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Bloomberg Story about 1872 Law


Gaius

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The last paragraph should be of concern to us all -

“’After 8 years in this office I have come to the conclusion that the most important piece of unfinished business on the nation’s resource agenda is the complete replacement of the mining law of 1872,’” Udall said, quoting his father’s statement upon his retirement.

“Here we are more than 40 years later, it still hasn’t been done,” the younger Udall said.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/print/2013-01-16/miners-may-pay-u-s-more-in-royalties-under-1872-overhaul.html

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“It’s always been something that we’ve been open to discussion on,” Raulston said in an interview. She declined to say what would be an acceptable rate. Wages and environmental rules already make it relatively expensive to do business in the U.S., she said."

Ge Ya Recon?

Weve talked about this one before and if they do Manage to Call for a %, how to hell would they monitor it?

Again would if Effect the Small Miner?

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While many here seem to believe that there is an overwhelming plot to take away the mineral grant found in the 1872 Act it just ain't so. Those of you that served in the military know what a cluster *uck is and I can assure you the government still has them in abundance.

On the one side there is this blowhard story from Bloomberg that has been repeated for years and years and on the other hand there are the actual facts on the ground.

"Employees in the USGS Minerals program are receiving letters today offering them an early retirement buyout. My source says the target is a reduction of 6 in the western office, and possibly higher numbers in Denver and Reston USGS offices. Those accepting must be gone by early March. The buyout reportedly only only applies to the Minerals Program. There were simultaneous meetings on Monday with all the Minerals Program staff nationwide notifying them of the offer."

So who are you going to believe? A retiring politician giving an interview with the newspaper owned by the mayor of New York or the facts on the ground? Does it make any sense to plan to convert all mineral locations to leases or sales and at the same time reduce your staff and strip it of it's most senior and experienced mineral leasing and sales employees?

By the way that quote is from Lee Allison the Arizona State Geologists blog. He is a really smart guy and Arizona is lucky to have him. If it isn't on your reading list it should be. Better to get your mining news from a smart geologist than a lefty newspaper.

Blog of the State Geologist of Arizona

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Clay

This is the same thing that the Forest Service did just before scuttling the timber

program. They got rid of all of their most pro multiple use ,and old school staff with

early retirement ,transfers ,and some they just drove out. The early retirement offer

was their first scheme to get rid of the more common sense staff that didn't buy into

the new program.

Once all the pro timber,pro mining or drilling guys are out the door,they just replace

them with a new group that won't question any change in plans. Your post should be

setting off alarm bells to anyone that has dealt with the feds in the past.

The only time the feds make buyout offers to top brass,is when they are ready to pull

a fast one,and don't want any resistance from the staff.

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Thanks for sharing your perspective Sawmill. It's nice to get the opinions of someone who has the experience to speak to the history of Forest Service actions.

Unfortunately the Forest Service has nothing to do with this cutback nor for the future cutbacks already planned for the minerals program. The Forest Service is an agency of the Department of Agriculture. The Department of Agriculture has nothing to do with minerals management. The BLM and the USGS are agencies of the Interior Department. They are the agencies that deal with minerals on public lands. Apples and Oranges.

The entire budget has been cut for the minerals program this past year and new and significant cuts are planned for the next budget year. The only real question pending on the hill is just how much of a cut that will be. For example:

For the USGS minerals program

49.2 million - USGS current minerals program budget

47 million - House budget target for 2013

46.8 million - Senate budget target for 2013 -

45.3 million -Proposed Presidential budget target for 2013

For the BLM minerals program

107.6 million - BLM current minerals program budget

? million - House budget target for 2013

93.9 million - Senate budget target for 2013 -

92.9 million -Proposed Presidential budget target for 2013

So we are looking at an approx 10% + budget cut for the BLM minerals program. Although both agencies budgets are proposed for an overall increase or to remain the same for the next budget year the minerals programs are being reduced considerably across the board.

Now the Forest Service does have a "minerals and geological" budget item. As I am sure you already know this budget item is to fund the mandatory recurring geological surveys on lands designated or proposed as wilderness under the Wilderness Act. You might presume they will be slipping some funding to them to fulfill the dreams and wishes of that lefty newspapers campaign. So lets look for a big increase there shall we?

U.S. Forest Service Minerals and Geology Budget:

83.4 million - FS current budget

? million - House budget target for 2013

63.4 million - Senate budget target for 2013 -

73.4 million -Proposed Presidential budget target for 2013

Even more of a reduced budget cut across the board for the Forest Service minerals obligations. Still both parties agree to an increased budget for the Forest Service as a whole.

Somehow the facts don't even come close to supporting a concerted move to leasable and salable from locatable. It looks like those mineral management agencies will be losing their jobs for the next several years at least.

Follow the money not some left wing dream agenda.

Edited by clay
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> This is the same thing that the Forest Service did just before scuttling the timber

program. They got rid of all of their most pro multiple use ,and old school staff with

early retirement ,transfers ,and some they just drove out. The early retirement offer

was their first scheme to get rid of the more common sense staff that didn't buy into

the new program.

Once all the pro timber,pro mining or drilling guys are out the door,they just replace

them with a new group that won't question any change in plans. Your post should be

setting off alarm bells to anyone that has dealt with the feds in the past.

The only time the feds make buyout offers to top brass,is when they are ready to pull

a fast one,and don't want any resistance from the staff.<

Same thing in the mid to late 80's - early 90's.

Before DOI/BLM got the illegal mining claim patent moratorium in their annual budget bill in 1993

The simply retired or transfered all the old hands who processed mining claim patents.

They made it near impossible, as there was no one there quailified to do it.

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elder-miner

I am well aware of who runs the minerals program. I was just using the Forest Service actions

as an example. Both are federal agencies ,and both are capable of using the same tactics.

If the DOI does decide to go with a straight lease program,they won't need all the extra brass,

because it can be streamlined ,to operate with low level employees,and with computer programs.

One chief and a bunch of Indians and a straight forward lease system can eliminate a lot of brass,

that may not like the new system. It also eliminates a lot of common sense arguments by older

employees,that can cause friction with the new robots.

I wonder if any of this may have been a factor with Ken Salazar stepping down as Secretary of

the Interior? Something is up,and I smell a rat!

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The huge stumbling block regarding VALID unpatented mining claims, is VER = Valid Existing Rights. Which are Constitutionally protected. DOI/BLM cannot simply TAKE grandfathered rights, without paying “just compensation”. No doubt a big change will eventually come involving leasing & royalties for most minerals situated on federal lands. Trouble is, those existing unpatented mining claims, with established VER, will hobble a lease/royalty system. Since, unpatented mining claims with VER would not be subject to the lease restrictions & royalty provisions. That is the tough nut DOI/BLM is trying to crack right now.

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elder-miner

This so called royalty thing is tied into a bill that would do just what you are talking about.

It is tied into a total overhaul and repeal of existing mining laws. The same people are backing

the whole mess,and just waiting for the right time to cram it through. The royalty talk is just part

of a bigger scheme. How are your rights working out on the claim fee overhaul?

The claim fee thing was just a test,and it worked to pave the way for other bigger changes. I

remember guys saying they can't change this or that ,every time changes have been made.

The rights granted in the mining laws are not a constitutional right . They were granted by

congress in a separate act, by suggestion of the president at the time. Congress can also do

away with those rights, by increasing fees and tightening screws until you can't afford those

rights. The government has been known to do takeovers by starving out folks in the past ,and

making it impossible to hang on.

Most small miners have elected to use their small miners rights and hold their claims with

assessment work. There is no funds being generated by these claims once the filing fee has

been used up. Some are only tying up just a small portion of a section,and the BLM just sees

us as a pain in the butt. As you said it is all about the money. How do you reckon this will turn

out in the end? Lets see giant mining company ,most likely foreign willing to cash lease several

square miles ,and expend large amounts of cash versus Joe Blow no fee, You can bet your butt

that if they do switch to a lease program ,a small timer won't have a chance.

They have been headed in this direction for years,one step at a time,and gaining control with

every step. The government runs on money,nostalgia ,history ,and antique laws don't pay the bills,

and they are looking for cash. Couple that with popular opinion and free money,it ain't looking too

good for Joe Blow No Fee. Once the powers that be gets their way,it is funny how they can work

with large corporations and make things happen.

I hope that this never happens,but it is out there,and I learned a long time ago to never say never.

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You both make valid points. None of us are prophets and predicting the motives and subsequent actions of others is akin to fortunetelling.

But there are similarities that we would be foolish to ignore. One is the past actions of another agency, as Sawmill points out.

Another is considering the consequences should any particular assumed plan be put into place as elder-miner illustrated.

A third would be to eliminate the impossible or improbable.

And lastly the use of occams razor to find the greatest probability. The walks like duck quacks like duck test.

We obviously have different perspectives on this situation. I see the possibility that the Bloomberg article may have more than political bluster to it but by itself it provides us with nothing but opinions and point of view. There are no proposed laws or regulatory findings to back it up.

The 1872 Mining Act has been in effect for 140 years with only two relatively minor changes - it's going to take a lot more than a Bloomberg interview to push around one of the biggest industries, with some of the biggest companies, in the world making big bucks moving rock. If you could point to some industry publications or actions that even refer to this as a problem or solution it would go a lot further to making the point that this issue is even on anybody's radar besides politicians and small miners on small forums.

My dear wife Ruby was not always just one of the greatest cartographers of our time. In her previous life she was a CPA. Not just any CPA but CFO of several large companies including a defense contractor and one of the larger government spenders. Her take on this issue of senior personnel being offered early retirement is that it's the very first move any financial manager worth their salt will do when budgets need to be cut. Her explanation makes a lot of sense and even if it didn't it's pretty much the SOP in gov and corporate finance so it's no surprise to her that this happened when their budget was cut.

Here is her explanation. The quickest way to shed expenses is to cut from the top. A few bigger salaries gone add up much quicker than many small salaries. A few of the senior bosses gone upsets the apple cart much less than putting fear into the bulk of people doing actual productive work. In government the senior management are already pension and benefit vested and are often thrilled to retire early. Letting people retire early is much easier on your work force than laying off senior employees and suffering the inevitable re-training costs and occasional lawsuit that comes from riffing people who can afford to fight back. She says this can actually be beneficial to production because the first to accept early retirement are often the long term slackers and office manipulators. Of course she also made the point that laying off workers lower down on the salary chain does little to reduce your budget and may well take your productivity so low as to make your organization virtually ineffective.

Knowing this is standard procedure in gov and industry doesn't negate your real life observation Sawmill but it does up the ante on providing more proof than a perceived cause and effect in another circumstance.

You also make the valid observation that a larger minerals program could be run with fewer workers at a lower pay and experience level by using computer programs. That theory makes a lot of sense until you consider that the average development of a computer system within the federal gov costs anywhere from 10 - 50 billion dollars and takes 7-12 years to implement. With annual budgets hovering below 100 million and dropping combined with the fact that there is no such program proposed much less funded I think that idea, for at least the immediate future, is a non starter.

Elder-miner makes a valid point about the devolution of the patent processing funding. There was a breakdown in the system long before Congress made their first biannual prohibition on funding of patent application processing by the BLM in October of 1993. Looking at the actual chain of events leading up to that many times renewed restriction can be instructive - but only if viewed in perspective.

The last U.S. mineral surveyor exam was was held in 1986 in Anchorage, Alaska. The nation was just coming out of one of the worst financial collapses in history. Real interest rates were down to the 12-14% range from a high of 33% in 1980 but the prices of raw metals had dropped even faster over that period and mining ventures could not get funded. In essence taking a proven claimed resource out of a dormant state on federal lands and moving it into private ownership subject to the taxes of revenue hungry states was a very bad idea. Besides the lack of desire to move productive, but shuttered, mineral properties into the patent process the BLM was seriously understaffed, as were many government agencies under the Reagan mandate, and they were taking up to eight years to finalize the first half certificate. The patent process was at it's historical low.

From what I gather both Sawmill and Elder-miner were active miners during this time and I'm pretty sure you probably had the same experience as I did during this time. Hardrock mining during this period was in a slump and it was getting worse. A lot of mines were shuttered during this time that are only now going into production again.

By 1990 leasing revenues were soaring but locatable mining revenues were having difficulty recovering due to the still high interest rates caused by the second economic crises in a decade exemplified by the Savings and Loan collapse and scandal. Most of the rise in leasable minerals revenue were due to higher lease rates on coal. Greed and avarice raised their ugly heads and Congress was taken by the idea that converting locatable minerals to leasable minerals would produce a windfall in federal revenues. This was the most dangerous challenge to the 1872 Act to this date and the ultimate reason Congress suspended funding for patent processing. Mining Law Reform: The Impact of a Royalty is an interesting and instructive essay from the time. Please note the similarity to today's annual proposals and the obvious lack of influence from either the greenie lobby or agency interference. This proposal has been around a lot longer than the opposition to mining you are told are are your enemies today. It was all about money then and it will be all about money should a bill be proposed again - no matter what flags the greenies and lefty media wave for the public. Notice how the mining industry skillfully played both sides against the middle to deadlock the proposal before vote.

I don't doubt the BLM during this period was trying to lighten their burden. I have read that the DOI was probably part of the impetus to get the patent process suspended. Two Secretaries of the Interior were handed their heads in court when they tried to obstruct patents during this period. Nonetheless it was, and only could be, Congress who pulled the purse strings on the processing of patents and to this day it is Congress who reenacts the "national emergency" every two years to continue that defunding of the lawful right to apply for patent.

I will leave it to the readers of this thread to decide whether all this amounts to a government conspiracy to repeal the 1872 Mining Act and the system that for more than 140 years has enabled the people of this nation to take the riches their ancestors worked, fought, bled and died for.

For myself I see lazy self important gov employees who would like to believe we work for them rather than understanding they are our public servants. Their illegal efforts to back door lobby weak politicians looking for votes into selling our birthright to satisfy their belief they know what is best for us as a nation is disgusting. Nothing new in other words. It may be new to some of the readers here but I have been seeing these same rumors and political jabs for more than 30 years.

For those who see these issues, including the recent fee increase, as being something new to mining you might find this report by the CATO institute from 1998 an eye opener.

TWO CHEERS FOR THE 1872 MINING LAW

Ultimately it will be up to congress to decide these matters. There is no indication they have the will or the means to do so. You can count on their corrupt and lazy nature along with the superior lobbying power of the mining conglomerates to maintain the status quo. If you believe otherwise history and law will instruct you that the only way you can change the outcome is to elect congresscritters that have your interests in mind rather than the heft of their bank accounts and the power over what they consider lesser beings (you).

The decision and the choice is yours - as it always has been.

Edited by clay
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The Constitution protects property rights mainly through the Fifth Amendment’s Takings or Just Compensation Clause: ‘‘nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.’’

In ordinary English, a "claim " is merely a demand for something, or an assertion of a right where the right has not been established. The phrase "mining claim" therefore probably connotes to most laymen an unsupported assertion or demand from which no legal rights can be inferred. But that is emphatically not so. In law, the word "claim" in connection with the phrase "mining claim" represents a federally recognized right in real property. The Supreme Court has established that a mining "claim" is not a claim in the ordinary sense of the word--a mere assertion of a right--but rather is a property interest, which is itself real property in every sense, and not merely an assertion of a right to property. Benson Mining & Smelting Co. v. Alta Mining & Smelting Co., 145 U.S.428 (1892)

The discovery of a valuable mineral deposit within its limits validates a mining claim located on public land in conformance with the statute and its locator acquires an exclusive possessory interest (valid existing private property rights) in the claim; a form of real property which can be sold, transferred, mortgaged, or inherited, without infringing the paramount title of the United States. 30 U.S.C. § 26; Cole v. Ralph, 252 U.S. 286, 295 (1920); Forbes v. Gracey, 94 U.S. 762, 767 (1877).

If a discovery of a "valuable mineral deposit" is made, the claim can be held indefinitely so long as the annual assessment work is performed, the necessary filings are made, fees are paid, and a valuable mineral deposit continues to exist. See Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334, 336, 83 S.Ct. 379, 382, 9 L.Ed. 2d 350 (1963).

This possessory interest entitles the claimant to "the right to extract all minerals from the claim without paying royalties to the United States." Swanson v. Babbitt, 3 F.3d 1348, 1350 (9th Cir. 1993).

Valid federal mining claims are "private property" Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252 cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed.2d 103 (1981); Oil Shale Corp. v. Morton, 370 F.Supp. 108, 124 (D.Colo. 1973).

Even though title to the fee estate remains in the United States, these unpatented mining claims are themselves property protected by the Fifth Amendment against uncompensated takings. See Best v. Humboldt Placer Mining Co., 371 U.S. 334 (1963); cf. Forbes v. Gracey, 94 U.S. 762, 766 (1876); U.S.C.A.Const. Amend. 5; North American Transportation & Trading Co. v. U.S., 1918, 53 Ct.Cl. 424, affirmed 40 S.Ct. 518, 253 U.S. 330; United States v. Locke, 471 U.S. 84, 107, 105 S.Ct. 1785, 1799, 85 L.Ed. 2d 64 (1985); Freese v. United States, 639 F.2d 754, 757, 226 Ct.Cl. 252, cert. denied, 454 U.S. 827, 102 S.Ct. 119, 70 L.Ed. 2d 103 (1981); Rybachek v. United States, 23 Cl.Ct. 222 (1991

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Clay

I am sure that your wife is a great lady,and knows a lot about big business and their ways,

and I can appreciate her observations.

But federal agencies have absolutely nothing in common with a business. Any time a federal

agency has a budget crunch,it is always the new hires,and expendable staff that get the axe.

Policy change is the only time they clear out long time high ranking staff. They can't fire them,

and early retirement or transfers to lower profile positions is their only way to remove them.

These guys will all get a big retirement package,so it is not saving anything by retiring them.

Old guys trained during a different era ,and used to managing things under those rules,can

be hard to convince to accept a new policy and tend to rock the boat. A radical policy change

is always preceded by removing staff that might rock the boat.

I have lived through several Forest Service and BLM budget crunches,and have never seen

a high ranking officer or employee take an early retirement ,because of budget cuts.

During those times all the summer hires,and low GS rated staff are the first to go. We have had 4

or 5 people with the same GS rating as the district ranger doing lesser grade jobs to replace people

that was laid off. They just transfer them around until another position opens up. I call it musical

chairs,and smoke and mirrors.

Also the BLM already has staff and a computer system capable of handling a lease system. All

they have to do is clear their files of mining claims and reset the cash register for lease payments.

They already have a lease system in place for oil,gas ,coal and other lease items.

The biggest mistake that most make when dealing with these agencies is trying to compare them

to private business. Politics and regulations rule these agencies,not common sense. Also to keep

things in perspective ,for 100 years that the mining laws have been in effect,no one really gave a

hoot about changing anything, it is the last 40 years when all the screeching started.

Edited by sawmill
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elder-miner

That is all fine and dandy,just miss a fee payment,or filing date and see how much your property

or rights is worth. How much compensation have they paid the dredgers? A claim or rights ain't

worth much if you can't work it. Just like an old ranger told me, "I can't deny your rights,but I can

make it too expensive for you to use them."

I understand what you are saying and understand the mining laws. What I am saying is that there

is people working hard to deprive us of our rights. Bloomburg has nothing to do with my opinions.

This crap has been around for some time and has been included in several bills as a rider. So far

we have been lucky ,but now there is a new interest in pushing it through . Public opinion is not in

our favor and the politicians in office right now are a little sketchy too. Crap can happen!

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The huge stumbling block regarding VALID unpatented mining claims, is VER = Valid Existing Rights. Which are Constitutionally protected. DOI/BLM cannot simply TAKE grandfathered rights, without paying “just compensation”. No doubt a big change will eventually come involving leasing & royalties for most minerals situated on federal lands. Trouble is, those existing unpatented mining claims, with established VER, will hobble a lease/royalty system. Since, unpatented mining claims with VER would not be subject to the lease restrictions & royalty provisions. That is the tough nut DOI/BLM is trying to crack right now.

Rather than attempt to apply such principles as government takings (which will only get you a monetary settlement for proven resources minus your current costs of extraction, refining , transportation and marketing) why not rely on the well established principle that a grant is a contract that can not be rescinded by legislative action. In fact that grant when perfected can not be rescinded for any cause but fraud in it's inception.

The essential case that established this for all time was the well thought out and so far never overturned or modified decision of the Supreme Court decision in Fletcher V. Peck 1810. Besides a well explained historical overview of the power of the sovereign grant the court established for all time that a grant made and perfected can not be overturned.

Fletcher v. Peck "When a law is in the nature of a contract, when absolute rights have vested under that contract, a repeal of the law cannot devest those rights.

A party to a contract cannot pronounce its own deed invalid, although that party be a sovereign State. A grant is a contract executed.

A law annulling conveyances is unconstitutional because it is a law impairing the obligation of contracts within the meaning of the Constitution of the United States."

Of course your mineral grant must be perfected. Without proof of a valuable mineral deposit your mineral grant is possessory in nature only. It can be rescinded or modified at will by any Congress at any time. However a perfected discovery rises to the second grant found in section 1 of the 1872 Act that conveys perfect title to the locator.

This grant provides you with rights well beyond any mineral takings legislation and into the realm of an absolute right to possession of the land itself. It is in effect a patent in all but the formal awarding of the fee and is valid against all takings including the withholding of title by the United States.

Of course if your claim, or any portion of it , remains unperfected you are subject to the whims of any Congress. For those who do not have a perfected claim there is no right to expect that any future Congress can not rescind future unperfected grants. In other words the Congress does have the power to legally and forever repeal the 1872 Mining Act.

Very good reason for those who do have claims to learn how to prove a valuable mineral deposit and to do so with their current claims or to understand that they can be taken from them by a simple majority vote by any sitting Congress.

Whether you choose to rely on the restrictive principles of value in a government taking or rely on the ancient and well established law of the grant you should always keep Fletcher V. Peck in your arsenal. The Supreme Court often overrules Congress and their own various decisions but Fletcher V. Peck relies on much older and better established principles of law (not equity) and has never been overturned or modified.

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Clay

I am sure that your wife is a great lady,and knows a lot about big business and their ways,

and I can appreciate her observations.

But federal agencies have absolutely nothing in common with a business. Any time a federal

agency has a budget crunch,it is always the new hires,and expendable staff that get the axe.

Policy change is the only time they clear out long time high ranking staff. They can't fire them,

and early retirement or transfers to lower profile positions is their only way to remove them.

These guys will all get a big retirement package,so it is not saving anything by retiring them.

Old guys trained during a different era ,and used to managing things under those rules,can

be hard to convince to accept a new policy and tend to rock the boat. A radical policy change

is always preceded by removing staff that might rock the boat.

I have lived through several Forest Service and BLM budget crunches,and have never seen

a high ranking officer or employee take an early retirement ,because of budget cuts.

During those times all the summer hires,and low GS rated staff are the first to go. We have had 4

or 5 people with the same GS rating as the district ranger doing lesser grade jobs to replace people

that was laid off. They just transfer them around until another position opens up. I call it musical

chairs,and smoke and mirrors.

Also the BLM already has staff and a computer system capable of handling a lease system. All

they have to do is clear their files of mining claims and reset the cash register for lease payments.

They already have a lease system in place for oil,gas ,coal and other lease items.

The biggest mistake that most make when dealing with these agencies is trying to compare them

to private business. Politics and regulations rule these agencies,not common sense. Also to keep

things in perspective ,for 100 years that the mining laws have been in effect,no one really gave a

hoot about changing anything, it is the last 40 years when all the screeching started.

No offense Sawmill but I think you might want to read a little closer what I posted or just stick to your realm of expertise.

As I stated in my post Ruby HAS managed large government agency budgets and if she wasn't such "a great lady" I'm pretty sure she would be on here making a comment about how some miners are blowing smoke to make their point.

You yourself said that you have witnessed early retirement schemes aimed at senior personnel and the recent actions by the DOI reveal your "knowledge" of government policy regarding employee layoffs so much vapor despite your assertions to the contrary.

I will not even attempt to correct your misunderstandings about the difference between the BLM LR2000 and the online submission system of the minerals leasing program.

Perhaps we can discuss this matter of Bloomberg articles and existing BLM employee policies when more facts and less presumption are available. I have no wish to engage in argument or to "win" any points. My goal in posting into this thread was to have discourse with reasonable and knowledgeable miners in an attempt to share knowledge and come to a better understanding of the important subject of the 1872 Law - Miners Rights and Land Use.

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Clay

No offense but you should go back and read your own crap. You stated that your wife

was a CPA and CFO of a defense contractor . You did not state that she was a federal employee,

in your post,or represented federal agencies.

I said several times in my posts that ,high ranking federal employees some times do take an early

retirement, but not for budget cuts.

Also I never mentioned the LR 2000 system. I don't know what your game is but ,the BLM is the

leasing authority for oil,gas ,coal and other leasable minerals. They do have a system in place

for all leasable minerals. You are the one that needs to learn a few things before twisting others

words . For your information the BLM handles all facets of mineral leases including drilling permits,

Plans and Notices plus reclamation. One would assume that since they are the agency in charge

of mineral leasing,that some hard rock mineral leases wouldn't be much of a problem. If your idea

of helping others is confusing the issue ,by trying to make others look less informed,they may want

to look elsewhere for help.

Edited by sawmill
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Clay

I am sure that your wife is a great lady,and knows a lot about big business and their ways,

and I can appreciate her observations.

But federal agencies have absolutely nothing in common with a business. Any time a federal

agency has a budget crunch,it is always the new hires,and expendable staff that get the axe.

I have lived through several Forest Service and BLM budget crunches,and have never seen

a high ranking officer or employee take an early retirement ,because of budget cuts.

During those times all the summer hires,and low GS rated staff are the first to go.

Also the BLM already has staff and a computer system capable of handling a lease system. All

they have to do is clear their files of mining claims (BLM LR2000) and reset the cash register for lease payments.

They already have a lease system in place for oil,gas ,coal and other lease items.

Federal Times February 15, 2012:

"Highlights of major agencies' 2013 budget requests:

Agriculture

The department, which started closing 260 offices this year, plans to further use early retirement and buyouts to eliminate 900 more positions in 2013. Budget cuts forced officials to offer buyouts to 544 employees in 2011, and allow other eligible employees to take early retirement."

Federal Times April 24, 2012:

"The Interior Department potentially could cut almost 5,000 jobs by October 2013 through early retirements, buyouts and field office consolidations, according to a plan recently sent to the Office of Management and Budget.

Interior's National Business Center, which provides payroll help to other agencies, already is offering early retirements and buyouts, the plan says. And the department intends to seek authority to offer early retirements and buyouts for information technology infrastructure staff as the department consolidates its IT services...

Interior's plan describes other effects of tightening budgets. The U.S. Geological Survey, for example, clamped down on hiring in March 2010...

In the IT arena, positions left vacant include jobs for network engineers and database administrators, along with some at data centers, according to Andrew Jackson, the department's deputy assistant secretary for technology, information and business services."

Government Executive August 30, 2012

"Buyout Watch

Agriculture March 2012 Some 7,000 employees departmentwide have already taken buyouts, and more are expected. Offers were made to 1,966 Rural Development division employees. In May 2011: 544 employees eligible for buyouts; early outs offered departmentwide. In March 2012: 900 buyout offers are expected to yeild 300 buyouts, offset by 150 hires at lower grades.

General Services Administration Dec. 27, 2012 to March 19, 2012 Offered 652 employees buyouts or early retirements, and 85 accepted. The employees who received offers were from the Office of Governmentwide Policy, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technology, Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Federal Acquisition Service Distribution Centers, Integrated Warehouse Acquisition Center and Region 9 Assisted Acquisition Service (VSIP only).

Defense August 11, 2011 - September 30, 2011

35 senior executives were offered early outs and 12 accepted.

Transportation Security Administration Oct. 1, 2011 - Sept. 30, 2013 Agency offered voluntary early retirement to an unspecified number of select employees from Oct. 31, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2011. It opened a new window on Jan. 15, which will close on July 31.

Washington Post January 11, 2012

"Federal agencies tighten belts with buyouts, early retirement

While Republican presidential hopefuls are talking about pink slips and the joys of firing people, many agencies in the Obama administration are quietly paying employees to leave their jobs.

Buyouts and early retirement programs are the scalpel Uncle Sam uses before he has to turn to the hatchet of layoffs.

“I don’t think it is any secret that going forward the federal government will be on a strict diet and will require some belt tightening,” said John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management."

Sawmill January 19, 2013

"If your idea of helping others is confusing the issue ,by trying to make others look less informed,they may want to look elsewhere for help."

Nuff said

Edited by clay
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Clay you said above :

You both make valid points. None of us are prophets and predicting the motives and subsequent actions of others is akin to fortunetelling.


Clay, I think youre a great person I know you personally and I mean it.
And I don't really want to get involved with this post but I have been reading it and gotta say this :
Ya don't have to be a prophet to learn from history.
I agree with Sawmill about the way the higher ups control things, getting out the existing regime and replacing them with a bunch of YES MEN.
Thats exactly what you will see if you live long enough.
Its history learn from it. With all these high class lawyers in our political regime they always figure out ways to make it their way.
I always believed get rid of all these types an put a plumber in the Whithouse he'll start cleanin it from the bottom up.

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Congress has a sworn duty & obligation to govern this country in a wise, prudent & responsible manner.

They have failed miserably in doing so. Walmart has better management than this Nation does.

Congress is dooming this Nation.

For instance, America is about the only civilized industrial nation in the world that has no plan to secure, supply & provide all the fundamental minerals this Nations populace, commerce, economy, infrastructure & National security are utterly dependent upon. They want to do away with the Mining Law of 1872, which gave private enterprise the incentives to provide mineral necessities to this nation & replace it with a government run system of leases, on a royalty basis.

YA RIGHT…………………….

Allow the government to run something as strategic as a whole nations mineral resources, development, production & supply. Is asking for a boondoggle of inept gross mismanagement.

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Good try Clay but no cigar. The DOI buyout is based on potentially ,could,would .and maybe,

and is only a suggestion. The other departments are over staffed ,some have outlived their

purpose,and were scheduled for cutbacks,or scrapping . The term field consolidations also

should give you a clue of what is really happening.

You have fell for government double talk and what they would like you to think. The problem

with the Forest Service and BLM is they have a big surplus of over qualified people with no

chance to move up the ladder. They have ton's of GS 11's doing the jobs of GS 2 to GS 7

employees.

They have people with Masters degrees doing trails and recreation jobs. All the peons have left

the building except a few fire bosses. Most of the GS 9's and 11's are younger and are easy to

manipulate for change. The buyout thing is optional ,and will be accepted by some that only have

a short time to go or just sick and tired of the system. Those that choose not to accept will be

transferred to another district in a so called field consolidation. The chosen few or insiders will hold

their current position,or move into a position that suits their handlers whim.

I have been through the field consolidation routine. This is when they lay off all the peons and

transfer tons of GS 11 and above employees into a already over staffed district . It is nothing

more than a shell game to fool the public. Our BLM and Forest Service office is crawling alive

with GS 11's and 14's and not a peon in sight. When 4 GS 12's and 14's show up on a small salvage

logging job riding in the same vehicle to do one GS7's job ,that should be a clue.

When we are discussing the DOI, BLM, and Forest Service ,it is misleading to provide information

from non relevant agencies. It would serve you better to dispense with cramming your posts with non

relevant filler to confuse the issue at hand.

For your information I don't get my opinions from government speak sources. I personally know

and work with the people in these agencies and have for years. You have never seen me in any

discussions about maps,GPS, or any of that stuff. There is good reason for that,I can get anything

I need straight from the source with a phone call. There is a hell of a lot of stuff in these agencies

that you will never read in a report, or see on the surface.

The truth is that the old budget shuffle has been an ongoing routine with these agencies for quite

some time. They have learned how to use it to their advantage and for other political agendas. Also

field consolidation is code for shuffling FS employees to BLM,and BLM employees to FS in order to

keep them in the system. To these folks a budget crunch is more than one person to a vehicle and

limiting mileage,while bitching a lot. :ROFL:

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