As most of you know, we receive calls, emails and messages almost on a daily basis now from members and other small-scale miners about problems with the USFS (Forest Service).
Most can be categorized in two columns:
1) USFS telling the miner a Plan of Opertions (PoO) is required to dig a hole.
2) Access being denied to valid mining claim owners.
We’ve also for many years encouraged folks to read (download and print too) what we call the “USFS 2800” manual which is specifically what rules and regulations apply to mining claim owners and what the USFS can/cannot do to owners of mining claims. Click on the link below, print and keep a copy of this with you….we do.
Today, we highlight NOI’s and PoO’s.
All across the west we are seeing this be an issue with some Rangers, Geologists and even Supervisors telling miners that if they disturb any surface, it requires a PoO. Absolutely untrue.
PoO’s are only required if your mining operation is causing or likely to cause a “significant disturbance”. What is that? Previously…before political ideology took over some of these folks, it was a disturbance of 5 acres. What it actually is, is the miner determining what he/she believes “may” cause a significant disturbance. If the miner believes they might they are then required to notify the district ranger of what operation may cause the disturbance. It is the miner who determines this.
Using equipment like a 420 CAT backhoe, a large excavator, dozer and the like would likely qualify as causing a “significant disturbance” and would therefore trigger the PoO.
Digging with hand tools…….does not qualify as a significant disturbance and therefore does not trigger a PoO. It does not justify even a NOI or what they call a Notice Of Intent.
If you plan to use a small Bobcat to move some tailing piles, in our opinion that may trigger a NOI, but based on how much area you’re moving, it too is unlikely to trigger these plans. Again, most of this stuff is now driven by political or environmental justice ideology and does not meet the criteria of the regulations and your fundamental rights as a mining claim owner.
We cannot stress how much we encourage you to read this link and all aspects of what is contained in it on mining claims and the USFS.
A knowledgeable miner is a powerful miner. Be one.
USFS 2800 Manual Link: