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Forests replenish our well-being

Even though there are scientific, logical reasons for preserving our forests, natural places also provide a setting for mental health through giving sanctuary for spiritual connection and rejuvenation, and physical health through recreational opportunities for families and groups, including observing and enjoying birds and animals of the forests.

“That each day I may walk unceasingly on the banks of my water, that my soul may repose on the branches of the trees which I planted, that I may refresh myself under the shadow of my sycamore.”

  ~Egyptian tomb inscription, circa 1400 BC

A long list of Americans who honored this wonderful continent "America" on planet Earth. They saw us as caregivers to preserve this legacy--not only for the scientific reasons for needing trees in our environment--but they beheld the beauty of nature and felt a difference in their attitude, spirit and well-being.

"I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in."  ~John Muir, 1913

A journal of living and loving in the East Texas Woods

Nature and trees nurture body, mind and soul. I was fortunate to have been able to enjoy a year in a National Forest setting. Memories of those days of peace and connection to delightful, non-judging, ever-changing nature sustain me in my daily challenges. That peace and joy is a part of my being.

You can find out more about my retreat and be inspired to take a retreat yourself!! It will make a difference in your life.

cover image showing trees, old barn and clouds

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Welcome to the Woods

Reason Three: 1872 Mining Law guidelines ignored

No modern mine fits the criteria of the mining law, yet the Forest Service personnel still claim they have to follow the antiquated law. Yet if they were to follow the law, there would be no hardrock pit mines destroying our National Forests. The public is being scammed.

The 1872 mining states:

CHAP. CL. II — As Act to promote the Development of the mining Resources of the Untied States.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all valuable mineral deposits in lands belonging to the United States, both surveyed and unsurveyed, are hereby declared to be free and open to exploration and purchase, and the lands in which they are found to occupation and purchase, by citizens of the United States and those who have declared their intention to become such, under regulations prescribed by law, and according to the local customs or rules of miners, in the several mining-districts, so far as the same are applicable and not inconsistent with the laws of the United States .

Sec.2. That mining-claims upon veins or lodes of quarts or other rock in place bearing gold, silver, cinnabar, lead, tin, copper, or other valuable deposits heretofore located, shall be governed as to length along the vein or lode by the customs, regulations, and laws in force at the date of their location. A mining-claim located after the passage of this act, whether located by one or more persons, may equal, but not exceed, one thousand five hundred feet in length along the vein or lode; but no location of a mining-claim shall be made until the discovery of the vein or lode within the limits of the claim located. No claim shall exceed more than three hundred feet on each side of the Middle of the vein at the surface, nor shall any claim be limited by any mining regulation to less then twenty five feet on each side of the middle of the vein at the surface, except where adverse rights existing at the passage of this act shall render such limitation necessary. The end-lines of each claim shall be paralleled to each other.

FORTY-SECOND CONGRESS. Sess. II Ch. 152. 1872. 96

Sec. 15. That where non-mineral land not contiguous to the vein or lode is used or occupied by the proprietor of such vein or lode for mining or milling purposes , such non-adjacent surface ground may be embraced and included in an application for a patent for such vein or lode, and the same may be patented therewith , subject to the same preliminary requirements as to survey and notice as are applicable under this act to veins or lodes : Provided, That no location hereafter made of such non-adjacent land shall exceed five acres , and payment for the same must be made at the same rate as fixed by this act for the superficies of the lode. The owner of a quartz-mill or reduction-works, not owning a mine in connection therewith, may also receive a patent for his mill-site, as provided in this section. [Successful law suit on the milling issue at Crown Jewel]

The General Mining Law of 1872, as amended (30 USC 29 and 43 CFR 3860, provides the successful mining claimant the right to patent (acquire absolute title to the land) mining claims or sites if they meet the statutory requirements. To meet this requirement, the successful claimant must:

  1. For mining claims, demonstrate a physical exposure of a valuable (commercial) mineral deposit (the discovery) as defined by meeting the Department’s Prudent Man Rule and Marketability Test.
  2. For mill sites, show proper use or occupancy for uses to support a mining operation and be located on non-mineral land.
  3. Have clear title to the mining claim (lode or placer) or mill site.
  4. Have assessment work and/or maintenance fees current and performed at least $500 worth of improvements (not labor) for each claim (not required for mill sites).
  5. Meet the requirements of the Department’s regulations for mineral patenting as shown in the Code of Federal Regulations at 43 CFR 3861, 3862, 3863, and 3864.
  6. Pay the required processing fees and purchase price for the land applied for. www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/regulations/mining_claims.html

For an example, we will use  the current Augusta Resource Corp./Rosemont Copper Mine project in the Coronado National Forest near Tucson, Arizona:

1) Augusta Resource Directors and stockholders are not U. S. Citizens. (NO)

2) The mining claim size for an individual prospector is limited. (NO)

3) Land intended for milling, waste piles, slurry disposal, etc. is to be patented. (NO)

4) Patented land intended for milling, etc. should not exceed five acres per claim. The pit will use about 30 claims = 150 acres, whereas the operation is planned to use around 4,000 acres for their mill, waste piles and tailings. (NO)

In addition, the BLM website outlines statutory regulations that would nullify any permitting of the Augusta Resource Corp./Rosemont Copper Mine Mine project.

1) The company does not have a clear title to the mill site. It is required by 1872 mining law that the land be patented by purchase. (NO)

2) The company must have done assessment work and/or maintenance fees of at least $500 for the life of the claim. Therefore, these claims were null and void at the time of their purchase from ASARCO. The records that show that how/when Augusta Resource Corp./Rosemont Copper Mine (and ASARCO, the previous owner) has fulfilled this obligation on all their claims must be shown—except for 5 acres allowed for mill sites. (NO)

3) The company has not paid the required processing fees and purchase price, or done the required maintenance for the Forest Service land (not patented) of 3670 acres of USFS land they have applied for to be used as waste and tailings dumps. (NO)


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National Forests are threatened!

By non-sustainable hard-rock mining

Trees of our forests are the Earth’s sentinels protecting and insuring the continuation of life. Trees provide clean water, clean air, clean soil, shade and habitat. We must protect them; they must flourish for life on the Earth to continue.

Forests sustain life from two streams. First, there are scientific reasons. Trees produce oxygen necessary for human and animal life. Trees hold the soil, prevent erosion and filter air and rainwater. The National Forest (FS) mission statement “caring for the land and serving the people” and FS management Acts emphasize securing and protecting of watershed. Second and equally important--trees provide opportunities for humans to enjoy healthy exercise, recreation and contemplation in shady, quiet, natural places to rejuvenate their body, mind and spirit.

Urgency of Mining Law Reform

Oak Flat Land Exchange

Elias Butler video on protecting Oak Flat in Tonto National Forest

Creation of National Forest Reserves

The National Forest System was created to protect our forests from destruction by grazing, mining and unregulated cutting, which were already deemed a problem in the late 1800’s. In 1882, the U.S. President, Chester A. Arthur, stated: "The conditions of the forests and the wasteful manner in which their destruction is taking place give cause for serious apprehension."

The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized the Presidents of the United States to set aside forest reserves from the lands in the Public Domain. The Act was passed under Benjamin Harrison’s administration (1889-1893). He responded by putting 13 million acres of land into National Forests. The succeeding presidents, Grover Cleveland (1893-1897) put in 25 million acres and William McKinley (1897-1901) put in 7 million acres. However, the champion of the forest preservation was Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909). Under Roosevelt's pen the forest reserves went from approximately 43,000,000 acres to about 194,000,000 acres, an increase of over 400%.

Over 100 years ago, four U.S. Presidents knew that trees of the forest sustained health and well-being for humans and wildlife. However, we of the "scientific age" aren't able to figure it out.