The Ore bin ; Vol. 36 No. 10 (October 1974) Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/administrative_report_or_publications/x346d832c

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  • Mining Law still intact, but prospectors face new set of regulations by the U. S. Forest Service
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  • The U.S. Forest Service has published the final version of regulations on the surface use of National Forest lands under the amended mining laws of 1872. These regulations became effective September 1, 1974. Although the Mining Law of 1872 is still largely intact, the new regulations place some requirements in the path of prospectors and miners operating within the boundaries of the National Forests. The Mining Law of 1872 generally gives the prospector and miner the right to enter upon the public domain, and to search for, develop, and extract a wide variety of mineral resources. The Forest Service, charged with the protection and disposition of the vegetative resources and general management of wildlife and other surface resources, has become increasingly concerned with the activities of prospectors and miners. The present regulations are aimed at better control of access roads to the mine, prospect holes, open pits, mill effluent, solid waste disposal, control of erosion and landslides, and the eventual reclamation of the site following completion of the operation. In the 49 numbered paragraphs that follow are answers to many of the questions the Forest Service anticipates will be asked by persons wanting to know about the regulations it now administers. Copies of these regulations may be obtained from the U.S. Forest Service, Portland, Oregon 97208, or from any District Ranger Station.
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  • 1. What is the purpose of the regulations? -- 2. What is the basic authority for the regulations? -- 3. Do the regulations exceed the limitations imposed by law on Forest Service management and administration? -- 4. Do the regulations affect the mininng laws and mining regulations of the Department of the Interior? -- 5. What activities are authorized by the 1872 mining laws, as amended? -- 6. Does the Forest Service intend to manage the mineral resources of the National Forests? -- 7. Does the Forest Service recognize minerals to be natural resources of the National Forest System along with outdoor recreation, range, timber, watersheds, wildlife, streams, fisheries, esthetics, and so on? -- 8. Do these regulations allow the Forest Service to tell me where and how I may prospect and mine? -- 9. Will these regulations be fairly, consistently, and reasonably administered by the Forest Service? -- 10. Do these regulations stop location of mining claims? -- 11. Won't these regulations substantially reduce, if not completely halt, mineral exploration and development on the National Forests? -- 12. Do these regulations keep me from buying or selling a mining claim? -- 13. Will these regulations keep me from patenting my mining claim? -- 14. Do these regulations apply on all lands administered by the Forest Service? -- 15. What is the single most important feature of these regulations for the purpose of minimizing the impact of prospecting and mining on the surface resources? -- 16. What is an operating plan? -- 17. Who has to submit an operating plan? -- 18. Can I expect prompt consideration of and responses to my proposed operating plan? -- 19. Is an approved operating plan a form of permit? -- 20. What, then, is the approved operating plan? -- 21. Does approval of my operating plan indicate my mining claim is valid? -- 22. Uder what circumstances would an operating plan not be approved? -- 23. What is "significant" disturbance of surface resources? -- 24. Where and when do I file my operating plan? -- 25. How do I know which District Ranger is responsible for the area in which I plan to operate? -- 26. Under what circumstances does an already approved operating plan need to be amended or modified? -- 27. Can an approved operating plan be broad enough to allow for adjustments in exploration and development projects as required by information derived as the work progresses? -- 28. Will I be required to give confidential information in my operating plan? -- 29. What should I do if I think my proposed operations might disturb surface resources, but I'm not sure the disturbance will be significant enough to require an operating plan? -- 30. Are there mineral-related operations that do not require the filing of operating plans or notices of intention to operate? -- 31. I'm a "rockhound" or mineral collector. How are my activities covered by requirements for operating plans or notices of intention to operate? -- 32. Do I have to observe off-road vehicle closures? -- 33. Will I be required under these regulations to post a bond or put up a cash deposit of any kind? -- 34. What is the purpose of a bond or deposit? -- 35. What will be the amount of the bond or cash deposit required? -- 36. Can I be required to reclaim or rehabilitate disturbed lands to improve their condition or potential over and above the condition I found them in? -- 37. Under what circumstances can I expect my bond to be released or deposit to be returned? -- 38. Who will review notices of intention to operate and plans for proposed operations, and what are the reviewer's qualifications? -- 39. What are the qualifications of the forest officer who will be responsible for reviewing the design and standards of roads included in the operating plans? -- 40. What action would the Forest Service take if I were to operate without an approved operating plan? -- 41. What kinds of proposed operations are most likely to require the preparation of environmental statements by the Forest Service? -- 42. Will appeals to Regional Foresters be reviewed by knowledgeable people, including mining engineers and geologists? -- 43. Do the regulations apply to building houses or cabins on mining claims? -- 44. Will these regulations be used to identify mining claims for validity determinations? -- Operations in National Forest Wilderness -- 45. Do these regulations apply to National Forest Wildernesses? -- 46. How do I identify National Forest Wilderness areas? -- 47. May I prospect in a wilderness under the 1872 mining laws and under these regulations? -- 48. What prospecting methods may I use in a wilderness? -- 49. May I locate mining claims in a wilderness?.
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