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No 14 Day Limit On Federal Lands???


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I was just reading an article about boondocking in an RV when I came across the following statement. I never heard this before, or if I did I forgot. Can anyone confirm or dispute this?

"One added benefit for boondockers is that the 14-day limit for dispersed camping on federal lands does not apply to an RVer who is prospecting or mining on a federal claim."

https://www.rvtravel.com/rv-prospector-file-mining-claim-1047/

 

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It seems this is true....but you have to submit either a "Notice or Plan of Operation" and follow some rules/requirements it seems.

Just doing a simple web search for info on this doesn't result in very much info since I'm sure the government would rather it be harder to research, so therefore it requires much research and reading in government regulations on mining on public lands.

Here's a link to the below info I found, it's not an official government website but was written By Kerby Jackson who includes references to the actual laws covering this.

https://www.americanminingrights.com/the-14-day-camping-rule-on-a-mining-claim-is-that-true/

This is just a small bit of what Kerby wrote on this subject but covers much of what is expected from the agencies that you may encounter when camping longer than 14 days for mining purposes.

"Current BLM regulations pertaining to the “14 Day Camping Rule” on (most) mining claims is found in 43 CFR
3715.2, which states:
Ҥ3715.2 What activities do I have to be engaged in to allow me to occupy the public
lands?
In order to occupy the public lands under the mining laws for more than 14 calendar days in any
90-day period within a 25-mile radius of the initially occupied site, you must be engaged in
certain activities. Those activities that are the reason for your occupancy
must:
(a) Be reasonably incident;
(b) Constitute substantially regular work;
(c) Be reasonably calculated to lead to the extraction and beneficiation of minerals;
(d) Involve observable on-the-ground activity that BLM may verify under §3715.7; and
(e) Use appropriate equipment that is presently operable, subject to the need for
reasonable assembly, maintenance, repair or fabrication of replacement parts.
§3715.2-1 What additional characteristic(s) must my occupancy have?
In addition to the requirements specified in §3715.2, your occupancy must involve one or
more of the following:
(a) Protecting exposed, concentrated or otherwise accessible valuable minerals from theft
or loss;
(b) Protecting from theft or loss appropriate, operable equipment which is regularly used,
is not readily portable, and cannot be protected by means other than occupancy;
(c) Protecting the public from appropriate, operable equipment which is regularly used, is
not readily portable, and if left unattended, creates a hazard to public safety;
(d) Protecting the public from surface uses, workings, or improvements which, if left
unattended, create a hazard to public safety; or
(e) Being located in an area so isolated or lacking in physical access as to require the
mining claimant, operator, or workers to remain on site in order to work a full shift of a
usual and customary length. A full shift is ordinarily 8 hours and does not include travel
time to the site from a community or area in which housing may be obtained.
§3715.2-3 Under what circumstances will BLM allow me to temporarily occupy a
site for more than 14 days?
BLM may allow temporary occupancy at a single site to extend beyond the 14-day period
described in §3715.1 if you need to secure the site beyond 14 days through the use of a
watchman as allowed by §3715.2-2, and you have begun consultation with BLM under
§3715.3.”
Current regulations of the United States Forest Service on this issue are found in 36 CFR 261.10 and 36
CFR 228 (also see: FSM 2818)" 

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   Our claims are on Forest Service land. I have lived on the claims for months at a time. You have to submit a Notice of Intent which will be followed by a POO (Plan of Operation). In the plan you'll need to list all the activities you are intending as well as all equipment to be used and brought on the land. This includes an RV. Then you will need to post a bond which is held until the plan is finished. The bond covers any reclamation expense if you fail to do it and also the cost of removing and storing any abandoned equipment and yes, even an RV. Our last approved plan was worked in 2020. We had a skid steer, mid size excavator, trommel, storage container, RV motorhome, pumps, rock truck, generator, etc. We also had 2 porta johns for the crew. Our bond was $5600. There is a start date and an end date on the plan. We had some plans extended several times as well. You can put in multiple plans and work one at a time and move the bond to the next one as each is completed or if you want to work multiple plans at the same time each must have a bond in place. Try starting before the bond is in place and you will be issued a cease & desist.  

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It's true that the local federal managed lands stay limit doesn't apply when you are conducting locatable mineral operations on or off a mining claim.

It's also true that if your occupation does not cause significant damage to surface resources you don't need to submit an NOI or a Plan Of Operations.

There has been a lot of confusion over this issue over the years. The Forest Service decided to address this in their Federal Register official notice of November 6, 2008.

Here's the part from the Federal Register that explains how this works:

"Reasonably incidental residential use of NFS lands by persons conducting locatable mineral prospecting, exploration, mining, or processing that will not cause significant disturbance of NFS surface resources does not require prior submission of a notice of intent to conduct operations or approval of a plan of operations.

An operator, consequently, is not required to notify the Forest Service prior to conducting locatable mineral operations which involve occupancy of NFS lands providing that those operations meet two conditions: (1) The occupancy is reasonably incidental to locatable mineral prospecting, exploration, mining, or processing and (2) those proposed (or ongoing) operations, including such reasonably incidental occupancy, cumulatively will not cause (or are not causing) significant disturbance of NFS surface resources. Moreover, when occupancy is reasonably incidental to prospecting, exploration, mining, and processing operations, then the level of surface disturbance, not the duration of the occupancy, will determine whether a Notice of Intent or a Plan of Operations is required."

Generally a tent, rv or trailer will not, in itself, cause significant damage to surface resources. The fact you are camping while you are conducting mineral operations does not subject you to a 14 day federal stay limit - locatable mineral operations are exempt from that limit. If you are, or are planning to, cause significant damage to surface resources due to occupation of the site you will need to submit an NOI or POO before beginning your occupation.

Edited by clay
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We are also required to have a campfire permit if we are going to have campfires or use propane. It is free and consists of a short test. It's required every year. I get mine on the internet. You are responsible for checking with the Forest Service to see when fires are allowed and when they are restricted. I have never had anyone check to see if we have the permit but I require it for anyone leasing our claims. Fires are no joke. The Dixie Fire came very close to our claims last yr and we were not able to be on them for several months. 

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30 minutes ago, GhostMiner said:

We are also required to have a campfire permit if we are going to have campfires or use propane. It is free and consists of a short test. It's required every year. I get mine on the internet. You are responsible for checking with the Forest Service to see when fires are allowed and when they are restricted. I have never had anyone check to see if we have the permit but I require it for anyone leasing our claims. Fires are no joke. The Dixie Fire came very close to our claims last yr and we were not able to be on them for several months. 

The campfire permit is a California (CAL FIRE) state requirement - not federal. It's required for your POO because a condition of the POO process is that you comply with all state and local regulations. In other states the campfire permit is not a state requirement so a campfire permit would not be required for a POO.

Considering the fire problems in California I doubt the campfire permit has had much effect. Overgrown forest/understory and insect/disease infestations are the primary root cause of California fire danger. Bad forest management is the cause of most fires. Fires are no joke but without action on the forest managers part fires will continue to be a major problem in California and elsewhere whether there is a campfire permit or not.

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13 minutes ago, clay said:

The campfire permit is a California (CAL FIRE) state requirement - not federal. It's required for your POO because a condition of the POO process is that you comply with all state and local regulations. In other states the campfire permit is not a state requirement so a campfire permit would not be required for a POO.

Considering the fire problems in California I doubt the campfire permit has had much effect. Overgrown forest/understory and insect/disease infestations are the primary root cause of California fire danger. Bad forest management is the cause of most fires. Fires are no joke but without action on the forest managers part fires will continue to be a major problem in California and elsewhere whether there is a campfire permit or not.

Correct and it is required for all campers intending campfires or propane use. 

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On 4/10/2022 at 11:33 AM, clay said:

The campfire permit is a California (CAL FIRE) state requirement - not federal. It's required for your POO because a condition of the POO process is that you comply with all state and local regulations. In other states the campfire permit is not a state requirement so a campfire permit would not be required for a POO.

Considering the fire problems in California I doubt the campfire permit has had much effect. Overgrown forest/understory and insect/disease infestations are the primary root cause of California fire danger. Bad forest management is the cause of most fires. Fires are no joke but without action on the forest managers part fires will continue to be a major problem in California and elsewhere whether there is a campfire permit or not.

You forgot water in your assessment of our high fire danger. I doubt you would find many who manage these fires saying it was the undergrowth that fed these fast moving fires. I just drove through the Caldor fire area in both California and Nevada. You can see the intensity of the fire. Low spread areas you will see the undergrowth had burned while the trees sustained little damage. Hot fast moving fire fronts left ash graves of trees as it roared through. I've been burned over twice in forest fires as a volunteer firefighter, not paid. It is a new world of fire behavior because of several factors but long drought conditions are by far the biggest reason we see these conditions.

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