Saturday, June 30, 2018

Oregon State Agency Implicated in Sugar Pine Mine Conspiracy

The following document is yet another piece of evidence that Medford District Bureau of Land Management and their Abandoned Mine Land Unit was colluding with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office to shut down the Sugar Pine Mine, seize our Stamp Mill and place the mine on the National Register of Historic Places.

The redactions on the email were done by us – not to protect the guilty, but to protect ourselves. We've been threatened with arrest and "criminal actions" by BLM Law Enforcement in case a PUBLIC SERVANT had "to change phone numbers." Not sure what the charges would be - I'm sure they'd think of something.  Every single word on this website is scrutinized by their little spies (like Mrs. Smelly, as we affectionately call her,) in the hope of finding us saying something that could be construed as a threat. The main driving force behind this is probably the fact they think the person running this blog is the main thorn in their side.

Click on the image below to enlarge.

To let you understand why what BLM and SHPO are doing is theft, consider this - there are many things on the Sugar Pine Mine Group (and the other mine group involved also,) that are conveyed, not just the Stamp Mill.  These include remnants of old cabins, arrastres, old structures, ditches, old water transfer facilities, water wheels, plus others items that were installed or created by earlier owners of the mine.  All of these items - including the tailing piles and the actual mine workings - are all legally conveyed.  

They are all described in old conveyances and other legal instruments.  Regardless of the surface management status BLM cannot lay any claim whatsoever to any of these things.  They are items of private, personal property.  They do not, and have never belonged to the Federal Government, the State of Oregon, or to the Public.  This is the same as you having an old Model-T Ford parked in your back yard that belonged to your Great Grand Pappy.  Along comes the local Classic Car Club claiming it's theirs now, just because they want it.  The mere fact something may be old and rusty, does not alter the fact that it remains protected property.  

While we appreciate that our personal property on the mine may be interesting and historic to some people, that does not give them the right to try to take it.  The saddest thing is that if they had come to us and expressed their interest in the items (not part of the actual mine workings,) we would have given every one of them to BLM.  All they had to do was behave like human beings with a modicum of respect. Instead, they acted like sociopathic thugs and triggered an incident that made international news, and attempted to deprive us of our private, personal property, leaving us no choice but to have a group of folks protect our belongings - all of whom we are still very grateful to.

This email exchange, between an AML Unit District Archaeologist (who, coincidentally, used to work for California SHPO,) and a horrible little man who colludes with enviros, who also has a grudge against one of the Sugar Pine Miners, shows them deliberately shutting down their line of communication with Oregon SHPO in order to subvert any info being gleaned via FOIAs.

Why would anybody need to brief SHPO on anything regarding the Sugar Pine Mine, unless they were already in it up to their necks?  Because SHPO are fully complicit in the attempted theft of the Stamp Mill and the mine.  SHPO are the agency who contracts and funds the investigations and Monitoring Projects on items, places, buildings, etc.  Further, we FOIAd information just on our two mine groups and SHPO tried to charge us $2,500 for it.  We appealed their price and they upped it to $2,800.  We had a third party FOIA the whole of Galice, section-by-section, and they quoted a price that was considerably less. 

Busted!  Again.

We are also aware that the ultimate plan of BLM and SHPO was to make the Sugar Pine Group and the Black Jack Group "interpretive sites" with the Stamp Mill as the focal point, due to its rarity, as well as an "archaeological site." This is well established in the FOIA responses that have been studied extensively.

Empolyees of both BLM and SHPO will have an opportunity to explain their legal theories in the very near future.

In closing, just a reminder of the long-standing plan of BLM and SHPO to steal our Stamp Mill and shut down the mine to place it on the National Register of Historic Places - straight from the horses mouth...or other orifice.  

This is a video, shot in 2013 at the Inter-Agency office in Grants Pass.  It was a presentation by the BLM Medford District AML Unit about so-called Abandoned Mines and Cultural Resources in Southern Oregon, entitled Holes in the Hills.  The presenter, who shall remain nameless, lest BLM try to arrest us for Reckless Endangerment, tells the audience how this Stamp Mill is one of his favorites, and that they plan pacing this mine on the National Register of Historic Places.  When challenged by an audience member, who tells him it doesn't belong to them, he informs the impudent member of the public that they have "laws" and "the Judicial System" to smack you down with, should you protest.

Transcript begins at 9:26 ends 17:14  




[ Transcription ends at 17:47 ]

BLM Archaeologist : I'll come back to this plurality of names in just a second, but in terms of 'feature cannibalism' this particular stamp mill is one of my favorites that we've found, and it shows you the ingenuity of mining, and miners, and basically shows you all of these principals we've talked about. You've got a stamp mill that we have historical documentation that this exact stamp mill was set up and in use by 1925. But it was not set up here, at this spot. I know that because the tie-down bolts on the mortar block here – the mortar block is new concrete – and somebody stuck rebar in there to hold it up, 'cause it's pretty crazy, rather than actual tie rods.

George Backes : [whispered] Sugar Pine Mine.

BLM Archaeologist : We don't know exactly where this was set up originally, I have a feeling that behind this where somebody had taken a D8 Cat and they've made a nice area for them to come up and be able to load their ore in the mill, that probably was where the stamp mill was set at. We know its been moved, but it is a 1925 stamp mill. Obviously, this Toyota pick-up truck is not 1925. This is actually the motor that was driving the bull wheel on the stamp mill – it's a 1971, uh, or not a Toyota – it's a Datsun. 1971 Datsun truck that somebody had set up to run this thing. You've got a 1976 bed of a Toyota pick-up that actually is their ore chute that allows them to drop ore in there. There's the bed of a Ford pick-up that off the picture. The Ford pick-up was the ore bin, and you've got a lot of old timbers and different things that indicate that they've reused things that they've found on-site. That's typical of what you're gonna find at a mine here. The lady in the back of the room.

Lady in Back of the Room : [inaudible]

George Backes : Two-stamp?

Kerby Jackson : It's five.

George Backes : Two stamp. That mill is a two-stamp. Wanna bet money?

Kerby Jackson : I have photos of it at home.

George Backes : Wanna bet? It's a two-stamp. Looked at it a dozen times.

Woman in Back of the Room : [inaudible] … I don't know if it's a congress, or Presidential Executive Order... [inaudible] ...It's a National Historical Preservation Act... [inaudible] which established [inaudible]

George Backes : [inaudible] ...little Datsun motor and a transmission, still had the front end of the Datsun pick-up on the front of it. The two-stamp – one of the stamps is busted. [inaudible]

Kerby Jackson : I do remember that.

Woman in Back of the Room : [inaudible] identified as archaeological sites – I guess what I'm trying to figure out [inaudible] ...I don't get the connection why they're even going through this process, whoever they are.

BLM Archaeologist : Sure, that's a – let me clarify that – that's my fault; I didn't make it clear enough for you. Everything we're going to is not an archaeological site. That's something to keep [inaudible]. We're talking about archaeological sites. The stuff I'm showing you [inaudible]. But some of these, like the, the, the shot earlier with the Environmental Impact, the trailer and two cars – that is not an archaeological site, it's – that's a mine. And it's, it's, it's a dump. Uh, and so it doesn't fit the definition. There is a definition given, uh, for what an archaeological site is by the State Historic Preservation Office. Uh, uh, and their definitions in the Historic Preservation Act what constitutes a historical site, which we were mentioning. All this stuff's online. I encourage you to read it. It doesn't take long to read through.

Woman in the Back of the Room : Will they give a definition of why they're [inaudible] ...archaeological site. Uh, there's a reason for this, right?

BLM Archaeologist : Yes, and if you read the National Historic Preservation Act it will explain the whole purpose of it. And it's not just the NHPA – there's, uh, uh – oh, trying to think what it was – the 1906 Antiquities – the 1906 Antiquities Protection Act. Uh, there's a whole body of law that goes through and talks about things that are important for cultural heritage – our history – and why they should be preserved. And so, uh, you know I'm not gonna take – we're running out of time – I'm not gonna take time to describe these laws now. You can see them for yourself – every single one of them is online. Uh, if you go to the National Parks Service, uh, just look up “archaeology laws,” uh, National Parks Service. They've actually got a really nice website with links to all the original legislation in PDF format. Go and download it and read it through.

2nd BLM Archaeologist : One more thing – I suggest you go to the State Historic Preservation Office website. They have a lot of good things on there.

BLM Archaeologist : Yeah; Oregon SHPO. S – H – P – O. Yes, sir?

Man in Audience : Yeah, you forgot to list the outhouse that's on that site.

BLM Archaeologist : [laughs] Yeah, that's right. I did. I think I did mention, yeah – two support buildings [inaudible] Yes, sir?

Kerby Jackson : In the case of this one – is this going to be an “Archaeological Site?”

BLM Archaeologist : It is, yes. Because it is, it's, it has, on this particular mine...

Kerby Jackson : It does definitely have history.

BLM Archaeologist : Located in 1900. Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.

Kerby Jackson : It was actually located before 1900. That's actually the oldest listed lode mine in this district. And I also know that the claim that's current actually has an unbroken Chain of Title, since 1860.

BLM Archaeologist : [inaudible]. I'm talking to the assessment miner.

Kerby Jackson : You've actually talked to the miner?

BLM Archaeologist : Not the guy who has the claim. I've talked to his assessment miner who had come down from the [inaudible].

Kerby Jackson : Needless to say where there's, in that situation, uh, will that stop mining on that claim?

BLM Archaeologist : No. We can't emphasize enough what we're doing is not going to stop people from mining, so, you know, we're looking at it strictly from the standpoint of doing, uh, what's called the Section 106 National Historic Preservation Act. Uh, BLM's got a project where they're looking to, uh, uh, identify any abandoned mines, and if they are abandoned and there's a [inaudible] ...definition for that, which 2nd BLM Archaeologist mentioned, uh, and the hazards, like you've got a vertical shaft, you know, hundreds of feet deep and there's nobody working it, there's no claims on it, uh, BLM is identifying those and determining, or if that needs to be closed. According to national laws, BLM cannot do that – close that up – without going through a process and things, such as determining, is this of historical significance, and is closing this mine going to to have a detrimental effect on the historical significance of this site?

Kerby Jackson : Right.

BLM Archaeologist : That's what we're doing. Yeah. What we're doing's not gonna stop anybody from mining.

Kerby Jackson : I, I, I guess my biggest question is – do you have the realization with this particular claim in question – I know which one; I've been by it several times – uh, there is an unbroken Chain of Title that goes back before the mill was even there?

BLM Archaeologist : Yes.

Kerby Jackson : So, that mill, through an unbroken Chain of Title – it belongs to the claim owner. Have you considered that?

BLM Archaeologist : It's – yeah – I've thought about it. But you're getting into an area of legal issues, you know, you...

Kerby Jackson : I, I, I guess my question is, is where you want it listed as an archaeological site and obviously a lot of that has to do with basically how intact that mill is – and I think it's about 75% – besides the fact is has been revamped. You know, there's really nothing stopping the miner from using that mill. It's his property. I guess my question is – how does what you guys do affect that?

BLM Archaeologist : Uh, it's a good question. Is, uh, you know, I can't answer it for you. It's, it's, it's gonna turn on legal interpretations and, you know, as 2nd BLM Archaeologist is always fond of pointing out to me, I read something legally, and I say – well, this say this, and he says, well, let me call my lawyer friend and see what they say, and they have something totally different that they say, and you know, it's just a good reminder for me that, yeah, it's something that, that, congress and lawyers and other people are gonna have to figure out. I can't determine that.

Kerby Jackson : OK

BLM Archaeologist : That's – you're pointing out a really good issue, though, and it's, it's, they're, I believe, that you've got a very interesting gray area where you can get archaeology laws and mining laws and you know, uh, you get environmental protection laws – you get all these things that are laws that we and congress, as a country have, the people that we've elected passed them, and it seems like there's some conflicts and that's why you've got the Judicial System.