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Uncle Ron

BLM shutting down Box Canyon N. of Wickenburg

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Back in the 1980's I lived just down the road from Bill Southern. Just before you got to the Luke Airforce auxillary landing field. There was a APC and a bunch or other military targets for the planes to catch on their radar. Bill probably knows the area, just past the drag race track, which is probably closed by now.

But anyway I used to visit the box canyon many, many times. Spent several weekends camping there. I even spent a night camping up the tailings pile on the North side in the cave there. And on the South side where the columns were holding up the overburden was neat to see.

And a few miles upstream there was a old Dodge car that had a tree growing up through where the engine should of been. And a bit further up was a good size plot of flat land where someone tried to grow some kind of crop and had a nice farm house.

Probably Bill or Ron remembers that.

I am sure it is all gone by now. :aw-shucks: :aw-shucks: :aw-shucks:

Here is a picture of when I was a "TRUE" desert rat!!!

scan0001-1.jpg

Edited by GARY SMITH
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When was the last time anyone sent a letter or email to an official of the BLM or your elected representative stating your objection(s) to BLM actions?

I did one better… I volunteered to work with them. Saw the inner workings of the AZ state land, BLM, and NFS bureaucracy up close and personal. Made friends with many of them, and even to this day stay in contact with them on a weekly/monthly basis.

Ironically most of the state land, BLM and FS folk I worked with were good people who shared the same beliefs and ideologues as I did. Unfortunately even though we shared the same interests, they had a JOB to do, and that JOB required that they take orders from those above them (usually some pea brained Washington DC liberal sitting behind a desk) or else risk being fired or transferred.

Thankfully there are a few in the BLM and NFS (at least here in AZ) who little by little are trying to make a difference, and are currently active in trying to keep our lands and trails open. I spoke with a gentleman from the state a few days ago who is in charge of dispersing all the money from the OHV sticker fund. He works real close with the FS and BLM head honchos here in AZ and has some great ideas on keeping our trails and lands open. He is currently working on several plans for OHV managed areas as we speak. His big problem is that he can't give away the money. Seems there are only a few clubs or organizations who are willing to go take the time to write the grants required to obtain this money, thus the reason there are literally millions of dollars there for the taking, for whomever wants to put a plan together to do their part to keep the lands and trails open.

BTW… since working with some of the BLM and FS guys, I found out what loopholes are available to us prospectors/miners so we can still have access to any closed areas or trails and continue to mine or prospect. If you want to find out what these loopholes are, I suggest you volunteer your services to the appropriate agency who governs the areas you want to prospect or mine and get to know the guys. Once they know you, and see that you're not a dumb**s, they'll pretty much leave you alone to do whatever you want to do within reason. :112:

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Yep, but what if they find out you are in fact a dumbass???? :-) just kidding. Your actions are to be commended. If the small miners community interacted more with regulatory personnel on a personal level it would pay benefits in my opinion. Anyone ever invite any USFS or BLM peeps to an outing? I know this goes against the grain for many, but it is effective at winning support.

AZBlackbird I assume you have your reasons for not sharing what you learned from volunteering? What type of things did you do as a volunteer and what is the process to become a volunteer?

Wouldn't it be great if the e small scale miners had the recognition and power of the NRA or Sierra Club.

Does anyone know of an organization that is a watchdog for land closures by the BLM and USFS?

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What type of things did you do as a volunteer and what is the process to become a volunteer?

I was one of the founding members of the AZ OHV Ambassador Group. I'm sure they'd love to have you on board. Pretty much everything we did involved working with either the BLM, FS, G&F, or state land managers. I haven't been active for a few years because of other commitments, and some of the BS politics I encountered. I'll probably come back and volunteer more now that my business is getting back on track, and now that we have a guy at the State level who isn't afraid to tell all the bureaucrats to go to hell. He don't need the job, and they know it. He's pretty cozy with the Governor, and she's given him a wide berth to operate how he wants to operate, just because she knows he's not an ass kisser. He's pretty good about working with the head honchos of the FS and BLM and they usually go along with what ever he wants to do.

Sad fact is... now that I'm more into gold prospecting and know all the legal loopholes, I'm not as concerned about closed land or trails as I once was when I was into OHV riding. I told the state guy, that if I came back and became more active, I'd use his new dozer that he bought for us and burn in and build a few trails that are close to some of my prospecting areas… and that he could take the credit for them. :thumbsupanim

Ooops… almost forgot… here's the link to apply to the Ambassador program.

Chris is out for the summer and I believe should be back in late August or so. He's the BLM guy that is more or less in charge of new applicants.

Edited by azblackbird
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Keep your friends close....and your enemies closer. We had a committee here in Redding with BLM/FS/BR/CDFG/Miners that met monthly to diffuse situations and stay ahead of regulatory bs changes. Worked great till the Indians demanded a voice and a seat and within 3 months dead---gone--poof as they demanded ALL or nuttn' so we lost 10 years a work ...sic si sic shat-John

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Some folks have the I WILL CONTROL YOU gene. Some have the I will Follow you gene.. Some have the Piss Off and Leave me alone gene.

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Not to sound like a wet rage but my consensus is they will do what they want, when they want and until we can shut them down or put a shock collar on them there going to continue to do the same. Attending a Town or there meeting is all but a waist of time unless you can find some media willing to follow the story. Good luck on that one. Yuppy voters in the big cities think there doing a good thing because there being told so. Not knowing or ever able to enjoy the places like this means nothing to them. SOOOOO the agenda goes on.

If we could come up with oh, say $10-20 million dollars to mess with them in court it would slow them down.

homefire I agree. IMO the town meeting is only a legal technicality. they have too. the BLM has there agenda and their going to follow it. dont get me wrong I'm not anti-government.

We the people need to keep our government/BLM/Feds in line with our laws and yes I know several AZ BLM people personaly and most are great people, not that they agree with it, they do what their told.

Secrecy and greed breeds corruption.

The net is a very powerful tool and many governments know this. e.g. VA hospital failure.

you want to see action fast,

spread you concerns and keep it truthfull and factual around the net.

Embarrassment in goverment/city/town council is also a powerful tool.

Go to their web site ( Wickenburg/BLM)

and let them know how you feel.

Our government does not have the right to trample on our constitutional rights when there are other ways to solve our problems. AzNuggetBob

Edited by AzNuggetBob

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Call me a dumbass....I thought we lived in a free country??? Yes their is an agenda....volunteer all you want...but this will not keep the areas open...hate to sound negative folks but its a slow process....over time...their agenda will be achieved. it appears our elected officials don't care as they have joined the Club of the elitists. Folks...at least theirs hope.....the world is a big place....I know guys who spend most of their time abroad hunting in far, far far away places...and when this country closes others open. here is an interactive map of native American Lands anglos took from them..including treaties and reservations they made and than broke ....same stuff is happening with us now.....agenda different but similar in many ways... just imagine public lands that were open , and now closed , suppose we should be gratiful they have not put us in reservation yet.... ............http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2014/06/17/interactive_map_loss_of_indian_land.html

Edited by Relichunter2

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That's what I'm saying. Only way to stop it is to shut down the Folks doing it. BLM, Forestry and the Department of Interior and bring control back to We the People.

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Thanks for your reply and link AZBlackbird. I will look into it for sure. Here is link to an article in this months issue of ICMJ by Chris Ralph: http://www.icmj.com/article.php?id=3071&keywords=Protecting_Our_Access_to_Public_Lands

Hoser John, I think that multi agency committee idea is very good. Maybe something like that could be initiated in AZ.

Homefire, We the people by our inaction and complacency gave the power to the DOI and USDA. How do you propose we the people "shut them down"? With more inaction and complacency? I don't think that will cut it. And waiting for someone else to do it for us has not been very successful either. I don't know an easy solution but we as the small scale mining community need to organize and take action sooner than later.

I am hesitant to support or suggest support for the existing organizations that purport to fight for the small scale miners rights. I may be wrong but I get the feeling some of them are "mining the miners". I have absolutely no evidence of this but it's the feeling the groups give me. I hope I am mistaken. Does anyone have any knowledgeable feedback on this issue?

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Thanks for your reply and link AZBlackbird. I will look into it for sure.

I suggest you do more than just to look in to it. As an OHV Ambassador you are working with many of the enforcement officers from all the various land management agencies. These are the very guys that can write you a ticket for cross country travel, no OHV sticker on your qwad, or even for trespassing on a mining claim or private land. If you want to have any influence on their opinions or decisions, what better way then to get to know them, ride with them, or work with them? Unfortunately most people are scared to death of the government or any of their agencies. I'm not! Once you get to know them, you'll find out that many of them have the very same interests. I used to ride dirt bikes with a lot of the BLM and FS rangers, and even the state trust land managers. I won't delve into specifics, but let's just say that once you form a bond with them, you can do things that most ordinary citizens can't. It's called being proactive! I think Hoser John said something about keeping your "enemies" close. Think about it! :112:

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Town Files Intent to Appeal BLM Box Canyon Decision

The Town of Wickenburg has filed notice of its intent to appeal the federal Bureau of Land Management’s decision to partially close the Box Canyon recreation area. The documents were filed on June 20 at BLM’s Hassayampa Field Office in Phoenix.
Filing a Notice of Intent is the first step in the appeal process and will be followed within 30 days by a Statement of Reasons why the Town feels the BLM’s decision is incorrect. The appeal must be made on the entire Wickenburg Community Trails Master Plan and Travel Management Plan, rather than the Box Canyon decision alone.
BLM representatives announced the partial closure during a June 16 presentation to the Wickenburg Town Council, eliciting strongly negative reactions from councilmembers and the public. BLM’s decision calls for closing motorized access to the canyon annually from May through September to allow the riparian area to regenerate and improve habitat for the Yellow-Billed Cuckoo bird. Non-motorized access would remain available year-round.
“Since last Monday, we’ve been engaged in frequent conversation with BLM officials on the motorized access issue,” said Town Manager Josh Wright. “We will proceed with the appeal as a backup option while trying to find a common-sense solution that keeps Box Canyon open to all users throughout the year. BLM is listening and cooperating with us.”
Appeals of BLM decisions are heard by the Interior Board of Land Appeals, a panel of administrative judges appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. The process is often lengthy and expensive.
Information on the Wickenburg Community Trails Master Plan and Travel Management Plan can be found at http://www.blm.gov/az/st/en/prog/travel_mgmt/wick-trails.html.

Edited by Uncle Ron

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http://www.ci.wickenburg.az.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1036

Im not so sure town of Wickenburg has any jurisdiction in this matter? but are considering filing an appeal with the BLM.
from what I understand at least two of the wickenburg town council members are against this.
but at least part of the box may be out of the town limits and Maricopa county.
this may be a BLM matter only?. Ive found gold in most of the tribs to the box and as I read it,
it does not cover rec-gold mining, only motorized access and cattle grazing?

Maybe we should throw a huge walk-in prospecting/party in there as a form of protest and fun.
Hey I went to a protest and mining broke out. just a thought.
AzNuggetBob

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Here's what's funny… there are literally millions of $$$ available to anybody (groups or organizations) that can formulate and put into action a plan to self manage or re-habilitate the Box Canyon area. The BLM and area land managers would welcome such a plan with open arms, as it would give them some relief on their management duties. Unfortunately nobody wants to organize and formulate such a plan, so the BLM has no choice but to restrict activity. The money is there for the taking!

For most people it's way easier to complain… complaining don't require any work or any effort… and it's free! :arrowheadsmiley:

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I suggest you do more than just to look in to it. As an OHV Ambassador you are working with many of the enforcement officers from all the various land management agencies. These are the very guys that can write you a ticket for cross country travel, no OHV sticker on your qwad, or even for trespassing on a mining claim or private land. If you want to have any influence on their opinions or decisions, what better way then to get to know them, ride with them, or work with them? Unfortunately most people are scared to death of the government or any of their agencies. I'm not! Once you get to know them, you'll find out that many of them have the very same interests. I used to ride dirt bikes with a lot of the BLM and FS rangers, and even the state trust land managers. I won't delve into specifics, but let's just say that once you form a bond with them, you can do things that most ordinary citizens can't. It's called being proactive! I think Hoser John said something about keeping your "enemies" close. Think about it! :112:

I get your drift here. However my interest is not for personal or individual gain but to establish a working relationship with these agencies that will benefit "we the people" in whatever our use and enjoyment of the public lands may be, I too am not afraid or scared to death of the government as suggested. I have just so much energy and time to devote to this issue and want to use it as wisely as possible. I have always subscribed to keeping your enemy close. I would like to see something like Hoser mentioned established in AZ and for that matter in all areas. I want all user groups, especially small scale miners, to be able to use OUR public lands without harassment from OUR land management agencies. Thanks for your input and participation.

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Here's what's funny… there are literally millions of $$$ available to anybody (groups or organizations) that can formulate and put into action a plan to self manage or re-habilitate the Box Canyon area. The BLM and area land managers would welcome such a plan with open arms, as it would give them some relief on their management duties. Unfortunately nobody wants to organize and formulate such a plan, so the BLM has no choice but to restrict activity. The money is there for the taking!

For most people it's way easier to complain… complaining don't require any work or any effort… and it's free! :arrowheadsmiley:

You keep posting about these millions available but do not mention who or where they are available from. Care to elaborate?

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However my interest is not for personal or individual gain but to establish a working relationship with these agencies that will benefit "we the people" in whatever our use and enjoyment of the public lands may be, I too am not afraid or scared to death of the government as suggested. I have just so much energy and time to devote to this issue and want to use it as wisely as possible.

Might I suggest you form a group of like minded individuals whether they be OHV users, prospectors, or whomever and then incorporate as a non-profit. Let me know when you've accomplished this, and I will do all I can to help you in getting some funding for whatever land management type projects your club or group may wish to complete.

Just an FYI… I already played this game years ago and discovered to my dismay that there's a lot of talkers out there… but very few doers. Thus the reason for my own self preservation. I figured I was devoting all this time and energy to various projects to help "we the people"… trouble was… "we the people" didn't seem to want to do any of the work to help themselves. So I said screw it. If you can't or don't want to help yourselves, then don't come crying to me when your favorite riding areas or dirt bike trails get closed down due to the destruction or misuse of the land by those ignorant few who are supposedly part of... "we the people". :rolleyes:

Like I said… it's way easier to complain about something rather than do something. It doesn't require any effort or hard work, and best of all it's free! :4chsmu1:

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I've sent E-mails up the Wazuuuu . Hand written letters are the only things I had responses with. Even those were canned responses.

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You keep posting about these millions available but do not mention who or where they are available from. Care to elaborate?

No problem. Here's where you need to begin

Every 6 months or so, Bob (head grant coordinator) will put on seminars on how to write the grants to receive the money. As I stated, I know the guy who disperses the grant money, but he just can't give it away without having plans and extensive documentation of where it is going and what it will be used for.

One thing I discovered in working with all these different government agencies is that they sure love their paperwork. The more the better. Fortunately I know the guys who can help you wade through all the required paperwork and make sure all your I's are dotted and T's are crossed.

As I stated previously… get your non-profit group or club together and I'll introduce you to the right people that can help get you get the money or funding to do whatever you want as long as it concerns AZ land management issues, whether it's BLM, State, or Forest land, it doesn't matter.

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No problem. Here's where you need to begin

Every 6 months or so, Bob (head grant coordinator) will put on seminars on how to write the grants to receive the money. As I stated, I know the guy who disperses the grant money, but he just can't give it away without having plans and extensive documentation of where it is going and what it will be used for.

One thing I discovered in working with all these different government agencies is that they sure love their paperwork. The more the better. Fortunately I know the guys who can help you wade through all the required paperwork and make sure all your I's are dotted and T's are crossed.

As I stated previously… get your non-profit group or club together and I'll introduce you to the right people that can help get you get the money or funding to do whatever you want as long as it concerns AZ land management issues, whether it's BLM, State, or Forest land, it doesn't matter.

And this includes rec-mining Gold? AzNuggetBob

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Thanks, I appreciate the link. It would be better without your condescending attitude. I too have done this stuff before. I was instrumental in setting up and funding a 501-C3 Foundation in GA that assists Wounded Warriors transition to civilian life, an annual Special Olympics Kayaking Fair and Competition, along with many river and stream cleanups and so on. So I have been there and done that too. If I decide to do this I do not need a carrot dangled from a stick to inspire me. My primary interest in the small scale mining community. Therefore I will have to do some research on these grants to see how or if it could benefit small scale mining. Thanks again.

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My primary interest in the small scale mining community. Therefore I will have to do some research on these grants to see how or if it could benefit small scale mining. Thanks again.

Not being condescending at all Stan… just telling it like it is. :idunno:

It appears to me that for some reason you (and apparently a few others on the forum) think that small scale mining here in AZ is somehow in the various land management cross hairs. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact the guys I've met that are in charge of the permitting or approvals processes for NOI's, POO's, bonding, etc. will pretty much go out of their way to help you out. If you're a small timer, you're not even on their radar unless you do something stupid or illegal to draw their attention.

The primary concern of the land management agencies in AZ right now are all the numbnuts running around shooting s**t up and trashing the various recreational areas that many people have come to enjoy. If it becomes too much of a problem, and if nobody steps up to the plate to address the issues, the land managers have no choice but to start closing these areas down and begin enforcement actions. Box Canyon is a prime example.

The BLM would love nothing better than for a group or club to "adopt" the Box Canyon area and accept some responsibility for keeping it clean, policing the numbnuts, and making sure the land is kept viable and usable for generations to come. This is where a Wickenburg based OHV Ambassador group would fit right in. The BLM knows it would make their job easier if such a group or club were to step up to the plate and help them out. There's tons of money available for such a group or club to make all this happen, but it's not going to happen from the actions of only one or two people. It takes a hard working crew of dedicated individuals that have all the same goals and aspirations.

BTW… what did you mean by "I do not need a carrot dangled from a stick to inspire me"? You confused me on that one. :arrowheadsmiley:

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And this includes rec-mining Gold? AzNuggetBob

Alright Bob, I'll play along. I'm in charge of approving grants. You're a recreational miner here in AZ… I just approved your grant for $1,000,000. What are you going to to with it? :rolleyes:

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And this includes rec-mining Gold? AzNuggetBob

Simple question, all I need is a simple answer.yes or no will do. AzNuggetBob

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