Galice Miners Will Do Battle With Bureau Of Land Management
The following comes from the Galice Miners website. The Sugar Pine Mine is a part of this Association, and is fighting the battle against the BLM with them. There is a donate button, for those willing to help them out financially, at the top of the page, and another at the bottom of the page. We encourage you to help. As you will see, this fight could help miners everywhere, and force the BLM to live within its legal framework. – Shorty Dawkins, Associate Editor
There have been many questions about rumors of a battle brewing between the Bureau of Land Management and several miners within the Galice Mining District. While we cannot yet divulge any fine details (and ultimately must keep legal tactics completely private), at this time, we can confirm the following:
1. BLM recently (3/18/15) issued two Stop Orders on a mine, citing authority under their 3809 regulations, despite the fact that this is one of the oldest active claims in the country. The location date of this mine is so old that one of the location notices (the legal title to the mine) was actually first recorded in the original Galice Mining District Recorder’s book in 1876 and then later transcribed into the Josephine County Clerk’s records once the county assumed recording duties. Under the 1955 Surface Resources Act, claims of this age have exclusive surface rights unless the Department of Interior utilized a mechanism outlined in that Act to severe those surface rights. Demands to BLM to produce evidence of their surface authority in accordance to the 1955 Act have thus far garnered only “because we say so” answers and numerous stonewalling tactics. The Stop Orders came after several months of back and forth maneuvering from both sides, and are clearly retaliatory in nature.
2. BLM are in active violation, on multiple counts, of federal Freedom of Information Act statutes. (By contrast, certain mine records in the possession of the State of Oregon have been provided in a prompt and professional fashion when requested). Similar documents secured by another miner have appeared to have been “heavily parsed” of key file documents, raising suspicion that BLM is either actively suppressing the release of documents that could be very damning or has been actively destroying documents which they are obligated under Federal Law to maintain and provide on request. One of the BLM employees suspected of parsing the records in question has apparently left BLM in the last few days.
3. What few documents have been produced by BLM to date (many of which are in no way very legible) have displayed a long history of non-compliance with federal and state laws, as well as their own regulations, as well as instances of suspected forgery, fraud, extortion of real estate and other issues that suggest a well organized conspiracy that divested thousands of miners and others of their property rights, which in turn has allowed the BLM and the USFS to exercise ruthless control over the entire Public Domain of the Far West, including rights of ingress and egress.