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Peter Freedman

Federal Mining Claims And Water Rights?

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I guess Peter went on vacation. :)

 

With reference to water on a Federal mining claim;

 

Water may be "used" through a "water right". A water right is a "right to use", not a "title" to the water.

 

Water rights are based on a common principle of "beneficial use". If water is not put to beneficial use, a water right may not exist. (note: "may")

 

Alaska DNR issues Temporary Water Use Permits (TWUPs) for mining purposes.

 

Nobody owns water. You may own a bottle of bottled water. Eventually, it is used. The water passes through your system and returns to the hydrologic cycle.

 

Water is used on a placer mine. After it is used it passes back into the earth, flows down the stream and returns to the ocean or a lake and over the course of time, it evaporates and returns to the hydrologic system!

 

- Geowizard

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That's all true which leads me to explore the thoughts of water ownership.

 

So far, it's live and let live.  Water owns us.  Nobody is capable of proving otherwise.

 

Are derivatives possible?  I mean Wall Street water bugs should be hot on the pursuit of the monetary potentials.

 

I'd like to believe we have abandoned that notion where money and power makes water the weapon of political pyramid construction.

 

For example, recent theories follow that the Mayans were conquered by not gold nor food but abused freshwater supplies.

 

Is it a law of physics which states water cannot be created nor destroyed?  Meaning a finite supply? 

 

An unlimited human population utilizing a finite water system based on weather and collection basins seems ripe for exploitation.  Previously we couldn't affect the hydro-logic.  We can now.

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How do you create water, Geo?

 

 

wiki states........

"Fifty years ago, the common perception was that water was an infinite resource. At this time, there were fewer than half the current number of people on the planet. People were not as wealthy as today, consumed fewer calories and ate less meat, so less water was needed to produce their food. They required a third of the volume of water we presently take from rivers. Today, the competition for the fixed amount of water resources is much more intense, giving rise to the concept of peak water.[38] This is because there are now nearly seven billion people on the planet, their consumption of water-thirsty meat and vegetables is rising, and there is increasing competition for water from industryurbanisation and biofuel crops. In future, even more water will be needed to produce food because the Earth's population is forecast to rise to 9 billion by 2050."

 

 

Photosynthesis splits H2O into H and O.

 

What combines the 2 into water?

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I edited out the process because it is explosive.

 

But, not to wooory...

 

The earth is 3/4 covered with water. Yes, it is salt water and evaporation of the oceans (part of the hydrologic cycle) is continuous. Moisture from evaporation circulates over land and elevation (orographic lift) of the moist air in mountainous areas creates rain fall. Hot air in desert areas creates lift and as warm moist air rises and cools, precipitation (rain) occurs. 

 

We only "use" the water. It gets recycled! As glaciers melt and the ocean levels rise, there's gonna be more water for everybody. :)

 

- Geowizard

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Rod,

 

(From your reference, above);

 

USA is #5 on the list of top Freshwater sources. We produce 3069 cubic kilometers of Freshwater per year (1985).

 

We use 477 cubic kilometers of Freshwater per year.

 

Yes, there are countries that are HIGH on the water shortfall list that sell us oil... :)

 

- Geowizard

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The top shortfall is in Saudi Arabia. They withdraw 17.32 cubic kilometers per year from a 2.4 cubic kilometer supply!

 

We could pay off our national debt selling water at $1.00 per gallon as follows;

 

1 cubic kilometer = 260,000,000,000 gallons. Tankers returning to Saudi could provide shipment.

 

With our surplus water, we could sell 15 cubic kilometers per year. Enough to satisfy their shortfall.

 

I did the math. It works out to 3900 Billion or 3.9 Trillion dollars! :)

 

- Geowizard

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Your number crunching and the ability to see how changes will proceed ..........blows my mind.  Thanks

 

I researched current technologies to create water (minus the hydrogen explosions) and found the refrigeration with condensation recovery to be the leading method for now.  Refrigeration requires horsepower.  The rate of diesel burned to produce water from the atmosphere is OK if you are content with a 10/1 ratio.  10 gallons of fuel has been proven to create 1 gallon of drinking water.  There seems to be a shortage of investors.

 

The desalination of seawater keeps improving at a snail's pace.  Very small solar developments on the horizon.  Our military ships are leading the R &D.

 

Anyway back to water rights and mining.

The loss of water rights for mining is accelerating.  Every drop is scrutinized by anti-mining factions.  Entire deposits are languishing without development.  Freshwater fit for drinking will become an endangered resource.  It's a short season until water-based mining methods, as we enjoy now, becomes taboo.  The population requirements can't be ignored.   

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The loss of water rights for mining is accelerating.  

 

That's an interesting statement Rod. In what ways have rights to the water needed for mining been lost? Are you referring to Federal, State or local rights losses? I've seen no change in the laws. Perhaps I missed a new development?

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No new development which can be cataloged or assigned a serial number that I can quote, Clay.

 

The loss of in-the-water right to mine is my own personal loss.  My claims are of gold deposits which require suction dredging to harvest.  My investments in viable Federal mining claims have almost no value today.  I'm only one of many gold miners whose possibility of acquiring personal wealth can be no more.  I don't have enough years of youthful vitality to wait for a ruling from our Supreme Court.

 

No, my problem hasn't been laws which have changed.  My loss is entirely due to environmental mood shifts.  I'm labeled as being detrimental to the aquatic environment.  A label which couldn't be more in error because I have devoted my life to serving the well-being of our aquatic environment.  I've been forced to underwrite 3 Environmental Impact Reports which were court ordered.  Each report has correctly identified me as being of NO harm to the environment.  Now it's a long protracted appeal process.

 

Wouldn't you agree that gold dredgers in CA have lost water rights?

 

Wouldn't anyone think, "If CA dredgers fall, all states will follow?"

 

If the right to the use of water flowing across my claims has been taken from me, what else other than lost water rights can it be?

 

Maybe you can see a different angle than do I.

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Wouldn't you agree that gold dredgers in CA have lost water rights?

Wouldn't anyone think, "If CA dredgers fall, all states will follow?"

If the right to the use of water flowing across my claims has been taken from me, what else other than lost water rights can it be?

Maybe you can see a different angle than do I.

I guess I do see a different angle Rod.

I don't know of any law, decision or ruling that has qualified suction dredging among the water rights. I imagine arguing that it is a water right will leave you out cold in any adversarial proceeding whether administrative or judicial.

It's my understanding that water rights revolve around use. Arguing suction dredging is a use of water seems contrary to the interests of suction dredgers. Although suction dredging opponents would be quick to adopt your definition I doubt you would like the result of such a change of jurisdiction.

I'm not sure at all that California suction dredgers have or will fall. As I understand it the issue is that suction dredging permits have been temporarily suspended. If you have evidence that suction dredging has been banned in California you do have recourse as described in Spearfish, Granite Rock and many other cases denying States the right to ban any particular form of mining. Despite the rumors perpetrated in California even hydraulic mining has never been banned.

In any case the State regulations in California have nothing to do with other States regulation. The presumption that California leads the nation in mining regulation is unsustainable when the facts are considered.

I don't know of any laws or regulations that prohibit you from using the water flowing across your claim for mining purposes. You seem to have agreed that you don't know of any either.

Is your claim a gulch claim or do you just prefer suction dredging? Very few placer claims are devoid of gold outside of watercourses.

Have you perfected your claim? Have you defined the deposit to only include stream bottoms? If both of those answers are yes you may be in a position to complain of lost opportunity due to the moratorium on suction dredge permits. Otherwise your suspended "right" to suction dredging amounts to little more than a temporary inconvenience in the eyes of the law. Your right to mine your mineral discovery does not include the right to mine it in the most convenient way possible.

I'll admit to playing a bit of the devils advocate here. I do have sympathy for those who desire permits to suction dredge, whether they have claims or not. I am trying to show you a different angle than the one you have presented. No court is obligated to explain to you why your arguments fail, only that they are not dispositive. The judge is not your lawyer.

It's obvious that the several current, and past, efforts in California to obtain compensation for lost opportunity due to the non-issuance of suction dredging permits have failed. I believe they will continue to fail as long as suction dredgers stick to the single point of view presented to the courts so far.

I haven't seen even one suction dredger investigate other methods of recovering stream bottom deposits even though stream mining has a long and successful history well before the advent of modern suction dredging. Now there is a point of view that might well cause a court to sit up and pay attention. The alternatives to suction dredging may well be the single biggest impetus to resuming the permitting process.

A different angle indeed.

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Hilarious!! :)

 

Suction dredging isn't "banned"... IT'S PROHIBITED.

 

Ref: www.dfg.ca.gov/suctiondredge/ (revised 3/14/2014)

 

No, they couldn't "ban" suction dredging so, they "prohibited" suction dredging!

 

Under the statute, CDFG is the only entity that can issue permits.

 

Under the same statute, CDFG is "prohibited" from issuing permits. Get it?

 

- Geowizard

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Hilarious!! :)

 

Suction dredging isn't "banned"... IT'S PROHIBITED.

 

Ref: www.dfg.ca.gov/suctiondredge/ (revised 3/14/2014)

 

No, they couldn't "ban" suction dredging so, they "prohibited" suction dredging!

 

Under the statute, CDFG is the only entity that can issue permits.

 

Under the same statute, CDFG is "prohibited" from issuing permits. Get it?

 

- Geowizard

 

I'm surprised you find that amusing geo. I'm presuming you don't suction dredge in California?

 

I'm glad you understand the irony of the semantics of the situation.  <_<

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Post 37, above is hilarious. (I'm not sure you completely understand). :)

 

The over-regulation of the use of water by suction dredgers makes their water right, if any MUTE.

 

So, a well organized, well funded group, groups and association of groups lobby to take away the use of water from suction dredgers!

 

Clay doesn't get it. Suction Dredgers get it. Do a simple search of the regulatory controls applied to Suction Dredging in every Western State. The gauntlet of permitting and the cost of application for permits for the lowest levels of impact users, recreational suction dredging requires forms to be completely filled out and submitted.

 

The forms require answers to technical questions that are reviewed by "pointy nosed experts". "Explain your Best Management Practices" as would be applied to this "Project". It's recreational! It's not a "project". "Explain all of the options" that you plan on using to reduce detrimental effects on water quality. Explain all of the other options that you don't plan on using. A recreational suction dredger would need a masters degree in civil engineering to "adequately" answer the technical questions.

 

So, barriers are put in place through the permitting process which appear reasonable to "pointy nosed bureaucrats" at state and federal levels. They are hired into governmental positions AT OUR EXPENSE to write regulations and further their departmental agendas. THAT'S THEIR JOB.

 

So, the recreational suction dredger has rights. He MAY exercise those rights AFTER having complied with the regulatory requirements that cover the area for his/her planned "project".

 

It's not funny. It's the "other view" of pointy nosed bureaucrats that think everything is great "from their view" of the world that's funny. :)

 

- Geowizard 

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Idaho;

 

Refer to the following link:

 

http://www.idwr.idaho.gov/WaterManagement/StreamsDams/Streams/DredgingPermit/DredgingPermit.htm

 

As in most cases, Suction Dredging requires an APA NPDES General Permit.

 

There are forms to complete...

 

http://www.idwr.idaho.gov/RulesStatutesForms/StreamChannel/StreamChannelForms.htm

 

Form NWW Form 1145-1//IDWR 3804-B Joint Application goes to the following agencies and private parties:

 

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Idaho Department of Water Resources

Idaho Department of Lands

Adjacent Property Owners

 

The form is actually sourced at http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/Portals/28/docs/regulatory/jtApplication/jt.Application.pdf

 

- Geowizard

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Ok, CA dredging is prohibited.  It's been a long time considered temporary.  

 

Way back when I started dredging around 1972 or '03 there were no permits period.  Anybody remember the spot then? I still do.

 

CDFG needed some control and began the dredging permit business by requiring a permit or you would be cited.  I and every dredger working in the Sierras at the time balked.  CDFG never had nor should be controlling miners on federal claims.  The current outlaws who are CA dredgers weren't wrong then nor now.  The absurdity of the situation is CDFG hates dredgers.  

 

CA created a class of outlaws when it founded the dredger permit requirement.  Today's younger generation of suction dredger has accepted the premise whereby a permit from the state is a requirement.  I've never relinquished the miner's right to mine.  Naturally the state's only recourse was to stop the permitting of legal dredging.  That does not make dredging illegal. 

 

I do appreciate the time you've volunteered here, Clay and Geo.   I respect your sense of right/wrong.

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Nevada;

 

Visit: http://ndep.nv.gov/bmrr/index.htm

 

Ever heard of a mining storm-water permit? Read all about it.

 

Go to the Reno (Washoe County) site:  http://reno.gov/government/departments/public-works/regional-stormwater-quality-management-program/

 

Nevada provides a Best Management Practices (BMP) Manual too in case you need some coaching. :)

 

- Geowizard

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Ok, CA dredging is prohibited.  It's been a long time considered temporary.  

 

Way back when I started dredging around 1972 or '03 there were no permits period.  Anybody remember the spot then? I still do.

 

CDFG needed some control and began the dredging permit business by requiring a permit or you would be cited.  I and every dredger working in the Sierras at the time balked.  CDFG never had nor should be controlling miners on federal claims.  The current outlaws who are CA dredgers weren't wrong then nor now.  The absurdity of the situation is CDFG hates dredgers.  

 

CA created a class of outlaws when it founded the dredger permit requirement.  Today's younger generation of suction dredger has accepted the premise whereby a permit from the state is a requirement.  I've never relinquished the miner's right to mine.  Naturally the state's only recourse was to stop the permitting of legal dredging.  That does not make dredging illegal. 

 

I do appreciate the time you've volunteered here, Clay and Geo.   I respect your sense of right/wrong.

Thanks for the perspective Rod. I do remember, I was dredging in California then and I didn't buy into the permit joke then or now.

 

I agree with you on all the points in your post above.

 

As  far as the concept of suction dredging being a water use right I'm guessing the California Department of Fish and Game  would deny that concept. After all if it were a water use issue then the SWCRB would be in charge of dredging permits (NOT the CDFG) and the issue wouldn't be endangering fish populations but water use. Beware what you wish for.

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Rod,

 

With a shortage of references, I thought this might be a good place to start. :)

 

http://www.jeffersonminingdistrict.com

 

Speaking of Oregon, I came bouncing into the world in Eastern Oregon. As I attended grade school and high school, I noticed most of my classmates were from California. Their parents had moved to Eastern Oregon to get a JOB in the Lumber Mill.

 

No problem - there were lots of jobs!

 

In 1974, with signing of the Clean water act, the Wilderness act, establishment of EPA, and long lines at the gas pumps, the mill closed.

 

The spotted Owl needed habitat anyway and "old growth" forest needed to remain unmolested by humans. The Largest Covered Lumber Mill on earth was dismantled and shipped to the USSR. The railroad was closed and the rail was removed. This created trails (rails to trails) for bicyclers to enjoy for their recreation. 

 

Yes, we have a "right" to "Free enterprise" in America.

 

I know, it's off topic, but if you think about it, from my perspective, and for normal Americans, clean air, clean water extremism has had a big price.

 

- Geowizard

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Well, you're correct about the SWCRB.  It has formally submitted recommendation to the CA Legislature.  It's a part of the state's case before Judge Ochoa at this moment.  Seems that dredgers, not nature, cause increased turbidity.  I guess the department doesn't check such things during winter high water flushing of the CA canyons.

 

The overall effect is this .......the state of CA is utilizing every taxpayer resource to take miners' property.

 

The cumulative effect on me is,  I can't match the stall and delay tactics.  In the world where I thrive, Time is money.

 

Clay you may have knowledge of the fact that we CA dredgers submitted application to be heard by our US Supreme Court.  It was denied until we complete the state's appeal process.  If we were still at work in the water the wait wouldn't be a problem.   

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New Mexico;

 

"The People's Court"

 

http://www.sfreporter.com/santafe/article-7423-the-canary-in-the-copper-mine-(is-dead).html

 

The link doesn't work but - you can search it.

 

Two of our "rights" are freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Reference: Bill of Rights, First Amendment of The Constitution of the United States.

 

Regardless of any right, your right ends where someone else's right begins. :)

 

- Geowizard

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Rights and Responsibilities;

 

Along with "rights", we incur "responsibilities". That's where the problems began. Some water users prior to the Clean air and clean water Act were NOT responsible. There were water users that polluted creeks and rivers with toxic chemicals.

 

With the creation of EPA, a new level of bureaucracy was created. Over time as more environmental groups became established, greater political pressure was exerted on the congress and senate. So, today, well organized groups have access to those legislative bodies as well as local "public works" officials.

 

Owning mining property has risk and liability. So, along with rights, we must accept responsibility for those possible risks and liabilities. 

 

As the owner of a mining property, you own the possibility of storm water contamination. Most metal mines are located on mining claims and mining claims obviously contain metals or other "locatable" minerals. Everyone has heard of the issues with arsenic, for example. Gold is commonly associated with arsenic. That's one reason it is not advisable to lick a rock! Old timers would do a taste test. Gold may be associated with many toxic minerals. You own the gold and all of the associated toxic minerals on your mining claim.

 

Issues with mine water and mine drainage are becoming more newsworthy today.

 

Best Management Practices dictate that a mine owner would evaluate the possible issues related to mine water seepage and drainage. Also on the list of issues would be the potential for contamination of storm water. A gold mine in Bulgaria was flooded and (toxic) mine waste was washed into areas where people and livestock lived. So, now with that in the news, the public becomes concerned about all of the mining that occurs world wide that could possibly impact the health of local populations.

 

That seems reasonable.

 

As a mining property owner, water can be both an asset and a liability.

 

- Geowizard

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Was it an "Act" or a "Law"?

 

The BLM refers to the General Mining Mining Act of 1872 as the "General Mining Law of 1872, as amended".

 

If, in fact, Congress had intended the General Mining Act to be "Law", they probably would have defined it as "Law".

 

Sec. 6 of the General Mining Act of 1872 provides "That a Patent for any Land Claimed..."

 

So, while we are speaking of Taking "rights" and "banning" or "prohibiting"; Congress passed a "Budget Moratorium" on October 1, 1994, placing a "moratorium" on patents of Federal Mining Claims. BLM will not accept Patent Applications until the moratorium is lifted.

 

- Geowizard

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