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Thread: Accessing public lands through mining claims

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    Default Accessing public lands through mining claims

    Does anyone know the laws on this? From what I can find, most the land in along Willow Fishhook road is federally owned and leased to individuals or corporations to assert a right of possession for the purpose of mining. However according to the pamphlet from the BLM in regards to Federal Claims (http://www.blm.gov/style/medialib/bl...andbook508.pdf) (Pg1. Para. 5), the public are allowed to cross the land for the purpose of accessing federal lands for other recreation use. So wouldn't that mean the lessees are not allowed to legally stop you from crossing their lands to hunt public lands on the other side? Just curious if anyone has run into this or knows what the answer is.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    @ ahartung,

    I'm of the understanding that the land along Willow Fishhook Road is State owned. Most, if not all, of the claims along there transferred to State management when the land was conveyed to the State. While the point you raise about Federal claims is true, it may not apply to access to State lands. The Alaska mining laws are modeled somehwat after the Federal law, but Alaskans also have a knack for charting their destiny so you'll probably want to look into what the Alaska Department of Natural Resources says about access. You can get lots of good information at the public information centers, or through the DNR web site.

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    Yeah I will definitely check that out! The MSB parcel viewer still shows the land I am looking at as federally owned though. I will have to ask someone at DNR.

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    well, it has depended on the situation for us in the past. In some cases I contact the operator of the mine to request access to land on a strip they established. Other times the mine has asked pilots not to use the strip.

    It has helped streamline my research to start with the land manager, and then they can better inform you of your legal rights to access.

    larry

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Generally unless a mining claim is patented you can use the land the same as any other public land.
    You just cannot mine for minerals of any kind.
    Avoid their mining equipment and active mining area and you should be OK.
    Also if their actively mining be aware of which direction you are shooting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    Generally unless a mining claim is patented you can use the land the same as any other public land.
    You just cannot mine for minerals of any kind.
    Avoid their mining equipment and active mining area and you should be OK.
    Also if their actively mining be aware of which direction you are shooting.

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    So I guess my question is why all the no trespassing signs then?

    I agree with Larry that contacting the land owner is the always the best thing to do, however that was how I found the land is federally owned and makes it a bit more difficult to find out who to contact in regards to the no trespassing signs.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Anybody can throw up some no trespassing signs. It doesn't make them legal signs.
    First are you positive it isn't privately owned or a patented mining claim?
    We're they no trespassing or mining claim signs?
    What kind of mine is this?
    Gold,gravel,etc?


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    According to the tax accessor parcel viewer app, the land is owned federally by the USA as opposed to other areas that are privately owned. They had no trespassing signs up. I am not sure what they are mining for, but its up willow fishhook rd.

    Anyway, not trying to pick an argument with a land owner. Just curious about their rights. I am just looking to cross the land, which I would guess anyone that has claim to land shouldn't have too much issue with if one politely asks for permission.

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    You might try asking this question on the "prospecting forum" here on the supersite. You might get someone more conversant with the subject.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    This is what OTC claim signs look like.

    Claim owners may also post home made signs.




    As stated above unless it is a patented claim the public has a right to pursue any outdoor activities that would normally be allowed in the area such as camping, traveling on trails / roads, fishing , hunting, etc. The claim owner can no trespass the claim or an area of the claim that might be dangerous due to blasting, heavy equipment operation, or some other safety issue like open pits, overhangs etc.

    You may not remove material that has any value or that is being mined.

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    The "No tresspassing" signs are for the active mining and storage areas near/for the minings operations. The legal way to say "Dont go here', so if you say , drive yer snowgo into their works, its your fault. ~~LOL!!~~

    You can access state or fed mining claims, just not the work areas.Also, roads and trails made and maintained by the active mines are "private" too,for intents and purposes, untill mining plays out or the ground gets patented.
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  12. #12

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    Here's my insight, I am a part time miner.

    You cannot intervene or be within the active minesite, federal or state claims, as its a liability, and also gives reason for theft(old day law of claim jumping.) The active mine site will be marked with flagging, with signs, and have temporary gate with sign. You can walk/drive/fly across federal and state claims all you want, as long as you are not taking or mining minerals or intervening with the operation. Beware that any ruts/ swamp damage you may cause will be the miners fault legally and this is why most put up no trespassing signs. Now on to patented claims, both federal and state. There are some really old federally patented claims that only show up on the parcel viewers, and do not have a mining claim status.These are private property with mineral rights, no access at all unless an easement is present. There are some newer patented claims that are listed as normal claims, with private property also within the parcel viewers. Same deal. Upland mining leases are a little more tricky, you should go talk to the miners or the state first. Some hold a lease to the surface rights too for logging and other surface resource development. These are case by case. Also prospecting sites are exactly the same laws as state mining claims.

    To my knowledge there are lots of private property and patented claims up willow fishook, some even as far down as mile 15 ish of willow fishook road. Most miners you just ask and they will let you access places, and some will tell you secret or hidden trails that are easier and better shape.

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    Member ChugiakTinkerer's Avatar
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    The borough may or may not have up to date information on the mining claims in question. If the claims were patented, then the miner has title to the land including the surface and is well within his rights to put up No Trespassing signs. Certainly have a chat with the mine operator if you can, but I would want to confirm the land title at my earliest opportunity to determine who owns the land. The BLM web site at http://sdms.ak.blm.gov/isdms/imf.jsp?site=sdms only shows Federal mining claims up around Independence Mine.

    The DNR also has a useful tool for zooming in to their land record information. The Alaska Mapper can be accessed at http://dnr.alaska.gov/MapAK/browserlite?set=map&id=1491

    That site is packed pretty densely, but after a little experimentation you should be able to get the hang of it. There are a lot of mineral surveys in that area, meaning the lands were applied for patent under the mining law. Patents were either issued and the land transferred to private ownership; or rejected and the lands conveyed to the State.

    Bottom line, these tools may help clear up the land title question, but a friendly chat with a mine operator might be a lot more fruitful.

  14. #14

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    I quit going up to hatcher pass for any kind of activities except for berry picking up in the hard state land. Too much BS around there for most folks.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChugiakTinkerer View Post
    The borough may or may not have up to date information on the mining claims in question. If the claims were patented, then the miner has title to the land including the surface and is well within his rights to put up No Trespassing signs. Certainly have a chat with the mine operator if you can, but I would want to confirm the land title at my earliest opportunity to determine who owns the land. The BLM web site at http://sdms.ak.blm.gov/isdms/imf.jsp?site=sdms only shows Federal mining claims up around Independence Mine.

    The DNR also has a useful tool for zooming in to their land record information. The Alaska Mapper can be accessed at http://dnr.alaska.gov/MapAK/browserlite?set=map&id=1491

    That site is packed pretty densely, but after a little experimentation you should be able to get the hang of it. There are a lot of mineral surveys in that area, meaning the lands were applied for patent under the mining law. Patents were either issued and the land transferred to private ownership; or rejected and the lands conveyed to the State.

    Bottom line, these tools may help clear up the land title question, but a friendly chat with a mine operator might be a lot more fruitful.
    When you look at the maps that either the DNR or BLM have you will see mineral survey numbers that indicate that the property was surveyed at one time in anticipation of patent (transferring to private ownership). Just because you see a ms survey that doesn't mean that the ownership was ever conveyed. Many weren't. What you want to look for next to the survey number is also a "cert"number, that show the patent certificate number, that number will clue you in to the fact that the property in question is in fact private (unless it was bought back by the government, such as is occurring with private lands in some National Parks).
    As for unpatented claims, no, the claimant can not exclude you from crossing or even camping out on the land provided it doesn't interfere with their operation or create a safety issue. Granted, different people will have a different interpretation of what constitutes an interference or a safety concern.

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