The Department of the Interior ” Agriculture ” wishes to change the course of the stream!

This proposed rule would revise the regulations for locatable minerals operations conducted on National Forest System lands. The revised rule would apply to prospecting, exploration, development, mining and processing operations, and reclamation under the Mining Law of May 10, 1872, as amended.
Now, lets just look at this statement, read it carefully.
Where are the flaws?

The flaw is ;
When the 1897 Organic Act was passed, Congress stipulated “ Mineral Lands were not to be taken into the Forest Reserves ! ( Read it )
And please note page 2, third paragraph.
No public forest reservation shall be established, except to improve and protect the forest within the reservation, or for the purpose of securing favorable conditions of water flows, and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for the use and necessities of citizens of the United States; but it is not the purpose or intent of these provisions, or of the Act
providing for such reservations, to authorize the inclusion therein of lands more valuable for the mineral therein, or for agricultural purposes, than for forest purposes.

In talking with a Mr. Gerald Wilson, the Forest Service Historian, Washington D.C. I brought this to his attention. Mr. Wilson replied that all land is mineral !. “ think about that for a moment before you laugh.” because his statement is correct, BUT, I advised Mr. Wilson that we were not talking about all land, we were talking about mineral lands that the 1897 Organic Act referred to and that would be designated mineral lands. Designated by Congress and the miners who had or would file these lands as mineral lands, legally and in accordance with the 1872 mining laws.
Now, this is done in one or two ways;
By filing a Mining District, or filing a lone mining claim ! In accordance with the Mining Laws of May 10, 1872. and if the 1872 mining laws are followed to the letter, then by definition, and by Congress, they are mineral lands and can not be part of the Forest Lands!

And by the same Act and the Act of MARCH 3, 1891 ( 26 STATS., 1095 ) RULES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING FOREST RESERVES .
3. It is the intention to exclude from these reservations, as far as possible, lands that are
more valuable for the mineral therein, or for agriculture, than for forest purposes ; and
where such lands are embraced within the boundaries of a reservation, they may be
restored to settlement, location, and entry.
Ok, again if this statement is true then lawful mineral lands are not Forest Service Lands, BY POSITIVE LAW.
Now you and the U.S. Forest Service may claim, that these are antiquated laws.
And you would be correct ! Except for one thing, they are still Congressional Law!
The Organic OF 1897 [PUBLIC–No.2.] was passed by Congress there was a stipulation which reads;
All public lands heretofore designated and reserved by the President of the United
States under the provisions of the Act approved March third, eighteen hundred and ninety-one the orders for which shall be and remains in full force and effect, unsuspended and un-revoked, and all public lands that may hereafter be set aside as public forest reserves under said act, shall be as far as practicable controlled and administered in accordance with the following provisions.
Paragraph 2 page 2.
Now if you are still in doubt you may want to check all of the cases that are brought before the Federal Courts, that pertain to mining, or where the authority of the Forest Service comes into question, there you will find that they claim that they get the authority from both of these acts. 1891 and 1897.
And if they are claiming this as fact, then they are also admitting the fact that they do not have any control over mineral lands!
These acts are clear and leave no wiggle room as to the Congress intent.

6. The law of June 4, 1897, for forest reserve regulations also provides, that
The jurisdiction, both civil and criminal, over persons within such reservations shall not
be affected or changed by reason of the existence of such reservations, except so far as
the punishment of offenses against the United States therein is concerned; the intent and
meaning of this provision being that the State wherein any such reservation is situated
shall not, by reason of the establishment thereof, lose its jurisdiction, nor the inhabitants
thereof their rights and privileges as citizens, or be absolved from their duties as citizens
of the State.
Now if we look at this and understand way these laws were written and passed by Congress; it becomes quite clear that as a miner, you can not go off your mining claim “ ON TO NATIONAL FOREST SYSTEM LANDS “ and commit a crime against the U.S. Government, meaning you must abide by all National Forest Rules and Regulations, while on National Forest Lands. consequently, this means they must also respect your rights and the laws. you must remember, you are by law an in-holder not just a mere guest of the Government.

Just as I have said before “ I am not a lawyer “ it is not my intent to practice law or give advice, but merely to try and understand it !
And give my OPINION !

I will talk more on this in the next issue of these articles!
Jerry Fennell


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