD27, and the legend says to convert to NAD83 go 1 meter South and 67 Meters East. When I look at my 2011 Wickenburg map it says that its in both WGS84 and NAD83, so at least in this part of the world its the same coordinate.

One of the common misconceptions I've seen is to if you're confused about the datum you're using when using MGRS, is to just convert it to Lat Long and you'll be fine. If all you're doing is land navigation, that could be fine, but if I'm putting a claim marker in the ground and I have the wrong datum, I'll be 1 meter South and 67 Meters East of where it should be.

Thanks,

Chris

Chris to answer your question the returns from the Geocoder tool are returned in NAD83.
The result you get from a single query is the centroid of the polygon representing the survey part you requested. It can be difficult to get the valid corner locations from that information particularly if the section or aliquot is irregular in size or shape or coincides with another survey part anywhere but at the four corners. There is a way to get the corner locations from the geocommunicator itself but it is an involved process. If you would like PM me and I can help guide you through that process but first read below.
You should be aware that although lat/lon is accurate in describing single points it is incapable on it's own in measuring distances with any accuracy. Although a second of longitude is about 81' in our area of Arizona it will be much greater at the equator (about 100') and O at the poles with a nearly infinite range of values between the two in between. Add in the fact that a second of latitude is essentially the same distance whether at the equator or at the poles and you can see that angular distance calculation becomes extremely difficult.
Luckily NAD83 expresses itself well in square projections. Your Topo map is a square projection and angular measurements can be very accurate. Trying to express those same distances in DMS will leave you confused as to why you need to travel 100' north to get 1 second of motion yet only 81' to the west makes for the same 1 second change.
Remember how I said the DMS angle calculations can be difficult? With computers the distance calculation in most projections is trivial. Even there we make the calculations by defining a square projection from the points no matter whether the original projection is elliptical or rectangular. Doing this on your calculator is possible but with computers we can produce measurements as well as points in many projections measured in fractions of a second. Recalculating projections is very complex stuff for our puny brains but is a good example of what computers are very good at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...