Potential BLM Fight Brewing In Southern Oregon
by Red Smith
Investigating information received last night the Shasta Lantern has been following a potential standoff building between BLM and a group of miners located near Grants Pass, Oregon. The property in question, the Sugar Pine Mining Claim, has existed as a rightful claim since 1876 and is one of the oldest claims in the country. Reportedly late this week, BLM officials accompanied by deputies of Josephine County Sheriff Dave Daniel issued a Cease and Desist order to the mine and it’s owners. The order has given the miners until April 25th to remove all equipment, buildings and supplies from the mine. It has been reported local BLM officials have threatened to burn the buildings down if they are not removed by the date.
Since roughly 2012 the miners from the Galice Mining District, which Sugar Pine Mine is a part of, have been arguing with BLM for their rights to underground mineral deposits in and around Galice Creek, OR. The Galice Mining District is a private consortium of claims, owners and miners that has continuously operated since the early 1870’s. This means the mining district actually predates the BLM by decades. The mining district has produced in excess of 10 million ounces of gold since its inception, and geologists estimate that only 10% of the gold in the ground has been removed.
On March 18th, 2015 BLM issued two Stop Orders on the mining district, citing authority under BLM Surface Management 3809 regulations. Once the miners signaled their intent to fight in court what they believe to be an illegal order and retained attorney James Dole (who has successfully defeated BLM in court on numerous mining issues) the current Cease and Desist order was served on the Sugar Pine Mine even though the issue is scheduled to be heard in court later in the year .
Sugar Pine Mine Security Operation
At the request of the Sugar Pine Mining Claim owners, Oath Keepers of Josephine County mission is to ensure the mining claim owners 5th Amendment Constitutional Right to Due Process is not violated by the Bureau of Land Management.
Coordinator – Oath Keepers of Josephine County