Mining Law, Homesteading, and US Code : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

Doreen - got the US Code on the favorites already, but I will check the UCC. Thanks.

Greg - I'm not as stupid as I look, lol!! Sides... I like 3D glasses better than x-rays... More of a challenge, lol ;)

I am more aware of these laws than most folks are. They affect me personally. I already own several mining claims, as do other members of my family. My folks checked into the Homesteading Act back in the late 70's about four years AFTER its appeal. I thought it was repealed in 71 or 72. Don't really matter.

Both BLM and FS (local), as stated, have admitted that there is something to this effect extant even today. I am also quite aware that the government would not help me to find their problems... but I also know they are too damned lazy to fix them until they are pointed out. They are either not aware, or not allowed to talk about where to find the information. I talked to a couple people from the Deadwood mining district yesterday before I posted.

Mining laws have not tightened quite all that much. Recent court decisions can be overturned on some things, but it would require a suit in the Supreme Court. For instance... the idea of not building a home to live in while working a claim (provided it has been assessed as being profitable, and with the aim of a patent).

Granted, there is no building on the land for the purpose of homesteading, however you CAN build to house employees. You can also lease a part of your claim back to yourself - or to an employee. You can fence and cross-fence. If you are not opposed to living in a tent (which I would be - on a permanent basis, anyway) you can have one there 24/7/365 without a permit. You can build an outhouse. You can build a mill. You can have water storage tanks. You can even have power.

**You can also enter into leases with both BLM and FS, to use their land (which remains under their ownership) for building your own business, etc... It has been done, right here in Idaho City... Barns, corrals, all sorts of things, under a lease on a year by year basis.**

Babbit put a moratoreum on patenting mining claims, which has not yet been lifted by the Bush admin, but its looking like they will. If they change the roadless laws even a tiny bit, that will benefit small mine owners as well. Especially ones like me who are beyond the 'road closed' signs. Once patented, they can't touch you with a million foot pole. AND, several successful lawsuits in the past two years have proven that you can still patent a profitable claim even with the moratoreum. There are only a very few, but one successful one is all that's needed.

You can completely fence a mining claim so long as any 'government' road which runs through it remains open to the public. (The same provision was a part of the now defunct Homesteading Act.)The unfortunate thing is that you can't stop them from coming across a closed road, either...

You can build a barn, paddocks and a tack room providing for horses which work on the claim. (Hell - according to what I got from the FS, you can use a dollar figure for the time your horses work on the claim as part of your annual assessment fee...) You can build sheds to house equiptment, as well. Along with sheltering equiptment, you are allowed to provide housing for a person to stay there 24/7 to act as a guard for that equiptment. Unfortunately, its in getting the permit where you run into trouble. Often, that requires an attorney. However, the fees are not all that substantial. I've checked into that, too.

You can cut as much wood from the property as is needed by the operation including timber for sheds, fencing, employee housing, mine structures and mill buildings. Obviously, this implies you could also clear the land of other vegetation to make room for that/those buildings. If you have 'live' water on your claim, you can fish it, drink from it, use it to provide power, etc. However, again, you need permits.

A mining claim entitles you to all the benefits of the surface of your land. A lode claim to all the surface timber, etc, and mineral beneath the lines. A placer claim entitles you to all of the above, provided there is no direct location of a lode on that land. If there has been, you need both types.

They have not changed that wording on the US Code. That means, that with a copy predating any lawsuit, they will... ok... they should... lose the case against a miner/claimant. Further, were the moratoreum designed to be permanent, it would have been included in the code. It was not. So, there is a good chance that it is still possible to patent a claim without a legal battle. In fact, the moratoreum is not present in ANY of the literature on mining claims, or the mining laws. I have never seen it in print... only mentions of it.

The actual letter of that law, with all its changes, is printed in Title 30 (and parts of Title 43) of the US Code (effective date, 1.5.99). I have it in my 'favorites', on the hard drive, and in print. I also have all the stuff from BLM and Forest Service. I have the State code, too.

If anyone is interested, the addy for Title 30 US Code is:

If all this is true, is it really all that inconcievable that there could be some truth to the idea that you can homestead an extant foundation??????? Even if it is just a loophole...

So, since I don't have a 'real' job or anything (ask my family) I have nothing better to do with my time than to waste it looking for my pipe dream. Further, since I have not found any such cabins or foundations, then I can spend the rest of my natural life looking for one of those. Any bets as to how hard THAT will be????

-- Sue Diederich (, April 24, 2001


Sue stupid is NOT one of the words that comes to mind when I think of you.If I seemed patronizing I did not intend to be so.I hope that you can find a loophole.My spin is this....even if you do, the FUDS are not going to let you do it anyway.I hope I'm wrong.They no longer play by the rules unless they feel like it.It used to be if you had them dead to rights they would cave in but now they just ignore you until you go away or run out of money.Logic would dictate if they are destroying foundations that they have something to gain by it.PS I think you are right about the date of the homestead act repeal.

-- greg (, April 24, 2001.


I would like to find a oil gas and coal field map if aivable for Garrett county MD. I have a url for one for WVA, but I can't surf to one for Md from it.

Thanks for any help.

-- rick K (, July 17, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ